Birmingham or Exeter for law

(15 Posts)
questioner123 Tue 14-Jan-20 13:55:52

Hi all

DD can’t decide whether to put Birmingham or Exeter down on her UCAS form- please can we have some advice and your experiences of these unis/the law course? DD is interested in a well-rounded uni experience- good nightlife, good city with lots to do, good law course that offer opportunities to get involved in etc.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
randomsabreuse Tue 14-Jan-20 14:06:44

I'm quite out of date but would rate both equally for employability at all levels (look at course content/options for particular interests).

Birmingham has a bigger/stronger local legal market than Exeter, debatably 2nd only to London although Bristol/Manchester could also argue their case.

Both campus based, convenient to rail links. Exeter campus is up a massive hill which might influence some.

Birmingham campus is much leafier than you might think.

Both have an active student scene.

Birmingham is more convenient for most of the country (obviously not if you're from Cornwall!).

My Birmingham degree didn't hold me back in my (Magic Circle) legal career - although growing out of my initial interest in city M&A work has done -

latedecember1963 Tue 14-Jan-20 14:48:02

Our DS has done 2 years at Birmingham studying International Law and Globalisation. He is currently spending a year studying in Australia and will return to do his final year at Birmingham this summer.
He has had a very positive experience academically, pastorally and socially. I agree that campus area is much leafier than you might imagine.
Has your DD gone to an Open day? They are well worth attending to get an idea of what it might be like to live and study somewhere. If she hasn't been able to go to an Open day before applying there are often Offer Holder days once offers have been made. Good luck with whatever she decides.

Fifthtimelucky Tue 14-Jan-20 15:37:14

I don't think you can go wrong with either.

I don't know anything about the law courses but these were my daughter's two favourite universities and it took two visits to each before she finally plumped for Exeter. She only really decided on Exeter because some of her friends were going to Birmingham and she wanted to go somewhere where she had to make new ones.

She's now in her second year and very happy there. I can imagine Exeter would feel quite small to someone used to life in a big city, though. All those I know who were/are at Birmingham love it (none doing law).

Xenia Tue 14-Jan-20 15:44:02

4.9% of City lawyers went to Exeter and 3.4% Birmingham. I would probably go for Exeter (and much nicer place in my view too although the only one of my 5 children who might have gone ther e- my older son missed his grades do didn't get in there in the end). My children's father (who is not a lawyer) went to Birmingham

titchy Tue 14-Jan-20 16:25:05

What are the others on the form? She does realise the deadline's tomorrow...? Are school/college ok with a last minute reference?

questioner123 Tue 14-Jan-20 17:03:01

Thanks for your replies everyone!! Useful as ever...

Titchy she has already submitted the form- but can’t decide whether to change Birmingham for Exeter or not. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Other options are Bristol, Nottingham, reading, Leicester and currently Birmingham.

OP’s posts: |


randomsabreuse Tue 14-Jan-20 17:10:31

Stick with Birmingham. Assume Nottingham/Bristol is top/toughest choices the others fairly similar in grade requirements- Birmingham wanted better grades than Leicester/Exeter in my day but not by much!

Xenia Tue 14-Jan-20 19:13:04

One of my lawyer daughters went to Bristol (where my twins are) and my other lawyer daughter went to Nottingham. My older son who didn't get his grades for Exeter went to Reading through clearing (not a lawyer).

I have a slight feeling Exeter has risen above Birmingham which in the far past was not always the case but as those statistics on where lawyers went to show there is not a lot in it.

randomsabreuse Tue 14-Jan-20 19:33:39

My impression of the recruitment hierarchy for city law is Oxbridge, then Bristol, Durham, Nottingham and London, then other red bricks.

The big regional firms have strong relationships with their local unis, and are much better for work/life balance - the quality of work is probably comparable outside international M&A and the training is at least as good. I'm guessing from other choices that you are Midlands ish - so Birmingham might be a long term work location as well. Legal market in Exeter is much weaker - no big regional firms.

MarchingFrogs Tue 14-Jan-20 20:52:20

Birmingham campus is much leafier than you might think.

Plus there are the Botanical Gardens up the way from the Vale, Winterbourne House and gardens across Edgbaston Park Road (which is on a hill, but an awful lot less of one than those in Exeter) and at least two parks nearby-ish. No coast for miles and miles, though, which may be seen as a drawback, but our DC have got that at home and so far, the lack of seaside in Birmingham hasn't been an issue for DS1 or DD.

questioner123 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:00:26

Thanks everyone, seems like Birmingham is slightly more the favourite. One thing DD is concerned about is the safety around the uni? Does anyone have any experience of this?

OP’s posts: |
cheeseandpineapple Sat 25-Jan-20 11:08:21

She might already have made her decision but given there isn’t much between them, have her look at the modules and decide which course appeals to her the most. Law can be very dry, having some interesting options will make it more palatable.

Sorry don’t know about the safety aspects. Didn’t attend either but have studied law.

Dancingdreamer Fri 31-Jan-20 20:42:57

I think Birmingham is probably on a par with other city universities in terms of safety. There is certainly some crime targeted at students and student houses.

BubblesBuddy Fri 31-Jan-20 23:14:55

Students should be briefed on safety by the university. My DD who went to Bristol certainly was. As parents I think it’s important to make sure your DCs are streetwise. Make sure handbags are not open and left lying about when out. Don’t make it obvious where you keep your wallet. Take extra care of your laptop and phone. Don’t walk alone at night. Get a taxi with friends. Get someone to look out for you if you are a bit drunk (yes it happens) and even basic things like insuring your belongings and not taking very covetable stuff to university. When renting try and get somewhere with decent locks. Be aware of security and precautions you can take to stay safe and not get burgled. Birmingham won’t be much different to any city but every student needs to be aware of how to look after themselves and their stuff as far as possible.

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