Is A level Law a good subject to take to get into Oxbridge?

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Antony Hughes
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My brother is thinking of pursing a Law degree when he is older and one of the things that seemed to confuse me was the mixed response people have given regarding the usefulness of A level Law.

Apparently it is considered a "Soft" subject meaning it is considered to be easy and is not a well respected subject.

I took some time to look at the top performing schools such as Private schools and Grammar schools and one thing that I noticed was that they seemed to offer politics instead of A level Law and considering the high demand for Law and how prestigious it is I thought that a lot of schools especially the top schools would offer this but they don't seem to.

This gives me the suspicion that top universities value the subject less in comparison to a combination of subjects like Politics, English and history.
Furthermore I read from an old post around 6-7 years ago that Cambridge actually listed it as a subject they don't prefer although I dont know how true this is.

What do you guys think?

Is it worth doing A level Law? And can it help get you into the top institutions?
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sublime-baths
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There’s a very simple answer to this question: no.

A level Law is completely and totally unnecessary to get into the top institutions. Nor is it required to study law. You’d be better off doing English or History as an A-level.
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ItsJustBella
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A lot of teachers I spoke to said A Level Law is not necessary and it’s quite useless, so it’s best not to bother with that. There’s also not a specific subject that needs to be taken in order for someone to do law but it’s probably useful to have an essay subject or two!
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_gcx
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There's plenty written on here about A-level Law. There was a shift in opinion at some point, I think. At the very minimum, it will not put at a disadvantage, and there wasn't really ever any evidence that it did, just random whisperings of it being "easy".

Not a soft subject at all. This attitude has carried though and you'll still find people discouraging A-level law now.
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edaram
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(Original post by sublime-baths)
There’s a very simple answer to this question: no.

A level Law is completely and totally unnecessary to get into the top institutions. Nor is it required to study law. You’d be better off doing English or History as an A-level.
OP - cambridge law offer holder here, this guy is right . Just because the Russel Group have stopped publishing what the facilitating subjects are does not mean they have stopped using them.
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camapplicant530
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Hi OP, i'll chime in with my thoughts:

It is absolutely not necessary to get into Oxbridge, and arguably it is advisable not to choose it as it's a lot harder to get an A* in, despite the lower grade boundary. I do politics / R.S. / law / history and it's the most complex subject by a significant margin.

Nevertheless, in my opinion it's very useful preparation for an LLB as it covers the basics of some of the 7 core subjects pretty comprehensively. The basics of Tort (particularly negligence) / Criminal is covered fully, with very little left out compared to similar units in an LLB syllabus. If you're really interested in what's left out, you can analyse the differences by just picking up a core text from year one of any LLB.

It's also worth mentioning that beyond the syllabus it also prepares you for writing problem questions, which is a massive part of any LLB. Getting the hang of: state the facts / apply the law / come to a conclusion is really useful preparation that I have found invaluable.
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edaram
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(Original post by camapplicant530)
Hi OP, i'll chime in with my thoughts:

It is absolutely not necessary to get into Oxbridge, and arguably it is advisable not to choose it as it's a lot harder to get an A* in, despite the lower grade boundary. I do politics / R.S. / law / history and it's the most complex subject by a significant margin.

Nevertheless, in my opinion it's very useful preparation for an LLB as it covers the basics of some of the 7 core subjects pretty comprehensively. The basics of Tort (particularly negligence) / Criminal is covered fully, with very little left out compared to similar units in an LLB syllabus. If you're really interested in what's left out, you can analyse the differences by just picking up a core text from year one of any LLB.

It's also worth mentioning that beyond the syllabus it also prepares you for writing problem questions, which is a massive part of any LLB. Getting the hang of: state the facts / apply the law / come to a conclusion is really useful preparation that I have found invaluable.
OP, the problem with this is that these are all things you spend more time learning with much more nuance. Something I've been told by people much more knowledgeable than me is that the course is designed to be taught from the ground up, and at Oxbridge it's getting taught by some of the finest legal minds in the country. It's much, much harder to unlearn something than to learn it for the first time. Honestly, the best way to prepare is by getting enthusiastic about the subject, and ready to take on the workload.
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camapplicant530
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(Original post by edaram)
OP, the problem with this is that these are all things you spend more time learning with much more nuance. Something I've been told by people much more knowledgeable than me is that the course is designed to be taught from the ground up, and at Oxbridge it's getting taught by some of the finest legal minds in the country. It's much, much harder to unlearn something than to learn it for the first time. Honestly, the best way to prepare is by getting enthusiastic about the subject, and ready to take on the workload.
I don't really agree with this. I have a cam offer too and i've found it to be excellent preparation: simply attempting problem questions has been really useful, and I know that will transfer well to the degree. It was also very useful for the CLT.
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edaram
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(Original post by camapplicant530)
I don't really agree with this. I have a cam offer too and i've found it to be excellent preparation: simply attempting problem questions has been really useful, and I know that will transfer well to the degree. It was also very useful for the CLT.
Congrats on the cam offer! In all honesty, neither of us has started the course, so it's hard for either of us to gauge whether it will transfer to the degree at all if being I'm honest, but I'm glad you feel it helped you so far. If it's just CLT prep you're after, literally any essay subject or even debating etc will help you just as much (or just do some practice essays).
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Stark°3000
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I'm actually doing A-level Law and as far as I can tell the only thing Oxbridge or other Russell group unis would like is good grades in whatever subject you do! If that's all they want then what's there to worry about?

When I was picking my A-levels, I was also caught up on whether it was 'too soft' or a 'mickey mouse subject' but honestly, It's your brother's choice on what he wants to do and please don't let those outdated terms discourage him from picking A-levels he will actually enjoy.

By the way, Oxford and Cambridge don't really have a 'soft subject' list anymore so please don't bother with those 6-7 year old threads they're pretty much useless.

Let your brother check this website out:
https://www.informedchoices.ac.uk/
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Antony Hughes)
My brother is thinking of pursing a Law degree when he is older and one of the things that seemed to confuse me was the mixed response people have given regarding the usefulness of A level Law.

Apparently it is considered a "Soft" subject meaning it is considered to be easy and is not a well respected subject.

I took some time to look at the top performing schools such as Private schools and Grammar schools and one thing that I noticed was that they seemed to offer politics instead of A level Law and considering the high demand for Law and how prestigious it is I thought that a lot of schools especially the top schools would offer this but they don't seem to.

This gives me the suspicion that top universities value the subject less in comparison to a combination of subjects like Politics, English and history.
Furthermore I read from an old post around 6-7 years ago that Cambridge actually listed it as a subject they don't prefer although I dont know how true this is.

What do you guys think?

Is it worth doing A level Law? And can it help get you into the top institutions?
It's not particularly "good" but it's not bad either. LSE is one of the fussiest unis out there for Law and they list it as one of their "preferred subjects" (look under subject combinations for the full list).

Trinity College Cambridge was the only college that listed it as non preferred and no longer do so, but if your brother is considering Cambridge it wouldn't hurt for him to email their Admissions team before starting A level Law. I very much doubt they would have a problem with it now if taken alongside 2 more traditional subjects.

https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/U...ns-Information
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