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Is A-Level law and Law at university that different?

Obviously, I know law at university is going to be a lot more difficult. But in terms of content, what you're expected to know etc, how different is law at university compared to A-Level.

I'm currently studying law at A-Level and want to do it at university. Law is by far my favorite A Level subject that I'm doing, and I find it extremely interesting. The cases, acts, quotes from judges etc. I'm finding the course content really easy to understand and remember with revision, and I'm getting A's in all of my assessments.

When I say I love Law, I mean I LOVE law.

I want to do it at uni, but I don't want any surprises. I don't want to get to university and find out it's completely different to a level, and that I may not find the content interesting.

Aside from the "hardness", how different is A-level law to university law? And would it be worth mew taking law at university if I'm really enjoying it at A-Level?
Reply 1
I didn't do it but think there's a lot of justice systems, which are a non factor really at uni, and crim, just one module, whilst there's a lot more civil law.

If you tell me what you currently study I can give you a good idea what you'll do a lot more of.
Reply 2
Original post by Le Nombre
I didn't do it but think there's a lot of justice systems, which are a non factor really at uni, and crim, just one module, whilst there's a lot more civil law.

If you tell me what you currently study I can give you a good idea what you'll do a lot more of.


The modules include parliamentary law making. How acts are made, what influences parliament in law making, the process of which laws are made, parliamentary supremacy etc, house of lords, house of commons, and the monarch and their role in law making.

Then Statutory interpretation. Intrinsic and extrinsic aids, the rules of language, golden rule, literal rule, mischief rule, purposive approach etc.

And the the Civil courts and other forms of dispute resolution (ADR) the types and roles of the civil courts: High court, supreme court, county court, court of appeal. The civil procedure rules, negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, tribunals and mediation as form of ADR.

And then we're starting the criminal liability unit and criminal courts unit. This includes men's rea and acteus rea, the law of tort and contract, and the criminal courts processes and sentencing procedures etc.
Reply 3
Original post by Regoto
The modules include parliamentary law making. How acts are made, what influences parliament in law making, the process of which laws are made, parliamentary supremacy etc, house of lords, house of commons, and the monarch and their role in law making.

Then Statutory interpretation. Intrinsic and extrinsic aids, the rules of language, golden rule, literal rule, mischief rule, purposive approach etc.

And the the Civil courts and other forms of dispute resolution (ADR) the types and roles of the civil courts: High court, supreme court, county court, court of appeal. The civil procedure rules, negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, tribunals and mediation as form of ADR.

And then we're starting the criminal liability unit and criminal courts unit. This includes men's rea and acteus rea, the law of tort and contract, and the criminal courts processes and sentencing procedures etc.


The first will be relevant to Public Law, but won't have much application beyond that.

The second will be useful in all, particularly Criminal and Land, if you enjoy this one this is probably the closest reflection of uni. Although statutory interpretation is different to interpreting cases, the bulk of a degree, it's not a million miles away.

Thr last one is more an LPC topic, it will be very rarely mentioned in a degree.
Yes

/thread.
Reply 5
Original post by Le Nombre
The first will be relevant to Public Law, but won't have much application beyond that.

The second will be useful in all, particularly Criminal and Land, if you enjoy this one this is probably the closest reflection of uni. Although statutory interpretation is different to interpreting cases, the bulk of a degree, it's not a million miles away.

Thr last one is more an LPC topic, it will be very rarely mentioned in a degree.


Thanks for the reply.

I think I'll do some extra research also, just to make sure I'm making the right choice.
Reply 6
It's much harder. Though if someone like me can get through it (don't even like law all that much) then you being someone who 'loves it' will do fine.
Reply 7
Original post by Regoto
Thanks for the reply.

I think I'll do some extra research also, just to make sure I'm making the right choice.


If you like obligations, tort and contract, you'll be pretty safe saying uni would be something you'd enjoy, as they link to land and equity too.
Original post by Le Nombre
If you like obligations, tort and contract, you'll be pretty safe saying uni would be something you'd enjoy, as they link to land and equity too.


