First from top RG vs 2:1 from Oxbridge

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username1658559
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#1
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#1
What would you say looks more attractive to law firms, First class honours from a top RG (Durham, Bristol, LSE) or a 2:1 from Oxford or Cambridge

Law degree, applying for VC/TC
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(Original post by J-SP)
The first every time.

Not that either factor decides on how an application is viewed though.

You need a lot more than a 2.1 or a first to have a successful application
Ah ok, thanks for the response!
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RedGiant
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The value of the name of the uni that you studied at, such as 'Oxbridge', fades over time. Your degree class won't however. The fact that you graduated from Oxbridge is good for when you're a graduate, but that's partly only because at that age you don't really have much real/practical experience, so employers like to see the name "Oxbridge" on a graduate's CV. But even then, someone from a top RG uni is still just as impressive really. A similar thing supposedly happens with A Level grades sometimes, for some competitive roles at big companies that receive a huge number of applications. But again, this fades over time. At the end of the day, it's experience that is a very significant factor for when applying to jobs.

Also, quite simply, a lot of employers don't actually care what your degree itself is. But rather, simply that you have undergraduate education.
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(Original post by RedGiant)
The value of the name of the uni that you studied at, such as 'Oxbridge', fades over time. Your degree class won't however. The fact that you graduated from Oxbridge is good for when you're a graduate, but that's partly only because at that age you don't really have much real/practical experience, so employers like to see the name "Oxbridge" on a graduate's CV. But even then, someone from a top RG uni is still just as impressive really. A similar thing supposedly happens with A Level grades sometimes, for some competitive roles at big companies that receive a huge number of applications. But again, this fades over time. At the end of the day, it's experience that is a very significant factor for when applying to jobs.
Thank you for the response. I suppose by 'experience' you are referring to work experience?
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RedGiant
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(Original post by oli19919)
Thank you for the response. I suppose by 'experience' you are referring to work experience?
Well, for work experience, I don't mean the sort of work experience you did in year 10, nor the sort that you did over the summer while you were still in school. I'm talking about having spent a number of years working (as a career), in other words how many years you've had a job for. That's definitely not to say the former type of work experience isn't important though, it can be potentially very useful and valuable if you're a graduate. Placements you did while at uni are even better. But it's often the pure number of years you've been working that employers will like. Hence you see on many job adverts "5 or more years working in the cyber-security sector" or similar, as a requirement/"highly desirable".
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Notoriety
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(Original post by oli19919)
What would you say looks more attractive to law firms, First class honours from a top RG (Durham, Bristol, LSE) or a 2:1 from Oxford or Cambridge

Law degree, applying for VC/TC
According to CUG the standard entry at LSE is higher than that at Oxford. The people at each uni are not that different; one group was simply lucky enough to be given an offer. I think this is quite unique for the law course, where in contrast the average history student at X might be on AAA and the average Oxfordian A*A*AA.

So taking in mind that the two groups are not that different for law, it stands to reason the assessment rigour is not that different either. The similarly qualified LSE student who achieves a 71% is likely performing at a higher standard than a similarly qualified Oxford student who achieves a 65%. Of course, the student with the first should be given a preference.

The only firms which don't correspond with this logic are the boutique or the hyper-prestigious medium-sized firms. They love their lawyer profiles to be adorned with the Oxbridge brand.
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(Original post by J-SP)
The grades will always win out.

People think Oxbridge hold some kind of premium, but it doesn’t really. It’s just an awful lot of very clever and highly motivated people go there and that translates through to many of those successful people being recruited. Plus anyone who goes there is practically guaranteed a 2.1.

Plus firms rarely look at it as a 2.1 or a 1st - they are looking at individual module grades. Someone who scrapes a 2.1 with a 59.6 average is very different to someone who misses out on a First with a 69.4 average.

In short the comparison in the OP doesn’t actually happen in real life.
Ok, thanks. Btw, would you say there is almost no difference in terms of reputation between LSE, Bristol and Durham, or do you think one of the three stands out as better than the other two?
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username1658559
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(Original post by RedGiant)
Well, for work experience, I don't mean the sort of work experience you did in year 10, nor the sort that you did over the summer while you were still in school. I'm talking about having spent a number of years working (as a career), in other words how many years you've had a job for. That's definitely not to say the former type of work experience isn't important though, it can be potentially very useful and valuable if you're a graduate. Placements you did while at uni are even better. But it's often the pure number of years you've been working that employers will like. Hence you see on many job adverts "5 or more years working in the cyber-security sector" or similar, as a requirement/"highly desirable".
OK, thanks very much. Would 'informal' work experience (i.e. not a VC or specific scheme) undertaken in the first year of a degree still hold some weight on a CV/be worth putting down?
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#9
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(Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
According to CUG the standard entry at LSE is higher than that at Oxford. The people at each uni are not that different; one group was simply lucky enough to be given an offer. I think this is quite unique for the law course, where in contrast the average history student at X might be on AAA and the average Oxfordian A*A*AA.

