sophieisdecent
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I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
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AHKS
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(Original post by sophieisdecent)
I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
You could also look at a criminology degree and/or a career in Probation perhaps
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chalbliagtelle
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(Original post by sophieisdecent)
I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
I'm a current LLB student and it really depends on two things: your uni and your modules.

Every university operates differently in terms of exams, coursework, reading lists and modules. there are a certain number of 'core modules' you'll always find on an LLB Law degree but every single university examines them differently. for example, last year one of my compulsory modules was land law, which was based 100% on the exam and we didn't really have any mocks either so my workload for that module was relatively light apart from at the very end when i had to revise everything. but at the same time i also did tort law which was based 50% on one big exam at xmas and 50% on an essay we did throughout the second term, so i was pretty much always studying something for that module. other unis will do this totally differently so i can only really speak for my case. but personally i've found that as long as you have decent time management you'll manage to get through just about everything.

in first year, if you took really easy a levels, you might find doing a law degree a bit of a shock to the system in that you'll have a lot more reading than you ever had to do during your a levels, but i really think that's nothing to do with the degree itself but more to do with the transition to uni. i would do about 100 pages/week of reading in first year more or less BUT i had friends doing history/ppe/english that had the exact same volume if not more (and it's not like the stem people were safe either with their 1000 problem sheets lol). i think a lot of people get REALLY intense about the LLB and do stuff like get up at 6am to cover absolutely everything they need and make it their entire life so naturally they don't have free time which i think is so unnecessary and so damaging mentally. yes law can be hard, and boring, and you might not have as much free time as someone doing e.g. maths where they don't have to do a mountain of essays but i would never say i had no time to pursue any hobbies. the thing i find hardest about law is that you do have to do quite a lot you're simply not interested in. like let's be real i don't sleep at night dreaming of the legal requirements for murder lol. but you also get a lot of opportunities to do elective things like the law of evidence or a research paper in whatever you want. it's not everyone's cup of tea! you may prefer criminology. i'd recommend checking out the modules or buying a first year law textbook and seeing if you feel like you can stomach it and if so absolutely apply

just to edit: forgot to mention that you don't need a law degree to become e.g. a solicitor anyway so if you're not 100% sold on it don't worry just study what you find interesting
Last edited by chalbliagtelle; 3 weeks ago
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bethanny_g
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(Original post by sophieisdecent)
I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
I'm in the same position career-wise, I've been planning to be a solicitor but I'm now leaning towards detective (feels like it's more fitting). I studied law for 2 years and I just changed my UCAS application from law to psychology, I decided I don't want to spend another 3 years studying law because I'm not 100% committed to it. So you have to answer this for yourself, look through some materials, case studies, case law etc and see if you enjoy it. Some of the simple things you can do is read through legislation, interpret it, read some case law and analyse it (you basically look at what the issue is, circumstances of the case, what laws were applied and how, what did the court say etc). The way I see it, if you're not 100% committed to studying law, it's probably better to choose another degree that you're interested in otherwise you might end up suffering for 3 years. You can still be a solicitor without a law undergrad.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by sophieisdecent)
I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
my uni had a 10% drop out rate after first year

reasons for it:
- law is deathly dull, people just didn't think that the interesting bits like contract and crim made up for the boring bits
- workload was a shock to some ppl, esp those who clearly hadn't done well at A-level. a lot of ppl studied inefficiently as well.
- a lot to memorise for closed book exams
- pressure to get good grades to show off to employers
- they got a 2.2 or a third as an average and they feared they'd get the same in second and third year and end up with a garbage degree

I think that the first and last points were the biggest contributors tbf, law can be intimidating if you don't put the hours in and think you can leave stuff to the last minute. anyone with a semi decent work ethic will probably emerge with a 2.1
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one_two_three
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If you are in year 11 then contact some local solicitors and barristers for work experience over summer. This will give you an idea of what it is like. Also, look at joining Police cadets if you are interested in a career as a detective. It just gives a little bit of insight into the career. What is right for one person is not right for someone else. I would say that life as a detective also involves a lot of long hours and unpredictable working patterns, as it is with anyone in the Police.

