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Degree in law or philosophy

I am in sixth form and think a career in law sounds interesting, and am aware that I could either take a degree in law or in philosophy, into a conversion course. However, I am extremely conflicted as to which one to pick - here are my pros and cons: Law
It pushes me towards a career that I think sounds interesting.
Its a respected subject, something which I personally care about, I worry looking back I wont be 'proud' of my degree I spent so much money on.
There's a possibility I will enjoy it, however, as I wasn't given the option to do so at A-level, I am unsure.
The competitive nature is also very attractive to me.
Philosophy
I know I like philosophy, I did it at A-level.
I can likely go to a better university, once again I want to look back and be 'proud' of the university I attended.
Philosophy is adaptable, if I decide I no longer want to be a solicitor (my desire is only based on the idea its high pressure and high rewards, i'm not positive ill love it!), I can stay in school, another lifestyle i'm interested in.
I worry that Philosophy attracts a certain kind of person, I understand this is only a stereotype but through my extremely extensive research, I see a ring of truth about it.
Finally, if I choose to go for a conversion course and am unsuccessful in getting the job that I want (which is a competitive role) I would be stuck with a degree with reputation worse than most.
Sorry for all the text, as you can see I have thought about my problem extensively! Thank you very much for any help :smile:
(edited 4 years ago)
Original post by qwerty123567
I am in sixth form and think a career in law sounds interesting, and am aware that I could either take a degree in law or in philosophy, into a conversion course. However, I am extremely conflicted as to which one to pick - here are my pros and cons: LawIt pushes me towards a career, which I think sounds interesting.Its a respected subject, something which I personally care about, I worry looking back I wont be 'proud' of my degree I spent so much money on.There's a possibility I will enjoy it, however, as I wasn't given the option to do so at A-level, I am unsure.PhilosophyI know I like philosophy, I did it at A-level.I can likely go to a better university, once again I want to look back and be 'proud' of the university I attended.Philosophy is adaptable, if I decide I no longer want to be a solicitor (my desire is only based on the idea its high pressure and high rewards, i'm not positive ill love it!), I can stay in school, another life style i'm interested in.I worry that Philosophy attracts a certain kind of person, I understand this is only a stereotype but through my extremely extensive research, I see a ring of truth about it.Finally, if I choose to go for a conversion course and am unsuccessful in getting the job that I want (which is a competitive role) I would be stuck with a degree with reputation worse than most.Sorry for all the text, as you can see I have thought about my problem extensively! Thank you very much for any help :smile:

If you are going to a decent university then do philosophy. Law can be very dry. It is very difficult these days to get a training contract. My husband's firm make their paralegals into contracts but they are few and far betwen
Original post by squeakysquirrel
If you are going to a decent university then do philosophy. Law can be very dry. It is very difficult these days to get a training contract. My husband's firm make their paralegals into contracts but they are few and far betwen

Thank you so much for the quick response!
Do you think that becoming a lawyer is overly ambitious? Or do you just think that its unlikely I will like law?
Again, thanks so much.
Original post by qwerty123567
Thank you so much for the quick response!
Do you think that becoming a lawyer is overly ambitious? Or do you just think that its unlikely I will like law?
Again, thanks so much.

Why would becoming a lawyer be overly ambitious?
We can’t tell you if it’s unlikely you’ll like it. My eldest brother studied law (now does business stuff) but he liked it. Depends on the person, the university, etc.
Original post by Euphoria101
Why would becoming a lawyer be overly ambitious?
We can’t tell you if it’s unlikely you’ll like it. My eldest brother studied law (now does business stuff) but he liked it. Depends on the person, the university, etc.

Well I didn't think it was and had never considered how unlikely I would be to get a job in law, did your brother enjoy his law degree?
Thanks for the post :smile:
Original post by qwerty123567
Well I didn't think it was and had never considered how unlikely I would be to get a job in law, did your brother enjoy his law degree?
Thanks for the post :smile:

Re-read my post:wink:
Reply 6
There are some unis that offer a joint degree in Law and Philosophy I think
I see that you are interested in becoming a solicitor. A Law degree is not necessary to be one, and many commercial firms (if you're interested in that sort of work) do pay for your GDL and LPC which you currently need to become one. Note that the new Solicitor's Qualification Exam (SQE) is due to shake up qualification, definitely look into that.

