What universities for magic circle law firms?

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6ambz
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Im applying to university this year and want to know what universities like specific ones do most magic circle law firms hire students from??
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999tigger
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Everyone on TSR seems to go to Oxbridge, except a couple went to Oxford Brookes and Kings College.
If you have a look at the Law section there are several official lists based on reputation, partnership prospects, relationship success and salary expectations compiled by experts with their fingers on the pulse of the MC.

Just kidding- removes KCL as they are for MI5 and MI6. Appointment only.
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PetitePanda
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What universities are looking at applying for?
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6ambz
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
What universities are looking at applying for?
leeds,warwick, cambridge, leicester and aston as a safe option
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by 6ambz)
Im applying to university this year and want to know what universities like specific ones do most magic circle law firms hire students from??
There's no list. They are open to recruiting from any university.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by 6ambz)
leeds,warwick, cambridge, leicester and aston as a safe option
As Johnny said, there is no list. I'm not very knowledgeable in this personally but I have a bit of research in it because it's something I possibly am open to so if anyone wants to correct me, feel free. It's just that some unis have more opportunities for networking and etc because of connections but tbh you can still get into these opportunities with your own initiative and research as well so dont be discouraged in not getting into a certain uni. Tbh, it's the experience you have and what you do for your application to law firms is more important than what unis you go to. Idk much about aston but the other 4 are fine tbh, with leeds, warwick and cambridge having more opportunities. Even if you dont get into the uni you want to, dont be discouraged thinking this will hinder you because your quality as a candidate isnt definitive from what uni you went to but what you have done prior to the application process to show your quality, if this makes sense.
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lawcalling
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I agree that there’s no list - but from my own experience of who is in my MC cohort/vacs/Open Days it seems to be Russell Group Unis plus occasionally Leicester, Lancaster, Bath, Royal Holloway, Surrey, Sussex and Loughborough (plus a few Scottish unis).
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Supermature
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Recent research evidence has tended to support the view that Russell Group universities do indeed confer an advantage:

"Using data about the law schools of Russell Group universities as a proxy for our group of the top law schools, we note that admission to these confers benefits. These include higher degree outcomes and an increased likelihood of being recruited by one of the leading UK law firms. Unfortunately, only a relatively small proportion of state school students gain entry to a Russell Group university, while students from less advantaged backgrounds comprise a relatively small proportion of graduates from their law schools. This is likely to contribute to the lack of socio-economic diversity within the legal profession."

Bridge Group and York Law School (2020). Admissions to selective UK law schools. Bridge Group. Available at:

https://www.thebridgegroup.org.uk/research
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harrysbar
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(Original post by lawcalling)
I agree that there’s no list - but from my own experience of who is in my MC cohort/vacs/Open Days it seems to be Russell Group Unis plus occasionally Leicester, Lancaster, Bath, Royal Holloway, Surrey, Sussex and Loughborough (plus a few Scottish unis).
Bath and Loughborough don't do Law degrees but I guess their graduates could have done the GDL route.

6ambz basically there is no list but most successful applicants will come from unis asking for As and Bs because most law firms will be looking for 3 good A levels. Thus most of them will come from RG unis.

https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/la...ction-criteria
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17Student17
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Here is a list https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...versities-2019
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by Supermature)
Recent research evidence has tended to support the view that Russell Group universities do indeed confer an advantage:

"Using data about the law schools of Russell Group universities as a proxy for our group of the top law schools, we note that admission to these confers benefits. These include higher degree outcomes and an increased likelihood of being recruited by one of the leading UK law firms. Unfortunately, only a relatively small proportion of state school students gain entry to a Russell Group university, while students from less advantaged backgrounds comprise a relatively small proportion of graduates from their law schools. This is likely to contribute to the lack of socio-economic diversity within the legal profession."

Bridge Group and York Law School (2020). Admissions to selective UK law schools. Bridge Group. Available at:

https://www.thebridgegroup.org.uk/research
this study is such crap. it groups unis at far too high a level.

according to it my bog standard regional RG that sent maybe 3 people a year to MC firms out of the several hundred that applied is interchangeable with Cambridge and Durham and UCL because it's an RG or because the authors arbitrarily thought it was "top"

but that list includes something like 40 universities... so not really what the OP was looking for?
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EU Yakov
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also Supermature if you actually read the study you'd have seen that it was about state schoolers' admission to university, not about university students' recruitment by law firms.

the supporting evidence for the thing you quoted is this:

"There is evidence from The Graduate Market in 2019 report that the universities targeted by the largest number of top employers in 2018-19 –
including law firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, and Slaughter & May – include 22 of the 24 Russell Group universities. While individual law firms may increasingly broaden the range of universities they target for attraction activities in order to access more diverse applicants, there is certainly progress to be made against figures from a 2015 Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission report. This report found that Russell Group graduates made up circa 40% of all applicants to graduate roles and over 60% of job offers across ten elite law and accountancy firms. To put this in perspective, only 17% of all higher education graduates attended a Russell Group."

which hides all the variation among RGs and doesn't prove jack **** in general. the worst RGs probably perform about the same as many non-RGs.


link to the actual study: https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...port+final.pdf
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harrysbar
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
which hides all the variation among RGs and doesn't prove jack **** in general. the worst RGs probably perform about the same as many non-RGs.

Which is logical and exactly what one would expect as they would attract a similar calibre of student
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Which is logical and exactly what one would expect as they would attract a similar calibre of student
yep

there's a reason why the A*A*A student at UCL gets interviews at top firms whereas the ABB student at Liverpool does not
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kp07l
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Beware of applying to specific universities just because the top law firms hire from them. I did that and although I love my uni as i've gone through my degree I discovered I'm not at all interested in applying to MCs!