At a top law firm you will be expected to work long hours and give up a lot of your life for the job, but this is reflected in what you are paid. You could go to a smaller firm and deal with smaller cases but have a better work life balance if that is what you want. What someone else decided was not for them may be for you - so go and experience things for yourself and see what you want.
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Joleee
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law degree =/= solicitor or a career in law. you can indeed do a law degree and pursue a career as a detective; so first you need to separate the idea of academic study from your inevitable career. law in the UK isn't a vocational degree. :nah:

if you're not passionate about studying law and worried about free time then i'd say do something else cuz if you go to a half-decent uni you will be doing a lot of reading and researching to get that 2:1. there are much easier degrees out there. or if you're semi interested in the academic study of law you could look into doing a combo like PPL or law and criminology, or law and politics?
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by Joleee)
law degree =/= solicitor or a career in law. you can indeed do a law degree and pursue a career as a detective; so first you need to separate the idea of academic study from your inevitable career. law in the UK isn't a vocational degree. :nah:

if you're not passionate about studying law and worried about free time then i'd say do something else cuz if you go to a half-decent uni you will be doing a lot of reading and researching to get that 2:1. there are much easier degrees out there. or if you're semi interested in the academic study of law you could look into doing a combo like PPL or law and criminology, or law and politics?
this is such a good point. i was wondering why OP thought one led to the other
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Johnny ~
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It's quite repetitive, honestly. You're told to read a chapter of a textbook, a few cases or statutory provisions, and the odd article, x as many modules you have, every week. You also have to attend the relevant lecture for your module (many don't) and prepare some kind of question or activity for the class seminar (again, many won't). This goes on for however many weeks your term lasts.

You get set between 1-4 essays per module per term, depending on the module and university. You might get mock exams in the spring. Some universities host January exams in addition to May/June ones; others give out coursework that needs to be completed throughout the academic year. There's quite a variety when it comes to assessment actually. End of year exams are no longer the norm everywhere.

Things are slightly different at Oxbridge but the core remains the same.

The amount of reading is such that, at most unis, most students cannot hope to complete the core and further reading for every week and then also revise and learn it off by heart in time for exams. So they have to question spot and pick the weeks they want to focus. How feasible a strategy this is, again, depends on the university and the module. I remember having to learn basically 100% of the content for land law but barely 50% of that for tax and employment law.

Edit: Because of the high workload and the fact that law students tend to do a lot of extracurriculars and applications, it's very common for them to spend most of their winter and Easter holidays on consolidation. I don't think I took more than a couple days' break over Christmas or Easter during any of the 3 years of my LLB. Too much to catch up on.
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daveymcloughlin
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(Original post by Joleee)
law degree =/= solicitor or a career in law. you can indeed do a law degree and pursue a career as a detective; so first you need to separate the idea of academic study from your inevitable career. law in the UK isn't a vocational degree. :nah:

if you're not passionate about studying law and worried about free time then i'd say do something else cuz if you go to a half-decent uni you will be doing a lot of reading and researching to get that 2:1. there are much easier degrees out there. or if you're semi interested in the academic study of law you could look into doing a combo like PPL or law and criminology, or law and politics?
Politics can't be that much easier than law.

I see people who get average A levels, go to an average uni and that cope with it fine so why can't everyone lol.
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Joleee
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(Original post by daveymcloughlin)
Politics can't be that much easier than law.

