This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Clearing 2015(42 Posts)
Does anyone have a link to courses that were available in clearing last year. Would be reassuring to see what was available. And may be available future years. Interested in law.
The link won't be up any more but I kept the clearing newspaper from last year. Would you like me to look up which Law course were advertised?
(mind you it varies from year to year)
I've got all the lists going back to 2009 if you want to a historical picture - Was it M100 you were looking for? Any particular institutions?
What sort of grades is your DC expecting?
I'd be cautious about previous years as the picture is changing so much year on year. If a Uni was in clearing last year they may well be taking steps to try and avoid it this year - for example by making more offers or by telling potential applicants they will be happy to accept droped grades.
It's not online for copyright reasons, but your local library will most likely have a copy of the Telegraph from last year.
However, don't rely on it too heavily. You can get a flavour of what was in Clearing, but which subjects at which universities will vary from year to year.
I thought there might be a web link. She is only in 6:1, so I am thinking worse case scenario, as all her choices will be AAB or higher. As it will be first year of two year a level courses, the results could be quite unpredictable.
To be blunt, if a Law student does not get AAB, then the Law courses available to them will at lower graded (for Law) universitites anyway. Lawyers tend to be well qualified and there is such competition for jobs, people from some courses really struggle. Look very carefully at the destinations of students and remember that only 20% of people training to become barristers each year actually get pupillage. Be realistic about career prospects but aim high!
I'm with bojo and an ex lawyer. 30% of law graduates are unemployed 6 months after graduation. If anything less than AAB is a prospect don't do law!
Competition outside top London firms and sets is less competitive but even then I'd say less than AAB is at the bottom end. Hopefully you're being pessimistic - they're all in the same boat with this uncharted two year territory. If you're aiming for decent London firms or sets then I think the advice to forget it with less than AAB is correct. If you want a reality check look at the CVs of recent entrants to the Bar in middling to good London sets, which are usually easy to find on chambers' websites.
Hopefully I am being very pessimistic. So would you say law not even worth studying at an institution that accepts under AAA. I haven't really got to grips with how to find out graduate destinations. Unistats publish which figures, but it is hard to know which of the students are doing law related employment.
I would say that you were starting out at a disadvantage, certainly and had very little hope indeed of getting to the competitive London firms or sets unless you had a genius for advocacy perhaps, which was spotted at a later stage. Law is an excellent degree in itself but to get on in the profession a low ranked uni will hinder. If a student has a preference for the provinces I'm not actually sure where the cut off currently lies but I do know that many provincial firms and sets have recruits from the nearby unis - thus Newcastle sets seem to have a helping of Durham grads, Exeter has Exeter grads etc.
I'm not sure universities keep records of where graduates go to work (I was certainly never asked!) but these articles are just a couple of slightly sobering stories about graduate outcomes (sobering as my DS will be starting uni this year!)
homebythesea that article re the law grad don't surprise me one bit. At the competitive places it's not even a question of a 2.1 any more, it's an upper 2.1 or 1st preferably from Oxford or Cambridge and a whole lot of additional experience too - post grad, assisting research, moot wins at uni, running the law soc, getting scholarships from an Inn, taking on cases for FRU, working at a Law Centre etc. Despite the attempt to broaden the range of unis that top places recruit from, they remain stubbornly the preserve of Oxford and Cambridge. As I say, the provinces are slightly different but my guess is that any thing less than an AAA uni will make securing training an uphill struggle. One of my DDs is a London solicitor, another is training for the Bar. The competition is savage - vastly different from my day when I just wandered into a job.
The situation really does change, year to year.
I took up Molio's suggestion and looked at barristers CVs. There seemed to be two groups, the barristers with commercial corporate practices had outstanding credentials. Not just a first from Oxbridge but top of year, winner of prizes, MAs etc. Meanwhile those in chambers where they did human rights, youth work, family work, etc, there seemed to be a wider variety of universities, ranging from UCL to Kingston and less mention of prizes and scholarships. I then looked up various chambers in random cities around the UK, and again a bit more diversity as to where they trained. However a lot of these lawyers graduated years ago.
