mrldean
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Has anyone studied Law at Birkbeck or know of anyone who could offer some insight. I’m contemplating Birkbeck as it allows me to continue working but I’m concerned come graduation I will find it difficult getting into a Law firm. Some of the ‘better’ universities have great employment prospects into Law firms.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

Regards,

L
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DCDCo
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I'd decide on what you want to do with your law degree. A university isnt going to stop you getting a job anywhere. City firms are increasingly hiring from a wider array of universities. The biggest barrier into firms is generally grades. City firms pretty much want AAB so without that, you are already in a tough spot if that is the route you intend to pursue.

Something that is underplayed is the fact that at the 'better' universities, you generally have more 'like minded' people. People who are passionate about their career have often striven to achieve, this is why they have chosen to attend the 'better' universities. Having this type of group is generally good for your career prospects as you are likely to be submitting better applications, with the help of your friends. There is also the networking element. A lot of people at those types of universities have connections that you may be able leverage.

I was considering doing law at the OU when I first considered it. After doing a lot of research, I felt that to give myself the best opportunity in getting a job, I wanted to attend the best uni I could get into.

Drop me a pm if you wanted to have a chat.
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BBarnet
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DCDCo where did you end up choosing for your law degree? I’m a mature student. I’ve had similar thoughts like yourself about “serious” choice of institution however Birkbeck is attractive due to evening study plus seems to be reasonable for mooting etc.
Last edited by BBarnet; 3 weeks ago
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retajalshafeii
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im contemplating birckbek law foundation or the UPC so im going to give this thread a bump
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DCDCo
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(Original post by BBarnet)
DCDCo where did you end up choosing for your law degree? I’m a mature student. I’ve had similar thoughts like yourself about “serious” choice of institution however Birkbeck is attractive due to evening study plus seems to be reasonable for mooting etc.
Hey!

I put applications into LSE, UCL, KCL, QMUL and my local uni as a "worst-case scenario". Fortunately, I got offers for all of them so in the end it was an incredibly hard decision between LSE and UCL. In the end, after going to both of their open days I chose LSE, mostly because it is renowned for being very "driven". I there there's also some ridiculous stat that 5 years after completing your degree, male LSE law alumni are the highest paid out of any law degree. Anecdotal, but still relevant i'd say.

I re-emphasise my point I made above. You should pick somewhere that you want to go, but, I do urge you to push yourself as hard as you can. If your options are only studying in the evening/weekends, then yes, you are going to have to make that work for you and Birkbeck may be an attractive option. Going to Birkbeck is in no way going to be a barrier to achieving whatever goal you have. The only barrier in that respect is yourself, but, you must remember owing to the points I raised previously - It's simply going to be harder. To those who study in the north, it's undoubtedly harder to get that city job you so desire because even coming down for an open day is a ridiculous round-trip in times of time commitment. It doesnt necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the academic establishment.

Regarding mooting - If this is something you are interested in, honestly, anywhere you go is going to have mooting opportunities. But, many of those unfamiliar with the law and legal profession seemingly hang their hat on it as the be-all and end-all of evidence for securing jobs. It really isnt. Please dont let this be a significant factor in where you choose to go.

If you can make studying full-time work for you, I would highly recommend it. I study full-time and as soon as university is in recess, return to full-time work. Perhaps I am fortunate in that respect to have that opportunity but I would highly recommend it. If you therefore arrive at the decision you are going to study full-time, I again, highly recommend trying to get into the best university you can for the variety of reasons I outlined before. It wont guarantee you a job, but it will help in a variety of ways.

My inbox is always open for questions. I'm less responsive around exam period but I try to get on here at least once a week to see how I can contribute. So many helped me on my way to where I am now. I want to be able to give back.

D
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BBarnet
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Hi D

Thanks so much for the detailed reply and apologies for tardiness in a response.

Congrats on your place at LSE! Well done!

I’m mature mature however I’ve taken careful note of what you’ve written and I believe your attitude is right; and there is no point in doing things by halves. It may be an option for me to do the FT route which would be a bit dependent on me branching into some medicolegal work ancillary that could be done in evenings / weekends.

I have read this before about mooting, not to get too obsessed by it . So you’re backing up what I’ve heard from others.

My goals are perhaps more academic than worldly so to speak, however I guess that could change dependent on making the most of opportunities.

One thing that worries me about Birkbeck is that it appears a tad “progressive” , however I believe it’s reputation is OK, probably helped by it being in London ( and a part of the University of London.)

I’m certain you’re a trailblazer - I wish you well at LSE, definitely a highly respected institution. Well done once again.

R



(Original post by DCDCo)
Hey!

