Difference between 2:1 degree & 2:2 degree? Watch

Angelic_19
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I am about to start the GDL and i have a 2:2 English degree from Queen Mary,University of London.
As many law firms ask for a 2:1 degree, i realised i do not meet many law firms criteria.

However i was thinking that surely a 2:2 English degree from Queen Mary is alot better than a 2:1 degree from any of the lower ranking universities like Middlesex,Hertfordshire,Nottingh am Trent..or even Brunel.

So would an employer take a student from Nottingham Trent uni with a 2:1 degree over me?


Do you think employers take this into consideration?
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john williams
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no they wouldnt take someone from trent with a 2.1 they would take the person with the best grade and best uni, unless they were exceptional, however that trent person would at least be considered whereas anyone else with a 2.2 wouldnt.
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Angelic_19
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(Original post by john williams)
no they wouldnt take someone from trent with a 2.1 they would take the person with the best grade and best uni, unless they were exceptional, however that trent person would at least be considered whereas anyone else with a 2.2 wouldnt.

o.k im slightly confused.....:confused:
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Angelic_19
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Basically what i'm wondering is.... is my 2:2 degree from QM worth more than a 2:1 degree from a low ranking uni as the standard at Queen Mary is much higher.
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JohnyJ
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no its not worth more.
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RedM&M's
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To be honest, I don't think your degree is worth more just because it's from a slightly better university, than say Nottingham Trent, Brunel etc. If your were from Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc, which are known as the pecking order universities, I would say maybe. Law firms specify 2.1's and they mean it, unless you have mitigating circumstances - they have to be good and supported by your university. Obviously they take the university into account, but thats after you've met the entrance requirements. Some law firms will accept students with 2.2 (I would check the Chambers and Student guide), however, they have to be exceptional. By exceptional I mean mitigating circumstances, lots of impressive extra-curricular activities, job throughout uni, very clever just not academic....you get my drift. There are also lots of law firms which are not mentioned in the guide will which take students with 2.2's, however, they usually don't sponsor you through your GDL and LPC, and pay less - they may not be commercial, but more high street... Hope that answers it.
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Zebedee Funk
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I disagree...but it does depend on a lot of things, such as how high a 2:2 are we talking, how low are the uni's you're comparing to ranked in comparison to QM and how high the degrees are from that other uni. If say you have a v high 2:2, then comparing it with a v low 2:1 from a much lower ranked university, employers could easily regard yours as a superior degree.

While it might not automatically be considered better...it can be.
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Jennie84
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TBH, the Times GUG is a bit dodgy anyway - I mean, Aberdeen, 2nd behind Cambridge? With the greatest of respect to Aberdeen and its law department, I don't think that is really in step with the perception of most law firms.

The honest answer is, yes, your 2:2 will hinder you, and no, you won't look better than people from Nottingham Trent.

The irony is, a 2:1 from anywhere is viewed as much of a muchness. This is quite annoying for people who would have a much better chance at a 1st at an ex-poly, but chose to go to a "red brick" university instead.


Anyhoo, don't let it put you off. Do your research, get the experience and go for it. You only live once.
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always + forever
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To be honest, there are many many more training contract applicants than training contracts available. When a firm asks for a 2:1, they do mean it: they have to filter the applicants somehow. Whilst QM is definitely a "good" university, its not the best out there and whilst HR may reject 2:1s from TVU, they are likely to reject you too.

Whilst it is possible to get a TC with a 2:2, it will be hard hard work. Before you start the gdl I think you should have a think about whether you are prepared to (possibly) do both the gdl and lpc without a TC and end up paralegaling for several years before you secure a TC.
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Lush Law
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2.2s are simply not good enough for todays graduate career market. Far too many people get 2.1s so your chances of getting what you want, in many fields - not just Law, are slimmer with a 2.2. Gone are the days when a 2.2 was a perfectly respectable degree. I'm sorry but it's true.
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Alan Smithee
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Frankly, no. A 2.2 is not going to get you chosen over someone with a 2.1 from a lower ranked uni. The likelihood is none of you would be selected, especially you with the 2.2. When it comes to a 2.1, it depends on the type of 2.1.

2.2s should be rejected straight out of hand, unless, as someone mentioned earlier there are mitigating circumstances, OR, you have some exceptional ECs and work experience, with great references.
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totallylegal
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To answer your question, I've been told (and therefore it's only anecdotal evidence) by various law recruiters from a wide range of firms that a high 2.2 from my university (Durham) would be more appealing than a low 2.1 from lower ranked university, largely owing to the entrance requirements more than anything else. You have to be an impressive candidate to study at a higher ranked university.

You'll be fine on the GDL with a 2.2 provided you do well on the Diploma. I know plenty of people with crap A levels and a 2.2 who went on to achieve Commendations/Distinctions, and thereafter achieve training contracts.
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chalks
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(Original post by totallylegal)
To answer your question, I've been told (and therefore it's only anecdotal evidence) by various law recruiters from a wide range of firms that a high 2.2 from my university (Durham) would be more appealing than a low 2.1 from lower ranked university, largely owing to the entrance requirements more than anything else. You have to be an impressive candidate to study at a higher ranked university.