I thought we will learn contract law and tort law as well at uni level?? I actually achieved an A* in A-level law but I didn't find AS syllabus that interesting though. Under AS syllabus, we mainly learn about common law, equity, statutory interpretation, judicial precedents, law reform, Humans Rights Act 1998, criminal and civil proceedings, bails and many more. (Just to name a few) These are all very practical and some even quite superficial and that's why I didn't really find it enjoyable. I rather found it cumbersome as there were a lot of things to memorise and it was quite like rote learning at AS level. (I do know a law degree requires substantial hard work and memorisation) I thought A2 content would be much more fascinating to me. I enjoyed applying legal knowledge/principles alongside with the ratios in decided cases to the problem questions asked and I enjoyed advising people on their respective legal rights.

Did you study international law and criminal law? Can you give me a rough idea on these two? If I choose to specialise in criminal law, is it necessary for me to be a barrister? My A-level law lecturer always told us not to practise law as you have to be the type of person who can manipulate and distort the evidence in defence of your client without feeling any sense of guilt. Is this true?
Original post by applicant2014
I thought we will learn contract law and tort law as well at uni level?? I actually achieved an A* in A-level law but I didn't find AS syllabus that interesting though. Under AS syllabus, we mainly learn about common law, equity, statutory interpretation, judicial precedents, law reform, Humans Rights Act 1998, criminal and civil proceedings, bails and many more. (Just to name a few) These are all very practical and some even quite superficial and that's why I didn't really find it enjoyable. I rather found it cumbersome as there were a lot of things to memorise and it was quite like rote learning at AS level. (I do know a law degree requires substantial hard work and memorisation) I thought A2 content would be much more fascinating to me. I enjoyed applying legal knowledge/principles alongside with the ratios in decided cases to the problem questions asked and I enjoyed advising people on their respective legal rights.

Did you study international law and criminal law? Can you give me a rough idea on these two? If I choose to specialise in criminal law, is it necessary for me to be a barrister? My A-level law lecturer always told us not to practise law as you have to be the type of person who can manipulate and distort the evidence in defence of your client without feeling any sense of guilt. Is this true?


You will do torts and contract yes but these will probably be first year modules. In a qualifying law degree you have to take what's known as 'foundational subjects' for the degree to be 'qualifying' if you don't pass all these modules then you can still get a degree but you won't be able to practise. They may have slightly different names but at my uni these were:
Law of contract
Equity and trusts
Land law
Criminal law
Public law I
Public law II
Torts law
EU law
Understanding law

I'd say the main difference and the higher difficulty comes in the amount of time you have to get your head round topics. I had friends who did law at a-level (I didn't as I wanted to do it at uni and I was recommended not to so it at a-level) and they said topics they did in a year we do in 12 weeks and in much more detail. If you enjoy it that's half the fight as most of it is just staying motivated to read and study.

It is not compulsory to study international law but I have done foundations of international law and I'm going on to do advanced issues in international law in my final semester (starting next week). Criminal law was enjoyable. Certainly you remember cases more easily as it's interesting, but it is quite case and legislation heavy. I love international law it is by far my favourite area, it is also very vast - if you have any specific questions let me know.

What your A-level teacher said I wouldn't say is true, it depends how you go into law. If you're talking about criminal law rather than civil then you have prosecutors (CPS) and barristers. You can also be a solicitor advocate, but most criminal defence solicitors tend to prepare a brief that is passed to the barrister, or to a solicitor advocate, or their duty lawyers employed by the police to give free legal advice to people who have been arrested (as it's a human right). If you wanted to be a criminal defence barrister you would have to honour something known as the cab rank rule, which means when you get a brief you have are obliged to accept a brief in your field in your regular court. So if you got a client you felt uneasy about representing you would still be expected to work to the best of your ability to defend them, otherwise you'd be jeopardising your reputation. Solicitors aren't bound by this, but with the cuts to legal aid there are very few jobs in criminal defence and very little money in it unless you're higher up.

