Cant.be.asked
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#1
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#1
Confused A Level student here...help with deciding on which degree is better?

My A Levels is more suited for economics but is also fine for law:
maths,further maths, history, economics

Career paths I'm considering:
Management consulting, Solicitor
(I think with either degree I can pursue both paths)

Reasons for choosing economics:
Good career prospects
Interested in economics
Suits my interests in maths and humanities

Reasons for law:
I love history so I think i might also like law
broad areas that i could specialise so suits my changing interests
i enjoy watching court trials (not in film, actual trials like the george floyd trial)

Reasons against law:
I feel like I'd be wasting my aptitude in maths if I study law
A lot of people find law really boring (but then again the same is said about history but I enjoy it)


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Abzino1
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#2
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#2
Hey, im a law grad and I just wanted to give you some brief insight into the subject.

Law is very interesting in its nature, you will be learning about case law and the reasoning behind decision making. Its also fascinating how this reasoning is defined and they way in which the law is also interpreted. Overall it can be very interesting, especially subjects like Criminal Law or Medical Law.

However, it does require ALOT of reading and writing. God knows the amount of coursework I have done over the years. There also a few modules you may really dislike (yes im talking about you Public Law).

Economics seems like it would have more of a problem solving element to it, although im just guessing here. With my law assignments there was a big focus on identifying the issue and then arguing my own points with reasoning. There was never really a right or wrong answer, some people enjoy that and some hate it.

I also felt burnt out, but thats just me. However, I would emphasise on choosing something you enjoy.

In regards to your point about enjoying history. Yes law does look into history however this is only brief, the focus is mainly on the legal issues, decisions made etc. In history you'll be learning about a famous war and why it happened. In Law, youll be learning about a woman drinking a drink with a slug inside it but the main focus is on why the manufacturer of the drink is liable to her. So its a little less exciting lol.
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Cant.be.asked
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Abzino1)
Hey, im a law grad and I just wanted to give you some brief insight into the subject.

Law is very interesting in its nature, you will be learning about case law and the reasoning behind decision making. Its also fascinating how this reasoning is defined and they way in which the law is also interpreted. Overall it can be very interesting, especially subjects like Criminal Law or Medical Law.

However, it does require ALOT of reading and writing. God knows the amount of coursework I have done over the years. There also a few modules you may really dislike (yes im talking about you Public Law).

Economics seems like it would have more of a problem solving element to it, although im just guessing here. With my law assignments there was a big focus on identifying the issue and then arguing my own points with reasoning. There was never really a right or wrong answer, some people enjoy that and some hate it.

I also felt burnt out, but thats just me. However, I would emphasise on choosing something you enjoy.

In regards to your point about enjoying history. Yes law does look into history however this is only brief, the focus is mainly on the legal issues, decisions made etc. In history you'll be learning about a famous war and why it happened. In Law, youll be learning about a woman drinking a drink with a slug inside it but the main focus is on why the manufacturer of the drink is liable to her. So its a little less exciting lol.
Wow, this is very helpful, thanks!!

If you were to give a % on how much you enjoy studying law, what would you say?
Also, was there any thing you found out to be a myth or misconception about a law degree? Expectation vs reality?
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wifd149
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
Wow, this is very helpful, thanks!!

If you were to give a % on how much you enjoy studying law, what would you say?
Also, was there any thing you found out to be a myth or misconception about a law degree? Expectation vs reality?
Another, current law student here, and I recently did a bit of a mix between law and economics for one of my latest coursework.

I enjoy law as a subject at about 70% to 80%, it genuinely is interesting as an academic subject - if I didn't have any deadlines and if the exams are not so damn hard to score in

I expected a law degree to be more 'interactive' and to have more 'hands-on' experiences like those in the US. Over here a lot of things are on your own initiatives, and it is often filled with essay writings. Some modules will not ever have formatives (like mocks) and would immediately get into assessment modes only, which is tricky to navigate through honestly speaking.

When I did my economics+law essay, I found that even economics had a lot to do with theories rather than only solid numbers and crafting formulations. For instance, I had to look into the Coase theorem and you can argue whether it could work or not theoretically. Surprisingly, it was somewhat like law - but I don't take a full or semi-economics degree so take this with a grain of salt.
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Abzino1
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
Wow, this is very helpful, thanks!!

