Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, guys!
    Ok, so both aren't stellar institutions but I slacked off in college and now have come to terms with going to City or SOAS for the first year of my LLB.
    I know City has risen within the law league tables over the years and I admire that they prioritize employability. On the other hand, SOAS is a University of London school and may have a higher prestige standing with employers (?), provide a unique (I use that word with some apprehension) learning experience, and ease the process of transferring to a better Uni. of London school. I've heard horror stories about SOAS and how faculty don't take their job seriously/provide an esoteric curriculum with little, valuable application, and how students are left with little more than debt and a useless piece of paper. Now, I don't want to bash on liberal arts and, on the contrary, hold more free thinking institutions in high esteem for promoting a way of thinking that can seldom be found elsewhere. None the less, I don't want to pay £27000 to learn to think freely. I want to be employed by a high end law firm and have a steady, well-paying career. Where do I have better chances of this happening?

    Additionally, what do you guys think about transferring universities for law? I know it's not very common in the UK and quite difficult for LLB. Would a school like UCL accept me if I completed my first year at City or SOAS with top marks? Or perhaps a lower ranking school like QMUL?
    I appreciate you guys taking the time to read&respond to this and I hope my inquiry doesn't come off as crude for stressing employment so much! Just keepin' it real(plsdon'tshootme)...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    bump bump bump
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Ok, first off- put any idea of transferring programmes out of your head. SOAS and the other University of London colleges ostensibly allow transfers from the 'External Programme/International Programme', but I only knew one girl at SOAS law who did that and came in the second year. Outside of that, they really have no established transfer scheme even for within the University of London, and few other law schools will even entertain the idea at all as far as I know. I tried to transfer out of SOAS after first year and found that even with two firsts and two 2:1s, SOAS faculty wouldn't write a letter of recommendation because it would make the school look bad and no other U of L law school would accept me on to the second year. Kings and LSE were going to admit me, but only as a first year. I wasn't keen on essentially starting from scratch, so I stuck around at SOAS. Big mistake, because the next year got worse.

    As for life at SOAS, the horror stories are true for the most part. It's really the last 'old school' style school of law left. At SOAS, you get a reading list, get a few lectures (they get cancelled a lot for some reason) of varying value (first year we had a nice young Bajan guy whose lectures were utterly worthless), a weekly tutorial that can be valuable, and are pretty much on your own from there on out. The faculty really make no effort to engage students outside the lecture hall and really offer no solid advice on anything even if you ask. Favourites are chosen and get a leg up, but don't bet on being one of them. I spent a lot of time trying to get a moot team coach and 3 years latter hadn't managed to do anything except get yelled at and told to bother someone else. It's very bureaucratic and not student-focused at all. Faculty are all brilliant researchers and highly regarded but terrible teachers frankly. Actually, about 1/3 are terrible, 1/3 are kinda hands off but decent and about 1/3 are ideal and helpful. The administration sucks hard, too. That being said, having survived the SOAS pressure cooker made by Kafka, I came out with a better writing ability, theoretical understanding of the law and advocacy skills than anyone else. But that's only because I had to try so hard to essentially do nothing but wrong with these people. Seriously, they enjoy torturing students there.

    Anyway, I spent a lot of time on the moot circuit and have a decent bearing on the quality of other law faculties in London. City is a very good, but very generalist school, but thanks to its GDL & LPC course and acquisition of the Inns of Court Law School 25 years ago, it has a good alumni network. It's a little boring TBH, but that isn't a bad thing. In truth, neither is Westminster Uni, another one which I'd hold in the same high regard. They might not be special, their faculty might not be the most brilliant, but both more than make up for this with good law review activity, pro bono societies and excellent moot/advocacy work outside of modules. That stuff goes a long way in building a CV, honing very valuable legal skills, and making contacts. ***You don't want to be left alone to your own devices to do either.*** That there is the best advice I can give you.

    Also- why do you think Queen Mary is low-ranking? As far as I'm concerned, it's the best law school in London. UCL coasted on having Dworkin on the letterhead and LSE never shuts about how amazing Greenwood was when he *used* to teach there. Queen Mary has a huge student body (all together and especially in law) so if you can be a big duck in a big pond, you have it made. Every module imaginable, it's there. Anything to do outside the class to build skills is there too. The masters programme is probably the biggest in the country, not that an LLM is worth a damn to lawyers except for maybe foreigners. Career outlook isn't much better than SOAS is you go by the numbers, but it's at least got a good brand and is widely known thanks to its size. The neighbourhood isn't so good, and I lived in that corner of London for three years with QMU students, but the filth and grime grows on you. Although I understand that gentrification has ruined the lower-class vibe of everything in Mile End/Whitechapel high street between Bow and Aldgate. Too bloody bad.