I hope this helps! Any more questions feel free to ask! :biggrin:


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Original post by Laura Duggan
You will do torts and contract yes but these will probably be first year modules. In a qualifying law degree you have to take what's known as 'foundational subjects' for the degree to be 'qualifying' if you don't pass all these modules then you can still get a degree but you won't be able to practise. They may have slightly different names but at my uni these were:
Law of contract
Equity and trusts
Land law
Criminal law
Public law I
Public law II
Torts law
EU law
Understanding law

I'd say the main difference and the higher difficulty comes in the amount of time you have to get your head round topics. I had friends who did law at a-level (I didn't as I wanted to do it at uni and I was recommended not to so it at a-level) and they said topics they did in a year we do in 12 weeks and in much more detail. If you enjoy it that's half the fight as most of it is just staying motivated to read and study.

It is not compulsory to study international law but I have done foundations of international law and I'm going on to do advanced issues in international law in my final semester (starting next week). Criminal law was enjoyable. Certainly you remember cases more easily as it's interesting, but it is quite case and legislation heavy. I love international law it is by far my favourite area, it is also very vast - if you have any specific questions let me know.

What your A-level teacher said I wouldn't say is true, it depends how you go into law. If you're talking about criminal law rather than civil then you have prosecutors (CPS) and barristers. You can also be a solicitor advocate, but most criminal defence solicitors tend to prepare a brief that is passed to the barrister, or to a solicitor advocate, or their duty lawyers employed by the police to give free legal advice to people who have been arrested (as it's a human right). If you wanted to be a criminal defence barrister you would have to honour something known as the cab rank rule, which means when you get a brief you have are obliged to accept a brief in your field in your regular court. So if you got a client you felt uneasy about representing you would still be expected to work to the best of your ability to defend them, otherwise you'd be jeopardising your reputation. Solicitors aren't bound by this, but with the cuts to legal aid there are very few jobs in criminal defence and very little money in it unless you're higher up.

I hope this helps! Any more questions feel free to ask! :biggrin:


Posted from TSR Mobile


Wow, thank you so much, this certainly helps alot! :smile:

I'm sorry that I don't really understand what you meant about the 'foundational subjects'. Do you mean 'foundational subjects' are the subjects/modules that you MUST pass if you wish to practise law? But you can still get a law degree even you flunk in them?

Yeah, I couldn't agree more , I think it's related with our own motivation to study and thrive. But sometimes I would get frustrated and annoyed memorising all the names of the cases. Some names of the cases were just the weirdest names I had ever come across. (I couldn't even pronounce certain names, haha) :biggrin:

What are the other areas of law that you find equally interesting? Glad to have some reassurance reaffirming that criminal law and international law are both interesting and enjoyable. Are you going into criminal law, btw?

Seems like the legal professions are quite complicated.hahaa.And yes, I remembered we came across something called the 'cab rank rule' under AS syllabus. Do you have any intention to become a barrister in the future? I heard that legal profession is an extremely competitive field. Hard to find a training contract and the returns are disproportionate to your tremendous work done.

What uni are you currently studying at, if you don't mind me asking? I'm just being curious. and I'm actually still waiting on UCL and King's to reply me.:frown:
Original post by applicant2014
Wow, thank you so much, this certainly helps alot! :smile:

I'm sorry that I don't really understand what you meant about the 'foundational subjects'. Do you mean 'foundational subjects' are the subjects/modules that you MUST pass if you wish to practise law? But you can still get a law degree even you flunk in them?

Yeah, I couldn't agree more , I think it's related with our own motivation to study and thrive. But sometimes I would get frustrated and annoyed memorising all the names of the cases. Some names of the cases were just the weirdest names I had ever come across. (I couldn't even pronounce certain names, haha) :biggrin:

What are the other areas of law that you find equally interesting? Glad to have some reassurance reaffirming that criminal law and international law are both interesting and enjoyable. Are you going into criminal law, btw?

