(Original post by jacketpotato)
8) What can I do to make my uni application stand out?
i)Good grades at GCSE and A-level.
ii)A well written personal statement. You need a clear structure that explains why you want to study law and what you will bring to the university, not just a list of your extra-curricular achievements: check the PS forum. No spelling mistake or grammatical errors allowed.
iii)Some relevant work experience is a plus. Try contacting high street solicitors firms or chambers near you to see if they would take you on for a week of work experience. However, law degrees are academic, don't worry too much if you can't get any work exp at this stage, but it is worth a go.
iv)You can take a couple of visits to court. Courts are open to the public, and it is well worth a visit to your local county or high court, or even just the magistrates' court, just to see how it all works in practice. Find courts near you and opening times at http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/
v)Its also a very good idea to wise-up on recent issues involving the law (i.e. read the broadsheets- telegraph, Guardian or Times). Obviously the 42-day detention issue and anti-terrorist legislation are very relevant at the moment, but there is plenty of other legally-related stuff going on as well. Mentioning that you are interested in how the law relates to topical issues, and giving a specific example of something you are interested in, is a great addition to a PS and also offers a great opportunity for some informed discussion at interview.
9) What books can I read to give me a flavour of the law and something to talk about at interview?
Some examples include:
'Understanding Law' by Adams and Brownsword
'Letters to a Law Student' by McBride
'Learning the Law' by Williams
'Learning Legal Rules' by Holland
'The Law Machine' by Berlins and Dyer
'What About Law?' by Barnard, O'Sullivan and Virgo
'The Politics of the Judiciary' by Griffith
There are other examples going round these forums, just do a search.
You should be aware of the different types of introductory law books. There are basically two types of introductory law book: those that give you an introduction to some substantive
legal issues and legal ways of thinking, and those that give you an overview of the procedure
followed by the courts and the legal professions. You need the books that give you an overview of legal substance as this is what law degrees are about, not books on procedure which are useful in practice but not in a degree. Interviewers will be less impressed by you going in and telling them the relation between the high court and the county court than by an informed discussion of whether people who kill indirectly should be guilty of murder, because it is issues like that which are studied in a law degree: procedure is not.
As for my personal opinions, I highly recommend 'Understanding Law' as a book to base your reading around and 'The Law Machine' to supplement, but I don't recommend 'Learning Legal Rules' because it is mainly a dry book on how stuff works, what the abbreviations on law reports stand for and so on, this is not what you need. I'm sure there are other good ones, and obviously it is subjective. You can search the forums for what other people have said about these books.