As a Law student, I can say that aspects of the subject are fun. Dealing with problem questions, which involve issue spotting and application of relevant caae law to solve a scenario can be actually be really fun. This is especially fun in contract and tort law where you have to advise fake clients, makes you feel quite lawyery. It's fun to see how people have used the same case law to argue a point in some instances and somehow reached completely different conclusions, which leads to fun arguments. I know some people (including myself) find theoretical essays about Law quite dry though.

I've had interesting conversations with philosophy students, they're a sharp bunch. I was considering doing philosophy myself, however, I thought a Law degree would be more respected and direct. If you get into a top university, this isn't necessarily true. It's very abstract though, which can be a turn off if you're looking for something that feels more practical.

At the end of the day, it boils down to a good academic track record and decent work experience/extra carriculars.
Reply 8
Not sure what extensive research you could have done that says philosophy attracts a certain type of person. I've been teaching it years and no two groups are ever the same, much less the people therein
Original post by qwerty123567
I am in sixth form and think a career in law sounds interesting, and am aware that I could either take a degree in law or in philosophy, into a conversion course. However, I am extremely conflicted as to which one to pick - here are my pros and cons: Law
It pushes me towards a career that I think sounds interesting.
Its a respected subject, something which I personally care about, I worry looking back I wont be 'proud' of my degree I spent so much money on.
There's a possibility I will enjoy it, however, as I wasn't given the option to do so at A-level, I am unsure.
The competitive nature is also very attractive to me.
Philosophy
I know I like philosophy, I did it at A-level.
I can likely go to a better university, once again I want to look back and be 'proud' of the university I attended.
Philosophy is adaptable, if I decide I no longer want to be a solicitor (my desire is only based on the idea its high pressure and high rewards, i'm not positive ill love it!), I can stay in school, another lifestyle i'm interested in.
I worry that Philosophy attracts a certain kind of person, I understand this is only a stereotype but through my extremely extensive research, I see a ring of truth about it.
Finally, if I choose to go for a conversion course and am unsuccessful in getting the job that I want (which is a competitive role) I would be stuck with a degree with reputation worse than most.
Sorry for all the text, as you can see I have thought about my problem extensively! Thank you very much for any help :smile:

What are your A level predicted grades? And have you gone to any Open Days and attended subject talks in Law or Philosophy?
Reply 10
why do you think you can't go to 'as good' a university for law? why do you think you can't stay in academia with a law degree if you decide not to become a solicitor?

google jurisprudence, legal theory, and political theory and decide if any of it reads interesting to you (fish around this website if it helps). there are lots of philosophical discussions in the course of studying law and the good news is, uni is largely self study. yes, you need to know the syllabus but you can tailor much of your assignments to answer from a philosophical perspective. you can also do a dissertation in legal and/or political philosophy when the time comes for it (bearing in mind your academic knowledge will be largely not relevant when you're in legal practice.).
Original post by qwerty123567
I am in sixth form and think a career in law sounds interesting, and am aware that I could either take a degree in law or in philosophy, into a conversion course. However, I am extremely conflicted as to which one to pick - here are my pros and cons: Law
It pushes me towards a career that I think sounds interesting.
Its a respected subject, something which I personally care about, I worry looking back I wont be 'proud' of my degree I spent so much money on.
There's a possibility I will enjoy it, however, as I wasn't given the option to do so at A-level, I am unsure.
The competitive nature is also very attractive to me.
Philosophy
I know I like philosophy, I did it at A-level.
I can likely go to a better university, once again I want to look back and be 'proud' of the university I attended.
Philosophy is adaptable, if I decide I no longer want to be a solicitor (my desire is only based on the idea its high pressure and high rewards, i'm not positive ill love it!), I can stay in school, another lifestyle i'm interested in.
I worry that Philosophy attracts a certain kind of person, I understand this is only a stereotype but through my extremely extensive research, I see a ring of truth about it.
Finally, if I choose to go for a conversion course and am unsuccessful in getting the job that I want (which is a competitive role) I would be stuck with a degree with reputation worse than most.
Sorry for all the text, as you can see I have thought about my problem extensively! Thank you very much for any help :smile:


