Supercurriculars for Oxbridge/UCL/KCL Law?

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deathray65
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#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
I want to apply to

I am predicted a 44/45 in the IB, as follows, including bonus points:

Literature HL- 7
History HL- 7
Business & Management HL- 7
Biology SL- 7
Spanish SL- 7
Math SL- 6

So my grades are quite good. I want to apply for Law at Cambridge, or Oxford (still deciding) as well as UCL, KCL, Nottingham and Warwick.

To maximize my chances of Oxbridge admission, what sorts of supercurriculars would be valuable? I've gone to many MUN conferences and received honorable mentions. I'm an active member of my school's public speaking team, and have won silver and gold medals for individual speeches, out of 200+ participants. I also take part in slam poetry competitions, and have always placed in the top 3. In addition to this, I am the co-president of my school's Ted-ed club, and organise events annually which involve public speaking, and also partner with refugee schools. I'm also active in our film-making team and take part in film competitions. I've also done work experience at an engineering company- but this was short, and only for one summer.

I don't know if any of this is actually related to law, though. The only directly law-related task I have is the work experience. Everything else is related to writing or public-speaking somehow. Are these activities good enough? What else would have been better?
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username2950448
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#2
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#2
None of those are really what I'd call supercurriculars.


Engage with law as an academic subject. Start with What About Law? and use that as a springboard to look into the debates/themes/issues you find particularly interesting.
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Yasablanca
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#3
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#3
I would argue that your list of extracurriculars / supercurriculars are way more impressive than mine and I currently hold an unconditional offer to read Law at Cambridge! However I agree with the above poster; although your practical experiences are impressive and demonstrate a go-getter personality type which will work in your favour in regards to university admissions, you should be reading law-related books, attending lectures, watching court cases, listening to podcasts and keeping up-to-date with current legal affairs, overall aiming to develop your own point of view in relation to contemporary legal issues and engage with the law in a way that mimics scholarly research. So far your activities show that you'd make a pretty good lawyer, but you haven't done much to demonstrate that you can interact with the law in an academic capacity, thus making you not just a good lawyer but a good law student.

Some good starter books would be "What About Law?"(as the above poster has mentioned), "Letters to a Law Student", and "The Rule of Law". You can delve further into topics you find interesting and read books related to those issues. I think "Is Eating People Wrong?" and "Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice" are some good ones. Almost half of my personal statement was purely about legal books I have read, what I found interesting about them and things I agreed or disagreed with. Also see if you can make links between what you've learnt within texts / podcasts and then apply them to real-life scenarios or current affairs - this is a favourable skill.

If you want more practical legal experience I would highly recommend shadowing a solicitor, barrister or judge if possible. Good luck.
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deathray65
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Yasablanca)
I would argue that your list of extracurriculars / supercurriculars are way more impressive than mine and I currently hold an unconditional offer to read Law at Cambridge! However I agree with the above poster; although your practical experiences are impressive and demonstrate a go-getter personality type which will work in your favour in regards to university admissions, you should be reading law-related books, attending lectures, watching court cases, listening to podcasts and keeping up-to-date with current legal affairs, overall aiming to develop your own point of view in relation to contemporary legal issues and engage with the law in a way that mimics scholarly research. So far your activities show that you'd make a pretty good lawyer, but you haven't done much to demonstrate that you can interact with the law in an academic capacity, thus making you not just a good lawyer but a good law student.

Some good starter books would be "What About Law?" (as the above poster has mentioned), "Letters to a Law Student", and "The Rule of Law". You can delve further into topics you find interesting and read books related to those issues. I think "Is Eating People Wrong?" and "Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice" are some good ones. Almost half of my personal statement was purely about legal books I have read, what I found interesting about them and things I agreed or disagreed with. Also see if you can make links between what you've learnt within texts / podcasts and then apply them to real-life scenarios or current affairs - this is a favourable skill.

If you want more practical legal experience I would highly recommend shadowing a solicitor, barrister or judge if possible. Good luck.
Thank you so much for the thorough and elaborate reply!

Unfortunately, where I live in Kuala Lumpur doesn't hold many opportunities to shadow or observe the law in action. I will definitely, however, read as much as possible on the subject.

If you don't mind me asking, what specific supercurriculars did you have?
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JT_888
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#5
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#5
(Original post by deathray65)
I want to apply to

I am predicted a 44/45 in the IB, as follows, including bonus points:

Literature HL- 7
History HL- 7
Business & Management HL- 7
Biology SL- 7
Spanish SL- 7
Math SL- 6

So my grades are quite good. I want to apply for Law at Cambridge, or Oxford (still deciding) as well as UCL, KCL, Nottingham and Warwick.

