The Student Room Group

Is a law degree worth it

Hi, I've had a love-hate relationship with thinking of doing law in university and I don't know if it is for me or not. I don't know if I should apply to it next year as I know I love it when justice is served and I would like to be a part of that but I don't know what type of law is worth it or if I even like it at all. I just fear that I would regret the degree I have taken as I will have to sit an exam even after I graduate to become a lawyer. Is it worth it? How do I know if I am passionate about or just like it?
Reply 1
So your option is: You do a law degree then do a masters in a different subject or alternatively you just work in a different industry to law firms & do a non-relevant job role. Just because you do a law degree doesn't necessarily mean you only need to work or pursue a career in Law. Then when you are ready to actually want to become a solicitor you can do the relevant master courses required and become one.

So another option is: do you have any other degrees or subjects that interest you? Look into them

Another option: you can always do a law conversion course after you've done a different undergrad degree that is off actual interest

Another option: don't go to University straight after college and do a gap year so you can actually realise what your interests are.

I wouldn't recommend an apprenticeship unless you know exactly the area you want to work in is off passion and interest because it's a tricky situation getting out of an apprenticeship.

I suggest you read up on the courses/route to become a solicitor. What it will involve after doing an undergrad law degree...
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/law-sector/law-careers

How do I know if I am passionate about or just like it? - how about doing work experience at a law firms? To get an idea off how the environment is and the working style...

I just fear that I would regret the degree I have taken as I will have to sit an exam even after I graduate to become a lawyer. - Yes you will have to do this.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by GamerGrilll
Hi, I've had a love-hate relationship with thinking of doing law in university and I don't know if it is for me or not. I don't know if I should apply to it next year as I know I love it when justice is served and I would like to be a part of that but I don't know what type of law is worth it or if I even like it at all. I just fear that I would regret the degree I have taken as I will have to sit an exam even after I graduate to become a lawyer. Is it worth it? How do I know if I am passionate about or just like it?

It sounds like you have no practical idea as to what the day to day life of a solicitor or barrister entails at all. Saying that you "love it when justice is served" is about the most threadbare reason you could possibly have to be interested in a career in the law. Bluntly, this post reads like you finished watching Suits on Netflix and thought you might study law.

I appreciate that may come across as harsh, but the point behind it is that law is not an easy degree and being a lawyer (solicitor or barrister) is not an easy career. It's not something that you should pursue on a whim. You need to look into what the actual day to day life of lawyers in different areas of law entails, and consider whether or not that appeals to you. There are plenty of resources for that on the internet if you have a search for them, but you can also do practical work experience to give you a physical insight into this sort of work, whether that's through internships, mini pupillages or marshalling. If you do look into a legal career properly and are still unsure, that's not a problem. Even if your undergraduate degree is not law you can then convert later, or can take other routes into the law that don't entail doing a law degree at all. The important thing is that you pursue your interests when choosing an undergraduate degree (or indeed any route after you finish school/college). If that's law then great. If it isn't, do something else. You can always come back to law later if you change your mind.
Note also that you don't need to do a law degree to qualify as a solicitor (or for your first degree to be in law to become a barrister), and something like half of all practicing solicitors today did a different degree subject. So doing a law degree =/= becoming as lawyer, either in the sense that a law degree doesn't necessarily constrain you to a legal career, and you can have a legal career without a law degree.

Given the above I wouldn't really suggest doing a law degree unless you are specifically interested in the ACADEMIC study of law (rather than any professional interests), since you can become a lawyer without a law degree and arguably it may be easier to distinguish yourself in another degree subject since law is pretty well known to have a lower first class rate than similar social sciences and humanities courses. Also if you're not specifically interested in the academic study of law absent any professional interests you may find it rather difficult to get through the course as I gather a lot of the material can be quite dry and unless you're really interested in those academic debates in those areas it might be quite a tedious experience.
If you love it when justice is served, become a police officer - because the point of being a solicitor is to serve your client's interests, which very rarely have anything to do with justice.
Reply 5
have you studied any form of academic law before? i mean studying law you aren't studying about 'serving justice'; like that's not what it's about and if you have no prior experience you may be sorely disappointed in many of your mandatory subjects like contract law, land law and EU law. studying an LLB is just about memories points of law and 1.4 million cases then applying them to problem scenarios to argue a likely outcome or writing airtight arguments in essay questions on theories of law and law in practice - but imo it's hardly learning about 'justice' most of the time :nah: the exception being perhaps if you're writing an essay about changing certain tort or criminal laws. if you don't believe me and you haven't already you should visit the TSR law study help forum as it will give you ideas on what type of questions you'll need to answer.

is a law degree worth it then? only if you like to geek out on academic law and enjoy punishing yourself with neverending reading and researching just to achieve a 2:1 compared to other degrees, assuming you go to a semi decent uni. indeed there are much more easier degrees out there that require far less effort to achieve a first class degree.

