Sarah2340
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Hi guys,

I am currently in the third year of my University undergrad degree in Philosophy and am looking to study law at postgrad level, but I would like the qualification to include a qualifying law degree. So far I have come across the University of Bristol which do a two year course which also gives you a qualifying law degree at the end. The University of Law also do an MA law with qualification but it is a one year course.
I was wondering which one would look better/ is better to do?

Many thanks
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Notoriety
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The two-year course is more legit, especially as it's from Bristol.

That said, if your undergrad is strong enough, the UoL MA route will work. But it is an "MA" in name only. It incorporates the GDL and they've made it a master's in order to attract SLC funding. However, it is not respected as a master's; only as much as a GDL would be.
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Sarah2340
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Hey, thanks for your reply!

Do you think a 2:1 from the Uni of Warwick would be strong enough?
Also, because you said the MA at UoL is not really respected as a masters, does that mean that it would be more difficult to go onto doing further study after this if I wanted to?
I spoke to someone from UoL on the phone and he said that the MA isn't as recognised by law firms as the GDL, this didn't really make much sense to me as surely both would be recognised since the MA gives you the same qualification as the GDL.
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Sarah2340
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Ahh okay, that makes sense.
So im guessing if I want to obtain a legit masters that will also give me the law qualification Bristol is the way forward?
And yeah when I was talking to the guy on the phone it did seem that he was pushing me towards the GDL rather than the MA...
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Sarah2340
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In terms of employability, would it be better to do the MA from UoL rather than just a standard university?

Also, im guessing that if I want to do the MA in Law from Bristol, since its a two years I wouldn't be eligible to apply for training contracts yet?
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returnmigrant
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Bristol. You just have to look at the Law School and the facilities/opportunities available there : http://www.bris.ac.uk/law/about/
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Sarah2340
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If I did the MA in law from Bristol, would this be better than just doing a standard GDL in terms of having an additional masters? On the university of law website it says that the masters is "internationally recognised" but feel a bit skeptical about UoL on the whole now...lol
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Sarah2340
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Thanks,
So i'm guessing whether I do the MA at Bristol or at UoL is down to my personal preference?
In terms of applying for jobs outside law say, if I decide after doing the masters that i don't want to go down that route, would an MA from Bristol ultimately look better?
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(Original post by Sarah2340)
Thanks,
So i'm guessing whether I do the MA at Bristol or at UoL is down to my personal preference?
In terms of applying for jobs outside law say, if I decide after doing the masters that i don't want to go down that route, would an MA from Bristol ultimately look better?
But you might want to consider how impressive your previous academics are. Was it a low 2:1? Was it a middling 2:1 but in a subject which gives out a lot of high 2:1s and firsts? Were you just on cusp of receiving a first? If your previous academics are not all too impressive, an MA from Bristol might be more helpful for your future career. However, be mindful of the amount of time you will be investing in that path, should you take it. 2 years for the MA, 1 year for the LPC and 2 years for a TC.
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Sarah2340
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Im on track for a mid to high 2:1 in Philosophy with Psychology, a course where no one got a first last year...but yeah the MA at Bristol would be two years and then I'm guessing if I want to do the LPC it will be another year on top of that...i just don't know what the 'easier' route would be. I say this in quotation marks because I am aware that none of these routes will be easy...
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Sarah2340
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What is the SQE?
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Sarah2340
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Does this mean that I wouldn't have to secure a training contract to be a qualified solicitor?

With regards to the work experience, how formal would this have to be?
I did some work experience at a legal aid firm in the Summer after my first year of university, but I doubt this would count lol
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Sarah2340
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Spoiler:
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hmmm interesting, is it a bad idea if I consider the 2 year MA at bristol just because by the time I graduate this may have been implemented and mean that I don't have to stress about training contracts? haha
It's a confusing decision for me.
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Sarah2340
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Is it a bad idea to just go with the two year MA at Bristol so I won't have to apply for training contracts since the system would have changed? haha, its a confusing decision
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(Original post by Sarah2340)
Is it a bad idea to just go with the two year MA at Bristol so I won't have to apply for training contracts since the system would have changed? haha, its a confusing decision
By the way, just because you can get away with not doing a TC under the new rules does not mean in general people will qualify without completing the equivalent of a TC.

I would argue that the new system means, potentially, that firms no longer have to make such a substantial commitment to new hires. This is because the whole process will become a lot more flexible -- maybe 2-year contracts will no longer be offered but simple 3- or 6-month vacation schemes, which can be extended to 2 years, is the route ahead. So maybe they could be less picky with you in the future, but it's a big gamble. Firms are inherently "traditional" and don't favour big changes in a hurry -- as I stated in first para, there is a good chance that the big firms' hiring practices will remain the same. Just as competitive and dreadful.
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(Original post by J-SP)
That’s how I see it working. Firms will offer a mix of two year grad programmes, and off cycle internships to deal with particular demands, topping up those who don’t pass the SQE, when people leave and when demand requires it, in a similar way to how the investment banks work.

But the biggest change will be that firms can get rid of under performing staff much easier. It’s practically impossible under the current system. I can see probation periods being used, while now they don’t exist for training contracts.
I wonder why they don't do probationary periods now. Perhaps because sacking LPCs with a few months' legal experience could give rise to awkward litigation and infinite scathing Legal Cheek articles reporting the cases?
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