I put applications into LSE, UCL, KCL, QMUL and my local uni as a "worst-case scenario". Fortunately, I got offers for all of them so in the end it was an incredibly hard decision between LSE and UCL. In the end, after going to both of their open days I chose LSE, mostly because it is renowned for being very "driven". I there there's also some ridiculous stat that 5 years after completing your degree, male LSE law alumni are the highest paid out of any law degree. Anecdotal, but still relevant i'd say.

I re-emphasise my point I made above. You should pick somewhere that you want to go, but, I do urge you to push yourself as hard as you can. If your options are only studying in the evening/weekends, then yes, you are going to have to make that work for you and Birkbeck may be an attractive option. Going to Birkbeck is in no way going to be a barrier to achieving whatever goal you have. The only barrier in that respect is yourself, but, you must remember owing to the points I raised previously - It's simply going to be harder. To those who study in the north, it's undoubtedly harder to get that city job you so desire because even coming down for an open day is a ridiculous round-trip in times of time commitment. It doesnt necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the academic establishment.

Regarding mooting - If this is something you are interested in, honestly, anywhere you go is going to have mooting opportunities. But, many of those unfamiliar with the law and legal profession seemingly hang their hat on it as the be-all and end-all of evidence for securing jobs. It really isnt. Please dont let this be a significant factor in where you choose to go.

If you can make studying full-time work for you, I would highly recommend it. I study full-time and as soon as university is in recess, return to full-time work. Perhaps I am fortunate in that respect to have that opportunity but I would highly recommend it. If you therefore arrive at the decision you are going to study full-time, I again, highly recommend trying to get into the best university you can for the variety of reasons I outlined before. It wont guarantee you a job, but it will help in a variety of ways.

My inbox is always open for questions. I'm less responsive around exam period but I try to get on here at least once a week to see how I can contribute. So many helped me on my way to where I am now. I want to be able to give back.

D
Last edited by BBarnet; 1 week ago
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DCDCo
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(Original post by BBarnet)
Hi D

Thanks so much for the detailed reply and apologies for tardiness in a response.

Congrats on your place at LSE! Well done!

I’m mature mature however I’ve taken careful note of what you’ve written and I believe your attitude is right; and there is no point in doing things by halves. It may be an option for me to do the FT route which would be a bit dependent on me branching into some medicolegal work ancillary that could be done in evenings / weekends.

I have read this before about mooting, not to get too obsessed by it . So you’re backing up what I’ve heard from others.

My goals are perhaps more academic than worldly so to speak, however I guess that could change dependent on making the most of opportunities.

One thing that worries me about Birkbeck is that it appears a tad “progressive” , however I believe it’s reputation is OK, probably helped by it being in London ( and a part of the University of London.)

I’m certain you’re a trailblazer - I wish you well at LSE, definitely a highly respected institution. Well done once again.

R

If your goals are academic, then I wouldn't be overly concerned about the establishment which you attend. However, in your first post you did say you were concerned about "getting into a law firm". Ultimately, you can study anywhere, do a masters anywhere, do a PhD anywhere and pursue your academic career. However, I echo my points above, even in this respect the better the establishment, the better your opportunities undoubtedly become.

Do not set your ceiling arbitrarily low. You will be surprised how receptive universities are to mature students. If you want my view in terms of universities and reputations, you have Oxbridge, then probably the "top" London RG Unis - LSE, UCL and to a point, KCL (they did go into clearing though a few years back... bad signs), and then the "other" good RG Uni's - Durham etc. Quite frankly, outside of this it doesnt matter whatsoever where you go. City law firms generally have AAA/AAB requirements for A-Levels which rule out 95% of Universities anyway (as very rarely do students exceed their offer, because, they would simply apply somewhere better, and the top universities require A*AA). In this respect, if you aren't interested in Oxbridge/LSE et al, then simply apply where works for you.

Either way, i'm here if you want any advice/guidance. Take it with a pinch of salt, or hang your hat on it. I'll do my best
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BBarnet
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(Original post by DCDCo)
If your goals are academic, then I wouldn't be overly concerned about the establishment which you attend. However, in your first post you did say you were concerned about "getting into a law firm". Ultimately, you can study anywhere, do a masters anywhere, do a PhD anywhere and pursue your academic career. However, I echo my points above, even in this respect the better the establishment, the better your opportunities undoubtedly become.

