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Study into Law firms preferred Universities-THE RESULTS watch

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    Chamber Student and The Times has provided an extensive study into which universities law firms prefer. Between 2013-2015 Chamber student interviewed around 2,500 trainee solicitors about their experiences at their law firms and also asked all of them which university they went to. Which has allowed them to form a idea of what universities are most represented at law firms. Hugely helpful to those deciding where to take their law degree. Some surprises maybe-

    Most frequently occurring Universities at - Magic circle, silver circle and large London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2.Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Manchester, 6. Bristol, 7 LSE, 8. UCL, 9. Kings, 10. Edinburgh

    Most frequently occurring Universities at- Medium to Small London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham , 4. Nottingham, 5. UCL, 6. Bristol, 7. Warwick, 8. Leeds, 9. Kings, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-US firms:
    1.Cambridge, 2. Oxford, 3. Durham, 4. Kings, 5. LSE, 6. Bristol, 7. UCL, 8.Nottingham, 9. Warwick, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-National Firms:
    1. Manchester, 2. Durham, 3. Nottingham, 4. Bristol, 5. Leeds, 6. Birmingham, 7. Newcastle, 8. Sheffield, 9. Exeter, 10. York.

    Most frequently occurring Universities at London law firms OVERALL ( includes all tiers of firms ) 1. Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol , 6. Kings, 7. UCL, 8. Warwick, 9. LSE , 10. Manchester

    UNIVERSITIES MOST FREQUENTLY MENTIONED IN GENERAL (includes London, magic circle, US, national etc)
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol, 7. Manchester, 8. Kings, 9. Warwick , 10. UCL

    My Conclusions-
    -Nottingham and Durham really impressed here.
    -The Oxbridge domination is STRONG and slightly worrying . The percentages they lead in are huge and seem much over represented for just two universities.
    -Queen Mary, York, and Warwick are slightly overhyped here on TSR as I expected them to do better. Warwick still is obviously highly targeted nevertheless.
    -Manchester , Leeds and Kings surprised me the most both doing really well with Magic Circle and overall results. Clearly these law schools deserve more credit
    - Liverpool is letting the Russell group side down.

    PLEASE check out the results using the link as its really in depth and shows full breakdown of all universities not just top 10

    http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/whe...d-universities

    What are your conclusions of the results? Any surprises for you?
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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    Chamber Student and The Times has provided an extensive study into which universities law firms prefer. Between 2013-2015 Chamber student interviewed around 2,500 trainee solicitors about their experiences at their law firms and also asked all of them which university they went to. Which has allowed them to form a idea of what universities are most represented at law firms. Hugely helpful to those deciding where to take their law degree. Some surprises maybe-

    Most frequently occurring Universities at - Magic circle, silver circle and large London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2.Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Manchester, 6. Bristol, 7 LSE, 8. UCL, 9. Kings, 10. Edinburgh

    Most frequently occurring Universities at- Medium to Small London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham , 4. Nottingham, 5. UCL, 6. Bristol, 7. Warwick, 8. Leeds, 9. Kings, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-US firms:
    1.Cambridge, 2. Oxford, 3. Durham, 4. Kings, 5. LSE, 6. Bristol, 7. UCL, 8.Nottingham, 9. Warwick, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-National Firms:
    1. Manchester, 2. Durham, 3. Nottingham, 4. Bristol, 5. Leeds, 6. Birmingham, 7. Newcastle, 8. Sheffield, 9. Exeter, 10. York.

    Most frequently occurring Universities at London law firms OVERALL ( includes all tiers of firms ) 1. Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol , 6. Kings, 7. UCL, 8. Warwick, 9. LSE , 10. Manchester

    UNIVERSITIES MOST FREQUENTLY MENTIONED IN GENERAL (includes London, magic circle, US, national etc)
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol, 7. Manchester, 8. Kings, 9. Warwick , 10. UCL

    My Conclusions-
    -Nottingham and Durham really impressed here.
    -The Oxbridge domination is STRONG and slightly worrying . The percentages they lead in are huge and seem much over represented for just two universities.
    -Queen Mary, York, and Warwick are slightly overhyped here on TSR as I expected them to do better. Warwick still is obviously highly targeted nevertheless.
    -Manchester , Leeds and Kings surprised me the most both doing really well with Magic Circle and overall results. Clearly these law schools deserve more credit
    - Liverpool is letting the Russell group side down.

