Please Help! Should I decline my Russell Group law offers for SOAS?

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naberbenbegum
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Hey guys,

I have almost 10 days left to choose my firm/insurance choices. But the thing is I am planning to decline Manchester and Southampton law offers (and 2 other unis-City and Westminster) to go to SOAS.

Given that I am an international student and an activist-socialist myself, I go to SOAS almost every week for the Marxist Society meetings. Would that be wrong to think of SOAS just the way I do? Is it worth declining my Russell Group offers to go to SOAS to study law that also focuses on African/Oriental legal systems which I have nothing to do about? And I am thinking of applying to Ivy League universities for LLM in my last year, is SOAS good enough to help me get offers?

Also, anyone who studies law and who has to say/add some things(good parts and bad parts of studying law at SOAS and etc. and the social life, is it good)?

I would reaaaally appreciate some help guys, as I need to apply to UCAS Extra in a few days and it's a life changing decision.

(ps. there is also a %50 chance that I might be rejected due to my LNAT score, and then I have no other choice to add on Extra if I get rejected, because I am not interested in the universities shown on Extra or Clearing. That's why it's risky as it will be my only shot)

Thank you so much!
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SmaugTheTerrible
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The only Universities that are of concern here are SOAS, Manchester and Southampton. All of these are very good Universities and well known within the UK at least. SOAS might be more well known than the other two in Asia and Africa especially.

As far as I am aware, going to either of these three Universities will put you at no significant advantage or disadvantage. League Tables may show some differences but for our purposes most law firms would consider them fairly equal. Thus, if you want to go into corporate law all of them would be a good choice.

Also, SOAS's study of Asia and Africa is only for the first year and even that is one module. So if you choose to to do so, you will only have one module of that sort in your entire degree.

Not being a SOAS student my self, I do feel I can speak on behalf of studying in London. SOAS forms part of the prestigious University of London so that may hold some international weight to it. Also, you can share resources with the other good colleges (UCL, KCL, QMUL, LSE). London is also the heart of legal opportunities and pretty much all open days, vacation schemes and internships are in London.

You mentioned you already go to SOAS which is good since you must already have an idea of whether you like the place and it does seem like you would fit in.

I would say visit the other two and then make your decision. All are good Universities and the only reason SOAS isn't a Russell Group is because its a smaller University and the russell group is solely based on research.

Again I DON'T study at SOAS so I can't speak for the quality of the course but I'm guessing its good.

Good Luck



(Original post by naberbenbegum)
Hey guys,

I have almost 10 days left to choose my firm/insurance choices. But the thing is I am planning to decline Manchester and Southampton law offers (and 2 other unis-City and Westminster) to go to SOAS.

Given that I am an international student and an activist-socialist myself, I go to SOAS almost every week for the Marxist Society meetings. Would that be wrong to think of SOAS just the way I do? Is it worth declining my Russell Group offers to go to SOAS to study law that also focuses on African/Oriental legal systems which I have nothing to do about? And I am thinking of applying to Ivy League universities for LLM in my last year, is SOAS good enough to help me get offers?

Also, anyone who studies law and who has to say/add some things(good parts and bad parts of studying law at SOAS and etc. and the social life, is it good)?

I would reaaaally appreciate some help guys, as I need to apply to UCAS Extra in a few days and it's a life changing decision.

(ps. there is also a %50 chance that I might be rejected due to my LNAT score, and then I have no other choice to add on Extra if I get rejected, because I am not interested in the universities shown on Extra or Clearing. That's why it's risky as it will be my only shot)

Thank you so much!
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SOASllbsurvivor
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The SOAS law school has a lot of problems. The faculty are a nightmare, the administration is so incompetent it's criminal, the alumni network is small and the school's brand reputation is nonexistent. I knew a lot of people at other London-area law schools and can honestly say that even London South Bank is going to be a better experience- their law library has books and their faculty actually care about students. Avoid SOAS like herpes.
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Scruffyjoe
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Hi

I don't know if this conversation is still active. (Sorry I'm new to tsr)
I am planning on applying to soas for a masters in dispute an conflict resolution. After reading this post I thought I might ask in relation to that, since it's on the topic. Is soas considered prestigious to obtain an advanced degree from?

A bIt about me:
I'm an international student from pakistan.
I have done an LLb from university of manchester and I have also done the bptc from university of law.

I know manchester is not considered a good university which is why I want to pursue my masters from a reputable institute. Is soas considered reputable and better than manchester?