I see people who get average A levels, go to an average uni and that cope with it fine so why can't everyone lol.
well i've taken a politics module to relieve my workload and can verify it is easier and recieved two first class marks with much less research and reading than law :h:. do you study a law degree?

not sure what you meant in your second para tbh. i said there's a lot of reading and research to attain a 2:1 in a 'half-decent' uni; not an average one.
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daveymcloughlin
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(Original post by Joleee)
well i've taken a politics module to relieve my workload and can verify it is easier and recieved two first class marks with much less research and reading than law :h:. do you study a law degree?

not sure what you meant in your second para tbh. i said there's a lot of reading and research to attain a 2:1 in a 'half-decent' uni; not an average one.
yeah but if people who got B/Cs in their A Levels can do it, then Davey McLoughlin with his A's definitely can.
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onesadboi
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Not studying law won't stop you from becoming a solicitor, can't say for a barrister (not my route). The new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) only requires an undergrad degree and most city firms like candidates from non-law degrees (especially stem).

The workload is tough, but rewarding you will be memorising 100s of cases and sections the legislation.
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Joleee
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(Original post by daveymcloughlin)
yeah but if people who got B/Cs in their A Levels can do it, then Davey McLoughlin with his A's definitely can.
can do what?
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daveymcloughlin
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(Original post by Joleee)
can do what?
A law degree?
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by daveymcloughlin)
yeah but if people who got B/Cs in their A Levels can do it, then Davey McLoughlin with his A's definitely can.
weird way to put it lol

(Original post by Joleee)
well i've taken a politics module to relieve my workload and can verify it is easier and recieved two first class marks with much less research and reading than law :h:. do you study a law degree?

not sure what you meant in your second para tbh. i said there's a lot of reading and research to attain a 2:1 in a 'half-decent' uni; not an average one.
agree
my politics mates had it easier than me. politics isn't especially hard to 'get' and there isn't much reading involved so it doesn't have the time suck law does
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Uni of Hull Students
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(Original post by sophieisdecent)
I'm in year 11 and I'm looking into careers related to criminal justice. I like the idea of being either a detective or a solicitor or barrister.

The only thing putting me off pursuing the career of being a solicitor or barrister is the fact that a YouTuber I watched quit her law degree because the workload was too much and she barely had any free time (or something along those lines).

I thought I'd ask people who have done law at uni (or are doing it right now) what it's like, in terms of the workload, how hard they find it and stuff.
Hi sophieisdecent,
I'm a third year LLB student so thought I would chip in. Similar to what other have said, honestly there is a lot of content to get through plus extra reading, often more than you can read every single week, so you may have to pick an essay question early on and focus your reading on that area. However, I wouldn't let this deter you! I have managed to get good grades whilst sitting on a sports committee and having a lot of fun too- you just have to learn when to prioritize, how to make notes effectively, always try to learn from your feedback and be prepared to spend some of your evenings, weekends and holidays catching up on your work. In short, it is lot of work especially during exam season but absolutely not impossible if you are passionate about it.

Hope this helps you decide!
Lizzy, Student Ambassador (Law)
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legalhelp
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It has been mentioned already but it is worth making this clear: you do not need to do a law degree in order to become either a criminal barrister or a criminal solicitor. You have the option of doing any other degree you like, and converting afterwards. Some practising lawyers who did do law at undergraduate are glad they did, but to be completely honest, many of them (in my experience) wish they had spent that time doing something more enjoyable. All I can say is that it’s up to you, and that you will be at absolutely no disadvantage whatsoever applying for jobs in the area of criminal law with a conversion vs with a law degree.

For crime in particular, it’s worth noting that most people spend roughly the same amount of time studying that module at undergraduate law level as you would on the conversion course. So if you think you would enjoy studying something different at university - do that instead!
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Catherine1973
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I agree that sone of it is boring. Like land law. The world of mortgages and easements and covenants. I found it quite hard to grasp at times and I am a lot older and have actually done things like bought a leasehold property and had a mortgage so it had much more relevance but still it was a strange subject! Can’t imagine enjoying it much at 18!
Reading wise, it can be 50 pages of a textbook per subject per week plus 3-4 articles which could be 5-30 pages plus cases you should read (20 pages each)
Then 3 or 4 subjects so yes, a lot of reading.
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17Student17
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I really enjoyed my law degree (and am a lawyer now). However 50% of solicitors in top firms read a different subject at university and then convert after so that is certainly a possibility for you too.
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