Do not set your ceiling arbitrarily low. You will be surprised how receptive universities are to mature students. If you want my view in terms of universities and reputations, you have Oxbridge, then probably the "top" London RG Unis - LSE, UCL and to a point, KCL (they did go into clearing though a few years back... bad signs), and then the "other" good RG Uni's - Durham etc. Quite frankly, outside of this it doesnt matter whatsoever where you go. City law firms generally have AAA/AAB requirements for A-Levels which rule out 95% of Universities anyway (as very rarely do students exceed their offer, because, they would simply apply somewhere better, and the top universities require A*AA). In this respect, if you aren't interested in Oxbridge/LSE et al, then simply apply where works for you.

Either way, i'm here if you want any advice/guidance. Take it with a pinch of salt, or hang your hat on it. I'll do my best
Hi again.

It was Mr Dean who started the thread who wants to get into a city law firm. I myself would be more about the bar as a direct goal in the law world itself. So I apologise for confusion.

However there is at a tangent an academic goal in law I have which is somewhat not quite directly connected with that: and I haven’t worked out what is of more reward from my own viewpoint.

It was aeons ago I did school exams and I did the Scottish system, which I did well at but the highers are below A level , and I have subsequent various qualifications in science and in health - so having perused undergraduate at LSE / Oxbridge etc. after your comment and what with the LNAT test now (which seems a pain) I’d think that postgraduate at these institutions might be more practical if one got a good first law degree.
This is because they welcome undergraduate study from mature students but want you to have been doing other studies in the last 3 years - if this is somewhat open to interpretation then perhaps there is flexibility with undergraduate at the top institutions for someone like myself.

Did you have to do the LNAT paper?
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DCDCo
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(Original post by BBarnet)
Hi again.

It was Mr Dean who started the thread who wants to get into a city law firm. I myself would be more about the bar as a direct goal in the law world itself. So I apologise for confusion.

However there is at a tangent an academic goal in law I have which is somewhat not quite directly connected with that: and I haven’t worked out what is of more reward from my own viewpoint.

It was aeons ago I did school exams and I did the Scottish system, which I did well at but the highers are below A level , and I have subsequent various qualifications in science and in health - so having perused undergraduate at LSE / Oxbridge etc. after your comment and what with the LNAT test now (which seems a pain) I’d think that postgraduate at these institutions might be more practical if one got a good first law degree.
This is because they welcome undergraduate study from mature students but want you to have been doing other studies in the last 3 years - if this is somewhat open to interpretation then perhaps there is flexibility with undergraduate at the top institutions for someone like myself.

Did you have to do the LNAT paper?
My apologies - I didn't notice. Thank you for pointing this out.

If you are interested in the bar, dare I say it that your institution is more important. A short browse of the legalcheek Chambers list will show you how many of the last 5 pupils have been Oxbridge educated. You will see that almost every chambers in that list is at least 50%. They do not list where the other pupils have originated from (but i'm sure a little research would show this), however, I would bet that the "big names" are up there.

I have just come back from a mini and the impression I got was that they like someone with some worldly experience. Whilst many undergrads go on to do post-grad masters at institutions "above" their undergrad, Chambers are not "fooled" by this (if your intention was ever to deceive). An undergrad from a poly, with a post-grad from Oxford does not put you in the same league as an Undergrad from Oxford and no post-grad. Speaking strictly about the city, I know firms rarely look at your masters are they are not interested in the slightest. I accept with the bar this may differ, depending on Chambers and the nature of your masters.

Regarding the evidence of recent study within the last 3 years. There was no leeway here for me. As a quick note about myself. I had worked within the legal environment for 10+ years. When I wrote to all of the various institutions I was interested in, whilst they were appreciative that someone with some experience was interested in a law degree, their application criteria did not waver. I was pointed to the variety of options available. Some universities, for some course, will allow you to bypass this. From my experience, this does not apply to top universities and especially to those offering law, where the offer rate is under 15% (Oxbridge, LSE etc).

I would HIGHLY recommended an Access Course. You can do it online and you can start tomorrow. It can be completed in 6 months and it will allow you to apply for almost any university, including Oxbridge. LSE require A*AA for law (in reality, most applicants have at least 2.5 A*...), whereas they wanted 30 Distinctions at Access. This was the equivalent to BBB (or something similar). I would take advantage of this. It can be done in the evenings from home.

Pretty much all of the top universities who offer law require you to do the LNAT. If you plan on applying to any of them you must do it. It isn't hard, honestly. Many universities do not read the essay section and simply use your MCQ score as a metric to gauge you against other candidates. I scored +7 the average (this is the best way to view it as candidates are measured against each other and the average varies each year). This would be a competitive Oxford score. For reference, however, in that cycle Oxford rejected candidates who were +13 the average and also accepted those who were at the average. It is not the be all and end all of your application.

Hopefully I haven't waffled on too much here, and I am sorry for my slower than usual reply. I havent logged on here in a few days. As ever - Please feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer.
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