Sorry this isn't an answer, but I was just wondering what you mean by philosophy attracting a certain kind of person. I'm applying for philosophy and just want to be as ready as I can be :redface:
Reply 12
I am a third year law student and would recommend opting for the law degree. I aspire to be a barrister and, by doing a Qualifying Law Degree, I will be able to progress to the Barrister Training Course straightaway, rather than having to spend extra time and money doing the conversion to law. It is also a very respected degree.
If you're wanting to study an LLB, then you'll inevitably have some areas - namely the areas of theory where you'll be able to pull philosophy into it. It's mainly focused on substantive law, but there are theory modules you'll be able to take as your optional modules.
Original post by emilyaclement12
Sorry this isn't an answer, but I was just wondering what you mean by philosophy attracting a certain kind of person. I'm applying for philosophy and just want to be as ready as I can be :redface:


Theres just a stereotype that people who take philosophy only do so because its considered easy or that people that think they're really deep and intelligent. Obviously, this isn't fact but from what ive seen there is a ring of truth.
Reply 15
Original post by qwerty123567
Theres just a stereotype that people who take philosophy only do so because its considered easy or that people that think they're really deep and intelligent. Obviously, this isn't fact but from what ive seen there is a ring of truth.

100% nonsense

Considered easy by whom

People thinking they are smarter than they are will have it knocked out if them by week four. Met a handful of these people in the past ten years, it is not a prevalence
(edited 4 years ago)
Reply 16
Original post by emilyaclement12
Sorry this isn't an answer, but I was just wondering what you mean by philosophy attracting a certain kind of person. I'm applying for philosophy and just want to be as ready as I can be :redface:

It's not a thing. Every course has a smart arse and every course will see said smart arse have their hubris defeated. Don't worry, you will be fine
I read law and loved it but I agree it can be harder to get into a good university read it than other subjects and law firms tend to recruit by status of the university attended. if you can get into good unniversty to read law then I recommend that . I have used a lot of the area of law I studied in depth in my legal career and it also saves you from an extra year studying the GDL (or for the new SQE1 exams) so you get ahead and have less debt or cost your parents less (unless a law firm sponsors you on the GDL I suppose but even then real life and earnings in a sense are a year further off - a good thing for some people but not what I wanted).

For balance my daughters didn't read law and then they did theGDL and LPC and are solicitors. So it really will not matter - about half of lawyers in good firsm don't read law and half do. Law is a very interesting degree. I recommend it.
Original post by qwerty123567
I am in sixth form and think a career in law sounds interesting, and am aware that I could either take a degree in law or in philosophy, into a conversion course. However, I am extremely conflicted as to which one to pick - here are my pros and cons: Law
It pushes me towards a career that I think sounds interesting.
Its a respected subject, something which I personally care about, I worry looking back I wont be 'proud' of my degree I spent so much money on.
There's a possibility I will enjoy it, however, as I wasn't given the option to do so at A-level, I am unsure.
The competitive nature is also very attractive to me.
Philosophy
I know I like philosophy, I did it at A-level.
I can likely go to a better university, once again I want to look back and be 'proud' of the university I attended.
Philosophy is adaptable, if I decide I no longer want to be a solicitor (my desire is only based on the idea its high pressure and high rewards, i'm not positive ill love it!), I can stay in school, another lifestyle i'm interested in.
I worry that Philosophy attracts a certain kind of person, I understand this is only a stereotype but through my extremely extensive research, I see a ring of truth about it.
Finally, if I choose to go for a conversion course and am unsuccessful in getting the job that I want (which is a competitive role) I would be stuck with a degree with reputation worse than most.
Sorry for all the text, as you can see I have thought about my problem extensively! Thank you very much for any help :smile:


what did you do in the end?

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