I don't for a minute think my daughter will have a career in London chambers. However I am presuming there are other jobs within law that will give her a reasonable chance at earning a living wage. I work in the nhs as a nurse we survive but it is gruelling work and we can barely afford to run a car clothe ourselves or have a holiday.
The employment statistic in those articles do look grim. I suppose I have been naive thinking law was a safer choice than psychology or English Literature. I am sure the poor law employment rates would also include universities where only the occasional exceptional student gets a pupillage.
Having said that I do feel a bit anxious. She really wants the uni experience, but I am calculating it is over £50000 debt. And probably you are right, it is stacked against you if you went to one of the poorer performing uni's. And maybe hard to justify. I am going to look for threads on the real disadvantages of student debt and on universities in Holland!
Sadusername the better known human rights chambers are massively competitive too, as are the medical sets and the environmental sets etc. The non conventional recruits in those sets will be outstanding in their own way, so when you say 'diverse' - only up to a point. Intellectually and in terms of advocacy they will be exceptional and that's not the same as diversity which includes a degree from an AAB uni, on the whole, where that uni was selected simply because the grades weren't there for a better one. Anyhow, it's not a clear cut division between commercial and other. Criminal and family are easier to get into by some way, but still not easy, not in London.
Law is a very good degree in itself but if I were your DD I'd aim high in terms of uni and hope for the best. I have a Y12 DC myself, so I share your concerns. But it seems to me that you're worrying before you need to. My DC will all have huge student debt but that's a fact of life for the vast majority of this generation - I find it best not to think too hard about the numbers involved.
Just to add to the doom, Northumbia University's BPTC course had no success AT ALL in getting anyone into Pupillage on the latest figures for 2013. The vast majority of pupillages are in London. I do have a friend whose grandaughter is doing a Law degree at Bournemouth. Pretty low down the league tables. However, they do a year out in a placement. She is at Nissan and has a car for the year. Lots of companies of this size run legal departments. This could be a better way forward for some Law students so do not necessarily give up, but be savvy about what the course looks like if your DD is not top university material.
You also need to remember that the pupillage awards for barrister training can be as low as £12,000 pa in London. Therefore you are paying them - effectively - unless you live at home in London! The top sets' awards are much higher (£65,000 plus) of course, but some sets only recruit from Oxbridge, as you have found. Specialisms such as Planning and Construction lawyers are in demand too. It is a real skill to get the experience, qualifications and develop the personal qualities needed at the highest level. People who work in family law have different skills from the people working in chancery for example. There are also scholarships available for training that are worth a big proportion of the fees and family circumstances are taken into account for some of them.
Also, there is no need to do Law at university at all to be a lawyer. She could do what she is good at (probably not "Media Studies" type degree though) and convert to Law via the GDL after her undergrad degree. This means she has longer to think about what she wants to do, develop other skills, and may decide she can get a good job, and one that she loves, with her first degree anyway. Doors are never closed - just pitch in at the right level!
By the way, student loans should never be a barrier. More people than ever are going to university, so going to the best university you can is more imortant than the loans. The rate of paying back is relatively low and manageable. Lots of students (I think they are saying 50%) will not pay anything back at all! Most people seem to think it is worth it but be really clear about the course and the university.
Re the fees, you are right of course, it is just a part of our young people's landscape. It. Is just when I see those figures. As for a depressing read, try this article. But does it mean she is not in chambers?
You are right bojo, just momentary panic/terror on my dd's behalf. It is just a normal part of a young persons life now I guess. As long as it isn't an ongoing blight on their day to day lives. I haven't particularly encouraged her to consider another course first as I feel such foreboding as how we could cover the extra years training. It all feels a bit insurmountable. As weirdly she seems to like law as a subject.
Sorry this is the blogI meant to link to
Though of course I don't quite understand why a barrister is out of pocket?! Does this mean she is not linked to chambers?