If you were to give a % on how much you enjoy studying law, what would you say?
Also, was there any thing you found out to be a myth or misconception about a law degree? Expectation vs reality?
I would say around 60% but this could have easily been improved if there were more practical assignments, that reflected the real life work of a lawyer.

This also brings me to your second question. Which is pretty much a reiteration of what the user above stated. The biggest misconception in for me was the fact that it wasnt in interactive enough, it was filled with coursework. Which did help me improve my communication skills etc but it wasnt what I expected.

For example in my second year I only had one presentation style exam where I presented an argument and was then cross examined about it. I scored 80% (my highest grade), and that was the only time I felt like a solicitor and it allowed me to really show off strengths, that aren't easy to demonstrate during written assignments, but would be beneficial in the field of law.

However the rest of my assignment were just courseworks and exams. That really sucked.
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Abzino1
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#6
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#6
Just to give you some extra information.

The current guidelines for becoming a lawyer has changed drastically. You dont need a law degree to become a lawyer anymore but it will help prepare you for the SQE exam. In other words you could study your Economics degree and still become a lawyer. So I suggest you read into it thoroughly. Best of luck!!
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BenRyan99
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#7
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#7
I've done an undergrad and MSc in economics so happy to answer any questions you've got to contrast it with the posts from those with law experience.

Given you're doing a-level Econ, you probably have at least some idea of what the subject is like. Typically there is a lot more maths involved at university level whereas at a-level there was virtually none.

In your first year you'll like do modules in maths, statistics, intro micro, intro macro, then some optionals. 2nd year you'll probably do another maths module, an econometrics module (statistics applied to economic data), intermediate micro/macro modules, plus optionals. Final year often consists of advanced micro/macro, applied econometrics and then more optionals. The content, difficulty and range of optionals varies across unis but optionals are mostly sub-components of micro and macro which are a bit more applied like labour economics, game theory, environmental economics, competition economics, financial economics, public economics, monetary economics, etc etc.

From friends studying law it seemed like there was a lot of coursework, reading, note taking, etc. I found economics to be much more mathematically technical but less heavy on the actual workload. You'll have essays to write but it'll be less, instead of long readings you'll have problem sets where it'll be like "solve for x,y,z" etc.

Whilst law, from the other posters, suffers from lacking IRL application skills, Economics also suffers from being overly abstract and theoretical. You might learn in your first year how to optimally model and solve the exact ratio of apples and oranges you should buy in a supermarket based on you preferences over them, their prices and your budget constraints, but it's not very practical IRL haha. Some can be quite useful tho, especially the hands on data analysis components as that's where you learn how to empirically test theories.

In terms of careers, law and economics/finance are both some of the top professions generally, up there with medicine, engineering and CS imo. Careers massively depend on you and your interests but you can earn a lot from both. For example, a magic circle corporate lawyer earns roughly the same as an economics grad that goes into banking. However, you can still become a lawyer after an economics degree and you can become an investment banker with a law degree so it's not the be all end all. Plus you can do lots of things with economics and legal degrees besides banking and corporate law, even things outside law and economics/finance. Most common paths for economics grads is banking/finance, consulting, government economist, economic consulting (private sector economist), big4 and general business grad schemes at FTSE 250 firms.
Last edited by BenRyan99; 3 months ago
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Cant.be.asked
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#8
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#8
(Original post by wifd149)
Another, current law student here, and I recently did a bit of a mix between law and economics for one of my latest coursework.

I enjoy law as a subject at about 70% to 80%, it genuinely is interesting as an academic subject - if I didn't have any deadlines and if the exams are not so damn hard to score in

I expected a law degree to be more 'interactive' and to have more 'hands-on' experiences like those in the US. Over here a lot of things are on your own initiatives, and it is often filled with essay writings. Some modules will not ever have formatives (like mocks) and would immediately get into assessment modes only, which is tricky to navigate through honestly speaking.

When I did my economics+law essay, I found that even economics had a lot to do with theories rather than only solid numbers and crafting formulations. For instance, I had to look into the Coase theorem and you can argue whether it could work or not theoretically. Surprisingly, it was somewhat like law - but I don't take a full or semi-economics degree so take this with a grain of salt.
(Original post by Abzino1)
I would say around 60% but this could have easily been improved if there were more practical assignments, that reflected the real life work of a lawyer.

This also brings me to your second question. Which is pretty much a reiteration of what the user above stated. The biggest misconception in for me was the fact that it wasnt in interactive enough, it was filled with coursework. Which did help me improve my communication skills etc but it wasnt what I expected.