    PLEASE check out the results using the link as its really in depth and shows full breakdown of all universities not just top 10

    http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/whe...d-universities

    What are your conclusions of the results? Any surprises for you?
    The reality is this is far more complicated than the report suggests.

    Although this is interesting, what it doesn't show is the volume of applications from these universities in the first place.

    I worked at one MC firm where nearly 25% of their applications were received from two universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Therefore even if there was completely parity in all applications, they would have recruited a disproportionate amount of trainees from those universities. You then have to take into account that people from those universities (and I hate to say it but it is true) are set up to succeed a lot better than other universities (90%+ of students getting a 2.1 or above, culture of strong extra curricular activities, college tuition system etc).

    There is a group mentality that does gather in universities, especially within law schools. I know from experience that all it takes is for one highly popular person who is perceived to be the brightest, most active and most engaging student to be turned down from a firm and fewer students in their year group will then apply to that firm. It is the case of "well if they can't get through, then I don't stand a chance" mentality. Or it could be a bit of a case of bad word of mouth and fewer people apply too.

    Universities targeted is not dependent purely on the law faculty. Other factors are taken into consideration - how good the careers service is, how expensive the events are, whether you can build a good relationship with the law society or other groups, how far it is to travel. Manchester is highly targeted due to the size of the university - there are so many 1000s of students and even from London it is relatively easy to get to. Going to somewhere like Exeter which is a far smaller university and is much more of a pain to get to becomes less attractive.

    I would disagree with the point about York and Queen Mary being over-hyped - they are both relatively small universities compared to some of the others like Nottingham/Manchester. A smaller student population should result in fewer hirers. Also York's law school is still relatively young - it didn't exist less than a decade ago!

    Liverpool isn't letting the side down either - in fact the issue they have is their entry requirements mean that their candidates are less likely to meet some law firm's requirements. They allow candidates in with ABB to apply and some firms request AAB - it means a significant proportion of their students will not be able to apply in the first place (wrongly in my opinion).
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The reality is this is far more complicated than the report suggests.

    Although this is interesting, what it doesn't show is the volume of applications from these universities in the first place.
    I was about to suggest the same thing! Ideally, we'd have an acceptance ratio of university graduates at MC/ regional firms to compare and contrast, due to the fact that different law schools have different sizes for their undergrad programmes (consider King's 320 students versus UCL's 175). For example, something like "35% of Manchester undergrads who applied to xyz firms in the MC were accepted in the 2016 cycle."

    We should also take into account the internationals who study in the UK (often with scholarships from their home governments) with the intent of returning with a prestigious law degree to practise law or go into government jobs there. I remember a Singaporean girl at Oxford who said she had applied for one of those, as well as a couple of guys from HK to whom I spoke to during Offer Holders' Day. Even though I can't see their numbers as being too large, the fact that these people have no intent of actually working for a law firm in the UK/US puts unis with large numbers of internationals at a slight disadvantage (*cough* LSE).

