hugojenner
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Hey there, I have an offer from both Bristol and Durham for law and I do not know which to choose. Durham is obviously ranked better for law however I really do not like the location whereas I love the city of Bristol. I would much rather go to Bristol yet I feel like I would be wasting an opportunity by not going to Durham.
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tjlba1101
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I think you need to do the best degree in law you can to improve your chances of getting into a good law firm later. My neighbour had to paralegal for 3 years before he got a training contract. Durham.
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Sasha sauce
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Go to Durham
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Gmaster1980
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Both schools send students on to be trainees at excellent firms every single year. You won't be at a disadvantage at either and it'll solely come down to what you do as an individual to stand out instead. I don't agree with the Durham Durham Durham crowd on this one at all.
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hugojenner
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
Both schools send students on to be trainees at excellent firms every single year. You won't be at a disadvantage at either and it'll solely come down to what you do as an individual to stand out instead. I don't agree with the Durham Durham Durham crowd on this one at all.
So do you suggest I go to Durham because I’m really scared it’s boring and I value university experience.
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anonuser99
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Go to Bristol. Being in a better environment will make you happier which will improve your grades and motivation. The unis are so marginally apart in terms of rankings that your mental state will actually play a big part in your success. People on this thread are acting as if Bristol isn't still a top uni.
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RoyalBeams
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(Original post by hugojenner)
Hey there, I have an offer from both Bristol and Durham for law and I do not know which to choose. Durham is obviously ranked better for law however I really do not like the location whereas I love the city of Bristol. I would much rather go to Bristol yet I feel like I would be wasting an opportunity by not going to Durham.
I don't think there is much difference between the two for law.

At best, Durham is slightly better.
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tjlba1101
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Only you can determine what social environment you will thrive in and you will need to balance that with other factors. I have applied to both Durham and Bristol. The Office for Students is a body set up by the government and they collect the student satisfaction data that informs all the league tables. They even do it by course. They also collect the employability data and the salary data at 15mths post uni. You can explore the data for both universities and courses at www.discoveruni.gov.uk.
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Debs25
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Trust your gut feeling! You know where you want to go.
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by hugojenner)
So do you suggest I go to Durham because I’m really scared it’s boring and I value university experience.
I think you misunderstood what I said. Go to whichever one you think will make you happiest. It literally doesn't matter. They're virtually equal in terms of prestige and hireability for law.
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Nightwish1234
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This may help your decision somewhat - in my experience following the barrister career path, many many applications are blind marked, meaning that they never see which university you attended. What they do see are your grades and the experiences you gained at the university. I can't comment on whether when applying for training contracts your application is blind marked, but what I can say is that achieving a 1st at any university will have far more weight than a 2:1. Prestige alone will never be sufficient to get you a job - what you need to be considering is where will you perform to the best of your ability.

Being happy is a major part of this - when you are actually enjoying your time at university you will be more motivated to work hard and find it easier to get though the rough patches. Law is not an easy degree, with significant reading and busy exam seasons, you should therefore pick the university that best suits you as an individual.
Other factors you may want to take into account are living costs, the optional modules available (for example, some universities offer medical law and others do not), the sports and other societies available, the strength of their bar/law societies (both are great I believe), and how the course is organised (frequent or end of year assessments, essays or exams etc.).

Pick the university where you feel you are more likely to come out with a good grade - reputation alone won't get you those elusive jobs upon graduation.
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RoyalBeams
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(Original post by Nightwish1234)
This may help your decision somewhat - in my experience following the barrister career path, many many applications are blind marked, meaning that they never see which university you attended. What they do see are your grades and the experiences you gained at the university. I can't comment on whether when applying for training contracts your application is blind marked, but what I can say is that achieving a 1st at any university will have far more weight than a 2:1. Prestige alone will never be sufficient to get you a job - what you need to be considering is where will you perform to the best of your ability.

Being happy is a major part of this - when you are actually enjoying your time at university you will be more motivated to work hard and find it easier to get though the rough patches. Law is not an easy degree, with significant reading and busy exam seasons, you should therefore pick the university that best suits you as an individual.
Other factors you may want to take into account are living costs, the optional modules available (for example, some universities offer medical law and others do not), the sports and other societies available, the strength of their bar/law societies (both are great I believe), and how the course is organised (frequent or end of year assessments, essays or exams etc.).

Pick the university where you feel you are more likely to come out with a good grade - reputation alone won't get you those elusive jobs upon graduation.
What I thought was that it was solicitors/training contracts employers that had blind-marked applications, not barrister chambers?

Is it not Barristers chambers that still hire circa 85% Oxbridge? While Magic and Silver Circle firms are now hiring even graduates from BPP, Kent, East London and likes that can prove themselves at interviews, and Oxbridge hires are down to below 40%?
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Nightwish1234
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(Original post by RoyalBeams)
What I thought was that it was solicitors/training contracts employers that had blind-marked applications, not barrister chambers?

Is it not Barristers chambers that still hire circa 85% Oxbridge? While Magic and Silver Circle firms are now hiring even graduates from BPP, Kent, East London and likes that can prove themselves at interviews, and Oxbridge hires are down to below 40%?
I can’t speak for the figures nor am I part of any chambers yet, so bear that in mind when reading my comment. I speak only from my personal experience in this and last pupillage round.
For example, the set at which I interviewed at last week: their mark scheme (which is publicly available) makes clear that at paper sift, the points are given for your degree purely based on the grade attained - there is no bonus mark to be gained anywhere for the university name. With a score out of 5, a 1st is 4, a 2:1 is 2, and a 2:2 is 1, bonus marks may be gained from the BPTC (+1) and an LLM (+1). Further to this, at interview stage, the panel were not even shown my application form - they had no idea which universities I attended.
I believe the bar has made great strides in improving its recruitment process in recent years, especially with the standardisation of the gateway system. Sure, some sets may still practice questionably, but in my opinion, these are few and far between.

