I'm a third year UCL Law undergrad on track for a first, ask me anything Watch

AlexandraW96
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I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
Legend.

How useful do you find textbooks, if at all?

How difficult was it to gain any form of experience thus far!

What have been the most fun things to do in London?
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Cubone-r
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
Don't **** it up now then.
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Jasaron
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
What's the difference between a student that gets a first and a student that gets a 2:1 in your opinion?
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
Legend.

How useful do you find textbooks, if at all?

How difficult was it to gain any form of experience thus far!

What have been the most fun things to do in London?
Textbooks - the lecturers at UCL are brilliant. You really will be taught by some of the best and they do currently have pressure to improve the student satisfaction score at UCL so they are obligated to try harder to respond to your question and create straightforward lecture slides. Quite honestly, if you're only aiming for a 2:1, you technically could do it just on the lecture information. But I wouldn't recommend this - textbooks are useful to get critics' opinions, as well as an overview of all the key cases, so are quite helpful with structure and making sense of things.

Experience - I assume you mean work experience, and not that hard. It depends on how much work you're willing to put in. Speaking to employers and mentioning that you do Law at UCL always gets a positive response, and it's well-known in Singapore/Australia/USA, so if you wanted to do a postgrad there that's also quite straightforward.

London - oh, I personally love it. But I can see why some people wouldn't. I think the key thing is to make a solid group of real friends (not fresher friends) and then the city's your oyster. I love the underground/little bars you can find that are far more reasonably priced than the Mayfair nonsense, as well as the food scene. Even if you're on your own, there's so many art galleries etc, and you feel like you are a part of the city rather than the city serving just the uni. However it does feel claustrophobic sometimes just because it's vast and very dense.
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by mangatardallys)
Don't **** it up now then.
Haha I say this to myself everyday!
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by Jasaron)
What's the difference between a student that gets a first and a student that gets a 2:1 in your opinion?
I think there are 2 main differences between a 2:1 essay and a 1st essay:

a) Structure, structure, structure
b) But what do YOU think?

I can probably say that most of my degree is teaching how to structure an argumentative essay in the most persuasive way possible. You need to be able to write an essay under timed conditions that advances a particular argument AND quotes the relevant sources. The 'floweryness' of the language does not matter - it can be very simple and short sentences, but if you essay is structured beautifully and your argument has flow = 1st.

Critical thinking - it's not enough to just outline the relevant cases to the question. You really need to develop a personal opinion about WHERE the law is going, WHAT does this mean for the future, and WHY was a particularly decision made when it seemingly goes against all legal logic. Don't worry about being wrong - no one knows what's going to happen in the future, so unless it's completely illogical, they'll mark you up for the effort. It is only undergrad, after all.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
Plans after grad? i.e. TC secured or further study or some other grad job.

Best memory of your time at UCL?

What were your coursemates like? To what extent did they fit the aggressive/competitive stereotype?

How do you spend your free time at uni?

What are you doing this summer? (any vac schemes, minis, an internship?)

Are you happy with choosing law or wish you chose some other subject then converted?


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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Plans after grad? i.e. TC secured or further study or some other grad job.

Best memory of your time at UCL?

What were your coursemates like? To what extent did they fit the aggressive/competitive stereotype?

How do you spend your free time at uni?

What are you doing this summer? (any vac schemes, minis, an internship?)

Are you happy with choosing law or wish you chose some other subject then converted?


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Plans - hopefully further study at Oxbridge/LSE or the USA universities. I really want to do a Masters in Chinese Law/East Asian International Relations as well as keep up my language skills.

Best memory - honestly, it's been the friends I've made. I met one of my close friends and second year flatmate in the first week of Freshers as a total coincidence, and I ended up visiting her in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for this year's New Years. It was incredible - UCL's international student body really introduces you to people you never would have otherwise met.

Coursemates - I think it's good to remember people change drastically over time at university. Law students will always be competitive at first, but remember you're all in the same boat, and the subject is hard for everyone. It's true that law students are a clique in themselves, but it's because we need moral support from each other sometimes haha. Sometimes there will be someone in your year you didn't meet at all in first year who ends up randomly joining your tutorial as a catch-up session, and you end up being best friends (and they save your second year grades because they are insanely clever).

