Feeling pretty lost about my Law Degree not being a QLD

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RaspberryPine
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Hello, I am wondering if anyone could share their experience or insight into my situation? I have been studying part time with the OU since 2011 and will complete my degree in June 2017 with Honours 2:1.

As the title says I am feeling pretty down about the degree not being within the 5 year limit in order for it to be a qualifying law degree as i seem to be hitting brick walls at every turn when looking into a legal career of some sort.

Could someone please tell me all is not lost? I have looked into the possible avaliable exemptions in order to make my degree a QLD with the OU and are not applicable in my case. I know solicitor is out of the window, I have been looking into Legal Executive but again for the fast track route I would need to have a QLD.

I am going to call CILEX tomorrow to see if they can help, even to do the LPC I would need to have a QLD. Has anyone else been in this situation? I don't want to settle in a job with my degree if there is a way i could push myself and have a more challenging career.
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
As the title says I am feeling pretty down about the degree not being within the 5 year limit in order for it to be a qualifying law degree as i seem to be hitting brick walls at every turn when looking into a legal career of some sort.
Are you sure the limit is 5 years?

The 'Academic Stage Handbook' on the SRA website states at Annex 4:

(Original post by Academic Stage Handbook)
Time-limits for completion of a Qualifying Law Degree

1.3 The maximum time limit for completion of a qualifying law degree (studied either full-time, part-time or by distance learning) is 6 years.
The Open University's website says the same thing - http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/q79:

(Original post by Open University)
By the end of your studies – provided that you complete your degree within six years – you’ll have a qualifying LLB (a requirement if you want to become a solicitor or barrister) and will be able to demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills that are highly prized by employers in all sectors.
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RaspberryPine
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Sorry yes I meant 6 years. My online record shows I started my firat course towards the degree on 5th Feb 2011. Calculating that I finish on 5th June 2017 that makes the duration 6 years, 4 months, 1 day including the end date. 😐

Eta - ive just emailed the OU to confirm this but I'm sure its correct as I've emailed in the past and considered if the exemptions apply.
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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by J-SP)
Does taking the GDL solve the problem?


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I will have a look into it, thank you
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999tigger
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
Hello, I am wondering if anyone could share their experience or insight into my situation? I have been studying part time with the OU since 2011 and will complete my degree in June 2017 with Honours 2:1.

As the title says I am feeling pretty down about the degree not being within the 5 year limit in order for it to be a qualifying law degree as i seem to be hitting brick walls at every turn when looking into a legal career of some sort.

Could someone please tell me all is not lost? I have looked into the possible avaliable exemptions in order to make my degree a QLD with the OU and are not applicable in my case. I know solicitor is out of the window, I have been looking into Legal Executive but again for the fast track route I would need to have a QLD.

I am going to call CILEX tomorrow to see if they can help, even to do the LPC I would need to have a QLD. Has anyone else been in this situation? I don't want to settle in a job with my degree if there is a way i could push myself and have a more challenging career.
What JSP said. Every year there are plenty of lawyers who dont do a QLD, but they just contact the SRA and find out what additional requirements are needed. Ring them today and explain the situation and they have the discretion to tailor something (notwithstanding the rules), the normal way would be doing some r all of the heads in the GDL.. I wouldnt give up at all.

If you ring them now, then you can probably find out by noon, whether the training regulations cater for this. Maybe this is already catered for in the sol handbook? I thought the difference between a qualifying and non qualifying degree was simply you had not covered certain of the compulsory heads. Passing those voa GDL would make it qualifying. I cnat sya about the 5 years would have to look at the regulations, but the SRA will let you know.
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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by 999tigger)
What JSP said. Every year there are plenty of lawyers who dont do a QLD, but they just contact the SRA and find out what additional requirements are needed. Ring them today and explain the situation and they have the discretion to tailor something (notwithstanding the rules), the normal way would be doing some r all of the heads in the GDL.. I wouldnt give up at all.

If you ring them now, then you can probably find out by noon, whether the training regulations cater for this. Maybe this is already catered for in the sol handbook? I thought the difference between a qualifying and non qualifying degree was simply you had not covered certain of the compulsory heads. Passing those voa GDL would make it qualifying. I cnat sya about the 5 years would have to look at the regulations, but the SRA will let you know.
thank you for your post, it is very encoraging. I am going to give them a call and try and clarify today. It is very isolating studying on your own via the OU, with regards to searching for career information etc it has been a lot of googling and getting confused.
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999tigger
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
thank you for your post, it is very encoraging. I am going to give them a call and try and clarify today. It is very isolating studying on your own via the OU, with regards to searching for career information etc it has been a lot of googling and getting confused.
Have you actually had it confirmed your degree is non qualifying?
have the OU or the SRA confirmed this?