Where did you get your figures re Northumbria BPTC? A bit discouraging, but I am continuing this thread out of interest as much as anything else. Year 12 is too soon, she needs to get through A levels yet!
Sadusername the criminal bar doesn't pay well. The writer of the article is in chambers but she's self-employed, that's standard.
There's nothing odd at all about being attracted to the idea of law as an academic discipline. I enjoyed my law degree hugely. Both my DDs read law and while a lot of their friends did the conversion course from another subject their choice has had the merit of saving a further year of very high fees. It sound to me as though your DD is inclined towards the Bar, since you seem to be talking more about that than solicitors firms. If it cheers you up, my DD won two scholarships with a combined value of £23k for the Bar course, one of £20k from her Inn and an advocacy scholarship of £3k from her BPTC provider. That's a massive dent in the cost of training.
I think your DD should aim for the best place she possibly can, and consider putting down five aspirational choices on her UCAS form (bearing in mind we're moving into uncharted territory with the linear A2s, unis as well as applicants, so there may be a lot of flexibility on results day 2017). Once there she should get stuck into lots of extra curricular legal stuff - the stuff I mentioned earlier. She's got plenty of time, she just needs to make the most of it!
The barrister in the article is self-employed. Barristers who work in a Chambers are self employed. If you work for the Crown Prosecution service, you are employed and get all the benefits of that.
Members of a Chambers have common expenses, which she listed, where they pool money to cover the office expenses. They pay their own travel and this can be a huge expense.
After doing a Law degree or the GDL, an aspiring barrister will then do the Barristers' Professional Training course at a recognised provider. Although then doing an MA or volunteering for a year is common before starting the BPTC. If a student has done the GDL, then the BPTC comes after that, or after doing an MA. You get the picture! The BPTC can be completed at Northumbria, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham and 3 Universities in London. The cost will be £20,000 plus in London next year for this course but less in the provinces. You join an Inn of Court as a student and hopefully get a scholarship from them to help pay the fees. You also have to pay living expenses and the scholarships are never more than the cost of the course.
If a young person can get a pupillage (training year with a Chambers which follows successful completion of the BPTC) before the student starts the BPTC, you can draw down on the sum of money that goes with the pupillage. However at a criminal chambers, it may be £12,000 so this will only cover the pupillage year and these chambers may not recruit before the BPTC anyway. For a top chambers, their pupillage award of £50,000-£65,000 can be partly spent on the BPTC year and the pupillage year. The problem is that few get these amounts . £12,000-£30,000 is more common. This money is paid to the pupil by the Barristers in the Chambers. It is a reflection of what they earn and the status of the Chambers and the type of person they wish to recruit. Some areas of law are more lucrative than others. Some Chambers never recruit pupils at all.
Criminal Barristers, at the lower end, are paid little and her account sounds accurate to me. It is interesting that, on another thread, Doctors think they are hard done by. I think people do think Barristers do a good job but it has to be treated as a way of life. There are far better hourly rates in commercial areas of practice but they are the most difficult to secure.
The comment about Northumbria was from the "Legal Cheek" website and it was their comments on "The BPTC Providers with the Highest Chance of Pupilage". The figures were from the Bar Standards Board. However, Northumbria has a huge proportion (80% in 2015) of overseas students on the course who may not be looking for pupillage in this country. The Bar Barometer published by the Bar Standards Board also makes interesting reading, although not very up to date.
Sorry to have rambled on.
I have a Law Degree. I just scanned through the thread looking at all the talk about the competitiveness of the job market which is all true. However I think there is an issue even before that. My Law Degree was extremely demanding in terms of course load with multiple 5,000 word essays every week. I had 8 subjects in year 1, all with related exams. If someone is at all struggling to get the entry grades, especially in verbal reasoning subjects, I think they will struggle to keep up with the course.
OTOH I have never been a lawyer and my degree was extremely marketable for lots of other graduate programmes. I definitely recommend it. I am a chartered accountant.