Free time - try to establish a routine as early on as possible, as I genuinely believe the lack of consistency at university contributes to harming mental health. I like sports, so I play lacrosse a couple times a week, and I really enjoy the exercise classes at the Student Central Union. There's also an amazing Waterstones near UCL where I often go browse books or catch up on studying. If all else fails, I call up a friend and see if they're free for coffee or lunch - everyone lives in the same area around uni so this is really easy.

Summer - I'm in Singapore at the moment visiting family, but I'll be going to Shanghai in August fully-funded on the UK Government Study China Programme to study Mandarin Chinese and Business at East China Normal University for the month. No vac schemes because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go straight into the LPC after graduation, and second year was very tough for me mentally.

Happiness - my answer to this changes depending on what time of the year it is (i.e, during exam season, resounding NO), but I am glad I chose to do it. Personally, I think it's harder to convert from another subject when you could just do it from the beginning, and you get all sorts of exposure and inside tips during your law degree that you would have to actively seek out otherwise. It's also a degree that teaches you great skills. Yes, it can be dry, but it is rewarding when you do well in a subject as challenging as Law. My ex did very badly this year (2:2s and 3rds) but that was only because he didn't take it that seriously, never went to lectures and started revising less than a week before exams. Put in the effort, befriend the smart people, and most importantly, enjoy.
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togouni2017
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
Plans - hopefully further study at Oxbridge/LSE or the USA universities. I really want to do a Masters in Chinese Law/East Asian International Relations as well as keep up my language skills.

Best memory - honestly, it's been the friends I've made. I met one of my close friends and second year flatmate in the first week of Freshers as a total coincidence, and I ended up visiting her in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for this year's New Years. It was incredible - UCL's international student body really introduces you to people you never would have otherwise met.

Coursemates - I think it's good to remember people change drastically over time at university. Law students will always be competitive at first, but remember you're all in the same boat, and the subject is hard for everyone. It's true that law students are a clique in themselves, but it's because we need moral support from each other sometimes haha. Sometimes there will be someone in your year you didn't meet at all in first year who ends up randomly joining your tutorial as a catch-up session, and you end up being best friends (and they save your second year grades because they are insanely clever).

Free time - try to establish a routine as early on as possible, as I genuinely believe the lack of consistency at university contributes to harming mental health. I like sports, so I play lacrosse a couple times a week, and I really enjoy the exercise classes at the Student Central Union. There's also an amazing Waterstones near UCL where I often go browse books or catch up on studying. If all else fails, I call up a friend and see if they're free for coffee or lunch - everyone lives in the same area around uni so this is really easy.

Summer - I'm in Singapore at the moment visiting family, but I'll be going to Shanghai in August fully-funded on the UK Government Study China Programme to study Mandarin Chinese and Business at East China Normal University for the month. No vac schemes because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go straight into the LPC after graduation, and second year was very tough for me mentally.

Happiness - my answer to this changes depending on what time of the year it is (i.e, during exam season, resounding NO), but I am glad I chose to do it. Personally, I think it's harder to convert from another subject when you could just do it from the beginning, and you get all sorts of exposure and inside tips during your law degree that you would have to actively seek out otherwise. It's also a degree that teaches you great skills. Yes, it can be dry, but it is rewarding when you do well in a subject as challenging as Law. My ex did very badly this year (2:2s and 3rds) but that was only because he didn't take it that seriously, never went to lectures and started revising less than a week before exams. Put in the effort, befriend the smart people, and most importantly, enjoy.

Did you break up with him over his attitude to academics?
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by togouni2017)
Did you break up with him over his attitude to academics?
Haha, no not exactly. It was more that his irresponsible attitude was not solely limited to academics, but also his personal life, and I decided I wanted someone reliable and stable when it comes to personal relationships at least.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by AlexandraW96)
I can give hopefully helpful advice for applications, the degree itself, and uni life in London
Congrats on your (hopefully future) degree classification! I'm sure that Oxbridge or LSE would be lucky to have you for their postgrad courses.

Do you have any special advice for current undergrad applicants? Any tips on the application itself, the LNAT, or how you got around to choosing UCL?
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by JohnGreek)
Congrats on your (hopefully future) degree classification! I'm sure that Oxbridge or LSE would be lucky to have you for their postgrad courses.

Do you have any special advice for current undergrad applicants? Any tips on the application itself, the LNAT, or how you got around to choosing UCL?
Thank you, that is very kind!