Seems like the legal professions are quite complicated.hahaa.And yes, I remembered we came across something called the 'cab rank rule' under AS syllabus. Do you have any intention to become a barrister in the future? I heard that legal profession is an extremely competitive field. Hard to find a training contract and the returns are disproportionate to your tremendous work done.

What uni are you currently studying at, if you don't mind me asking? I'm just being curious. and I'm actually still waiting on UCL and King's to reply me.:frown:


Yes, the Bar and the Law Society say you must have those subjects at at least 40% in order to practise, whereas your uni could give you what's called a 'Pass' degree if you failed them. Realistically though you'll need a lot more than a pass in any module you do to have a shot at practising.

You get used to it after a while and the weirder ones are more memorable, I still remember Internationale Handelsgesellschaft from second year :tongue: The more annoying I found were criminal if it's a common name, as there's often more than one.

Realise this wasn't at me but I found Crim, Tort and Land particularly enjoyable. I probably want to be a litigator, not sure exactly though.

It is hard to find a training contract, but I wouldn't say the returns are disporportionate unless you do criminal defence work, most lawyers, particularly commercial ones, will make a lot of money compared to the average person their age, particularly beyond about 30.

Know it's not at me again but I'm on the LPC, graduated last year from a RG.

I think there's an element of truth to what your client said with regard to any contentious work (be that civil, family, employment or criminal), you will have to accept you're a hired gun and you will have to tread close to the edge of what the rules allow in order to get your client the best result possible. Obviously you can refuse to act, but this is largely a discretion of the person running the case and in early years that won't be you, and non contentious stuff (property, corporate, finance etc.) doesn't have much of that element.
(edited 10 years ago)
Original post by Le Nombre
Yes, the Bar and Law society say you must have those subjects at at least 40% in order to practise, whereas your uni could give you what's called a 'Pass' degree if you failed them. Realistically though you'll need a lot more than a pass in any module you do to have a shot at practising.

You get used to it after awhile and the weirder ones are more memorable, I still remember Internationale Handelsgesellschaft from second year :tongue: The more annoying I found were criminal if it's a common name, as there's often more than one.

Realise this wasn't at me but I found Crim, Tort and Land particularly enjoyable. I probably want to be a litigator, not sure exactly though.

It is hard to find a training contract, but I wouldn't say the returns are disporportionate unless you do criminal defence work, most lawyers, particularly commercial ones, will make a lot of money compared to the average person their age, particularly beyond about 30.

Know it's not at me again but I'm on the LPC, graduated last year from a RG.

I think there's an element of truth to what your client said with regard to any contentious work (be that civil, family, employment or criminal), you will have to accept you're a hired gun and you will have to tread close to the edge of what the rules allow in order to get your client the best result possible. Obviously you can refuse to act, but this is largely a discretion of the person running the case and in early years that won't be you, and non contentious stuff (property, corporate, finance etc.) doesn't have much of that element.


Ohh, I see. Thanks for the clarification!:smile: Where did the case of 'Internationale Handelsgessellschaft' come from? I meant which area of law in particular. It just sounds kinda familiar to me. I remembered I saw something like this before. Haha, ya, the weirder the name, the more memorable it is if you try to link it with something special. I guess I gotta find a technique to memorise all these weird names when I'm studying at uni. And yeah, you just triggered my nightmarish experience of trying to distinguish which names belong to which cases. The common names are like Cooper and etc. I did often mess up the names when I studied A-level law. Haha.. A lot of my friends would only memorise the claimant's name/corporation instead. For instance, instead of writing Herrington v. British Railway Boards, my friends would write Herrington's case in exams. Haha..

Seems like Criminal law is quite interesting as a lot of people who studied it before found it enjoyable. That's nice, it makes me feel quite excited! LOL.::biggrin: Btw, is Land Law an optional module?