Ok looked again and see Forumuser pointed out about QLD being six years.

It seems you can contact the SRA, but you can also ask the OU to count it as a QLD in exceptional circumstances. You will probably have to make a written submission about why you couldnt complete in time. Talk to them informally forst to see how amenable they are. Think about soem reasons which slowed or prevented you studying, anything to do with mental health, medical, family crisis etc.

It appears there is some discretion.

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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Have you actually had it confirmed your degree is non qualifying?
have the OU or the SRA confirmed this?

Ok looked again and see Forumuser pointed out about QLD being six years.

It seems you can contact the SRA, but you can also ask the OU to count it as a QLD in exceptional circumstances. You will probably have to make a written submission about why you couldnt complete in time. Talk to them informally forst to see how amenable they are. Think about soem reasons which slowed or prevented you studying, anything to do with mental health, medical, family crisis etc.

It appears there is some discretion.

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I have had it confirmed in the past from the OU. I looked into the exceptional circumstances but they didnt apply to me. In all honesty i did the first module in 2011 and couldnt afford to srudy during 2012 but continued through 2013, 2014 & 2015. Now im doing my final module with a finisb date of 2017. Also the start dates of the coursea changed from Feb to October so that stretched out the duration.
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999tigger
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
I have had it confirmed in the past from the OU. I looked into the exceptional circumstances but they didnt apply to me. In all honesty i did the first module in 2011 and couldnt afford to srudy during 2012 but continued through 2013, 2014 & 2015. Now im doing my final module with a finisb date of 2017. Also the start dates of the coursea changed from Feb to October so that stretched out the duration.
You dont really have anything to lose. You are a lawyer, so fight it.
If they changed the start dates for the course, then claim you would have finished within the limits, but them changing the course dates made it from a QLD to one beyond that.

Also talk to the SRA now (and I mean ring them now) and get their views on any leeway. Clearly its an important issue for you, so I cnat see why you wouldnt be on the phone to them right now?
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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by J-SP)
This! I suspect there are a series of options here:

1) resit your first module and take it within the timeframe required to make it a QLD with your other modules

2) badger the SRA to get an exemption of their policy - use the fact you couldn't afford to do it quicker as a starting point. Considering they are pushing for social mobility issues at the moment, this might hit a nerve with them ( a good one!)

3) potentially go via the GDL as a last resort.


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1) I dont have time to resit anything to fit the time frame.

2) I am going to sit down and write out my argument/ justification for my degree being a QLD and call them.

3) this is something I am also going to look into and call them, alolng with CILEX to see which exemptions my degree will give me.
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
1) I dont have time to resit anything to fit the time frame.
I don't think that is what J-SP meant.

If there was some way of getting that first module you took off your transcript in some way, then your degree would be a QLD because you would have completed it between 2013 and 2017, well within the six year time limit.

Presumably you could have started your degree completely afresh in 2013, if you had wanted to do so? That is all you are really trying to do here.
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john2054
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
Hello, I am wondering if anyone could share their experience or insight into my situation? I have been studying part time with the OU since 2011 and will complete my degree in June 2017 with Honours 2:1.

As the title says I am feeling pretty down about the degree not being within the 5 year limit in order for it to be a qualifying law degree as i seem to be hitting brick walls at every turn when looking into a legal career of some sort.

Could someone please tell me all is not lost? I have looked into the possible avaliable exemptions in order to make my degree a QLD with the OU and are not applicable in my case. I know solicitor is out of the window, I have been looking into Legal Executive but again for the fast track route I would need to have a QLD.

I am going to call CILEX tomorrow to see if they can help, even to do the LPC I would need to have a QLD. Has anyone else been in this situation? I don't want to settle in a job with my degree if there is a way i could push myself and have a more challenging career.
How do you know you will get a 2.1? How can you be so sure?
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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by john2054)
How do you know you will get a 2.1? How can you be so sure?
Because all Level 3 core modules are done and I have had the 2:1 confirmed with the OU.

ETA I am now just finishing off with a level 1 60 point course in order to make up the Honours part of the degree, which can be taken in any subject at any level.
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RaspberryPine
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(Original post by Forum User)
I don't think that is what J-SP meant.

If there was some way of getting that first module you took off your transcript in some way, then your degree would be a QLD because you would have completed it between 2013 and 2017, well within the six year time limit.

Presumably you could have started your degree completely afresh in 2013, if you had wanted to do so? That is all you are really trying to do here.
Ah I see, sorry. I will email the OU and ask if anything can be done.
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john2054
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
Because all Level 3 core modules are done and I have had the 2:1 confirmed with the OU.

