What A-Levels should I take if I wish to become a solicitor in the future?

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userdeivon
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#1
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#1
Hi,

I was wondering what the best A-Levels would be if I wanted to study law in the future and become a solicitor. The subjects I have currently applied for are Law, English Language, and Politics.
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mnot
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#2
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#2
Generally it’s pretty open.

I think some llb courses ask for an essay subject, generally best to check unis course admissions requirements online and it should become pretty clear.

Id think your current choices are absolutely fine.
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userdeivon
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#3
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#3
Thanks, I’ve emailed the admissions team about switching out English Language to English Literature. However, I’m still concerned about switching out Law. I feel like A-Levels would give me a 'taster' as to what the subject is really like. I don’t want to jump to university, pick law, hate it and become stuck as to what career path to take.

I should also preface that I didn't just switch out English Language for English Literature because someone told me to, I had been considering doing so for a while. After reading more on my college's website, I found that English Literature was more suited to me anyway.
Last edited by userdeivon; 8 months ago
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Rockyd123)
I would switch English Language to Literature and I would drop Law (universities prefer to teach it from scratch and it isn't really a prestigious subject at A-Level).
That's not really the case any more, historically some universities were less keen on it but now even LSE lists it as one of their "preferred" subjects. Likewise A-level English language.

(Original post by ASociety)
Thanks, I’ve emailed the admissions team about switching out English Language to English Literature. However, I’m still concerned about switching out Law. I feel like A-Levels would give me a 'taster' as to what the subject is really like. I don’t want to jump to university, pick law, hate it and become stuck as to what career path to take.
English literature is no better or worse than English language for doing a law degree, as far as admissions go, and also probably for actual preparation for the course. Don't do English literature just because someone on the internet told you to - actually look at the course and understand what it entails before making a choice.

If you don't like doing close literary analysis of texts you will hate A-level English literature. The very surface level character and theme analysis you can get away with and get good grades in GCSE English lit won't be sufficient in A-level anymore, and it really is much about that close reading or particular key quotes and passages and literary criticism of those, than very broad thematic discussions.

As above A-level Law is perfectly acceptable by unis for going into a law degree (or any other degree). However I would note it may not give you that much of an indication of what a law degree is like, as the A-level is much more in the vein of what might be called "socio-legal studies" than law as such. In a law degree you will spend much more time studying black letter law and applying that to solve legal problems, and my impression of the A-level is that those things are a very minimal aspect of it.
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chalbliagtelle
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#5
Your current choices are fine, just take what you think you will do best in. The only thing that matters is that you get good grades - firms and universities will only look at the number of As/A*s you had, not whether they were in Politics, Maths or Drama! Personally I did English Language + 2 languages at A Level and that's not held me back in any way. I really loved English Language so perhaps I'm biased in recommending it! I can tell you though that nothing you do at A Level will really be similar to what you study during a law degree. Afaik there is no way to really use A Levels as a 'taster' so don't pick based on that.

Don't worry about not liking the degree because once you're in uni for Law you can change courses to anything that your grades and A Level subjects allow, so no worries if you hate it, you could easily change to English/Politics or something a couple of weeks into term within the same uni. Law will also open a LOT more career paths to you than just being a solicitor, so make sure you take the time to check those out if you're worried about being stuck for a career. Investment banking, civil service, business services, consulting, academia... the list goes on, you can find more you're interested on your own I'm sure but you will not be stuck for choice at all.
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avengersendgame
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#6
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#6
in my opinion choose the subjects that you know you are good and going to get a good grade at. if those subjects you have chosen are your strongest subjects. if not reconsider them as it may affect you chances of getting to your desired uni.
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userdeivon
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#7
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
That's not really the case any more, historically some universities were less keen on it but now even LSE lists it as one of their "preferred" subjects. Likewise A-level English language.



English literature is no better or worse than English language for doing a law degree, as far as admissions go, and also probably for actual preparation for the course. Don't do English literature just because someone on the internet told you to - actually look at the course and understand what it entails before making a choice.

If you don't like doing close literary analysis of texts you will hate A-level English literature. The very surface level character and theme analysis you can get away with and get good grades in GCSE English lit won't be sufficient in A-level anymore, and it really is much about that close reading or particular key quotes and passages and literary criticism of those, than very broad thematic discussions.

As above A-level Law is perfectly acceptable by unis for going into a law degree (or any other degree). However I would note it may not give you that much of an indication of what a law degree is like, as the A-level is much more in the vein of what might be called "socio-legal studies" than law as such. In a law degree you will spend much more time studying black letter law and applying that to solve legal problems, and my impression of the A-level is that those things are a very minimal aspect of it.
In regards to me switching out English Language for English Literature, I’d been considering it for a while; I didn’t purely do it because a stranger told me to do so. I went to a careers advisor and did some research, as well.

From my research, it seems that English Language oftentimes entails more literary analysis than English Literature. I’m not naïve, I don’t expect to rock up, analyse the meaning of a poem and leave with an A*. I am fully aware that the preparation of GCSE English Literature is insufficient for the hefty workload of A-Level. However, I am willing to endure that for my career prospects.

I appreciate your advice. I looked at some universities, particularly those that have a ‘preferred A-Level list', the most common requirement for law is that you studied at least two of these 'preferred' A-Levels and all of my chosen studies are on said list.

Again, thank you. I tend to overthink these things as I don’t want to be imprudent.
Last edited by userdeivon; 1 year ago
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userdeivon
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#8
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(Original post by Rockyd123)
If they are considering English language, I think it's unlikely they would hate English literature. In Language, you also need to do close analysis of unseen texts, more so than Lit - you have to compare and contrast unseen texts and do 'language under the microscope'.

I would say that Literature is better at prepping for law because it teaches you to form a critical argument rather than objectively analysing language. It's also really great for expanding vocab becoming more fluent in academic essay writing, whereas the creative aspect of A-Level language isn't that helpful.

Honestly, I think there is little point to doing Law at A-Level just in preparation for studying at uni. It's probably better to do a subject you were good at at GCSE and know you can get good grades in, e.g. History, Maths etc. History is particularly great because it also teaches you to form arguments and to pick out the small details of stuff.
I agree with you completely in that English Language can oftentimes entail more literary analysis than English Literature.

As for picking something I am good at in GCSE, I studied Citizenship and received an A* - which, in terms of law, is far more useful than History.

It teaches you about human rights, politics, law and justice, etc. The whole premise of the subject is to argue points that are relevant today. I am aware, however, that the subject definitely teaches a shallow level of the aforementioned topics. Nevertheless, I am good at it, so it is definitely possible for me to expand that knowledge and apply it to A-Level. It should also help me with A-Level Politics, too.
Last edited by userdeivon; 8 months ago
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