The Student Room Group

Durham vs lse law

I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten into both these amazing unis especially considering how competitive this year is. The only thing is that Oxford has always been my dream and when I got rejected post- interview I was completely heartbroken. Getting into durham and lse was definitely unexpected but I’m eternally grateful to have gotten those offers. Any idea which uni I should go to? I don’t have a particularly preference and honestly just all’s round confused…
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by Unknownx12
I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten into both these amazing unis especially considering how competitive this year is. The only thing is that Oxford has always been my dream and when I got rejected post- interview I was completely heartbroken. Getting into durham and lse was definitely unexpected but I’m eternally grateful to have gotten those offers. Any idea which uni I should go to? I don’t have a particularly preference and honestly just all’s round confused…

As you clearly recognise, these are two of the most highly regarded universities in the UK. In every other respect they couldn't be more different.

If you see yourself pursuing a career internationally and/or if you fancy spending your student days in London then the LSE would be the better bet.

If you want the closest you can get to the Oxford experience then you should choose Durham.

Remember that you are weighing up where to spend the next three years of your life: one of the world's greatest cities or a quiet, historic town in the North of England. If you possibly can, visit both places, talk to current students and study the details of each course very carefully.

Whichever you choose, you will have the opportunity to gain a high status degree. But where will you feel more at home?
It doesn't really matter. As previously said, LSE is more known than Durham internationally - so something to bear in mind if you want to work abroad. In the UK, I don't think it makes a massive difference which university you go to if you want to work in law. Other careers, again, pretty indifferent.

I'd personally go to Durham. It's collegiate, and I think it'd be easier to make friends and stuff there compared to LSE, which as far as I know, has a very heavy grind culture, which isn't for everyone. In fact, in can be quite isolating.

I've visited Durham, it's a beautiful city.
Reply 3
Yes I defo love the collegiate feel of durham but the international appeal of lse too is really intriguing. That’s where I’m struggling rn. Since I live in london I’m always wanted to live out for uni but now I’m not so sure
Reply 4
Thank you to both though!
Original post by Unknownx12
I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten into both these amazing unis especially considering how competitive this year is. The only thing is that Oxford has always been my dream and when I got rejected post- interview I was completely heartbroken. Getting into durham and lse was definitely unexpected but I’m eternally grateful to have gotten those offers. Any idea which uni I should go to? I don’t have a particularly preference and honestly just all’s round confused…

The location and student life at each university is very different. Surely this should be a starting point for your research?
Reply 6
Original post by Augustino D
The location and student life at each university is very different. Surely this should be a starting point for your research?

I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve attended the Durham STEP programme. Whilst I’ve never been to lse, ik quite a few people on their pathways to law programme.I’ve done pros and cons for both university but mostly with lse I just feel more pressure to accept them because of their prestigious. I think honestly would be really helpful is getting to know current student experience either at lse or durham which I’ve been trying to do 😭
Original post by Unknownx12
I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve attended the Durham STEP programme. Whilst I’ve never been to lse, ik quite a few people on their pathways to law programme.I’ve done pros and cons for both university but mostly with lse I just feel more pressure to accept them because of their prestigious. I think honestly would be really helpful is getting to know current student experience either at lse or durham which I’ve been trying to do 😭

Hi there @Unknownx12

I'm a law student at Durham. I never applied to LSE so not aware of its situation but can give you an insight into my experience at Durham :smile:

Durham has been a really different experience as compared to the city I've grown up in. I've literally never been able to see a sunset/sunrise from my window but here <3. Can't express my love enough for the town vibe Durham gives off, taking walks by the river and living in a historic city is really lovely. The collegiate system is great- you always have two levels of support available and never feel left out. We have over 250 societies available other than the ones that colleges offer, so it's pretty easy to find people who share the same interests as you.

As far as teaching law is concerned, I haven't really found any huge drawbacks. It's one of the top 5 law schools in the UK and the professors and tutors are all very helpful and knowledgeable. Despite the UCU strike, the tutors and lecturers did inform us in advance if they were striking and even apologised even though it wasn't their fault. Lectures take place in the TLC and damn is that lecture hall huge. The law societies regularly arrange networking events with law firms and the law school calls in academics and other people to speak on matters we're taught. A huge range of study spaces are available ranging from TLC to Billy B to dedicated spaces in the Law School building so you always have somewhere to find peace!

If there's anything specific you want to ask, do pop those questions and I can answer them :smile:

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
Reply 8
Original post by Durham Students
Hi there @Unknownx12

I'm a law student at Durham. I never applied to LSE so not aware of its situation but can give you an insight into my experience at Durham :smile:

Durham has been a really different experience as compared to the city I've grown up in. I've literally never been able to see a sunset/sunrise from my window but here <3. Can't express my love enough for the town vibe Durham gives off, taking walks by the river and living in a historic city is really lovely. The collegiate system is great- you always have two levels of support available and never feel left out. We have over 250 societies available other than the ones that colleges offer, so it's pretty easy to find people who share the same interests as you.

As far as teaching law is concerned, I haven't really found any huge drawbacks. It's one of the top 5 law schools in the UK and the professors and tutors are all very helpful and knowledgeable. Despite the UCU strike, the tutors and lecturers did inform us in advance if they were striking and even apologised even though it wasn't their fault. Lectures take place in the TLC and damn is that lecture hall huge. The law societies regularly arrange networking events with law firms and the law school calls in academics and other people to speak on matters we're taught. A huge range of study spaces are available ranging from TLC to Billy B to dedicated spaces in the Law School building so you always have somewhere to find peace!

If there's anything specific you want to ask, do pop those questions and I can answer them :smile:

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)


Hi Himikeka, thank you so much for the amazing response!! It’s really helped me in making my decision - I was wondering in terms of graduate opportunities, how good is Durham law for that?
Original post by Unknownx12
Hi Himikeka, thank you so much for the amazing response!! It’s really helped me in making my decision - I was wondering in terms of graduate opportunities, how good is Durham law for that?

Well I'm interested in the solicitor route and I've found that most law firms don't care which university you come from as long as you have the skills they look for in a trainee. It's pretty difficult in first year to secure work experience but the Durham Law Society and the Law School have been really helpful in terms of arranging networking events and workshops. I remember having participated in one workshop with Clifford Chance and an annual dinner with Baker McKenzie reps that the law school arranged. Another one was a free four-week negotiation programme that the law society arranged with The Negotiation Club- it really opened my senses to the importance and practicality of negotiation and the leader was really fun to engage with. Moot competitions are also frequently organised by the mooting and bar societies. Talks about topics like legal tech, space law?? and other interesting stuff are quite frequent too! The law firm ambassadors have been really helpful- they often arrange events for people to ask them questions about the firms they're representing and offer free cupcakes too :tongue:

As for the barrister route, the Bar, Mooting, Justice societies etc will be your go-to place. I'm not really involved with those so can't really comment but have often been sent emails of judges coming to give a lecture and one time they called in a ECtHR lawyer to share her experience. In terms of opportunities, you will never find Durham lacking honestly (or at least I never did!)

Also also, the careers service has been EXTREMELY helpful with their cv review service, free aptitude tests like watson glaser, cover letter builder and an online interview tool. These are just some resources I've used, there's a whole other range of them! They also list on their portal any openings in smaller firms for legal interns etc apart from the local part time jobs.

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
(edited 2 years ago)

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