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BPP/CoL OR seperate universities for the GDL?? - Need help asap. Applying next week. watch

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    Hi everyone,

    I finished undergraduate degree this Christmas at Oxford Brookes (achieving a 2.1), and I am applying to do the law conversion (GDL) for sept 2010. I have been going round in circles in which establishment I should apply to. My list of establishments are as follows:

    Oxford Brookes University (GDL) and The Oxford Institute of Legal Practice (LPC)
    Pros:
    - GDL + LPC = LLB
    - The Oxford Institute of Legal Practice is highly though of
    Cons:
    - Not as prestigious as the BPP or CoL
    - I do not intend to work or live in the area in the future
    - Costs similar amount to the BPP and CoL

    Manchester Met
    Pros:
    - The course is cheap (£3000 less)
    - The course has been taught at the university for 30+ years, so therefore are very experienced.
    Cons:
    - I do not think the GDL + LPC becomes a LLB at MMU. I might be wrong?
    - It's not as prestigious as the Bpp and Col - it is know as the Mickey Mouse University up here in Manchester

    BPP or CoL
    Pros:
    - Both are very prestigious
    - Levels of teaching will be high
    - GDL+LPC = LLB
    Cons:
    - Very expensive - is it worth the extra £3000

    Therefore I ask:
    - How important is it to have a LLB? Does having an LLB considerably improve your chances of getting a training contract/job employment in the future?

    - As the BPP and CoL are very prestigious, would this again help my chances of obtaining a training contract? Or, do law firms not really care where you have done your qualifications?

    - Would it be a fair argument to say that the smaller institutions such as MMU and Oxford Brookes, can give more specialised/individual help, and therefore can give me more chance of achieving the top grades than the larger institutions such as the BPP and CoL?


    I would be very grateful for any help or advise I can get. I am seriously panicking at the moment with only a week or so to go before I apply, and at the moment I am non the wiser.

    Cheers,
    Malc
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    Its not important at all to have an LLB. Your undergrad degree remains the most important grade for recruitment. Go for the most suited option for your circumstance, if thats the cheaper one thats fine. The COL LLB isn't taken into consideration in a law career, as the qualification is one OR the other ie a GDL and LPC OR an LLB. So in law aps its the prof qual like everyone else non law has, it is only out side the profession that you "technically" have an LLB
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    I chose the cheapest/closest because those are the options that best fit my circumstances. I could not justify spending an extra 3K on the CoL/BPP simply because they are "prestigious". I already have a good degree from a "prestigious" university. I am more than wiling to defend my decision should I ever need to in the future.
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    Have you thought about Nottingham Law School? They have a very good reputation.
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    Thanks for all the advise so far! Sorry for the later reply; I have been away from a computer for the last day or so.

    Anyway, good to hear that the additional LLB is not necessary. If there is no advantage in having the LLB with the GDL and LPC, then I don't need to worry about it. I guess it's just something nice to have extra on your CV.

    I hadn't looked at Nottingham, but have just been on their website and the fees are more than the BPP and COL in Manchester (GDL = £7000). Is Nottingham any better than the BPP and COL?

    At the moment I am being drawn towards Manchester Met to do the GDL and LPC, especially considering the LLB is not important. Are there any reasons why I should pay an extra £3000 to go to either the BPP or COL??
    - Is the teaching of a higher standard or the course better structured?
    - Would I be more likely to gain a training contract if I went to either of the two?
    - Is having COL or BPP on your CV an advantage?
    - Would the social scene be better?
    I can afford to pay the fees for BPP or COL, but only wont to do that if they actually warrant it.

    Thanks again,

    Malc
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    Are CoL and BPP actually that prestigious though? I recognise that City firms have contracts with them and that their teaching is good, but it is not as if they are remotely difficult to get into for the GDL or LPC.

