GDL - anyone done it without intending to become a lawyer?

(9 Posts)
edeluna Tue 21-Jan-20 15:22:09

After nine years as a SAHM, I'm looking to get back to work or retrain. One option I'm considering is the graduate diploma in law (GDL) over two years, part-time, to get a foundation in legal issues and then apply it in business, perhaps in a compliance and regulatory affairs capacity. I don't really have a strong interest in becoming a lawyer or barrister.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's done the GDL. How was it in terms of time commitment and difficulty? Did it lead to good opportunities outside of being a solicitor? Would it make sense to do the course and not pursue the LPC?

OP’s posts: |
Grasspigeons Tue 21-Jan-20 15:27:19

Do you already have a degree in something else?

Cohle Tue 21-Jan-20 15:34:32

The GDL is reasonably straightforward but I can't imagine why you'd want to do it if you weren't going to pursue a legal career.

It's very very broad brush and I simply can't imagine it would be at all useful for the specific skills/knowledge required by regulatory work. Have you spoken to specific employers that have said they think it would be advantageous? I think you'd be better learning on the job or pursuing a much more specific qualification.

SometimesItRains Tue 21-Jan-20 15:40:23

I agree with Cohle and I think that you run the risk of looking like a failed lawyer given that people only really do the GDL (to the best of my knowledge) in order to become a lawyer. Would something more focused on business or management be better given where you want to end up?

edeluna Tue 21-Jan-20 15:45:23

I have a BA in foreign languages. I've mainly worked as an editor, so am thinking of applying my obsessive attention to detail within a field like compliance, data protection, etc

I've applied for entry-level compliance roles in the hope of being able to learn on the job, but I get no response. Many job adverts state that knowledge of legal issues/compliance is required, even at entry-level. Also, I'm in my forties, so am probably competing with 20-something grads for those roles.

I spoke with one university about their GDL and asked whether it might be a good stepping stone into compliance and they said they thought it could be. But I'd like more evidence of that before deciding whether to pursue it.

I've also looked into training courses in various areas of compliance, but most of them seem to be taught over one week and start around £3000, and they're often geared towards people already working in the area. So I'm not sure they'd actually lead to a job.

OP’s posts: |
SometimesItRains Tue 21-Jan-20 15:54:11

Can you ask employers what evidence of knowledge of legal issues/compliance they are expecting/would like to see?

Grasspigeons Tue 21-Jan-20 15:56:00

Im not sure gdl is the right thing. Universities want to sell courses so they arent that impartial on advice.
Can you speak to someone doung the role you want about how they got there.

Cohle Tue 21-Jan-20 15:59:05

I don't think the university offering the GDL is going to be a very objective source of information - they're just trying to sell you their product so they'll tell you whatever you want to hear.

I do think you have to be realistic about your chances of getting a role in the sector with no background. Lots of those in compliance I know come from either legal (i.e.
practicing lawyers, not just GDL) or operational backgrounds.

Somewheredreamingofcheesecake Tue 21-Jan-20 16:10:52

I really think you'd be wasting your money doing the GDL if that's your aim. A GDL would also cost you a lot more than 3k. Possibly GDL + LPC could help but I agree with others that everyone will just assume you're a failed lawyer.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in