You'll be fine on the GDL with a 2.2 provided you do well on the Diploma. I know plenty of people with crap A levels and a 2.2 who went on to achieve Commendations/Distinctions, and thereafter achieve training contracts.
A good result on the GDL and/or LPC is not enough to overcome a poor university degree result (as I explained on your own thread on a similar topic). I am surprised that you know many people with 2:2s who have gone on to get training contracts, when there are so many excellent candidates out there with 2:1s.

How did you get on when you were applying for TCs when you were at Uni or Law School?
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totallylegal
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Chalks, I'm telling you that from my experience that a good result is enough to overcome a poor degree because I've seen it happen in numerous instances. It may not be enough in all circumstances, but it does happen, and quite frequently at that.

I'm in the process of writing a reply to my own thread where I will deal with yours and everybody else's replies.

I didn't apply for any TC's at university, only vac schemes and mini-pupillages. My experience ranges from a couple of weeks at a high end commercial law firm in Newcastle, experience with top ranked chambers in London (in criminal and regulatory), experience with mid-size firms working on company start ups and takeovers, and summer work in a property company advising on various employment law issues.

I applied for four mid-size training contracts at law school and got four interviews. Sadly, I didn't get any of them but it was heartening at least to make it to some second round interviews.

How about yourself, Chalks?
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john williams
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(Original post by Angelic_19)
o.k im slightly confused.....:confused:
why are you confused, i was basically saying that as you are asking what would be better rated for jobs, employers (in general) wouldnt consider a trent person, however that trent persons application would at least go through the initial application stage if they asked for a 2.1.
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rah2
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(Original post by totallylegal)
You'll be fine on the GDL with a 2.2 provided you do well on the Diploma. I know plenty of people with crap A levels and a 2.2 who went on to achieve Commendations/Distinctions, and thereafter achieve training contracts.
Everyone gets a commendation or distinction on the GDL, it is rare to just pass/fail. Don't go about giving such advice, starting the GDL with a 2.2 is a bad idea and more than likely a waste of 6k.
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someone_somewhere
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just to add something more to this thread... is a good degree result (first or high 2:1) enough to overcome poor A-level grades (like 280 UCAS points)??
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generalebriety
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(Original post by someone_somewhere)
just to add something more to this thread... is a good degree result (first or high 2:1) enough to overcome poor A-level grades (like 280 UCAS points)??
Depends entirely on the employer.
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Alan Smithee
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(Original post by someone_somewhere)
just to add something more to this thread... is a good degree result (first or high 2:1) enough to overcome poor A-level grades (like 280 UCAS points)??
It depends what you want to do.

If you have good experience as well as a first or HIGH 2.1 i.e. 68%, then I would say so.
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Leo_T
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Personally I think that you will find that a 2:2 hinders you in finding a training contract. Many city law firms and chambers specify that applicants must have at least a 2:1 degree - applicants with a 2:2 are likely to be weeded out at the first sift. This task often falls to administrative staff and is undertaken before applications are looked at in any detail.

I also think that you are wrong to suggest that a 2:2 from QM is a lot better than a 2:1 from a 'lesser university'. All universities are required to have their marks standardised by external examiners and you will find that there is more consistency between institutions in terms of what is expected to achieve a particular degree class than you might think.

The university you've attended may make some difference if you've studied at Oxbridge, Bristol, Durham and so on to the extent that an employer may distinguish between candidates with 2:1 degrees or better from various institutions. That said, I certainly don't think that you will find that employers will rank degree class and institution in the way you are suggesting - no employer is likely to have a recruitment policy where they deem that a 2:2 from QM is equivalent to a 2:1 from Hertfordshire.

I'm not suggesting that this applies in your case, but it's also possible that there might be a perception that, unless there are mitigating circumstances, candidates with a 2:2 have not applied themselves during their time at university.

I don't think that your 2:2 precludes you from a career in law, however it will restrict your choices when you apply for training contracts. Law is incredibly competitive and even if your degree could be considered equivalent to a 2:1 from a low ranking university - I think you have a lot more to worry about in terms of the applicants who have obtained 1st and 2:1 degrees from Oxbridge, Bristol etc. After all it does not assist you if a law firm thinks that your degree is equivalent to the 2:1 from Hertfordshire if both of you are passed over in favour of candidates with a stronger academic profile.

As for the GDL - it generally appears to be the case that employers place greater weight on your degree results, since they indicate your achievements over the course of three years of study rather than the one year of the GDL. I do think that good results on the GDL will improve your CV, but the GDL is a pretty tough year. In my year at BPP something like 5% of candidates achieved a distinction - I'm not sure about commendations, but I think there were more people who achieved a pass rather than a commendation.

Regarding the point about whether bad A Levels can be overcome by good degree results - in my experience a combination of strong extracurricular achievements, substantial work experience and excellent academic results from university onwards can make up for poor performance at A Level.
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