What is LPC? (Sorry for my oblivion) Is it a test or some sort that we need to take to become a solicitor/barrister? And will we be advantaged if we graduate from RG in terms of job prospect?

And last but not least, will you suggest a potential law student to study Master or even phd? Will it make any difference?

Thanks in advance :smile:
Original post by applicant2014
Ohh, I see. Thanks for the clarification!:smile: Where did the case of 'Internationale Handelsgessellschaft' come from? I meant which area of law in particular. It just sounds kinda familiar to me. I remembered I saw something like this before. Haha, ya, the weirder the name, the more memorable it is if you try to link it with something special. I guess I gotta find a technique to memorise all these weird names when I'm studying at uni. And yeah, you just triggered my nightmarish experience of trying to distinguish which names belong to which cases. The common names are like Cooper and etc. I did often mess up the names when I studied A-level law. Haha.. A lot of my friends would only memorise the claimant's name/corporation instead. For instance, instead of writing Herrington v. British Railway Boards, my friends would write Herrington's case in exams. Haha..

Seems like Criminal law is quite interesting as a lot of people who studied it before found it enjoyable. That's nice, it makes me feel quite excited! LOL.::biggrin: Btw, is Land Law an optional module?

What is LPC? (Sorry for my oblivion) Is it a test or some sort that we need to take to become a solicitor/barrister? And will we be advantaged if we graduate from RG in terms of job prospect?

And last but not least, will you suggest a potential law student to study Master or even phd? Will it make any difference?

Thanks in advance :smile:


It's an EU case and is pretty key in establishing the supremacy of EU law. Yeah, so long as you show you know the case and the rule from it they're not going to dock you too many marks for not knowing both parties and the year.

It's sometimes optional in terms of the uni, as in you don't have to do it to get a degree, but it's compulsory in order to become a solicitor or barrister so in reality the vast, vast majority will take it.

The Legal Practice Course. It's a one year course on the technical side of being a solicitor that you have to complete before starting a training contract. It includes things like how to draft an agreement, the technicalities of company procedure, the technical aspect of running a case through court etc. etc. Not necessarily, I doubt a Liverpool grad would be advantaged over a Leicester one for example but it's not a bad general rule that RG unis are well respected, though others may be equally so.

Do it if you enjoy it but it's unlikely to make a huge difference to getting a job. The only exception I can think of is the very top of the commercial Bar where a lot of candidaes do something called the BCL, Oxford's Masters, or the Harvard LLM.
The main difference between A-level law and a law degree is the complexity. At A-level, the law you're taught is often generalised and simplified, and the questions will focus on areas where the law is relatively certain so you're able to give a definite answer. On top of that the syllabus tends to lag a few years behind actual updates in the law (unless there's a case or statute that entirely changes things) so you don't have to worry too much about the development of the law, just the way it was when the syllabus was set. At degree level they will often deliberately pick questions about areas of the law that are unclear, to see how you handle the issue and whether you can put together a coherent argument in one direction or another.

The non-substantive law stuff of the sort you mentioned above doesn't tend to come up quite so much at degree level as at A-level, but to be honest a lot of it is stuff that you're supposed to know anyway, especially things like the court structure and whatnot. You won't ever get tested on it, but it's pretty much vital to understanding a lot of other things especially in the constitutional/public law areas. Instead, most of the course content at degree level focuses on: (1) understanding and being able to apply the substantive law (as you probably already do in problem questions; and (2) being able to evaluate/analyse the substantive law and the policy reasons behind it.

So it's a different approach, but I'd say if you're enjoying A-level law there's no reason why you shouldn't apply for the degree.
Original post by Le Nombre
It's an EU case and is pretty key in establishing the supremacy of EU law. Yeah, so long as you show you know the case and the rule from it they're not going to dock you too many marks for not knowing both parties and the year.

It's sometimes optional in terms of the uni, as in you don't have to do it to get a degree, but it's compulsory in order to become a solicitor or barrister so in reality the vast, vast majority will take it.