Personal statement - because Law accepts applications from all sorts of backgrounds, I think the best way to make yourself stand out is if you show how your current subject interests enable you to want to do a Law degree. For me, I was always very good at languages and I tailored this to show I was interested in the social sciences of those respective countries as well, which led to my interest in law. Even science subjects can show an interest in logical reasoning.

LNAT - honestly, I was a bit naive at 16/17. I put down four LNAT universities and only after discovered how difficult they actually would be in theory to get into. Do a lot of practice tests, and your score tends to be what you get in the end anyway. I was scoring 26s in practice tests and ended up with a 25.

Choosing UCL - so my original 5 were Oxford, UCL, Durham, Bristol and Warwick (I know, I really went for it, and it was more out of cluelessness than anything). I got to the interview stage for Oxford and then was rejected (</3, although I definitely think I wouldn't have survived undergraduate law at Oxford, all your law exams at the end of 3 years???). I got offers from the other four. I was less keen on Warwick because I didn't like the campus, and Bristol had actually offered me AAA/A*AB, and it was likely at the time that I would at worst get A*AB. So Bristol would be my insurance. It was between Durham and UCL in the end, and because of UCL's international reputation as opposed to Durham, I picked UCL. I had also greatly enjoyed the campus there and liked the fact that I was in central London. I ended up getting A*A*B (with A* in EPQ) and UCL had to defer my entry by one year, so I could have gone straight to Bristol, but I took the gap year instead. I have no regrets as UCL has been very intellectually stimulating and I have met so many amazing international people.
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31Mike
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If you don't mind, what were your predicted grades?Also, what did you include in your personal statement that you think set you apart from others? Did you do legal work experience at the time?
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by 31Mike)
If you don't mind, what were your predicted grades?Also, what did you include in your personal statement that you think set you apart from others? Did you do legal work experience at the time?
Predicted grades - A*A*A with an A* in my EPQ, 9A* 2A at GCSE (but I didn't get a great grade in my Maths AS lol)

Personal statement - I was always very linguistic. I think what set me apart was I learnt Mandarin Chinese at school and took the brave decision to be the first student to take it to A Level. I also had a sixth form scholarship for modern foreign languages, and my EPQ was on a social science topic (education for autistic children in UK and China). I also read and commented on a couple of political theory books - definitely read those, they're very useful for the LNAT since the LNAT will almost inevitably have a question like "Does society really need law?" or something similar. It sounds like I've done a lot of things but really they want to see you're a well-rounded person with actual, real interest in academia, that you can then link to law.

Legal work experience - I did a one week stint at Norton Rose Fulbright, but honestly, any part time job will do as long as you have kept it down for longer than just a few weeks. They want to see that you can commit to a job, and have career aspirations, more than anything.
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31Mike
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Thank you that is very helpful. I hope to be predicted A*AA in September but in case I'm predicted AAA, do you know anyone currently doing law at ucl that was predicted AAA and still managed to get an offer?

How do you find the relatively smaller number of law students (compared to other unis)?

when you started practicing for your LNAT, did you always get around 25?
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AlexandraW96
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(Original post by 31Mike)
Thank you that is very helpful. I hope to be predicted A*AA in September but in case I'm predicted AAA, do you know anyone currently doing law at ucl that was predicted AAA and still managed to get an offer?

How do you find the relatively smaller number of law students (compared to other unis)?

when you started practicing for your LNAT, did you always get around 25?
I don't know people who were predicted lower than A*AA to begin with (but it's hard to say because I'm friends with mostly internationally qualified people) however I do know a few cases of missed offers who were still accepted. The smaller intake I think means if you get the offer in the first place, you are likely to be accepted anyway.

Smaller law school - I actually quite like it because it's less overwhelming and it does feel more collegiate as a result. There's also less UCL lawyers around generally so it feels kind of 'special.' Being in London, it's easy to befriend people from other unis as well if you happen to not get along with people around you.

LNAT - I did literary subjects at A Levels so in a way I already had the skills you need for the LNAT. I think I never got below 20 in practice tests. It uses the same skills as English Literature which I liked.
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31Mike
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Thank you for your help 😁
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ArBell
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How long do you take to revise for your exams? 1 month? 6 weeks? 2 weeks?
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ALevelLad99
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I was researching Law at UCL and was drawn to the fact that in the third year there is the opportunity to study abroad in either New York, Singapore, Hong Kong or Sydney. Do you know anyone who did this and how competitive it is because I really like the sound of it but don't want to get drawn to UCL if it is very hard to get the abroad study.

Thanks for your help.
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