Want To Study Law at University? Here’s What You Need to Know
Applying to law school can seem like a scary process, especially if you don’t know anyone in the legal sector. However, you have no reason to worry as this article is going to tell you everything you need to be aware of, before you start your journey as a law student
When you are shortlisting your 5 university choices, there are a number of things you must consider, including entry requirements, optional modules available, placement years and the university environment itself.
In terms of entry requirements for Law, A Level requirements tend to range from BCC to AAA, whilst the more competitive universities require A*AA. Contrastingly, Scottish Highers requirements range from BBBB to AAAAB. Some universities also accept vocation courses such as BTECs as an alternative, but these entry requirements must be checked with the university you are keen on applying to. Unlike other university courses, Law does not have any pre-requisite subject requirements. However, analytical thinking subjects and essay-based subjects such as Economics and Politics will certainly benefit your future studies.
In order to receive a qualifying law degree, you will have to study 7 compulsory modules which are often spread across 3 years. Alongside these compulsory modules, you will also have the opportunity to select optional modules. When conducting your research, be sure to look through all the optional modules a university provides and see whether any of them catch your interest. Additionally, if you are keen on doing a year abroad or taking a year out to do a placement, make sure the university you are looking at, provides all these opportunities.
Finally, do try to attend university open days if you can, to get a feel of the university environment and the type of students who study there. If you are not excited by the prospect of studying at a particular university when you visit, it might be a sign that the university is not a right fit for you.
Make Sure Your Personal Statement Is Well Written
Universities want to see your interest in law shine in your personal statement. Showcase your motivation for the subject by highlighting any work experience you have, or any additional reading you have done. If you do not have any work experience, you can always discuss relevant extracurriculars you have participated in such as essay or debating competitions. Additionally, be sure to discuss your other range of interests outside of academic study such as playing an instrument or a sport. You can also further expand on your interests by discussing what skills they have helped you develop. Moreover, you could also potentially discuss how your current subjects are preparing you for your law degree. For example, you could discuss how studying English is helping you develop your essay writing skills.
A well written personal statement brings you one step closer to receiving an offer to read Law at university, so be sure to check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. One way to ensure your answer is mistake free, is simply reading out your answer out loud – you will be amazed to see how many mistakes can escape the eye.
The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT)
Alongside your application and personal statement, select universities require you to sit the Law National Aptitude Exam (LNAT) before offering you a place.
These universities include:
- University of Bristol
- University of Oxford
- Durham University
- UCL, University of London
- University of Nottingham
- University of Glasgow
- King’s College London
- SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies)
The LNAT helps universities determine your aptitude for the skills required to study Law. It does not require you to have any prior knowledge of Law. There are two sections in the exam; Section A and Section B. Section A is computer based multiple-choice exam composed of 42 questions. This portion of the test must be completed in 95 minutes You will be given passages to read, and you will be asked to answer questions that test your comprehension of the passages. The mark that you receive out of 42 is your LNAT score.
Section B is the essay-based portion of the test, where you will be asked to write an essay from a choice of 3 questions. Section B must be completed in 40 minutes. This portion is not marked by the test centre and does not affect your LNAT score. However, your essay is still sent to universities and might be read, alongside your LNAT score to determine whether a place will be offered to you.
Consider The Career Path You Intend To Pursue
A law degree opens many doors because of the transferable skills associated with it, so it’s not neccesary for you to become a solicitor or barrister. In fact, you can venture into fields such as Finance, or even Marketing. It is also important to note that even if you intend to pursue a legal career, a law degree is not your only option. You can study any degree of your choosing, and then complete your Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). A GDL is a qualification that allows you to gain a qualifying law degree in one year.
On a final note, be sure to enjoy the process; starting university is a very important milestone in your life. If you are unsure about whether university is the right fit for you but are keen on pursuing a career in the legal field, be sure to check out the Legal Apprenticeship vs Law Degree article.
Written by: Simran Gill