Law Conversion Course Watch

EL77
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I'm currently in my first year of university studying for a BSc in Economics at LSE. I've now decided I want to be a lawyer, so I'll have to do the GDL after graduating. Is the GDL respected at all? Would the fact that I went to LSE be taken into account by employers? Where is the best place to do the GDL? Would I be at a serious disadvantage to law graduates from say LSE? Thank you.
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Exceptional
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Those who haven't done a Law degree aren't at a disadvantage. The reputation of your university is what counts and LSE is amazing in the legal world.

The GDL is a requirement of non-law degree holders (usually the LL.B). Therefore, there's no 'respect' element. Most people go to the University of Law or BPP University to achieve this - and the one you end up going to largely depends on where your firm sends you (providing you secured a training contract before your Economics degree ends). They're two sides of the same coin.


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EL77
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(Original post by Exceptional)
Those who haven't done a Law degree aren't at a disadvantage. The reputation of your university is what counts and LSE is amazing in the legal world.

The GDL is a requirement of non-law degree holders (usually the LL.B). Therefore, there's no 'respect' element. Most people go to the University of Law or BPP University to achieve this - and the one you end up going to largely depends on where your firm sends you (providing you secured a training contract before your Economics degree ends). They're two sides of the same coin.

Am I required to secure a training contract for the GDL? And thank you for your reply.

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Am I required to secure a training contract for the GDL? And thank you for your reply.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by EL77)
I'm currently in my first year of university studying for a BSc in Economics at LSE. I've now decided I want to be a lawyer, so I'll have to do the GDL after graduating. Is the GDL respected at all? Would the fact that I went to LSE be taken into account by employers? Where is the best place to do the GDL? Would I be at a serious disadvantage to law graduates from say LSE? Thank you.
The GDL is worthless on its own (if you later decided against going into law). Your university is what matters, and LSE is regarded highly in the legal world. You'd be at no disadvantage to law grads from LSE - in fact, your knowledge of econ may be of some advantage to your 'commercial awareness'. The most common places to do the GDL are BPP, University of Law and Kaplan. More or less in that order. BPP and UoL were until recently very close rivals, but UoL seems to have been on a bit of a downward trend recently.

(Original post by EL77)
Am I required to secure a training contract for the GDL? And thank you for your reply.
No, but it's very much advisable to get one beforehand. Firms will pay the (rather exorbitant) fees and ply you with a maintenance grant on top. And there's absolutely no reason you couldn't get one if you get good university grades. The earliest you could apply for TCs, though, would be October of the final year of your degree. Until then, try your absolute best to get some legal work experience (any legal work experience), non-legal work experience and extra-curricular activities/responsibilities under your belt. And try to avoid getting any 2.2 module scores on your degree.
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Birkenhead
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(Original post by EL77)
I'm currently in my first year of university studying for a BSc in Economics at LSE. I've now decided I want to be a lawyer, so I'll have to do the GDL after graduating. Is the GDL respected at all? Would the fact that I went to LSE be taken into account by employers? Where is the best place to do the GDL? Would I be at a serious disadvantage to law graduates from say LSE? Thank you.
You would be at no disadvantage. The only rumour I have heard on the matter is that converting students are preferred because they bring a dash of colour to an otherwise rather grey list of law graduates. The legal profession recruits law grads and converters roughly 50:50.

Commercial knowledge is valued in law, so I expect that will be an advantage, as will the fact that you are at an extremely prestigious university. However, I have heard from several credible sources that to gain pupillage nowadays it is wise to have a first-class and/or Oxbridge degree under your belt, so bear that in mind. This is assuming you want to be a barrister, and I have little to no knowledge about the solicitor route.

The GDL is certainly respected but it is also challenging because you are cramming the essential aspects of a three-year law degree into a single year. I am not certain where the best place to do it is but if I fail to secure a place for a law degree after my current degree I intend to study it at City Law School. Do not be deterred by the name, it is the refurbished version of the old Inns of Court School of Law. A barrister I shadowed told me it was more respected, perhaps because of this history, and bear in mind it would also be at the heart of the Inns, close to London work experience and Inns opportunities. As far as I am aware it is much of a muchness where you do the GDL and BPTC/LPC and does not hold any of the weight that your university does.
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happyinthehaze
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Hi,

Yes, you won't be at any disadvantage with the LSE - probably an advantage TBH. Go for the Training Contract now - it is a very arduous and time-consuming business to get a training contract. You will need lots of ECs and you will need law experience, as someone says ANY law experience - basically you need to evidence 'why law?'