To maximize my chances of Oxbridge admission, what sorts of supercurriculars would be valuable? I've gone to many MUN conferences and received honorable mentions. I'm an active member of my school's public speaking team, and have won silver and gold medals for individual speeches, out of 200+ participants. I also take part in slam poetry competitions, and have always placed in the top 3. In addition to this, I am the co-president of my school's Ted-ed club, and organise events annually which involve public speaking, and also partner with refugee schools. I'm also active in our film-making team and take part in film competitions. I've also done work experience at an engineering company- but this was short, and only for one summer.

I don't know if any of this is actually related to law, though. The only directly law-related task I have is the work experience. Everything else is related to writing or public-speaking somehow. Are these activities good enough? What else would have been better?
Hi.

It's nice to see that you've done a lot of extracurricular/super-curricular activities outside of your studies - it does demonstrate that you're a well rounded person. In terms of your personal statement, I recommend talking about your experiences with MUN conferences and link that to law and the partner with refugee schools sounds like a good thing to mention - perhaps talk about the problems these refugees face etc. In terms of work experience for law, you could try arranging some work experience to shadow a barrister or lawyer. If that fails, try arranging work experience with your MP as they do quite similar things and it will give you some things to say in your personal statement.

Just want to say that extracurricular and super-curricular alone doesn't help boost your chances of getting into Oxbridge and other top institutions. The best tip I have is to make sure you like literally everything from experience etc. to law and persuade the admissions tutors who will be reading this why you want to study law and why they should offer you a place.

Good luck!
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Yasablanca
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#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by deathray65)
Thank you so much for the thorough and elaborate reply!

Unfortunately, where I live in Kuala Lumpur doesn't hold many opportunities to shadow or observe the law in action. I will definitely, however, read as much as possible on the subject.

If you don't mind me asking, what specific supercurriculars did you have?
No problem! I'm always happy to help.

In terms of my supercurriculars:

- Warwick Law summer school
- Attended a UN Human Rights lecture
- Read books focused on public law and jurisprudence (my main interests)
- Work experience at a local solicitors firm and international law firms such as Clifford Chance and Mayer Brown
- Visited courts of law (e.g: Supreme Court in London, UK) and watched live court cases
- Won in a local magistrates court competition (a bit like a debating competition against another school)
- Member of the debating club at my school
- Won a national story writing competition
- Part of the "Pathways to Law" legal access programme here in the UK (from ages 16-18 I partook in law workshops and lectures at a local university, plus they helped me with my work experience applications to certain law firms etc.)
- "Experience Cambridge" (2-day law summer school at Cambridge)

Regardless of how law-focused your extracurriculars / supercurriculars are, you can always find ways to link it to legal studies whether that be the skills you have developed which are relevant and necessary as a law student (debating, public speaking) or opening your eyes to a new topic of interest e.g your experience at MUN conferences and partnerships with refugee schools may have sparked your interest for human rights law). I also think its vital that your personal statement demonstrates inquisition and self-motivation. For instance, if MUN conferences sparked your interest for human rights law, this may have lead to you reading a certain book about human rights or to watching a certain documentary which may have motivated you to get in contact with a human rights lawyer and organise some form of work experience, etc... I think it's important to show that you are proactive with your interest.

I'm happy to answer any more questions or go over your personal statement if you would like (whenever you begin / have finished writing it).
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deathray65
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#7
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#7
Gaaah- my opportunities are super limited due to my location. In Kuala Lumpur and through my school there are practically no programs or competitions directly related to law- just things like MUN and public-speaking. Your supercurriculars are amazing, though! How much did you emphasise them and how much did the interviewers ask about these activities?
(Original post by Yasablanca)
No problem! I'm always happy to help.

In terms of my supercurriculars:

- Warwick Law summer school
- Attended a UN Human Rights lecture
- Read books focused on public law and jurisprudence (my main interests)
- Work experience at a local solicitors firm and international law firms such as Clifford Chance and Mayer Brown
- Visited courts of law (e.g: Supreme Court in London, UK) and watched live court cases
- Won in a local magistrates court competition (a bit like a debating competition against another school)
- Member of the debating club at my school
- Won a national story writing competition
- Part of the "Pathways to Law" legal access programme here in the UK (from ages 16-18 I partook in law workshops and lectures at a local university, plus they helped me with my work experience applications to certain law firms etc.)
- "Experience Cambridge" (2-day law summer school at Cambridge)

Regardless of how law-focused your extracurriculars / supercurriculars are, you can always find ways to link it to legal studies whether that be the skills you have developed which are relevant and necessary as a law student (debating, public speaking) or opening your eyes to a new topic of interest e.g your experience at MUN conferences and partnerships with refugee schools may have sparked your interest for human rights law). I also think its vital that your personal statement demonstrates inquisition and self-motivation. For instance, if MUN conferences sparked your interest for human rights law, this may have lead to you reading a certain book about human rights or to watching a certain documentary which may have motivated you to get in contact with a human rights lawyer and organise some form of work experience, etc... I think it's important to show that you are proactive with your interest.