For example in my second year I only had one presentation style exam where I presented an argument and was then cross examined about it. I scored 80% (my highest grade), and that was the only time I felt like a solicitor and it allowed me to really show off strengths, that aren't easy to demonstrate during written assignments, but would be beneficial in the field of law.

However the rest of my assignment were just courseworks and exams. That really sucked.
This sounds really cool! I think I would enjoy that more than studying case studies and theories. You say that you've done one presentation style so far, so is that like a one-time thing, or does it become more often after the first year? Also, what uni do you go to for reference?

I think that I would enjoy debating situations and cases and writing arguments. Also, I read somewhere that studying law means you'll also be studying a lot of Latin? How true is this? And is this a major or minor part?

Alsooo, how did you decide on a law degree? I'm finding it hard to choose because I have a lot of interests and it seems like everyone around me has a complete plan. Some days I think that I'm definitely going to study Law and then I change my mind and consider economics. I'm worried that when I eventually apply I'm going to regret not choosing the other option and I would hate that. Any advice especially since it's unlikely that I'll get work experience enough to see for myself and I don't have links to anyone at university at all.
Last edited by Cant.be.asked; 3 months ago
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wifd149
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
This sounds really cool! I think I would enjoy that more than studying case studies and theories. You say that you've done one presentation style so far, so is that like a one-time thing, or does it become more often after the first year? Also, what uni do you go to for reference?

I think that I would enjoy debating situations and cases and writing arguments. Also, I read somewhere that studying law means you'll also be studying a lot of Latin? How true is this? And is this a major or minor part?
What, Latin - maybe in some modular course in the US :dontknow: Never heard of any class like that, maybe you are talking about some words like “orbiter dicta,” “prima facie,” etc.

You don’t generally get marks for debating verbally, unless you take a module specific for that course. You do a lot of that for the bar though (barrister route), and some advocacy classes for the solicitor route if I am not mistaken. Argumentative writing is a hallmark for most humanity subjects too, so up to you I guess.

I’m not disclosing where I’m studying at for privacy reasons. Feel free to guess, but I’m not confirming or denying anything though
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Cant.be.asked
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Abzino1)
Just to give you some extra information.

The current guidelines for becoming a lawyer has changed drastically. You dont need a law degree to become a lawyer anymore but it will help prepare you for the SQE exam. In other words you could study your Economics degree and still become a lawyer. So I suggest you read into it thoroughly. Best of luck!!
Yeahh, I was reading about that but I was slightly confused? I understood the previous path with the LPC and GDL if you studied a non-law degree. If someone could explain it for me simply, I would really appreciate it. What I got from it is that studying law is better because there's no law conversion course.
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Cant.be.asked
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#11
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#11
(Original post by BenRyan99)
I've done an undergrad and MSc in economics so happy to answer any questions you've got to contrast it with the posts from those with law experience.

Given you're doing a-level Econ, you probably have at least some idea of what the subject is like. Typically there is a lot more maths involved at university level whereas at a-level there was virtually none.

In your first year you'll like do modules in maths, statistics, intro micro, intro macro, then some optionals. 2nd year you'll probably do another maths module, an econometrics module (statistics applied to economic data), intermediate micro/macro modules, plus optionals. Final year often consists of advanced micro/macro, applied econometrics and then more optionals. The content, difficulty and range of optionals varies across unis but optionals are mostly sub-components of micro and macro which are a bit more applied like labour economics, game theory, environmental economics, competition economics, financial economics, public economics, monetary economics, etc etc.

From friends studying law it seemed like there was a lot of coursework, reading, note taking, etc. I found economics to be much more mathematically technical but less heavy on the actual workload. You'll have essays to write but it'll be less, instead of long readings you'll have problem sets where it'll be like "solve for x,y,z" etc.

Whilst law, from the other posters, suffers from lacking IRL application skills, Economics also suffers from being overly abstract and theoretical. You might learn in your first year how to optimally model and solve the exact ratio of apples and oranges you should buy in a supermarket based on you preferences over them, their prices and your budget constraints, but it's not very practical IRL haha. Some can be quite useful tho, especially the hands on data analysis components as that's where you learn how to empirically test theories.

