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Law Degree

(14 Posts)
Mybrood Mon 28-Sep-09 16:20:46

Is it really very difficult to get in to a good Law School? (not Oxbridge)
Should my child do a different degree and convert afterwards?
Is the personal statement really important or is it just results?

GooseyLoosey Mon 28-Sep-09 16:26:12

What does your child actually want to do? Had I known you could do law without a law degree, I would have done something I enjoyed more at university. That said it would still have to be a fairly traditional subject from a well regarded university or you would never get a job.

I believe law schools like most undergrad courses at the moment are very oversubscibed.

crumpet Mon 28-Sep-09 16:29:21

If she/he wants to do law as a career then frankly a law degree is not going to put them in a better position and will possibly count against them if up against a candidate who has done a different degree and converted but who is otherwise equal. Law firms tend to like candidates with a broader range to offer than having slogged thorugh law for years and years. And yes, law firms can be sniffy about which law school/university was chosen.

If on the other hand the law degree is purely for interest rater than a stepping stone to a career in law, then I think the choice of university will be dicated by the sort of career your child is looking for afterwards.

crumpet Mon 28-Sep-09 16:30:39

(but having said all that, a fellow trainee at my law firm had done a degree in drama)

Buntytea Mon 28-Sep-09 16:36:22

As crumpet says, I think it is often regarded as more favourable to do a broad 'classical' subject at undergraduate level first, and then do the GDL (law conversion course). It is very easy to get into a law school (as long as you can pay the fees, or have a training contract and have your fees paid for you). The hard parts are a) getting into a good university and b) getting a training contract (if intending to become a solicitor) or pupillage (if hoping to become a barrister) - hope that makes sense!

Mybrood Tue 29-Sep-09 13:19:45

Daughter wants to do a Law Degree, absolutely set on it. Looking at Bristol, Nottingham,Birmingham, Durham etc. I am concerned that they have such high standards for entry could she risk missing an offer from all?. Which Uni's are considered v.good but not just wanting the "genius's"?

Buntytea Tue 29-Sep-09 21:22:17

Mybrood, they are all v.good universities. Try searching on Times online for league tables of universities.

What A Levels is she doing and what are her predicted grades?

If she is dead set on reading Law, I would suggest she sort out some extra-curricular activities / work experience to show she is committed to that route of study. For example, odd days at a firm of solicitors, volunteering at a Law Centre, or even attending courts open to the public (eg Crown Court). HTH

gscrym Tue 29-Sep-09 21:28:51

My niece got a high 2.1 for her degree and then did her diploma. She's been desperately trying to get a traineeship. For any success, she should have been applying since 3rd year. It's something for your child to keep in mind. If you don't get a traineeship within 2 years, you have to re-do your diploma. Not sure if that applies in England but is the case in Scotland.

thepumpkineater Wed 30-Sep-09 08:24:07

Mybrood, if you go on the UCAS website(, you can look up all the universities that have Law degrees and their entry requirements. The 'top' universities will probably require 3 As, but there will be other courses at other universities that may ask for less.

The Personal Statement is important because it needs to show a 'passion' for the subject by the student. She may also have to take an extra test if applying to a top university (LNat???).

Lilymaid Wed 30-Sep-09 21:27:48

Your daughter will have to do the LNat test for entrance to some of her choices.
Law is a very popular subject as it leads to a well remunerated career (perhaps not at the moment though), so good universities will typically offer AAA or AAB for applicants.
If she is interested in getting a job eventually in a City firm she would need to get a 2.1 from a Russell Group or 1994 Group university. If she wanted to be a barrister, realistically, she would need to aim for a 1st (and the bar is still very Oxbridge orientated).

Mybrood Thu 01-Oct-09 12:46:29

What does Bristol, Durham, London, Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, York (in no order) sound like? i.e. an accident waiting to happen (no offers) Anyone have expreience of Queen Mary? Out of the above which are the most highly regarded and which ones are missing off this list? Are there any above which are not so good with regards to this next question - What is the current situation regarding prejudice against independent schools? Also, are we talking "genius" level for Law degree? Three A's are minimum which we know.

Lilymaid Thu 01-Oct-09 12:54:13

She will have to narrow down to 5 choices. York is a new law school, so hasn't got a track record, though it is a good university.
Which part of London university? - Queen Mary is probably easier to get a place at (UCL and LSE are very highly oversubscribed).
The prejudice against independent schools is hyped up by the media. All it means is that some universities are prepared to make slightly lower offers to applicants from some state schools.

Mybrood Thu 01-Oct-09 14:54:53

Kings College and UCL (told to look at Kings because it is big) Do thay consider AS grade, she heard that Kings does now?
Has anyone an opinion about Newcastle/Sheffield?

Someone told me that if someone wants a job in the city they have to do Oxbridge or UCL/Kings - wouldn't you think times had moved on! They sniffed at Bristol!! even though Bristol seem sniffy at everyone else!

Ozziegirly Tue 06-Oct-09 06:14:24

Don't worry, that's rubbish about UCl/Kings. I worked in the city for years and never heard UCL or Kings rated above Bristol/Durham/any other top 15 uni.

I would definitely do a non law degree and then convert, for 3 main reasons.

1. You get to do a more interesting degree and gain a broader knowledge base.

2. It's much easier to get into a good uni to do a non law degree, and then it's not hard to get a place at law school. Firms will consider (say) an Economics Degree from Bristol and then a law conversion from College of Law as more preferable than a law degree from Queen Marys.

3. You have longer to build up your CV and do work experience and placements, all of which will really help when getting a training contract.

Oh and personal statement is basically irrelevant - the only things they will look at are results and what work experience you have done.

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