ETA I am now just finishing off with a level 1 60 point course in order to make up the Honours part of the degree, which can be taken in any subject at any level.
Cool, i'm sorry for doubting you. I'm not sure, but i don't know if open university degrees are as regarded as highly, as actual taught programs? You may want to get a place on a masters somewhere, and continue your education in this case?
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by john2054)
Cool, i'm sorry for doubting you. I'm not sure, but i don't know if open university degrees are as regarded as highly, as actual taught programs? You may want to get a place on a masters somewhere, and continue your education in this case?
That seems like a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut (and one which the OP doesn't seem to be focusing on right now). The Open University is perfectly fine - it's not like attending an ex-poly.
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RaspberryPine
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Ok so I emailed the University of Law yesterday to get some clarification on whether I would be able to apply for the LPC. Here is the response:


I can confirm that as part of your LPC application you will need to provide evidence to us that your university exercised discretion within their own regulations/policies to grant a time limit extension to complete the degree in accordance with the SRA guidelines. You will have the option to upload any documents from the SRA or your University as well as full degree transcripts to your application to confirm that your degree is still considered a Qualifying Law Degree. This information will then need to be reviewed by our selection panel with your application.

Then I had another email as I must have sent 2 emails:



If you do not hold a qualifying law degree you will not be eligible to apply for the Legal Practice Course (LPC), you would be required to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) first. For information regarding the GDL including eligibility requirements, please refer to our website via the following link:



http://www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate/gdl/



If you wish to seek exemptions on our GDL you will need to submit a GDL application on our website as normal.



How to apply - http://www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate/ap...aduate-course/



When you make your application there will be a section to complete regarding any exemptions you wish to be considered for. Please attach your full degree transcripts, certificate and syllabus to your application. Once we receive your application we will forward it onto our Selection Panel for their attention.



Please note that we are unable to consider Tier 4 students requesting exemptions on our full-time GDL.

So it looks like I really need to fight for the exemption with the OU and SRA and see what outcome I can get.
Then if that doesn't work apply for the GDL and see what exemptions I would get.
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john2054
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
That seems like a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut (and one which the OP doesn't seem to be focusing on right now). The Open University is perfectly fine - it's not like attending an ex-poly.
you had to get that in huh?>
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(Original post by john2054)
you had to get that in huh?>
I didn't really think twice about it to be honest.
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999tigger
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(Original post by RaspberryPine)
Ok so I emailed the University of Law yesterday to get some clarification on whether I would be able to apply for the LPC. Here is the response:


I can confirm that as part of your LPC application you will need to provide evidence to us that your university exercised discretion within their own regulations/policies to grant a time limit extension to complete the degree in accordance with the SRA guidelines. You will have the option to upload any documents from the SRA or your University as well as full degree transcripts to your application to confirm that your degree is still considered a Qualifying Law Degree. This information will then need to be reviewed by our selection panel with your application.

Then I had another email as I must have sent 2 emails:



If you do not hold a qualifying law degree you will not be eligible to apply for the Legal Practice Course (LPC), you would be required to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) first. For information regarding the GDL including eligibility requirements, please refer to our website via the following link:



http://www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate/gdl/



If you wish to seek exemptions on our GDL you will need to submit a GDL application on our website as normal.



How to apply - http://www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate/ap...aduate-course/



When you make your application there will be a section to complete regarding any exemptions you wish to be considered for. Please attach your full degree transcripts, certificate and syllabus to your application. Once we receive your application we will forward it onto our Selection Panel for their attention.



Please note that we are unable to consider Tier 4 students requesting exemptions on our full-time GDL.

So it looks like I really need to fight for the exemption with the OU and SRA and see what outcome I can get.
Then if that doesn't work apply for the GDL and see what exemptions I would get.
I am baffled why you would do that, when I and others told you what was needed? You are a lawyer, this is just a problem you need to solve. You do that through research and rational thinking, whih are the skills you use on your degree.

1. If the OU make it qualifying, then you have no problem.
2. SRA have some discretion as to what they might accept. The SRA will tell you what remedial measures (if any) can be applied if they will not accept it.

You should already have been feeling your way by contacting both as to what the rules are, collecting the forms and preparing your case.

The UoL is bound by its own rules and those of the SRA. It cant make a degree a QLD if the OU have not or if the SRA is unwilling to recognise it.

Ps. Dont worry about the OU its a perfectly good law degree, but obviously things are very competitive. You would be just as well if not better off by getting experience.
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