So taking in mind that the two groups are not that different for law, it stands to reason the assessment rigour is not that different either. The similarly qualified LSE student who achieves a 71% is likely performing at a higher standard than a similarly qualified Oxford student who achieves a 65%. Of course, the student with the first should be given a preference.

The only firms which don't correspond with this logic are the boutique or the hyper-prestigious medium-sized firms. They love their lawyer profiles to be adorned with the Oxbridge brand.
Oh right thanks very much!
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username2281157
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Definitely the latter
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ThatNerd
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This is actually a major reason that is putting me off applying to Cambridge next year. I've heard and spoke to many people that have went there and each and every one of them said that the course they did was extremely difficult. I think its a mixture of the fact that Oxbridge terms are short coupled with the insane workload they were given - and these are incredibly intelligent people that got 2, 3 and sometimes 4 A Stars at A Level. I'm being encouraged by friends, family and teachers to go but I'm wondering if I would do better elsewhere. Go to a uni where I can do academically well while also 100% enjoying my time there (not being constantly weighed down by the never ending work).

From what I've read it seems the majority think a 1st from a good russell group would be better that an Oxbridge 2:1. But what about a 2:1 from from a top russel group and a 2:2 from Oxbridge? Don't employers take into account the level of difficulty between the courses as Oxbridge tend to push their students a whole lot more from what I hear? Any opinions?
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Parliament
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100% Oxbridge

You literally sail through graduate recruitment - it's borderline unfair the extent to which RG candidates aren't given the opportunity to compete. As soon as someone in HR talent sees Oxbridge on a CV (provided you have a First or 2.i) you seem to pass CV review instantly and they get extremely interested in you as a candidate.

I'm graduating from Cambridge this year and I've been in the grad scheme meat grinder recently. I'd say I'm a pretty strong applicant in terms of everything outside my degree (work experience etc) but not as strong as a lot of RG grads I've been competing against. The other week I was interviewing against ~25 top RG grads for a consultancy position. I was the youngest person there; they mostly had masters/prior jobs/etc and I only have my BA and a couple of internships, but I was offered ahead of all of them. This surprised me a lot and I asked their recruiters why; their opinion was that Oxbridge grads are taught to think rather than just rote-learning content for their degrees and so are much better hires. So as soon as they see Oxbridge on a CV, they're immediately drawn to them above other unis.
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Parliament
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What makes you think Law is bizarrely immune to Oxbridge being targeted by recruiters?


(Original post by J-SP)
This contrasts against every sector in graduate recruitment I have seen. I’d love to know which organisation this was for.
I'm not going to share their name on here, obviously...

Can confirm that this is - rightly or wrongly, which is a separate issue - the case for a large number of softer sectors I applied for (banking, consulting, professional services, advertising etc)

eg many consultants have dedicated recruitment teams for Oxbridge and they network aggressively with graduating students cf. https://careers.bain.com/bainonyourc...contactId=1668 ('We have a long-standing tradition of recruiting talented graduates from the University of Cambridge')
w/ https://careers.bain.com/bainonyourc...ntactId=613369 ('Unfortunately, there isn’t an active recruiting team on campus')
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Doones
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(Original post by oli19919)
Ok, thanks.
Just to add that J-SP is a legal recruiter who knows this stuff
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username1658559
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Just to add that J-SP is a legal recruiter who knows this stuff
Haha thank you. I've always seen posts from him all over the law-related forums and he's always seen so knowledgeable...always wondered what his job is
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GovernmentEarner
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I haven’t looked at the replies but I’m sure it’s the classic ‘1st is better than just the Oxbridge brand’.

The reality is a 2:1 from Oxbridge requires a higher workload than a 1st from most RG uni’s.

I know people at both, in similar subjects.

Friend (A) Goes to Oxford, got 3A* at A Level.
Friend A works 10 hours a day. Friend A is working at a Mid 2:1.

