The Professional Skills Course (PSC) is the final, compulsory part of training before qualifying as a solicitor, rooted in developing the core competencies for a successful legal career. The primary goal of the PSC is to develop legal practise skills and ensure that trainees are prepared for the next step of their careers.
By Elena Carruthers. Published 12 July 2022. Last updated 21 February 2023.
How is the Professional Skills Course designed?
The PSC consists of three compulsory modules: Advocacy and Communication, Finance and Business Skills, and Client Care and Professional Standards. Our course takes place over 12 days, and trainees can select 24 hours of elective training of their choice to build on a particular area of expertise that’s of interest to them.
To help you understand the power of our Professional Skills Course, here are the top five transferable skills developed through studying the PSC.
Advanced communication skills
The 12-day course builds a bridge between communication in an academic and a professional context. As the PSC is undertaken during a period of training, the primary focus is to teach students effective communication strategies in a professional environment and to meet certain objectives. Students can opt to take Advanced Communication Skills as an optional module to further build on this knowledge.
We offer a range of modules covering core legal skills including courses on communication, negotiation, presenting, practical contract law, drafting various types of contracts, and execution. These are pervasive skills that deserve additional focus as they enhance trainee performance across all areas of practice.
Effective written communication
Being a good lawyer requires a clear understanding of the law surrounding your practice area. However, there are several necessary core skills no matter what area of law you are working in.
The compulsory Advocacy and Communication module helps put your communication skills to practise by focusing specifically on developing a logical argument, factual writing, and clear content when drafting.
Presenting to persuade
Another vital aspect of communication for a budding solicitor is being able to communicate persuasively. This skill is also built through the Advocacy and Communication module and teaches students to present in a way that is persuasive, confident, and supported by strong commercial awareness. Students can further build on their advocacy skills by selecting from a range of elective modules including The Skilled Negotiator and Presenting to Persuade.
We offer a range of Practice Skills electives incorporating the variety of skills that we recognise are necessary for junior lawyers. We know being your authentic self makes you a better lawyer and law firms a happier place to work in.
The number one goal of the PSC is to instil legal skills in practise. Through our course’s compulsory and elective modules, students gain in-depth commercial awareness, allowing them to make informed and meaningful decisions. Commercial awareness is built into the four key competencies we have identified as being crucial for employers, which include Business, Law, Self, and Working with Others.
Impact and influence
The hallmark of any profession is the code of ethics enforced by an independent regulator. Therefore, the PSC covers the SRA Code of Conduct and its impact on trainees professionally and personally.
One of the most significant changes for students to come to terms with when embarking on their new careers is the impact of their work on reputation. Therefore, the PSC is an essential part of training, as it supports students in meeting and understanding these real-world demands.
Learn more about studying our Professional Skills Course at The University of Law.