The Student Room Group

Do I need a law degree to get into the magic circle?

Hi, so I am currently 16, and the idea of doing a law degree for 3 years honestly scares me, as much as I want to do law Id rather do something I enjoy too. I was thinking of maybe doing a criminology course with then the additional year of doing law to become a lawyer. I was wondering if I can do this and still get into a good law firm? Or do they prioritise people who do law as a degree?
Original post by Gamer_girl111
Hi, so I am currently 16, and the idea of doing a law degree for 3 years honestly scares me, as much as I want to do law Id rather do something I enjoy too. I was thinking of maybe doing a criminology course with then the additional year of doing law to become a lawyer. I was wondering if I can do this and still get into a good law firm? Or do they prioritise people who do law as a degree?

Yes it’s possible to become a lawyer.

You would need a (very expensive) postgraduate qualification conversion course. And to actually become a lawyer you would need to secure a training contract (which in the well paid firms is very competitive, plenty of people with LLB degrees fail to secure these).

Id also say if your scared to study law for 3 years are you really sure you’ll enjoy practicing law for 40 years (and law is already notoriously long hours, reading, paperwork…)
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
Two questions:

1. Why are you scared to do law for three years?
2. If you are scared to do law for three years, why do you want to be a lawyer?

I've heard of people thinking they'd like to study something else they're passioante about before going to law - that's fine, common and not an issue. But if you are actually scared of law, then I'm not sure whether the career (especially at the magic circle) is really for you.
(edited 1 year ago)
The short answer is no, you do not need to do a law degree to become a lawyer. I haven't seen the figures recently, but for quite a while now about half of those getting training contracts and pupillage have done law degrees, and half have done non law degrees and the GDL. So from that perspective it doesn't matter at all. You should take the route that is right for you, taking into account a range of factors including finances and interests that you might have in other degrees.

However, the questions that Blayze ask are relevant. There is a big difference between the academic study of law and practising as a lawyer, so being a little put off from the idea of doing a law degree isn't necessarily a terrible thing, but being scared of doing a three year law degree does suggest something a little more significant than that. Certainly worth being sure about whether you have properly thought through whether this is the right career for you, particularly aiming for something like that Magic Circle.
Reply 4
Original post by Gamer_girl111
Hi, so I am currently 16, and the idea of doing a law degree for 3 years honestly scares me, as much as I want to do law Id rather do something I enjoy too. I was thinking of maybe doing a criminology course with then the additional year of doing law to become a lawyer. I was wondering if I can do this and still get into a good law firm? Or do they prioritise people who do law as a degree?

Your choice of undergraduate degree shouldn't affect your chances. A lot of trainees have studied STEM, business, finance, history and a wide range of subjects in the top city firms. They will definitely care more about your A-levels, extra-curriculars and experiences so be prepared.

Non-law graduates will have to study a conversion course on top of the LPC or SQE so that's the main thing to consider financially.

If you attend virtual events and insight programs you can ask the recruiters
Reply 5
Future Magic Circle Trainee here - I didn't study a Law degree, but History and Modern Languages! There's about a 50/50 split between Law and Non-Law in my training cohort. I'd recommend studying something you genuinely enjoy and are interested in, as then you'll more easily achieve top grades. This is what law firms actually tend to care about more, rather than degree subject.
Agree with all of the above - a lot for OP to think about. Also worth mentioning that I’ve never seen any trainees at MC/other similar firms do a criminology degree. Don’t think that should hold you back from doing one but just some anecdotal data in case you’re thinking criminology will somehow help you in law later.
Original post by sublime-baths
Agree with all of the above - a lot for OP to think about. Also worth mentioning that I’ve never seen any trainees at MC/other similar firms do a criminology degree. Don’t think that should hold you back from doing one but just some anecdotal data in case you’re thinking criminology will somehow help you in law later.

To be fair this may be a matter of self-selection - I might expect someone interested in studying criminology may be more interested in pursuing a career in criminal law rather than corporate law. So they might be less likely to aim for a career as a corporate solicitor at an MC firm in the first place!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
To be fair this may be a matter of self-selection - I might expect someone interested in studying criminology may be more interested in pursuing a career in criminal law rather than corporate law. So they might be less likely to aim for a career as a corporate solicitor at an MC firm in the first place!


Yeh totally.
I’d love to major in criminal law. It’s so fascinating (not the fact that I’d be dealing with some of the most gruesome cases lol) but the whole vibe makes me exited to work.
Original post by Gamer_girl111
Yeh totally.
I’d love to major in criminal law. It’s so fascinating (not the fact that I’d be dealing with some of the most gruesome cases lol) but the whole vibe makes me exited to work.


Well criminal law isn't something you major in, and it's not also not dealing the "most gruesome cases". A lot of it will be fairly basic standard stuff - theft, (usually minor) assaults, fraud etc, much of which I imagine will have arisen from very sad situations in the life of the offender. You aren't doing to be defending or prosecuting murderers on a regular basis or anything normally.

I think you have a very unrealistic idea of what criminal law involves - and concerningly, this would give you an even more unrealistic idea of what criminology is as an academic field. It's not any kind of nonsense "criminal profiling" degree - that has long since been debunked as at best pseudoscientific and at worst just discrimination. It's understanding the social causes and drivers of crime, and understanding how to rehahbilitate and reintegrate offenders. Criminologists work to help offenders move past that, and to try and understand what it is that drives crime in areas so that policymakers can address issues with low income, low employment, high incidence of rough sleepers etc, that often relate to higher incidence of crime, by providing support to those before they go on to commit crime usually out of desperation or losing control of their situation.
Original post by Gamer_girl111
Hi, so I am currently 16, and the idea of doing a law degree for 3 years honestly scares me, as much as I want to do law Id rather do something I enjoy too. I was thinking of maybe doing a criminology course with then the additional year of doing law to become a lawyer. I was wondering if I can do this and still get into a good law firm? Or do they prioritise people who do law as a degree?

Why are you worrying about the so-called magic circle firms at the age of 16? How much exposure have you had to the academic study of either law or criminology? Consider spending some time digging into each course instead of focusing on their respective career benefits.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Gamer_girl111
Yeh totally.
I’d love to major in criminal law. It’s so fascinating (not the fact that I’d be dealing with some of the most gruesome cases lol) but the whole vibe makes me exited to work.

Do you know anything about what magic circle firms practice in? Do you understand the distinction between criminal law and criminology?
Original post by e1412
Future Magic Circle Trainee here - I didn't study a Law degree, but History and Modern Languages! There's about a 50/50 split between Law and Non-Law in my training cohort. I'd recommend studying something you genuinely enjoy and are interested in, as then you'll more easily achieve top grades. This is what law firms actually tend to care about more, rather than degree subject.

That just about sums it up perfectly, and for all aspiring solicitors or barristers, not just Magic Circle. Time as an undergraduate is something to be enjoyed studying a subject that you are enthusiastic about in a university that genuinely appeals to you. For those taking the solicitor route, the dawn of the new Solicitors' Qualifying Examination arguably makes an LLB no longer the obvious default option.

https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor/sqe/

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending