rjdjsbs
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#1
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#1
I’m 17 planning to become a lawyer, specifically a solicitor. I plan on moving into a much larger city somewhere in the UK. I try and find statistics but it’s all so varied from different websites. I also want to clear up a few questions

Let’s say I move to London for uni, do the 3 year course and get my degree. Do I then just find a job at a law firm? Or do I process into some trainee course for however many years?

Also correct me if I’m wrong on these definitions or if they’re too broad, But a barrister is someone who’s in the court room defending the client, and a solicitor is mostly an office based job where you find information and support the case for the barrister to use in court. Is that correct?

I’m starting my A levels in history, law, photography this year so any help would be appreciated.
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greentiger
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#2
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#2
(Original post by rjdjsbs)
I’m 17 planning to become a lawyer, specifically a solicitor. I plan on moving into a much larger city somewhere in the UK. I try and find statistics but it’s all so varied from different websites. I also want to clear up a few questions

Let’s say I move to London for uni, do the 3 year course and get my degree. Do I then just find a job at a law firm? Or do I process into some trainee course for however many years?

Also correct me if I’m wrong on these definitions or if they’re too broad, But a barrister is someone who’s in the court room defending the client, and a solicitor is mostly an office based job where you find information and support the case for the barrister to use in court. Is that correct?

I’m starting my A levels in history, law, photography this year so any help would be appreciated.
Firstly, I would recommend choosing a 4 year course, when the third year is a placement meaning you gain knowledgeable experience in a law firm, as well as earning a good salary and using this as part of your degree qualification. Another thing I would recommend is courses such as Law with Business, Law with Criminology, etc. which opens a lot of job opportunities and brings more employability as you have specialised in another area, most students who only study Law haven’t. Sussex University is very good for this as they offer many different Law degrees with other subjects.

Getting into law is also quite challenging these days. The legal sector is very oversubscribed so if you are an a-a* type of student, your chances of getting into being a barrister or a solicitor are significantly higher as they are currently only taking the top knowledgable people.

For a solicitor, I would recomend doing a masters degree as it covers your SQE exams to become a qualified solicitor ready for work, if you don’t do this you are not a qualified legal professional, this can be done through a course too to take exams which costs around 2k on average. For the barrister route, you also need to take exams although I don’t believe this can be done through a masters program (worth looking into).

From doing A level law myself, I can tell you it is a lot to know. Start making flash cards of cases as soon as you start as there are plenty to remember in a level of detail, although many many more for degree level law. Stay very on top and you will be fine, as law is lots of information to memorise in detail.

Also, your definitions are a bit confused, a solicitor and barrister are basically the same thing. Although a solicitor interprets the law, the barrister knows the law exactly as it is and often is a lot more stressful in terms of work load having to work long nights and weekends. On the other hand, a solicitor’s role is still incredibly high paying along with a stressful workload, but this is a lot more manageable giving you the more 9-5 job feel, personally I would go down the solicitor route.

I’ll send through a few links to degree courses around
the london area:

1. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/under...-relations-llb
2. https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/stud...h-criminology/
3. https://www.qmul.ac.uk/undergraduate...with-business/
4. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/undergradua...nd-law-pathway
5. https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/co...ith-psychology

Also check out the University of Law, they have campuses across the country and many excellent law courses to choose from.

Hope this helps a little!
Last edited by greentiger; 1 month ago
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Gmaster1980
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#3
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#3
(Original post by greentiger)
Firstly, I would recommend choosing a 4 year course, when the third year is a placement meaning you gain knowledgeable experience in a law firm, as well as earning a good salary and using this as part of your degree qualification. Another thing I would recommend is courses such as Law with Business, Law with Criminology, etc. which opens a lot of job opportunities and brings more employability as you have specialised in another area, most students who only study Law haven’t. Sussex University is very good for this as they offer many different Law degrees with other subjects.

Getting into law is also quite challenging these days. The legal sector is very oversubscribed so if you are an a-a* type of student, your chances of getting into being a barrister or a solicitor are significantly higher as they are currently only taking the top knowledgable people.

For a solicitor, I would recomend doing a masters degree as it covers your SQE exams to become a qualified solicitor ready for work, if you don’t do this you are not a qualified legal professional, this can be done through a course too to take exams which costs around 2k on average. For the barrister route, you also need to take exams although I don’t believe this can be done through a masters program (worth looking into).

From doing A level law myself, I can tell you it is a lot to know. Start making flash cards of cases as soon as you start as there are plenty to remember in a level of detail, although many many more for degree level law. Stay very on top and you will be fine, as law is lots of information to memorise in detail.

Also, your definitions are a bit confused, a solicitor and barrister are basically the same thing. Although a solicitor interprets the law, the barrister knows the law exactly as it is and often is a lot more stressful in terms of work load having to work long nights and weekends. On the other hand, a solicitor’s role is still incredibly high paying along with a stressful workload, but this is a lot more manageable giving you the more 9-5 job feel, personally I would go down the solicitor route.

I’ll send through a few links to degree courses around
the london area:

1. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/under...-relations-llb
2. https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/stud...h-criminology/
3. https://www.qmul.ac.uk/undergraduate...with-business/
4. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/undergradua...nd-law-pathway
5. https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/co...ith-psychology

Also check out the University of Law, they have campuses across the country and many excellent law courses to choose from.

Hope this helps a little!
Hey OP, basically everything this person has said is wrong. Do the opposite and you'll do a lot better....
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rosy_posy
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#4
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Idk what to say about what else you put, but a Photography A-level really isn't relevant to a Law degree
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The University of Law Students
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#5
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#5
This is a great website to get you started with your research about the legal sector: https://www.lawcareers.net/

As is this one: https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/

For more on becoming a solicitor, see here: https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor/

For more on becoming a barrister, see here: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk...barrister.html

Great career path map here: https://www.lawcareers.net/Courses/LegalCareerPaths

Hope that helps!

Nic
Student Ambassador at the University of Law
(Just completed the Bar Practice Course and starting pupillage to become a barrister)
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toxicgamage56
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Gmaster1980)
Hey OP, basically everything this person has said is wrong. Do the opposite and you'll do a lot better....
Lol. Allow them, they wrote a whole essay.
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17Student17
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#7
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#7
The first thing you should do is change your A levels. A level law and photography are not really suitable for those wanting to be lawyers. History is fine. Perhaps do History, English Literature and something like RE or a language or a science.

You will ideally need mostly A grades in three fairly hard A levels and to go to a good university. You may choose to read law there - an LLB (or a different subject). You will start applications for vacation schemes during your degree and then also apply to law firms for them to sponsor your post graduate year for SQE courses and exams. Firms hire at last 2 years ahead so you need to be thinking about this in the first year or 2 after you start university, not when you finish. All the law firm deadlines are on their websites. The bigger firms want to see your marks in every module even in year 1 of your degree so make sure you do work very hard during your degree not just at the end of it.
Good luck.
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rjdjsbs
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#8
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#8
(Original post by 17Student17)
The first thing you should do is change your A levels. A level law and photography are not really suitable for those wanting to be lawyers. History is fine. Perhaps do History, English Literature and something like RE or a language or a science.

You will ideally need mostly A grades in three fairly hard A levels and to go to a good university. You may choose to read law there - an LLB (or a different subject). You will start applications for vacation schemes during your degree and then also apply to law firms for them to sponsor your post graduate year for SQE courses and exams. Firms hire at last 2 years ahead so you need to be thinking about this in the first year or 2 after you start university, not when you finish. All the law firm deadlines are on their websites. The bigger firms want to see your marks in every module even in year 1 of your degree so make sure you do work very hard during your degree not just at the end of it.
Good luck.
A lot of universities say they don’t require any specific a levels though, is this a genuine issue?
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rjdjsbs
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#9
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(Original post by rosy_posy)
Idk what to say about what else you put, but a Photography A-level really isn't relevant to a Law degree
Yeah but I hear universities allow any subjects for law, but they prefer more traditional ones.
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rjdjsbs
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#10
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
Hey OP, basically everything this person has said is wrong. Do the opposite and you'll do a lot better....
Well that’s interesting, I thought it was good advice what was so bad haha
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Gmaster1980
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#11
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#11
(Original post by rjdjsbs)
Well that’s interesting, I thought it was good advice what was so bad haha
Its actually a lot to unpack but I'll take a crack at it

1. There is no benefit to doing a 4 year course instead of a three year one
2. There is arguably no benefit to doing a law and x type course. If you want to have knowledge of a discipline other than law, just skip law all together and do something else, then convert your law degree later by doing a pgdl type course
3. Don't go to Sussex, go to the best uni possible for whatever course you choose
4. They're right in saying law is oversubscribed. Get all a stars if possible
5. Their advice re masters degree is really garbled and not relevant to you right now. The only thing you need to know is that barristers HAVE to do a law degree (either as an llb or a conversion) and then the bar course (which is called different things at different unis) solicitors can do whatever degree they want with pretty much only top london or regional firms definitely insisting on a conversion later and then passing the sqe exams. The solicitor route changed recently so it's hard to pin down anything definite.
5. You are far more right in the distinction between solicitors and barristers than the poster is. Holy **** they are not the same thing. Also lol at soliicitor jobs having a 9 to 5 feel. It REALLY depends on the area of law you're in and whether you're in private practice or "in house" i.e. working in the legal team for a company
6. Go to a better uni than any of those the dude linked to if possible
7. Do not under any circumstances go to uni of law for undergrad. It's not good, prestigious, reputable or appealing to employers as an undergrad institution. They do law courses for post graduates, like the aforementioned pgdl. The student rep from ulaws links are all very good though. Give those a read.

Right now your focus should be on nailing the **** out of your A levels. Get all A stars to set you up for more options down the line. I disagree that you NEED to change your A levels, but swapping photography for another essay subject will serve you better and ironically A level law isn't going to benefit you much when it comes to a future legal career so swap it to something more academic as well.

I hope the above makes sense, I typed it at the gym. And you can probably see why my original comment was flippant now. The greentigers comment was really just that wrong. (Source: I'm currently a trainee at a top City firm)
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rjdjsbs
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Gmaster1980)
Its actually a lot to unpack but I'll take a crack at it

1. There is no benefit to doing a 4 year course instead of a three year one
2. There is arguably no benefit to doing a law and x type course. If you want to have knowledge of a discipline other than law, just skip law all together and do something else, then convert your law degree later by doing a pgdl type course
3. Don't go to Sussex, go to the best uni possible for whatever course you choose
4. They're right in saying law is oversubscribed. Get all a stars if possible
5. Their advice re masters degree is really garbled and not relevant to you right now. The only thing you need to know is that barristers HAVE to do a law degree (either as an llb or a conversion) and then the bar course (which is called different things at different unis) solicitors can do whatever degree they want with pretty much only top london or regional firms definitely insisting on a conversion later and then passing the sqe exams. The solicitor route changed recently so it's hard to pin down anything definite.
5. You are far more right in the distinction between solicitors and barristers than the poster is. Holy **** they are not the same thing. Also lol at soliicitor jobs having a 9 to 5 feel. It REALLY depends on the area of law you're in and whether you're in private practice or "in house" i.e. working in the legal team for a company
6. Go to a better uni than any of those the dude linked to if possible
7. Do not under any circumstances go to uni of law for undergrad. It's not good, prestigious, reputable or appealing to employers as an undergrad institution. They do law courses for post graduates, like the aforementioned pgdl. The student rep from ulaws links are all very good though. Give those a read.

Right now your focus should be on nailing the **** out of your A levels. Get all A stars to set you up for more options down the line. I disagree that you NEED to change your A levels, but swapping photography for another essay subject will serve you better and ironically A level law isn't going to benefit you much when it comes to a future legal career so swap it to something more academic as well.

I hope the above makes sense, I typed it at the gym. And you can probably see why my original comment was flippant now. The greentigers comment was really just that wrong. (Source: I'm currently a trainee at a top City firm)
You’re a godsent aha. Thank you for the advice, you made everything a lot more clear lol.
One thing, for context I wanted to be an engineer but did bad in maths and physics a level so I dropped it and now doing a third year. But I’ve heard universities don’t have a specific requirement in A levels for law. but they prefer 1 essay based subject. Is it a huge deal if I don’t change these a levels? I’m starting history and law for 2 years and have 1 year left for photography.
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rosy_posy
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#13
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#13
(Original post by rjdjsbs)
Yeah but I hear universities allow any subjects for law, but they prefer more traditional ones.
Photography isn't a traditional subject lol
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BarryScott2022
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#14
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#14
(Original post by rjdjsbs)
A lot of universities say they don’t require any specific a levels though, is this a genuine issue?
All universities worth their salt will require 2 ‘traditional’ subjects, your third, there’s more leniency over. Although if I’m honest, I’m unsure about photography as you can’t easily relate any skills to law from that. You’ll find Unis like LSE list specific courses they won’t accept for law. There are quite a few!
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BarryScott2022
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#15
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#15
(Original post by rosy_posy)
Photography isn't a traditional subject lol
Tbf they said they allow any, but prefer more traditional subjects, nowhere did they state photography was or wasn’t… Most Unis state they prefer 2 traditional then a third other.
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rosy_posy
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#16
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#16
(Original post by BarryScott2022)
Tbf they said they allow any, but prefer more traditional subjects, nowhere did they state photography was or wasn’t… Most Unis state they prefer 2 traditional then a third other.
Photography isn't the best option for Law but it's her choice ofc
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