    In fact, QMU is ranked just behind Oxbridge here: http://www.theguardian.com/education...-table-for-law . I would go with the Gruniad on this and heavily consider the schools based on the employment outcomes in the far right column.

    So, as for my advice. If you can get into QMU for law, I would seriously advise you to take that offer and stick with it. City is not a bad choice either, nor is Westminster or most of the other big London law schools. You are correct to be concerned about career outlook and the brand of the uni given the high fees now. SOAS is very poorly known and is not well represented in big City law firms. I understand recently the faculty at SOAS made a few calls to Clifford Chance to sell the advantages of the school and get more students into their pipeline. But I suspect that typical SOAS favouritism ********e plays some role in this, so if you're from the right Somali or Pashtun tribe, you'll earn some points and people will magically take a shine to you, but if not... Other than that, you will achieve much intellectual growth at SOAS law even if you have a bloody well miserable time doing it. You'll be better than anyone else even if you have nothing to show for it except debt and the dole. The choice is yours. Good luck to you nonetheless.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SOASllbsurvivor)
    Ok, first off- put any idea of transferring programmes out of your head. SOAS and the other University of London colleges ostensibly allow transfers from the 'External Programme/International Programme', but I only knew one girl at SOAS law who did that and came in the second year. Outside of that, they really have no established transfer scheme even for within the University of London, and few other law schools will even entertain the idea at all as far as I know. I tried to transfer out of SOAS after first year and found that even with two firsts and two 2:1s, SOAS faculty wouldn't write a letter of recommendation because it would make the school look bad and no other U of L law school would accept me on to the second year. Kings and LSE were going to admit me, but only as a first year. I wasn't keen on essentially starting from scratch, so I stuck around at SOAS. Big mistake, because the next year got worse.

    As for life at SOAS, the horror stories are true for the most part. It's really the last 'old school' style school of law left. At SOAS, you get a reading list, get a few lectures (they get cancelled a lot for some reason) of varying value (first year we had a nice young Bajan guy whose lectures were utterly worthless), a weekly tutorial that can be valuable, and are pretty much on your own from there on out. The faculty really make no effort to engage students outside the lecture hall and really offer no solid advice on anything even if you ask. Favourites are chosen and get a leg up, but don't bet on being one of them. I spent a lot of time trying to get a moot team coach and 3 years latter hadn't managed to do anything except get yelled at and told to bother someone else. It's very bureaucratic and not student-focused at all. Faculty are all brilliant researchers and highly regarded but terrible teachers frankly. Actually, about 1/3 are terrible, 1/3 are kinda hands off but decent and about 1/3 are ideal and helpful. The administration sucks hard, too. That being said, having survived the SOAS pressure cooker made by Kafka, I came out with a better writing ability, theoretical understanding of the law and advocacy skills than anyone else. But that's only because I had to try so hard to essentially do nothing but wrong with these people. Seriously, they enjoy torturing students there.

    Anyway, I spent a lot of time on the moot circuit and have a decent bearing on the quality of other law faculties in London. City is a very good, but very generalist school, but thanks to its GDL & LPC course and acquisition of the Inns of Court Law School 25 years ago, it has a good alumni network. It's a little boring TBH, but that isn't a bad thing. In truth, neither is Westminster Uni, another one which I'd hold in the same high regard. They might not be special, their faculty might not be the most brilliant, but both more than make up for this with good law review activity, pro bono societies and excellent moot/advocacy work outside of modules. That stuff goes a long way in building a CV, honing very valuable legal skills, and making contacts. ***You don't want to be left alone to your own devices to do either.*** That there is the best advice I can give you.

    Also- why do you think Queen Mary is low-ranking? As far as I'm concerned, it's the best law school in London. UCL coasted on having Dworkin on the letterhead and LSE never shuts about how amazing Greenwood was when he *used* to teach there. Queen Mary has a huge student body (all together and especially in law) so if you can be a big duck in a big pond, you have it made. Every module imaginable, it's there. Anything to do outside the class to build skills is there too. The masters programme is probably the biggest in the country, not that an LLM is worth a damn to lawyers except for maybe foreigners. Career outlook isn't much better than SOAS is you go by the numbers, but it's at least got a good brand and is widely known thanks to its size. The neighbourhood isn't so good, and I lived in that corner of London for three years with QMU students, but the filth and grime grows on you. Although I understand that gentrification has ruined the lower-class vibe of everything in Mile End/Whitechapel high street between Bow and Aldgate. Too bloody bad.

    In fact, QMU is ranked just behind Oxbridge here: http://www.theguardian.com/education...-table-for-law . I would go with the Gruniad on this and heavily consider the schools based on the employment outcomes in the far right column.