Thanks for for reading my rant
any opinions or help will be appreciated much. Thanks x
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SOASllbsurvivor
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If you think Manchester is a poor uni, you will be think much better of it if you survive SOAS. SOAS may host some of the world's greatest minds on the law of Africa and Asia, but no one cares and you will hate yourself the whole time.
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Scruffyjoe
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(Original post by SOASllbsurvivor)
If you think Manchester is a poor uni, you will be think much better of it if you survive SOAS. SOAS may host some of the world's greatest minds on the law of Africa and Asia, but no one cares and you will hate yourself the whole time.
Hi
thank you for replying to my post.

If its not too much, can I ask a couple more questions?

1) guessing from your name, you probably did undergrad from soas? Can you please tell me what the experience was like studying there? The faculty, the people who studied with you ( international/domestic ratio), was it a party school or are peopl serious (this is a major problem that I experienced at manchester - it's a party school) the reputation of soas amongst employers (how was the careers service? And carreer fairs?) are you an international student, if so how does soas fare in your country?

sorry for askinga. Million questions, just answer whatever you can. I'll be happy to get a general idea of soas.

2) would you say manchesters reputation is better/same or worse than soas? Because if I want to pursue a Masters from soas I would like to be able to make an informed decision.

3) why do you say that it would be difficult to 'survive' soas? ( I'm assuming that you meant to say that, sorry if you didn't) and why would I hate myself the whole time there?

I apologise for asking a million questions, but I'm just trying to get a general idea about what it would be like to study at soas.

Thanks for your help and time!

x
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SOASllbsurvivor
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Yes, I did undergrad law at SOAS.

SOAS is a small school with little to no brand name reputation. I think Manchester is different in this regard. I also doubt that Manchester does quite so little to cultivate ties to alumni. Very few go on to practice law anyway because outreach to major law firms is so bad. Worse yet, few people even think SOAS is a real school. It's bad enough potential employers won't hire law grads because they should be lawyers, but SOAS makes the situation much worse. When you leave SOAS, you might go on to succeed- but only in spite of you degree, not because of it.

The problems with SOAS are many. Faculty are very well-published, but about 1/3 of them are simply horrible people to deal with. They say personally insulting things about students in emails and end up forwarding the whole thread to students like its no big thing. The administration in the law faculty are absurd- they lose papers, grades, are incapable of fulfilling requests for grades and recommendations that you need. The law library lacks necessary materials. Student programs outside of classes are simply ignored and faculty won't advise students of anything. Hell, the moot team has to pay hundred every year to print their own bundles and have no faculty support. All of this is much different from life in ay other London law school. And to top it all off, the social scene sucks unless you're a ranting leftist Hamas backer. I've literally seen Tories physically assaulted in union general meetings.

Seriously, going to SOAS will not make you marketable to potential employers. You will not enjoy it. You will be endlessly frustrated by things that would not vex you anywhere else. It will be the worst year of your life- or in my case it was 3. Either way, seriously reconsider SOAS.







(Original post by Scruffyjoe)
Hi
thank you for replying to my post.

If its not too much, can I ask a couple more questions?

1) guessing from your name, you probably did undergrad from soas? Can you please tell me what the experience was like studying there? The faculty, the people who studied with you ( international/domestic ratio), was it a party school or are peopl serious (this is a major problem that I experienced at manchester - it's a party school) the reputation of soas amongst employers (how was the careers service? And carreer fairs?) are you an international student, if so how does soas fare in your country?

sorry for askinga. Million questions, just answer whatever you can. I'll be happy to get a general idea of soas.

2) would you say manchesters reputation is better/same or worse than soas? Because if I want to pursue a Masters from soas I would like to be able to make an informed decision.

3) why do you say that it would be difficult to 'survive' soas? ( I'm assuming that you meant to say that, sorry if you didn't) and why would I hate myself the whole time there?

I apologise for asking a million questions, but I'm just trying to get a general idea about what it would be like to study at soas.

Thanks for your help and time!

x
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HK786
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(Original post by SOASllbsurvivor)
Yes, I did undergrad law at SOAS.

SOAS is a small school with little to no brand name reputation. I think Manchester is different in this regard. I also doubt that Manchester does quite so little to cultivate ties to alumni. Very few go on to practice law anyway because outreach to major law firms is so bad. Worse yet, few people even think SOAS is a real school. It's bad enough potential employers won't hire law grads because they should be lawyers, but SOAS makes the situation much worse. When you leave SOAS, you might go on to succeed- but only in spite of you degree, not because of it.