    Also, I think when viewing your application, a good undergraduate degree is more important than where you do your GDL, though with the LPC it matters slightly more. However, Oxford Brookes and OXILP are still quite highly regarded and I don't think a firm would EVER reject you based primarily on the fact you studied your GDL and/or LPC there. Others factors such as performance in assessment centres are vastly more important when deciding whether to grant you a training contract offer.
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    What sort of firm do you want to practice in? Will they refund your fees/maintenance retrospectively (not all City firms do - Lovells for example)?

    If want to apply to North West firms, how do they regard the MMU GDL/LPC? In the North East, Dicki Dees take on some Northumbria graduates. It mght work to your advantage in demonstrating your attachment to the area (versus catching the first train to London once qualified).

    Be honest with yourself - how a strong a candidate are you in terms of academics, ECs, work experience? If you feel reasonably confident of landing a TC somewhere eventually, you can get the Natwest loan to cover fees/maintenance at BPP/CoL. Not sure that's true at MMU. If you are not confident, maybe defer the GDL until you have a TC (large firms usually recruit 2 years in advance, so you would have to take a gap year at some point anyway). if you could get a job in the meanwhile, that would reduce your financial concerns.

    I'm not sure the reason for choosing BPP/CoL is really about reputation (though they are the sort of brands which no law firm will sniff at). Both are very well organised in terms of how they deliver a course which is demanding in terms of the sheer volume of material (as opposed to intellectual content): text books, e-lectures etc. From my experience, they also attract regional firms actively recruiting. I'm not sure how MMU compares.

    Why not apply for all 3 (you will get offers from everyone) and decide before you have to hand over your deposit?

    Good luck
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    I have most definitely not written off the Oxford Brookes and the OXILP for the GDL or LPC. I have done some research on the course there and it looks very good. You have to get a 2.1 to get in and there are only 100 spaces. They have a 99% pass rate as well. The OXILP for the LPC has won numerous awards. Plus at the end of it you can finish with an additional LLB. I have been put of Oxford because the accommodation and living costs are expensive; ideally I would prefer to work and live up in the North West; and as I have already been in Oxford for 4 years, I feel I need a change. I feel I can't disregard it because the course seems to be very good.

    I admit my A-Level grades were not great and because Oxford Brookes is not a top notch university, my degree will not have as much weight as others. I am applying to most the North West firms for work experience in hope they may give me a training contract in the long run. I accept, because of the reasons I have mentioned above, I may find it difficult to GAIN a training contract from the large firms, but I expect I may have more of a chance from the smaller, regional firms instead. I have come to the view (I might be wrong!) that going to either the CoL or BPP may help my chances compared to the MMU, as they may have more contacts etc. Also, gaining the additional LLB from the two institutions might make my CV slightly more attractive to firms as well. So I am swaying more towards the CoL and BPP than the MMU, despite the added costs.

    Also, I acknowledge that I really should of attempted to gain training contract before now. Instead I have been overly pre-occupied in trying to get my under-grad 2.1. I could take a year out to try to gain one, but at the same time I really want to go straight into law. Money is still a slight concern, but hopefully I will be able to work my whole summer.

    Lastly; when you apply for the GDL, do you have to put the places in order of preference?

    Thanks again for all the advice - it has been very helpful so far!

    Malc
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    Lastly; when you apply for the GDL, do you have to put the places in order of preference?
    Yes but I'm pretty sure you are not bound by it.
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    Malc,

    I don't know if this will be of any help to you or not but i thought it might be.

    I am currently at a large national firm in Manchester doing a placement for 10 weeks. Because i want to pursue a law career post uni (i'm in my final year of a non-law degree) i have been asking the question which provider is best to go to?

    The resounding anwser i have got is College of Law, and this is what i have actually opted for in my choices (just yesterday).

    The main reasoning behind it seems to be that if your unfortunate and don't get a TC with a firm, the reputations of COL and BPP stand up more so than other providers. I'm sure this varies on firm, and the type of work you want to do, but from what i have found out it sounds like making a slightly more expensive investment in yourself now could pay dividends later on.

    Hope that helps in some kind of way
 
 
 
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