    Just another thought: I've repeatedly heard, even from the lecturer i/c of Careers at St Hilda's, Oxford, that having the name of a prestigious uni will only get you through the door for an interview, and that's it's your wider CV, ECs and so on that do the rest in securing a TC. Perhaps we should be looking at the qualities of the students from top unis that have resulted in them holding more TCs than the rest, and the extracurriculars and networking opportunities that are provided by their unis?
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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    Chamber Student and The Times has provided an extensive study into which universities law firms prefer. Between 2013-2015 Chamber student interviewed around 2,500 trainee solicitors about their experiences at their law firms and also asked all of them which university they went to. Which has allowed them to form a idea of what universities are most represented at law firms. Hugely helpful to those deciding where to take their law degree. Some surprises maybe-

    Most frequently occurring Universities at - Magic circle, silver circle and large London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2.Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Manchester, 6. Bristol, 7 LSE, 8. UCL, 9. Kings, 10. Edinburgh

    Most frequently occurring Universities at- Medium to Small London firms:
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham , 4. Nottingham, 5. UCL, 6. Bristol, 7. Warwick, 8. Leeds, 9. Kings, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-US firms:
    1.Cambridge, 2. Oxford, 3. Durham, 4. Kings, 5. LSE, 6. Bristol, 7. UCL, 8.Nottingham, 9. Warwick, 10. Exeter

    Most frequently occurring Universities at-National Firms:
    1. Manchester, 2. Durham, 3. Nottingham, 4. Bristol, 5. Leeds, 6. Birmingham, 7. Newcastle, 8. Sheffield, 9. Exeter, 10. York.

    Most frequently occurring Universities at London law firms OVERALL ( includes all tiers of firms ) 1. Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol , 6. Kings, 7. UCL, 8. Warwick, 9. LSE , 10. Manchester

    UNIVERSITIES MOST FREQUENTLY MENTIONED IN GENERAL (includes London, magic circle, US, national etc)
    1.Oxford, 2. Cambridge, 3. Durham, 4. Nottingham, 5. Bristol, 7. Manchester, 8. Kings, 9. Warwick , 10. UCL

    My Conclusions-
    -Nottingham and Durham really impressed here.
    -The Oxbridge domination is STRONG and slightly worrying . The percentages they lead in are huge and seem much over represented for just two universities.
    -Queen Mary, York, and Warwick are slightly overhyped here on TSR as I expected them to do better. Warwick still is obviously highly targeted nevertheless.
    -Manchester , Leeds and Kings surprised me the most both doing really well with Magic Circle and overall results. Clearly these law schools deserve more credit
    - Liverpool is letting the Russell group side down.

    PLEASE check out the results using the link as its really in depth and shows full breakdown of all universities not just top 10

    http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/whe...d-universities

    What are your conclusions of the results? Any surprises for you?
    probably going to Birmingham. This worries as I might not have a chance at magic circle law firms
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    (Original post by xAssassin786)
    probably going to Birmingham. This worries as I might not have a chance at magic circle law firms
    Having worked at more than 1 MC firm, you have no issue at all. They all had active campus alumni teams who went back to Birmingham a lot.

    One major reason why Birmingham will not be represented as much as other unis is that a lot of their students tend to have strong ties to the region, and therefore tend to apply to firms based around the Midlands rather than London.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Having worked at more than 1 MC firm, you have no issue at all. They all had active campus alumni teams who went back to Birmingham a lot.

    One major reason why Birmingham will not be represented as much as other unis is that a lot of their students tend to have strong ties to the region, and therefore tend to apply to firms based around the Midlands rather than London.
    Thanks That brings me relief. I would really like to work at the magic circle law firms as they really appeal to me. My preferred ones are Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Allen and Overy. The US firms such as Latham and Watkins are good as well.
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    (Original post by xAssassin786)
    Thanks That brings me relief. I would really like to work at the magic circle law firms as they really appeal to me. My preferred ones are Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Allen and Overy. The US firms such as Latham and Watkins are good as well.
    As long as you get good grades, work hard, build up your extra curriculars, are active in pursuing opportunities for work experience/exposure to the legal profession, and can write a good application form/CV, you will be fine. All these things are far more important than the name of the institution you apply to. Some of these firms are starting university blind recruitment processes anyway.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The reality is this is far more complicated than the report suggests.

    Although this is interesting, what it doesn't show is the volume of applications from these universities in the first place.

