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    Hi does anyone have advice on how to choose which law options to take?

    Should I consider what is useful for my preferred practice area in my future career/ what I can do well academically in/ pure interest?

    For example, I get the impression Family Law is an "easier" subject (quite a significant proportion of students apparently choose that) so would it be wise to take that sort of option to secure a good grade, despite it not being very useful in most corporate law firms? Do law firms actually care what electives you took or is it only the grades that matter?

    Would appreciate all advice on how you decided on your options, thanks! Specifically, if anyone has any opinions on the final year options/ tutors that Oxford offers, please feel free to share!
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    (Original post by wednesbury)
    Hi does anyone have advice on how to choose which law options to take?

    Should I consider what is useful for my preferred practice area in my future career/ what I can do well academically in/ pure interest?

    For example, I get the impression Family Law is an "easier" subject (quite a significant proportion of students apparently choose that) so would it be wise to take that sort of option to secure a good grade, despite it not being very useful in most corporate law firms? Do law firms actually care what electives you took or is it only the grades that matter?

    Would appreciate all advice on how you decided on your options, thanks! Specifically, if anyone has any opinions on the final year options/ tutors that Oxford offers, please feel free to share!
    Former Law student here.

    Personally, I chose my options based on (1) interest and (2) odds of doing well. I ended up with Medical and Commercial, and it worked out very well.

    As you undoubtedly know, Law is a difficult course. Lots of readings for every subject, and I'd be lying if I said Finals was anything other than god-awful. Choosing something that you actually have some interest in (usually) makes studying more bearable. For reference, check the reading lists. Look at the past papers on OXAM ,and ask yourself if you find those questions appealing.

    In terms of odds of doing well, bear in mind that this is only really important if you're gunning for a First (since pretty much everyone will get a Second Upper). You should check the statistics from past Examiners Reports for the past 5 years or so. Historically, some subjects do seem to "underperform" compared to others (Competition comes to mind), but rates do fluctuate. The official line is that there's no bell curve, so it could just be that certain cohorts of students were weaker than others.

    You should also look at the syllabus, teaching arrangements, and exam requirements. For example, if your strength lies in essays rather than PQs, it makes sense to avoid papers which have compulsory PQs. Ask your seniors for opinions on the tutors, workload, and teaching quality.

    Some subjects seem to be known as "easy" (Family and Medical seem to have that rep), and some are known to be "difficult" (I've been told International Trade is one of them, although the teaching is fantastic). I went the route of one "easy" and one "hard" subject, although I know people who have done combinations of all kinds, and ended up doing fine. I will say that I actually found scoring in Medical harder than scoring in Commercial, mostly because I never quite found out what the Medical tutors wanted to see in an essay. Everyone's mileage will vary for any given subject, and something that is easy to someone might be difficult to you, so take recommendations with a pinch of salt.

    Some subjects are MT heavy, others are HT heavy, and ideally, you'd want a combination which balances out (unless you're in the camp of wanting to finish everything asap so you can start revision). Three essay deadlines in a week was NOT fun.

    From my experience, law firms don't seem to care very much about options. I don't think I ever got asked about it in interviews, and in any case, my answer would have been that this is the one chance I have to explore this as an academic interest, given that I don't actually want to practise in this area. If you are interested in corporate law, commercial and company might be useful, but certainly not necessary, and I imagine any knowledge deficits can be remedied once you start practising anyway.

    In any case, assuming you're applying to UK corporate law firms, you'd be applying during second year (or third if you're doing the year abroad), and won't have your grades yet, so the firms won't care about that either way. Firms tend not to be very fussy about grades beyond wanting a Second Upper.
 
 
 
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