btw most areas of legal practice aren't about 'serving justice' either. most of it is just an office job and about following procedure, filling out forms and babysitting clients; even if you work in litigation you rarely go to court but you don't need to decide your career choice now. just focus on deciding on the degree you wish to pursue since (as others have stated above) you don't need an LLB to work in law and ps law is not a vocational degree; you can do lots of things with it.
Original post by GamerGrilll
Hi, I've had a love-hate relationship with thinking of doing law in university and I don't know if it is for me or not. I don't know if I should apply to it next year as I know I love it when justice is served and I would like to be a part of that but I don't know what type of law is worth it or if I even like it at all. I just fear that I would regret the degree I have taken as I will have to sit an exam even after I graduate to become a lawyer. Is it worth it? How do I know if I am passionate about or just like it?

You have received a number of helpful wake-up calls but I will just add a few things:
1. You may find that a law degree allows you to study areas of law where the law is actively being developed to help people in difficult or disadvantaged situations. Modules such as family law, mental health law, equalities law, as well as theoretical choices such as law and gender, law and war, are increasingly taught at universities. So do take a moment to identify the courses you are interested in as you may discover that they have offerings that interest you beyond the usual 'core' subjects.
2. It is very straightforward to pass the BPTC/LPC. Both have fairly high pass rates and they are not demanding if studied full-time with no other commitments such as raising kids or working part-time. If you struggle to pass them, you are likely not cut out for the profession (indeed, those who struggle to pass all of the modules on their first attempt will usually struggle to secure a training contract or pupillage). But it is a bit early to be thinking about these issues right now given that these exams only become relevant if you wish to enter legal practice.
3. If you would like to find out more about the law degree, you should find the kind of law materials that are studied by law students and read them. It's not that difficult, and there are no good substitutes to that. Some universities put up introductory reading online so that may be a good place to start if you don't know anyone. Make sure that you are aware that you will need to study 'dry' areas like land law and contract and that you will need to have the ability to push on through difficult and boring material in time pressured conditions. If you don't think that you have that kind of resilience, that's already a bad sign.
4. Keep in mind that you do not need to work as a lawyer to help justice be served (you can work as a police officer, or social worker, or trade union officer, or something like that). Also keep in mind that the areas within law that deal with sensitive issues like 'justice' are probably a minority and do not pay well. You may end up in a situation where you never make enough to pay off your student debt even after 30 or 40 years.
Original post by GamerGrilll
Hi, I've had a love-hate relationship with thinking of doing law in university and I don't know if it is for me or not. I don't know if I should apply to it next year as I know I love it when justice is served and I would like to be a part of that but I don't know what type of law is worth it or if I even like it at all. I just fear that I would regret the degree I have taken as I will have to sit an exam even after I graduate to become a lawyer. Is it worth it? How do I know if I am passionate about or just like it?


Hello,

I am a third year law student. Choosing the right degree for university can be difficult. In order to decide whether law is right for you I’d recommend going to a few taster lectures in law and research the subject. Universities often have taster lectures especially around open days. This can help give you an idea whether studying law is something you’d enjoy. Law is very broad so the chances are you will enjoy something if you’re interested in the field.

Studying law is hard work and encompasses a lot of areas and is more than justice. You’ll also look at economic, and philosophical perspectives for example and the gaps in law. You will quickly realise in law that a lot of the time justice is not served and there are many areas of law that require reform.

I’d have a look at various degrees see which one you are most interested in. For example social work etc. which also give you a chance to work for justice. If you do have an interest in law I do think it’s worth it. I feel you will enjoy at least something because of how broad law is. Law also teaches you a lot of skills from how to form an argument, being able to find key information in large chunks of text and problem solving. Law is therefore very valued by employers even if later you decide you don’t want to specialise in law.

Any questions let me know!

Best of luck,

Teresa (University of Southampton Ambassador)
Reply 8
Original post by Augustino D
Both have fairly high pass rates and they are not demanding if studied full-time with no other commitments such as raising kids or working part-time. If you struggle to pass them, you are likely not cut out for the profession (indeed, those who struggle to pass all of the modules on their first attempt will usually struggle to secure a training contract or pupillage).


Over 60% of students who undertake the bar course have to resit exams. The Bar Course is comprised of difficult centrally set exams. The BSB also strictly reviews all the internally set exams (can't say the same for the SRA where the LPC providers were known to not be consistent in how assessments were done). In my year (2020/2021), just 35% of students passed Criminal Litigation on the bar course. It's a difficult course! However, it is well known within the Bar that the course is difficult. Therefore, people who have failed exams on the bar course have still went on to secure pupillage on the first try! I would know as I am a friend and former classmate of many of them. It is known that the path to becoming a barrister is simply more difficult than becoming a solicitor -- from vocational legal training to qualifying, let's not pretend.

Quick Reply