The problems with SOAS are many. Faculty are very well-published, but about 1/3 of them are simply horrible people to deal with. They say personally insulting things about students in emails and end up forwarding the whole thread to students like its no big thing. The administration in the law faculty are absurd- they lose papers, grades, are incapable of fulfilling requests for grades and recommendations that you need. The law library lacks necessary materials. Student programs outside of classes are simply ignored and faculty won't advise students of anything. Hell, the moot team has to pay hundred every year to print their own bundles and have no faculty support. All of this is much different from life in ay other London law school. And to top it all off, the social scene sucks unless you're a ranting leftist Hamas backer. I've literally seen Tories physically assaulted in union general meetings.

Seriously, going to SOAS will not make you marketable to potential employers. You will not enjoy it. You will be endlessly frustrated by things that would not vex you anywhere else. It will be the worst year of your life- or in my case it was 3. Either way, seriously reconsider SOAS.

(Original post by Scruffyjoe)
Hi
thank you for replying to my post.

If its not too much, can I ask a couple more questions?

1) guessing from your name, you probably did undergrad from soas? Can you please tell me what the experience was like studying there? The faculty, the people who studied with you ( international/domestic ratio), was it a party school or are peopl serious (this is a major problem that I experienced at manchester - it's a party school) the reputation of soas amongst employers (how was the careers service? And carreer fairs?) are you an international student, if so how does soas fare in your country?

sorry for askinga. Million questions, just answer whatever you can. I'll be happy to get a general idea of soas.

2) would you say manchesters reputation is better/same or worse than soas? Because if I want to pursue a Masters from soas I would like to be able to make an informed decision.

3) why do you say that it would be difficult to 'survive' soas? ( I'm assuming that you meant to say that, sorry if you didn't) and why would I hate myself the whole time there?

I apologise for asking a million questions, but I'm just trying to get a general idea about what it would be like to study at soas.

Thanks for your help and time!

x
ScruffyJoe you're are getting a very biased view about SOAS from someone who clearly didn't like fit in and this is not representative of how the majority of students feel. SOAS isn't respect by employers? If i'm not mistaken Clifford Chance offered 7 training contracts to SOAS students last year.

It's in the heart of London and is pretty much one of the best in the world for what it teaches. If you have any interest ins studying the legal systems of other countries, SOAS is the place to do it. Plenty of people have gone onto get good jobs. Its almost like LLbSurvivor himself was incompetent to get a job and is blaming his failures on the University when in actual fact his attitude is to blame for his lack of success and dislike of the institution.

SOAS is a very good University and the vast majority of people who have studied there or know of it will agree.

Scruffy, SOAS has a fair amount of international students (probably something like 40-45%+) and there are plenty of careers fairs with law firms and other opportunities by virtue of being in London.

I wouldn't compare Manchester and SOAS directly since SOAS is a specialist institution and is the best at what it does. Manchester teaches pretty much every course so in that respect it will be more 'known' to the average person. SOAS will be known to employers which is the most important thing, but don't expect your average person on the street to have heard of it.

As for 'surviving' soas, I think the LLbsurvivor is an exception in that he had a bad experience and the majority of students enjoy it.
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Scruffyjoe
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Thanks HK786 for your input. Are you an international student as well?
I'm assuming you studied law at SOAS. If so, did you get to use university of london's other resources (libraries etc)

THanks SOASllbsurvivor for your inout as well. I go different povs and that's been very helpful.

Thanks.
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miniteen
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Just FYI, I was just made a TC offer by Herbert Smith Freehills and I went to SOAS. HR also told me that they take a few people from SOAS each year. SOAS careers is just useless at educating students about their options, but if you have a "do-it-yourself" attitude, you don't really need a good careers service anyway.

EDIT: But just for full disclosure, I was a non-law student.
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luq_ali
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Warning, take ANY advice from this SOASllbsurvivor with a grain of big salt...

This person is a racist, as evidenced by his post on another topic about SOAS, is "SOAS any good"

This demon on that post wrote:If you enjoy SOAS, good for you. I didn't and I know very few classmates who did, so I have no love for that place. The Earth may swallow it whole and never give it back up again for all I care. Especially the ****** who became the head of the law school."

Now, of course, the six letter word, referring to, at that time, the dean of the law school, who was Black, is the "N" word, so take care in taking any opinion from such a looney-tunes type character...obviously a racist would not get on well with the SOAS crowd, if you read his other postings-he resents being taught by non-whites, makes several other racially loaded comments, & in general seems to be a miserable person wallowing in misery for his failure 9 years later to do anything with his university degree, you know-the kind of person who sits in their little room in the dark blaming others for their own failures. So take any advice, from a rodent such as this very lightly if you want an unbiased (no offense to rodents) viewpoint. Full disclosure, I have also been admitted into SOAS LLM program and am 100% looking forward to attending this 2017 Fall.
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