MCs tend to take the "best people". Not everyone from my uni (RG) who applied got in. The people who did had the best competitive applications in terms of work experience and extracurriculars. While you do want to go to a good uni and a RG might be a good choice for you in that sense especially if you like the course/area, as many people have already said if you have a good application and you go to a high ranking but non RG uni you have just as much chance if not more. be aware some firms are more elitist than others and i'm not sure how this applies to MCs since I didn't apply to them, so you might be benefitted by aiming high either way.

If you really want to find out exactly where MCs are focused in their outreach you could check the events pages of specific ones you're interested in. For example a quick scroll down on A&O's outreach page gives you a bit of info about the type of universities they're deciding to look at: https://www.aograduate.com/virtual-campus-2020 . Another thing you can do, although this takes a lot more time and not all firms disclose this, is look at their trainee profiles which for most firms are available on their websites under 'People' and see which universities they went to. (This might work for smaller firms but not necessarily MCs.)
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Supermature
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
there's a reason why the A*A*A student at UCL gets interviews at top firms whereas the ABB student at Liverpool does not
With respect, I think that's rather a statement of the obvious.

Your citation in #12 reinforces the point I was making in #8, regardless of the primary purpose of the Study:

"...Russell Group graduates made up...over 60% of job offers across ten elite law and accountancy firms. To put this in perspective, only 17% of all higher education graduates attended a Russell Group."

The OP was contemplating applying to Leeds, Warwick, Cambridge, Leicester and Aston. It's safe to assume that the vast majority of university applicants are aware of the unique status of Oxbridge but are, perhaps, not as familiar with the nuances which distinguish other universities. Of course, there are several other RG universities that are particularly highly favoured but it is nevertheless appropriate to note the dominance of the Group as a whole (or at least 22 of them), including the universities you refer to as "bog standard regional RGs".
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by Supermature)
With respect, I think that's rather a statement of the obvious.

Your citation in #12 reinforces the point I was making in #8, regardless of the primary purpose of the Study:

"...Russell Group graduates made up...over 60% of job offers across ten elite law and accountancy firms. To put this in perspective, only 17% of all higher education graduates attended a Russell Group."

The OP was contemplating applying to Leeds, Warwick, Cambridge, Leicester and Aston. It's safe to assume that the vast majority of university applicants are aware of the unique status of Oxbridge but are, perhaps, not as familiar with the nuances which distinguish other universities. Of course, there are several other RG universities that are particularly highly favoured but it is nevertheless appropriate to note the dominance of the Group as a whole (or at least 22 of them), including the universities you refer to as "bog standard regional RGs".
have you ever considered that the 3x overrepresentation isn't uniform across the RG and is down to the sort of student hired by them. my uni (yes, a bog standard regional RG) is overrepresented in the paralegal ranks but way underpresented in the trainee ones

last paragraph is waffle. aston's crap because it's aston, not because it isn't an RG. leicester and leeds are close enough to each other even though one is an RG and the other isn't. people arguing what i think you're arguing need to prove causation
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Supermature
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
have you ever considered that the 3x overrepresentation isn't uniform across the RG and is down to the sort of student hired by them. my uni (yes, a bog standard regional RG) is overrepresented in the paralegal ranks but way underpresented in the trainee ones

last paragraph is waffle. aston's crap because it's aston, not because it isn't an RG. leicester and leeds are close enough to each other even though one is an RG and the other isn't. people arguing what i think you're arguing need to prove causation
Perhaps I should have been more explicit.

The OP asked, "...what universities like specific ones do most magic circle law firms hire students from??"

In #7@lawcalling commented, "I agree that there’s no list - but from my own experience of who is in my MC cohort/vacs/Open Days it seems to be Russell Group Unis plus occasionally Leicester, Lancaster, Bath, Royal Holloway, Surrey, Sussex and Loughborough (plus a few Scottish unis)."

My intention in #8 was merely to add that recent research tended to support that view.

While I agree that there are several RG universities that are - for a variety of reasons - particularly highly favoured (including Cambridge and Warwick in the OP's list), I suspect that there will be little difference between the others in the employability stakes and that A level results and eventual degree classification will be of much greater importance in determining career prospects.
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17Student17
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The chambers list https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...d-universities does indeed cover lots of universities but it gives you the numbers which is the key thing. It also has a ranking from most popular, most hired from starting Oxford, Cambridge, etc so not a bad list to use. Eg I was at a MC firm and went to one near the top., My London lawyer daughters similarly went to ones near the top of that list. (None of us are Oxbridge)
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Supermature
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(Original post by 17Student17)
The chambers list https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...d-universities does indeed cover lots of universities but it gives you the numbers which is the key thing. It also has a ranking from most popular, most hired from starting Oxford, Cambridge, etc so not a bad list to use. Eg I was at a MC firm and went to one near the top., My London lawyer daughters similarly went to ones near the top of that list. (None of us are Oxbridge)
And all bar one of the top 20 universities in the more recent list for 2019, shown in the link at #10, are in what is now the Russell Group.

There are justifiable reservations about the Chambers surveys, which have been well expressed elsewhere in this forum. However, combined with evidence from other sources, there is little doubt that attendance at one of the RG universities can play a significant part in gaining entry to MC law firms. That does not mean, of course, that an RG degree is necessarily a prerequisite.

Perhaps that answers the OP's question?
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