    So, as for my advice. If you can get into QMU for law, I would seriously advise you to take that offer and stick with it. City is not a bad choice either, nor is Westminster or most of the other big London law schools. You are correct to be concerned about career outlook and the brand of the uni given the high fees now. SOAS is very poorly known and is not well represented in big City law firms. I understand recently the faculty at SOAS made a few calls to Clifford Chance to sell the advantages of the school and get more students into their pipeline. But I suspect that typical SOAS favouritism ********e plays some role in this, so if you're from the right Somali or Pashtun tribe, you'll earn some points and people will magically take a shine to you, but if not... Other than that, you will achieve much intellectual growth at SOAS law even if you have a bloody well miserable time doing it. You'll be better than anyone else even if you have nothing to show for it except debt and the dole. The choice is yours. Good luck to you nonetheless.
    wow i was going to go to SOAS and study law. I am not so sure now lol...was it that bad? I know its all opinions and that but you make the university sound really terrible in terms of teachers and students
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Unless it's changed radically in the last 5 years, that's the score. Student morale is bad. Teaching is about 1/3 good, 1/3 terrible and the rest in between. The admin is Kafkaesque. The uni's brand is not good. Employment outcomes are poor. If you've got the opportunity, seek greener fields elsewhere. Just my opinion. I am a veteran of the place, just not the kind they'd put on the school tour.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SOASllbsurvivor)
    Unless it's changed radically in the last 5 years, that's the score. Student morale is bad. Teaching is about 1/3 good, 1/3 terrible and the rest in between. The admin is Kafkaesque. The uni's brand is not good. Employment outcomes are poor. If you've got the opportunity, seek greener fields elsewhere. Just my opinion. I am a veteran of the place, just not the kind they'd put on the school tour.
    Hmm thanks
    I had a friend who attended Queen Mary and she hated it and transferred somewhere else.
    How are the students like?
    What degree did you get btw?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I did the LLB at SOAS. I knew one person at QMU (also in law) that wasn't so keen on the place, but she took a dim view of her masters course too, so I'm not sure she was ever going to be pleased with uni life.

    Most of the students at SOAS (in the law department at least) are decent people. The environment appeals to a certain crowd, so there might be some rather conservative or borderline fundamentalist Islamists, but even I got on great with them frankly. But student morale was low. It was not easy to motivate people to get involved with some extracurriculars like Law Society, mooting, starting a law journal, etc. And a lot of people took to studying incredibly long hours to try and get high marks to no avail, since it's almost impossible to secure a first in a law course.

    As for the rest of SOAS and its students, I really can't say much about that. I didn't interact with people much outside the law department to know their habits that well. I was too busy doing all that law stuff.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SOASllbsurvivor)
    I did the LLB at SOAS. I knew one person at QMU (also in law) that wasn't so keen on the place, but she took a dim view of her masters course too, so I'm not sure she was ever going to be pleased with uni life.

    Most of the students at SOAS (in the law department at least) are decent people. The environment appeals to a certain crowd, so there might be some rather conservative or borderline fundamentalist Islamists, but even I got on great with them frankly. But student morale was low. It was not easy to motivate people to get involved with some extracurriculars like Law Society, mooting, starting a law journal, etc. And a lot of people took to studying incredibly long hours to try and get high marks to no avail, since it's almost impossible to secure a first in a law course.

    As for the rest of SOAS and its students, I really can't say much about that. I didn't interact with people much outside the law department to know their habits that well. I was too busy doing all that law stuff.
    tbh I'm just here for my degree. call me silly and i know I'm paying but i just want to get a good grade and thats it...i am a mature student you see...after my a levels i decided to work...and I'm 25 now and going to uni...so i don't really care about the uni life too much. I just want to get at least a 2:!

    Having said that from your posts it seems SOAS isn't a very good uni which is a shame as I was looking forward to going there but your posts have made me rethink. I visited Queen Mary and tbh I wasn't that impressed...but it looks like SOAS is even worse.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Ive got the same options. Im sticking to SOAS
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fahmidaakthar)
    Ive got the same options. Im sticking to SOAS
    What grades are they asking for?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xxvine)
    What grades are they asking for?
    AAB - SOAS,
    ABB -city.
    Wbu?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fahmidaakthar)
    AAB - SOAS,
    ABB -city.
    Wbu?
    Same lol
    Confident of getting those grades?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm going SOAS in less than 2 weeks to study LLB Law, I have no law experience whatsoever (well obvs I'm an undergrad and the closest thing I did to Law at A Level was Gov and Pol😂😅). Can anyone reassure me that I'm going to be ok 😂😢, Or at least give me some advice?