Friend (B) goes to a mid-tier Russell Group uni, got AAA at A Level. Friend B works 6 hours a day. Friend B is working at a low 1st.

Friend A is
1) Naturally smarter (I can vouch for that)
2) Works harder
3) But is getting worse grades

Why?
Oxbridge students are typically the best in the country. They are only getting compared in exams to other Oxbridge candidates. Essentially the best vs the best.

It’s a bit different for LSE, Imperial and UCL. I know someone at LSE studying Economics and they admit Economics at Cambridge requires much more work. But the gap is much smaller between Oxbridge and these 3 uni’s.

So despite what people say 2:1 Oxbridge requires a much greater workload for a 1st at even RG uni’s. But the gap is much smaller at the top of the RG when it comes to LSE, UCL, ICL a first is still very hard and is probably better than a 2:1 from Oxbridge.
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paul514
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(Original post by oli19919)
What would you say looks more attractive to law firms, First class honours from a top RG (Durham, Bristol, LSE) or a 2:1 from Oxford or Cambridge

Law degree, applying for VC/TC
A first obviously
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TimmonaPortella
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It's a really pointless and tedious question tbh. If you get the chance to go to Oxbridge, go. If you don't, don't -- you'll be fine. Wherever you go, get a first if you can. If you don't, you'll be fine. As has been pointed out, generally it comes down to other things.

Personally I have a vague sense that Oxbridge might have made it easier for me to get into a couple of pupillage interviews when I was applying, but by the time you reach that point you can't change your degree anyway.
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lordofbutthurt
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(Original post by Parliament)
What makes you think Law is bizarrely immune to Oxbridge being targeted by recruiters?




I'm not going to share their name on here, obviously...

Can confirm that this is - rightly or wrongly, which is a separate issue - the case for a large number of softer sectors I applied for (banking, consulting, professional services, advertising etc)

eg many consultants have dedicated recruitment teams for Oxbridge and they network aggressively with graduating students cf. https://careers.bain.com/bainonyourc...contactId=1668 ('We have a long-standing tradition of recruiting talented graduates from the University of Cambridge'
w/ https://careers.bain.com/bainonyourc...ntactId=613369 ('Unfortunately, there isn’t an active recruiting team on campus'
Without wanting to sound like a butthurt RGdrone and not really disagreeing with the first part I'd just like to point out the long-standing tradition thing is generic text it has for multiple unis e.g. it comes up for newcastle, york, nottingham.
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(Original post by GovernmentEarner)
I haven’t looked at the replies but I’m sure it’s the classic ‘1st is better than just the Oxbridge brand’.

The reality is a 2:1 from Oxbridge requires a higher workload than a 1st from most RG uni’s.

I know people at both, in similar subjects.

Friend (A) Goes to Oxford, got 3A* at A Level.
Friend A works 10 hours a day. Friend A is working at a Mid 2:1.

Friend (B) goes to a mid-tier Russell Group uni, got AAA at A Level. Friend B works 6 hours a day. Friend B is working at a low 1st.

Friend A is
1) Naturally smarter (I can vouch for that)
2) Works harder
3) But is getting worse grades

Why?
Oxbridge students are typically the best in the country. They are only getting compared in exams to other Oxbridge candidates. Essentially the best vs the best.

It’s a bit different for LSE, Imperial and UCL. I know someone at LSE studying Economics and they admit Economics at Cambridge requires much more work. But the gap is much smaller between Oxbridge and these 3 uni’s.

So despite what people say 2:1 Oxbridge requires a much greater workload for a 1st at even RG uni’s. But the gap is much smaller at the top of the RG when it comes to LSE, UCL, ICL a first is still very hard and is probably better than a 2:1 from Oxbridge.
If you read my response, this is already dealt with. The question relates purely to the "top RG" for law. It is quite pointless to then answer the question as it is an average RG, in a subject other than law. For law, the top RGs are incredibly close to Oxbridge. It really is almost a lottery which decides if you go to Oxbridge or LSE. As I stated in the previous post, in fact LSE's standard entry is higher than Oxford's.

A friend of mine had A*A*A*A* and was rejected from Cambridge. Graduated with the highest first from LSE, and then graduated top of his year on an Oxbridge PG. He was absolutely Oxbridge-worthy, and the only reason he never got in was because of the sheer volume of high-quality students applying for Oxbridge law, and applying elsewhere. Conversely, there are A*AA or A*A*A students at Cambridge.
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