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CPE Law Conversion Course Dilemma(first post)

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    Hi

    I have an issue regarding which degree I should choose once I finish college, I'm expected to finish up with:
    A (English Language)
    A (Sociology)
    B (Law)
    B (English Literature AS)

    I was thinking of picking a degree in Law as I would like to pursue a career in this area and become a solicitor. However, I also enjoy English and would also want to pick up a degree in that particular subject. I was wondering if I would be able to pick English as a degree and pick up the CPE conversion course or if it would be a waste of time and if I should just do a Law degree if that is what I would want to do in the future. Has anyone decided to follow this route and realised it may not have been the right choice?

    Thank you
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    Just a couple of things. Are you set on law as your career field?
    Or have you got a career/backup career in mind where an english degree will serve you better than a law degree?

    In my humble opinion, if you're pretty set on the law, I can't imagine why you would put yourself through doing a degree then the GDL - not least because its a lot of money to do that extra year unless you've got £15k for fees/living expenses lying around.

    I'm sure others see the benefit of doing alternative degrees then crossing into law via the GDL - but I don't unless, like me, law was something you decided on after already completing your degree in which case it's a means to an end.


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    Do your research, can you sustain your subject interest through 3 years of a degree, be it Law or English.

    Depending in your university it may be possible to take some English modules alongside your main Law Degree. Perhaps accrue the credit separately, so that you can use it at a later date to gain an English degree. There is a lot of competition for Law, so it is important to develop interests and skills which differentiate you from other candidates in a positive way.

    If you decide to go the GDL route, which is perfectly valid and secure a training contract, it is no more costly to you personally. Some GDL programs allow you to progress to an LLB with additional study. The GDL is very intensive and demanding.

    Do not worry about spending an extra year doing a GDL, a year passes quickly and in the current climate, there is no need to rush into the job market place. Law firms plan 2-3 years ahead to forecast how many trainees they will need. If they get it wrong and decide they don't need as many trainees, after paying for your training they may ask you to defer starting for 6-12 months.

    If you decide to do Law, make sure you get vacation placements or relevant experience. There are far more people with a Law degree and only a fraction will get to practice law professionally.
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    (Original post by ~*Kate*~)
    Just a couple of things. Are you set on law as your career field?
    Or have you got a career/backup career in mind where an english degree will serve you better than a law degree?

    In my humble opinion, if you're pretty set on the law, I can't imagine why you would put yourself through doing a degree then the GDL - not least because its a lot of money to do that extra year unless you've got £15k for fees/living expenses lying around.

    I'm sure others see the benefit of doing alternative degrees then crossing into law via the GDL - but I don't unless, like me, law was something you decided on after already completing your degree in which case it's a means to an end.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    I see what you mean. I'm set for a career field in law but at the same time I was thinking that having a degree in something else would make me seem like a flexible candidate. I guess I'm rather indecisive. I took what you wrote into context and I'm likely to just stick with a degree in law

    Thank you
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    (Original post by edjunkie)
    Do your research, can you sustain your subject interest through 3 years of a degree, be it Law or English.

    Depending in your university it may be possible to take some English modules alongside your main Law Degree. Perhaps accrue the credit separately, so that you can use it at a later date to gain an English degree. There is a lot of competition for Law, so it is important to develop interests and skills which differentiate you from other candidates in a positive way.

    If you decide to go the GDL route, which is perfectly valid and secure a training contract, it is no more costly to you personally. Some GDL programs allow you to progress to an LLB with additional study. The GDL is very intensive and demanding.

    Do not worry about spending an extra year doing a GDL, a year passes quickly and in the current climate, there is no need to rush into the job market place. Law firms plan 2-3 years ahead to forecast how many trainees they will need. If they get it wrong and decide they don't need as many trainees, after paying for your training they may ask you to defer starting for 6-12 months.

    If you decide to do Law, make sure you get vacation placements or relevant experience. There are far more people with a Law degree and only a fraction will get to practice law professionally.
    I believe I can because I enjoy both subjects but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it.

    I thought by having a separate degree as well as a GDL it would make you more of a candidate that law firms would find more attractive as you have skills from an other degree whilst having the skills of Law

    Do law firms look down on someone who decided to take the GDL route then just picking a law degree?
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    The top law firms often have a 50:50 mix of trainees with straight law an other degrees, so no it is not looked down on.

    In terms of whether having a degree and a GDL will make you more attractive candidate, it depends on what the degree is in. I would have thought that from a skill set perspective there is not a huge difference between Law and English, they are somewhat complimentary. If your first degree was in a modern language, science or something mathematical, that might be slightly more diverse in corporate law terms. Would it help in one the law specialities like patent law, tax law etc. Working overseas in contract law, for which the right language would be beneficial.

    If you wanted to practice in New York for example an LLB is essential, a GDL would not allow you to sit for the New York bar exam. For other states you would need a JD or an LLM.

    Regardless of which route you take, there is a lot of competition. Your GCSE and A level grades will count as well as your degree classification.

    What type of law do you want to practice? If you are going for the BAR then funding will be an issue. So it would make more sense to do the law degree. If you are aiming for corporate, then subject to the right grades and an application that screams you would be mad not to hire me, funding less of an issue.

    Law is very oversubscribed, with many excellent candidates failing to secure a training place regardless of what route they took.

    If you want to hedge your bets looking for a qualifying law degree with English as a minor.

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Updated: June 12, 2012
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