I'm happy to answer any more questions or go over your personal statement if you would like (whenever you begin / have finished writing it).
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username2950448
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#8
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#8
(Original post by deathray65)
Gaaah- my opportunities are super limited due to my location. In Kuala Lumpur and through my school there are practically no programs or competitions directly related to law- just things like MUN and public-speaking. Your supercurriculars are amazing, though! How much did you emphasise them and how much did the interviewers ask about these activities?
I would note that that amount of extracurriculars is far from the norm and definitely not at all necessary to submit a competitive application - I certainly didn’t have such a large list of activities to boast of when I applied
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infiinitee_
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#9
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#9
I am from Malaysia and have applied to study law last year. If you need help you can just PM me!
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Notoriety
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#10
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#10
PS should show academic ability to study law (problem solving, technical language skills, critical thinking) and genuine interest in studying law (you know the degree is academic (not practical) and are interested in all the aspects of the degree).

Going to meet your MP and all the rest are not really demonstrating either.
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Yasablanca
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#11
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#11
(Original post by deathray65)
Gaaah- my opportunities are super limited due to my location. In Kuala Lumpur and through my school there are practically no programs or competitions directly related to law- just things like MUN and public-speaking. Your supercurriculars are amazing, though! How much did you emphasise them and how much did the interviewers ask about these activities?
I'm sure admissions will take into account your location and the limited amount of legal access schemes there. As has been stated by Palmyra, the amount of things I have done exceed what is necessary but as a state school student with hardly anybody to talk to about Oxbridge applications, I felt the need to go above and beyond. I understand the feeling to try and do as much as possible but at the end of the day, what you have done is more than enough in terms of practical experience. I still would highly recommend reading books though and discussing them within your PS as this demonstrates critical thinking as well as interest in the subject academically. My friend is a third year Law student at Cambridge and had almost no activities to talk about apart from one summer school, but she was incredibly interested in intellectual property law and her whole personal statement was based off of books she had read about it and her opinion on current affairs revolving around the topic. tl;dr - there's no formula to writing a personal statement and certainly no minimum amount of activities you should have done / be doing. You're on the right track, just read more into the subject.

My personal statement was 1/2 books, 1/4 work experience, 1/4 summer school / workshops. The main focus of my interview was the fact that I disagreed with something I had read, as well as my opinion on current affairs.
Last edited by Yasablanca; 2 years ago
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Arisapo
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#12
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#12
(Original post by deathray65)
I want to apply to

I am predicted a 44/45 in the IB, as follows, including bonus points:

Literature HL- 7
History HL- 7
Business & Management HL- 7
Biology SL- 7
Spanish SL- 7
Math SL- 6

So my grades are quite good. I want to apply for Law at Cambridge, or Oxford (still deciding) as well as UCL, KCL, Nottingham and Warwick.

To maximize my chances of Oxbridge admission, what sorts of supercurriculars would be valuable? I've gone to many MUN conferences and received honorable mentions. I'm an active member of my school's public speaking team, and have won silver and gold medals for individual speeches, out of 200+ participants. I also take part in slam poetry competitions, and have always placed in the top 3. In addition to this, I am the co-president of my school's Ted-ed club, and organise events annually which involve public speaking, and also partner with refugee schools. I'm also active in our film-making team and take part in film competitions. I've also done work experience at an engineering company- but this was short, and only for one summer.

I don't know if any of this is actually related to law, though. The only directly law-related task I have is the work experience. Everything else is related to writing or public-speaking somehow. Are these activities good enough? What else would have been better?
You’ve done a lot and most of it is very impressive.

However, you have to remember that it’s a law personal statement. You’re trying to convince them why you’re interested in studying law and where that interest has developed; film-making and Ted-Ed talks are all well and good, but it’s of no relevance or interest to any prospective universities.

Focus on why you want to commit to studying law, where that comes from and possibly aspirations for the future. Extracurriculars should make up a very small amount and should you get to an interview, likely won’t be relevant in the slightest.
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