The Legal Practice Course. It's a one year course on the technical side of being a solicitor that you have to complete before starting a training contract. It includes things like how to draft an agreement, the technicalities of company procedure, the technical aspect of running a case through court etc. etc. Not necessarily, I doubt a Liverpool grad would be advantaged over a Leicester one for example but it's not a bad general rule that RG unis are well respected, though others may be equally so.

Do it if you enjoy it but it's unlikely to make a huge difference to getting a job. The only exception I can think of is the very top of the commercial Bar where a lot of candidates do something called the BCL, Oxford's Masters, or the Harvard LLM.


Oh right, I guess the knowledge to understand and apply the legal principles is more important as bluntly writing both parties and years of cases does not indicate your ability to analyse a case.

Thanks for your advice.:smile: I will definitely look into the modules offered by my unis. I will consider taking Land Law as one of my modules. But who knows? Since I haven't started my uni and maybe I will find myself disinterested in that area.:biggrin:

Now I know LPC is not a test, it's just a course on those procedures and some technical issues. Haha..thanks! I'm quite blur on the routes to becoming a solicitor/barrister though I vaguely remembered we got to learn this under AS syllabus. Embarrassed.

I got an offer from Queen Mary and am still waiting for UCL and King's. They are all from the RG after all. I was naively hoping that RG unis have some advantages over the others. Haha..

Okay, I will do it if I enjoy my 3 years of learning in uni. But doubt that I will enjoy that much as I'm personally the kind of person who cannot persist my passion over a long course of time. Hahaa..

Anyway, thanks again!!! :smile:
What grades did you get in your gcses to get into a level law and what kind of a levels did you choose with a level law?
Original post by Regoto
Obviously, I know law at university is going to be a lot more difficult. But in terms of content, what you're expected to know etc, how different is law at university compared to A-Level.

I'm currently studying law at A-Level and want to do it at university. Law is by far my favorite A Level subject that I'm doing, and I find it extremely interesting. The cases, acts, quotes from judges etc. I'm finding the course content really easy to understand and remember with revision, and I'm getting A's in all of my assessments.

When I say I love Law, I mean I LOVE law.

I want to do it at uni, but I don't want any surprises. I don't want to get to university and find out it's completely different to a level, and that I may not find the content interesting.

Aside from the "hardness", how different is A-level law to university law? And would it be worth mew taking law at university if I'm really enjoying it at A-Level?


What kind of a levels did you pick with your a level law?and what grades did you get in your gcses to get into law?
You will not be doing the LPC even if you want to be a solicitor, but instead the SQE1 and 2 courses and exams after your LLB, but the post above about the LPC is still relevant because the SQE1 tests similar legal subjects and SQE2 the skills subjects people do currently on the LPC course.

My top tips are obtain the highest grades you can in your A levels and in each year of university aw law firms want the results of every module when you apply to them, not just in year 3 of your degree but year 1. It can be quite competitive. Look at law firm websites from year 1 of university to seek out their dates for applications for both vacation schemes and training contracts as they recruit years ahead and ideally you will find one if you are good enough to pay for your SQE1 and 2 courses and exams and then do your twio years of qualifying work experience (the training contract) with them if you decide to become a solicitor rather than a barrister.
Original post by 17Student17
You will not be doing the LPC even if you want to be a solicitor, but instead the SQE1 and 2 courses and exams after your LLB, but the post above about the LPC is still relevant because the SQE1 tests similar legal subjects and SQE2 the skills subjects people do currently on the LPC course.

My top tips are obtain the highest grades you can in your A levels and in each year of university aw law firms want the results of every module when you apply to them, not just in year 3 of your degree but year 1. It can be quite competitive. Look at law firm websites from year 1 of university to seek out their dates for applications for both vacation schemes and training contracts as they recruit years ahead and ideally you will find one if you are good enough to pay for your SQE1 and 2 courses and exams and then do your twio years of qualifying work experience (the training contract) with them if you decide to become a solicitor rather than a barrister.

Great thank you this helped a lot.

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