    I worked at one MC firm where nearly 25% of their applications were received from two universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Therefore even if there was completely parity in all applications, they would have recruited a disproportionate amount of trainees from those universities. You then have to take into account that people from those universities (and I hate to say it but it is true) are set up to succeed a lot better than other universities (90%+ of students getting a 2.1 or above, culture of strong extra curricular activities, college tuition system etc).

    There is a group mentality that does gather in universities, especially within law schools. I know from experience that all it takes is for one highly popular person who is perceived to be the brightest, most active and most engaging student to be turned down from a firm and fewer students in their year group will then apply to that firm. It is the case of "well if they can't get through, then I don't stand a chance" mentality. Or it could be a bit of a case of bad word of mouth and fewer people apply too.

    Universities targeted is not dependent purely on the law faculty. Other factors are taken into consideration - how good the careers service is, how expensive the events are, whether you can build a good relationship with the law society or other groups, how far it is to travel. Manchester is highly targeted due to the size of the university - there are so many 1000s of students and even from London it is relatively easy to get to. Going to somewhere like Exeter which is a far smaller university and is much more of a pain to get to becomes less attractive.

    I would disagree with the point about York and Queen Mary being over-hyped - they are both relatively small universities compared to some of the others like Nottingham/Manchester. A smaller student population should result in fewer hirers. Also York's law school is still relatively young - it didn't exist less than a decade ago!

    Liverpool isn't letting the side down either - in fact the issue they have is their entry requirements mean that their candidates are less likely to meet some law firm's requirements. They allow candidates in with ABB to apply and some firms request AAB - it means a significant proportion of their students will not be able to apply in the first place (wrongly in my opinion).
    So glad you've posted I find your posts so useful. I understand your point how this report only shows one side of the story. I believe your right, ambition counts for alot, and Cambridge and Oxford grads may just be more confident in applying to top law firms which may partly explain their dominance. Also had no idea York law school was so young in that case its ranking is highly impressive.

    Has to be noted that the report explains that grads from Kingston, Bangor and Aberystwyth found at US firms . Indicating successful applications into law is based on much more than university prestige which is encouraging. Here on TSR there is real obsession with law schools prestige, so it's nice to see that some less hyped universities make an appearance on this report.
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    (Original post by xAssassin786)
    probably going to Birmingham. This worries as I might not have a chance at magic circle law firms
    That's the only trouble with reports like these they can make people feel worried about their university choice. Put it this way, my sisters friend who studies at Cambridge has struggled to find a training contract at a top law firm (she has one work experience in law and didn't get involved in societies). So going to a good or bad university really doesn't determine much unless along with uni you do some other extracurricular activities to bulk up your CV and perform well in interview.
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    The other thing about Oxbridge grads is that the over whelming majority want to work in London/the City, so they are less likely as a group to apply to regional firms.

    In contrast you go to some universities that have a stronger reputation for bringing in students from the local catchment area. Sheffield is a good example. It's far more likely that their students will not apply for Firms based in London, but will apply to those in Manchester/Yorkshire.

    Interestingly St Andrews isn't listed there but I bet money on it having one of the strongest application to offer ratios of most of the unis. However, it's location means it makes it very difficult to attend events there, it's a very small uni and it has no law faculty, so I am not surprised it is represented.




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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    That's the only trouble with reports like these they can make people feel worried about their university choice. Put it this way, my sisters friend who studies at Cambridge has struggled to find a training contract at a top law firm (she has one work experience in law and didn't get involved in societies). So going to a good or bad university really doesn't determine much unless along with uni you do some other extracurricular activities to bulk up your CV and perform well in interview.
    I guess you're right. I'm planning on joining a lot of societies such as the United Nations society. And in terms of work experience I need to get involved in commercial law since I haven't done that yet.My first year is dedicated to do as much extra curricular activities and get a 2:1 or a first. In terms of work experience I will probably do work experience at regional law firms around the Midlands because I live around about there. Afterwards ill probably apply for vacation schemes and internships. At birmingham they have this global challenge programme where you get to go abroad on a unpaid internship. So I'm pretty much sure of what I need to do for 3 years.