I believe the reason we are still seeing high oxbridge numbers is because firstly, the bar is a much slower moving profession - chambers take on one or two new pupils a year. It will take time to see some diversity. Secondly, I believe the reason that you see top universities feature more frequently in chambers profiles, is simply that students from these universities are better prepared. Having competed in inter-university moots, there is a stark difference in the advocacy capabilities of some universities because certain universities have better facilities to train students as a result of funding and other factors. Furthermore, Oxbridge and other top Russel Group universities by having high entry requirements often have the best students. chances are, the student with perfect A levels who went to Oxbridge would perform to a somewhat similar standard at say Bristol, and have equal chance at securing pupillage if this was the only difference in their application.
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Khfhgdd
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I was in the exact same dilemma but I’ve gone for Bristol as my firm! I looked round both cities and chatted to a few people at both unis! I just know Bristol is the one for me, but you should defiantly try and do the same if you can because it made my decision so much easier!
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by RoyalBeams)
What I thought was that it was solicitors/training contracts employers that had blind-marked applications, not barrister chambers?

Is it not Barristers chambers that still hire circa 85% Oxbridge? While Magic and Silver Circle firms are now hiring even graduates from BPP, Kent, East London and likes that can prove themselves at interviews, and Oxbridge hires are down to below 40%?
you do realise it's not mutually exclusive right? it's possible that some chambers and some firms blind mark. or do you assume that any dumbing down only happens for sols
i've gone through a fair few mid tier firms both as an interviewee and as a paralegal and now future trainee and i've never met anyone with an undergrad from BPP or UEL. Let alone SC and MC firms. Kent pops up rarely. There's plenty of prestige uni graduates still. No need to worry about your precious Oxbridge grads not getting a job, they'll get one too.
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Tolgash
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Both are very similar in terms of the quality of education that you'll receive. You should focus on other factors like student satisfaction.
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RoyalBeams
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
you do realise it's not mutually exclusive right? it's possible that some chambers and some firms blind mark. or do you assume that any dumbing down only happens for sols
i've gone through a fair few mid tier firms both as an interviewee and as a paralegal and now future trainee and i've never met anyone with an undergrad from BPP or UEL. Let alone SC and MC firms. Kent pops up rarely. There's plenty of prestige uni graduates still. No need to worry about your precious Oxbridge grads not getting a job, they'll get one too.
Dumbing down?

What are you trying to say overall with this emotional and anecdotal rant?
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by RoyalBeams)
Dumbing down?

What are you trying to say overall with this emotional and anecdotal rant?
the undertone of your post was that these firms have dumbed themselves down to the point where they accept anyone from any uni. that doesn't happen. oxbridge etc are very well represented

if you have access to data that shows UEL and BPP undergraduates invading MC and SC firms, please show it ^^^
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by RoyalBeams)
What I thought was that it was solicitors/training contracts employers that had blind-marked applications, not barrister chambers?

Is it not Barristers chambers that still hire circa 85% Oxbridge? While Magic and Silver Circle firms are now hiring even graduates from BPP, Kent, East London and likes that can prove themselves at interviews, and Oxbridge hires are down to below 40%?
I'm only aware of CC and Macfarlanes claiming to blind mark applications. None of the other SC and MC firms do that.

There's a general moral panic about blink marking but a) it's really not widespread, people just like to focus on the exceptions, and b) it's not super effective. You can get the name of your university in at interview. HR don't seem to be too fussed about differences in 'prestige' to begin with. On top of that, different firms look for different things. Some MC firms care about grades/academics more than others. Same goes for SC firms. HSF recruits far more academic people than Ashurst on average. And then you have all of the other things that make an application look good that have nothing to do with your university.

Oxbridge still makes >30% of all of the MC intakes, and possibly even a higher percentage of the offers (someone with 4 MC offers can only pick one of them, meaning that the other three need to go to other people).

There have been lots of theories as to why the percentage of Oxbridge grads at MC firms is sliding down gradually over time. My preferred one is that, the more steps you add to the process (WGs, VIs, full-day ACs, longer vacation schemes, exit interviews), the more likely it is that an Oxbridge graduate will trip up and get rejected on the same grounds as a non-Oxbridge graduate. For example, going to Oxbridge - or indeed any other leading university - won't save you if you don't pass a cut-off or fail to answer a bunch of recorded questions well. Whereas, when candidates are only assessed on one interview and the firm has fewer data points on them, it's more likely that university 'name' will stand out a bit more.

Don't know much about the Bar so I can't comment on how blind marking works there. But if you're referring to chambers that are recruiting 85% Oxbridge, you really are referring to the creme de la creme in London. Their candidates are exception even by Oxbridge standard and often come with years of work experience, prizes, postgraduate degrees, PhDs, you name it. You can't generalise this to the rest of the Bar.
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RoyalBeams
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
the undertone of your post was that these firms have dumbed themselves down to the point where they accept anyone from any uni. that doesn't happen. oxbridge etc are very well represented

if you have access to data that shows UEL and BPP undergraduates invading MC and SC firms, please show it ^^^
The undertone?

Where did you get your psychic degree from?
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