In terms of careers, law and economics/finance are both some of the top professions generally, up there with medicine, engineering and CS imo. Careers massively depend on you and your interests but you can earn a lot from both. For example, a magic circle corporate lawyer earns roughly the same as an economics grad that goes into banking. However, you can still become a lawyer after an economics degree and you can become an investment banker with a law degree so it's not the be all end all. Plus you can do lots of things with economics and legal degrees besides banking and corporate law, even things outside law and economics/finance. Most common paths for economics grads is banking/finance, consulting, government economist, economic consulting (private sector economist), big4 and general business grad schemes at FTSE 250 firms.
Thanks!!

Is economics degree basically a maths subject applied to business situations? And is it more of a social science like politics or more like a Stem subject? Also what unis for reference

It seems like economics is maths-heavy and I don't mind that as long as there's hsitory/politics/social modules. Did people genuinely enjoy studying economics at undergraduate or were most doing it for the job prospects?

Also, expectations vs reality of studying econ at undergrad...
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username5050312
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
Thanks!!

Is economics degree basically a maths subject applied to business situations? And is it more of a social science like politics or more like a Stem subject? Also what unis for reference

It seems like economics is maths-heavy and I don't mind that as long as there's hsitory/politics/social modules. Did people genuinely enjoy studying economics at undergraduate or were most doing it for the job prospects?

Also, expectations vs reality of studying econ at undergrad...
I'm also in year 12 having taken Maths, English Lit, and Economics. So similar to you except for the English and the fact I was too lazy to do Further Maths lol. I want to do Law but don't know anything about what the actual content is like so I'll have to watch a few lectures or something. I'm also considering finance as a second career path, alongside journalism.
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booklover101
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
This sounds really cool! I think I would enjoy that more than studying case studies and theories. You say that you've done one presentation style so far, so is that like a one-time thing, or does it become more often after the first year? Also, what uni do you go to for reference?

I think that I would enjoy debating situations and cases and writing arguments. Also, I read somewhere that studying law means you'll also be studying a lot of Latin? How true is this? And is this a major or minor part?

Alsooo, how did you decide on a law degree? I'm finding it hard to choose because I have a lot of interests and it seems like everyone around me has a complete plan. Some days I think that I'm definitely going to study Law and then I change my mind and consider economics. I'm worried that when I eventually apply I'm going to regret not choosing the other option and I would hate that. Any advice especially since it's unlikely that I'll get work experience enough to see for myself and I don't have links to anyone at university at all.
You can join mooting societies if you enjoy watching court cases.
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booklover101
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#14
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(Original post by cleveranimal56)
I'm also in year 12 having taken Maths, English Lit, and Economics. So similar to you except for the English and the fact I was too lazy to do Further Maths lol. I want to do Law but don't know anything about what the actual content is like so I'll have to watch a few lectures or something. I'm also considering finance as a second career path, alongside journalism.
Try doing a virtual work experience on Forage, look for a short course on Reed or look at a law textbook.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Cant.be.asked)
Confused A Level student here...help with deciding on which degree is better?

My A Levels is more suited for economics but is also fine for law:
maths,further maths, history, economics

Career paths I'm considering:
Management consulting, Solicitor
(I think with either degree I can pursue both paths)

Reasons for choosing economics:
Good career prospects
Interested in economics
Suits my interests in maths and humanities

Reasons for law:
I love history so I think i might also like law
broad areas that i could specialise so suits my changing interests
i enjoy watching court trials (not in film, actual trials like the george floyd trial)

Reasons against law:
I feel like I'd be wasting my aptitude in maths if I study law
A lot of people find law really boring (but then again the same is said about history but I enjoy it)


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Hello,

I am Teresa, a third year law student at the University of Southampton. I would suggest you choose what you think you will enjoy the most. Although law does involve history and the subject actually cuts across a few disciplines (e.g has political elements, history etc.) its main focus is legal decisions and the law. If what you really are interested in is history and enjoy history I would suggest looking at a history degree as opposed to law.

Personally, I find law very interesting - it is very applicable to the real world and I really like that it also makes you life smart (e.g. I now know what makes a valid contract, am so much better at quickly picking out key points from large chunks of text). I also find it is very dynamic - laws change to evolve with society.

However, law is a lot of work and reading and not an easy degree. I would therefore recommend looking into the core modules like contract law, criminal law, public law and consider whether you are interested in any of them. Universities often have taster lectures around open days as well in different subjects so I would keep an eye out for any law ones you can attend. I know this helped me a lot when deciding whether to study law.

Any questions about law and or student life at Southampton, let me know and I'll be happy to help.

Best of luck,

Teresa (University of Southampton Ambassador)
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