    Any help would be much appreciated,
    Thanks
    •  Official Rep
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
     Official Rep
    (Original post by purpleazeribabe)
    I'm going SOAS in less than 2 weeks to study LLB Law, I have no law experience whatsoever (well obvs I'm an undergrad and the closest thing I did to Law at A Level was Gov and Pol😂😅). Can anyone reassure me that I'm going to be ok 😂😢, Or at least give me some advice?

    Any help would be much appreciated,
    Thanks
    Hi there

    I just graduated from an LLB at SOAS and I can reassure it will be more than ok! A Law degree at SOAS offers you a truly global perspective - you get a qualifying law degree as you would in any other University, but in addition to that you are given the opportunity to study international legal systems including Asia, Africa, Chinese law, along with many other interesting modules that are not offered elsewhere. You will also be able to take up a language for free through the language entitlement programme that SOAS offers.

    In regards to prior law experience, don't worry about that. The Law and Social Sciences faculty send out regular emails with career and internship opportunities and we have a Careers Service who you can speak to regarding legal experience too. You will be allocated a personal advisor (usually a lecturer within the law department) who will be available throughout the duration of your degree whenever you need help or advice so make sure to speak to them too!

    If I was to offer you any advise it'd definitely be to get stuck in, get involved during freshers week and see what societies and activities you want to be a part of. Make sure you make the most of your experience and try to attend your classes so you don't get behind. The people at SOAS are great and you can always reach to the second and third years too. At the end of the day it is what you make of it, so enjoy yourself, joining university is really exciting and it will be really great!

    Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any specific questions
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SOAS Student Helper)
    Hi there

    I just graduated from an LLB at SOAS and I can reassure it will be more than ok! A Law degree at SOAS offers you a truly global perspective - you get a qualifying law degree as you would in any other University, but in addition to that you are given the opportunity to study international legal systems including Asia, Africa, Chinese law, along with many other interesting modules that are not offered elsewhere. You will also be able to take up a language for free through the language entitlement programme that SOAS offers.

    In regards to prior law experience, don't worry about that. The Law and Social Sciences faculty send out regular emails with career and internship opportunities and we have a Careers Service who you can speak to regarding legal experience too. You will be allocated a personal advisor (usually a lecturer within the law department) who will be available throughout the duration of your degree whenever you need help or advice so make sure to speak to them too!

    If I was to offer you any advise it'd definitely be to get stuck in, get involved during freshers week and see what societies and activities you want to be a part of. Make sure you make the most of your experience and try to attend your classes so you don't get behind. The people at SOAS are great and you can always reach to the second and third years too. At the end of the day it is what you make of it, so enjoy yourself, joining university is really exciting and it will be really great!

    Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any specific questions
    Is it true SOAS were harsh this year? They didn't offer any clearing spaces for law?
    •  Official Rep
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
     Official Rep
    (Original post by xxvine)
    Is it true SOAS were harsh this year? They didn't offer any clearing spaces for law?
    We had very few places available during clearing so only students who had really strong applications and had met or just missed the entry requirement were given an offer. Law is such a popular and competitive course at SOAS so the programme was completely full early on!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SOAS Student Helper)
    Hi there

    I just graduated from an LLB at SOAS and I can reassure it will be more than ok! A Law degree at SOAS offers you a truly global perspective - you get a qualifying law degree as you would in any other University, but in addition to that you are given the opportunity to study international legal systems including Asia, Africa, Chinese law, along with many other interesting modules that are not offered elsewhere. You will also be able to take up a language for free through the language entitlement programme that SOAS offers.

    In regards to prior law experience, don't worry about that. The Law and Social Sciences faculty send out regular emails with career and internship opportunities and we have a Careers Service who you can speak to regarding legal experience too. You will be allocated a personal advisor (usually a lecturer within the law department) who will be available throughout the duration of your degree whenever you need help or advice so make sure to speak to them too!

    If I was to offer you any advise it'd definitely be to get stuck in, get involved during freshers week and see what societies and activities you want to be a part of. Make sure you make the most of your experience and try to attend your classes so you don't get behind. The people at SOAS are great and you can always reach to the second and third years too. At the end of the day it is what you make of it, so enjoy yourself, joining university is really exciting and it will be really great!

    Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any specific questions
    Honestly, thank you soo much, i will definitely keep you updated! I feel soo much less anxiety now.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    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.
    By the way
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Useful resources

    Articles:

    SOAS Guide

    Featured accommodation profiles:

    Scape Student Living

    Scape Student Living

    "Brand new super studios at Scape Shoreditch, three minutes away from Old Street station!"

    Quick links:

    Unanswered SOAS ThreadsFind out what student life in London is really like in students' own wordsStalking pages becomes University Connect, connect to other SOAS applicants now!

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.