GDL - doesnt really matter where you do it. Yes City is favoured by barristers, but for the Bar training course - i have been told for GDL it doesnt matter where you go - it is the same corriculum after all.

There is a whole huge world of law also that doesn't pay for your GDL or LPC fees for example local government or many very interesting high quality firm, where you need to get the LPC first before they will consider you for a TC - these forums tend to be extremely biased towards City law firms doing commercial law - maybe that is what you want to do.

Beware - very very very very very very very very difficult to get a pupillage but possible (I mean, Comet 67 people!!) But do read up a bit if you think you want to be a barrister - what else? Law is change a lot, A LOT right around now - you will be best placed to understand with your degree.

Mostly firms dont care if you have a GDL or a law degree - it is just the same to them. Get high marks!!


(Original post by EL77)
I'm currently in my first year of university studying for a BSc in Economics at LSE. I've now decided I want to be a lawyer, so I'll have to do the GDL after graduating. Is the GDL respected at all? Would the fact that I went to LSE be taken into account by employers? Where is the best place to do the GDL? Would I be at a serious disadvantage to law graduates from say LSE? Thank you.
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EL77
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
The GDL is worthless on its own (if you later decided against going into law). Your university is what matters, and LSE is regarded highly in the legal world. You'd be at no disadvantage to law grads from LSE - in fact, your knowledge of econ may be of some advantage to your 'commercial awareness'. The most common places to do the GDL are BPP, University of Law and Kaplan. More or less in that order. BPP and UoL were until recently very close rivals, but UoL seems to have been on a bit of a downward trend recently.



No, but it's very much advisable to get one beforehand. Firms will pay the (rather exorbitant) fees and ply you with a maintenance grant on top. And there's absolutely no reason you couldn't get one if you get good university grades. The earliest you could apply for TCs, though, would be October of the final year of your degree. Until then, try your absolute best to get some legal work experience (any legal work experience), non-legal work experience and extra-curricular activities/responsibilities under your belt. And try to avoid getting any 2.2 module scores on your degree.
If I want to be a barrister, then why would I need a training contract? So in my third year I apply to law firms to get funding for the GDL? Aren't they unlikely to accept me before the GDL as I would have no law knowledge? Thank you
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Lucilou101
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(Original post by EL77)
If I want to be a barrister, then why would I need a training contract? So in my third year I apply to law firms to get funding for the GDL? Aren't they unlikely to accept me before the GDL as I would have no law knowledge? Thank you
If you want to be a barrister, why did you ask if you'd need to secure a training contract before doing the GDL?
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by EL77)
If I want to be a barrister, then why would I need a training contract? So in my third year I apply to law firms to get funding for the GDL? Aren't they unlikely to accept me before the GDL as I would have no law knowledge? Thank you
Sorry, the fact you mentioned training contracts in another post led me to assume you wanted to be a solicitor. If you want to be a barrister, you wouldn't apply for a training contract. Funding for the GDL (and BPTC) is harder to come by from chambers/inns as far as I'm aware, but I'm far from an expert on the bar route. You can get scholarships from chambers/inns for it, I know that much.

If you want to be a solicitor, you would apply for training contracts in your final year. Assuming you're applying to big London firms, if you secure a TC then they will pay your GDL and LPC fees as well as maintenance grants for both years.

A large proportion of applicants to law firms are non-law students, with zero legal background. Firms' assessment processes are designed assuming no legal knowledge. Firms certainly don't discriminate against non-law students: they bend over backwards to accommodate them.
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ragandbone
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(Original post by EL77)
If I want to be a barrister, then why would I need a training contract? So in my third year I apply to law firms to get funding for the GDL? Aren't they unlikely to accept me before the GDL as I would have no law knowledge? Thank you
I think that was the solicitor - training contract, barrister - BVTC route sorted out. You don't need legal knowledge per se, but you should really still be showing a 'commitment to law' in your applications. Although, I think if you are REALLY exactly what they want, then it is possible to bag a TC without any law work experience etc. But you will still need to know something about the current legal landscape to get through the TC apps
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