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    (Original post by J-SP)
    As long as you get good grades, work hard, build up your extra curriculars, are active in pursuing opportunities for work experience/exposure to the legal profession, and can write a good application form/CV, you will be fine. All these things are far more important than the name of the institution you apply to. Some of these firms are starting university blind recruitment processes anyway.
    Are blind recruitment processes effective though? Surely you can give hints to which university you went to e.g. "I was a member of Cambridge Rowing Society".
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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    Are blind recruitment processes effective though? Surely you can give hints to which university you went to e.g. "I was a member of Cambridge Rowing Society".
    Hard to say, it's a fairly new phenomenon so there's little evidence out there to support whether it has an impact or not.

    I know some firms are thinking about staying in application instructions that the university name should not be mentioned anywhere in the application, but even then you'd still have certain indicators. I can tell by student newspaper names, law society names (that are not university named like Bracton Law Society/Ed Bram Society), and even the name of law modules, where someone studied.

    But I think it's something worth exploring. I can't see it doing much harm, even if t has little impact.




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    I found this guide very useful when I found it and although it does clearly show Oxbridge dominance, it is fair in its conclusions at the end. It lists all the universities you would expect as good options for studying at if you wish to work for certain types of firm, notably big city firms. However Leicester was listed as good which I did not expect until I did some more reading into their reputation for Law and generally. I found upon research that the big firms do like Leicester despite it not being a Russell Group uni. I personally am going to Manchester to do Law, and although I knew it is a good university and in the Russell Group, I never knew how prominent it was until I saw the graphs in this guide by Chambers student. That is not to say there is not better unis than Manchester because there definitely is. Yet Manchester has a good Law society and law fair sponsored and visited by all the MC/major city firms and if you look on Linkedin you will find many Manchester graduates at top firms. I found this encouraging but at the end of the day it is also down to what the individual has done as well as what university they attended. No doubt the prestige of the university does come into play. For example, a firm may/likely look at a high 2:1 from Warwick better than a high 2:1 from Surrey.
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    (Original post by ORW)
    I found this guide very useful when I found it and although it does clearly show Oxbridge dominance, it is fair in its conclusions at the end. It lists all the universities you would expect as good options for studying at if you wish to work for certain types of firm, notably big city firms. However Leicester was listed as good which I did not expect until I did some more reading into their reputation for Law and generally. I found upon research that the big firms do like Leicester despite it not being a Russell Group uni. I personally am going to Manchester to do Law, and although I knew it is a good university and in the Russell Group, I never knew how prominent it was until I saw the graphs in this guide by Chambers student. That is not to say there is not better unis than Manchester because there definitely is. Yet Manchester has a good Law society and law fair sponsored and visited by all the MC/major city firms and if you look on Linkedin you will find many Manchester graduates at top firms. I found this encouraging but at the end of the day it is also down to what the individual has done as well as what university they attended. No doubt the prestige of the university does come into play. For example, a firm may/likely look at a high 2:1 from Warwick better than a high 2:1 from Surrey.
    The thing with Nottingham/Manchester and UCL, however, is that they are literally giants in terms of student enrollment. All three easily sit in the 30k range. This is important considering that non-law students can also apply for TCs, and you'll often find that circa 30-45% of graduates at big firms are non-law students. This gives the aforementioned unis a clear advantage over the likes of Durham and particularly LSE.

    Obviously this is not conclusive since we don't know the exact numbers applying from each uni, but a uni with 36k students will inevitably have more applicants than one with 9k students (referring to LSE).

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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    The thing with Nottingham/Manchester and UCL, however, is that they are literally giants in terms of student enrollment. All three easily sit in the 30k range. This is important considering that non-law students can also apply for TCs, and you'll often find that circa 30-45% of graduates at big firms are non-law students. This gives the aforementioned unis a clear advantage over the likes of Durham and particularly LSE.

    Obviously this is not conclusive since we don't know the exact numbers applying from each uni, but a uni with 36k students will inevitably have more applicants than one with 9k students (referring to LSE).

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    Yes you make a good point. But number of undergrads i don't believe is that important as Manchester Met, Leeds Beckett, Greenwich also have high numbers of undergrads but they don't feature what so ever in top 25. You can't just say Manchester, Nottingham and UCL do better purely on student size, their graduates actually have to be decent to get a job. clearly some credit must be given that those universities are attracting and producing top quality students. Nottingham can have all the graduates it likes but if its students arent a high calibre they won't get the jobs. Just because there is a chance of larger amounts of applications from Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick etc doesn't necessarily mean a higher chance of those applications being successful.

    I believe LSE has just over 10,000 undergraduates and postgraduates; a tiny number. The fact that it features so highly in this report says alot about its graduates. I suspect they would have the most successful application to offer ratio
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Obviously this is not conclusive since we don't know the exact numbers applying from each uni, but a uni with 36k students will inevitably have more applicants than one with 9k students (referring to LSE).

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    Exactly. Even student numbers are difficult to make a judgment on. Take out high levels of students on vocational courses like nursing, teaching and medicine and then that figure becomes even more complicated to analyse.


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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    Yes. But number of undergrads i don't believe is that important Manchester Met, Leeds Beckett, Greenwich also have high numbers of undergrads but they don't feature what so ever in top 25. You can't just say Manchester, Nottingham and UCL do better purely on student size, their graduates actually have to be decent to get a job. clearly some credit must be given that those universities are attracting and producing top quality students. Nottingham can have all the graduates it likes but if its students arent a high calibre they won't get the jobs.
    Again that's because their entry requirements often won't meet the firms entry requirements though. If you are at a uni where the average entry into the course is BBB a significantly high proportion of their students won't be able to apply to firms who ask for AAB.

    Firms are unlikely to target those universities as they know it would be a waste of time when they turn up on campus and the vast majority of students can't apply to their programmes.


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    (Original post by peachpetals)
    Yes you make a good point. But number of undergrads i don't believe is that important as Manchester Met, Leeds Beckett, Greenwich also have high numbers of undergrads but they don't feature what so ever in top 25. You can't just say Manchester, Nottingham and UCL do better purely on student size, their graduates actually have to be decent to get a job. clearly some credit must be given that those universities are attracting and producing top quality students. Nottingham can have all the graduates it likes but if its students arent a high calibre they won't get the jobs. Just because there is a chance of larger amounts of applications from Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick etc doesn't necessarily mean a higher chance of those applications being successful.

    I believe LSE has just over 10,000 undergraduates and postgraduates; a tiny number. The fact that it features so highly in this report says alot about its graduates. I suspect they would have the most successful application to offer ratio
    As JSP says above, you have to compare like with like. Obviously those at Manchester Met won't have the same qualifications as those at UCL. The point is that, if we are to consider the student numbers, UCL/Manchester/Nottinghan have an advantage over, say, Durham, LSE, Bristol and even Oxbridge (but that's obviously a very different category).

    While this is not definitive, it may indicate why Manchester, for instance, features so prominently.

    I was actually more impressed with Durham, considering iirc that they have 16k students yet and are pretty close to Cambridge.

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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    As JSP says above, you have to compare like with like. Obviously those at Manchester Met won't have the same qualifications as those at UCL. The point is that, if we are to consider the student numbers, UCL/Manchester/Nottinghan have an advantage over, say, Durham, LSE, Bristol and even Oxbridge (but that's obviously a very different category).

    While this is not definitive, it may indicate why Manchester, for instance, features so prominently.

    I was actually more impressed with Durham, considering iirc that they have 16k students yet and are pretty close to Cambridge.

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    Ok let me make a fairer comparison say Birmingham vs Manchester. Similarly large student populations, both ask for AAA, both have well regarded career services, easy to reach to by law firms. What then is it that makes Birmingham appear significantly less? Just curious on thoughts.
 
 
 
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