The Student Room Group

Low 2:1 in Law

I'm a first year law student at Oxford with grades currently sitting at a low 2:1 (average is 62 for this term). I hate my degree and struggle greatly with motivation as well as not having a natural talent for law so my grades are unlikely to improve. Is there any good jobs I will be able to get with this grade?

By good jobs I mainly mean high earning (not because I'm overly materialistic but because in the current world there is no chance of a good life without a high income), I also don't have any friends/family connections in law who could help me.

Note: I'm not asking for advice on changing unis/courses or on improving my marks, I'm purely asking if there is any hope for me if I graduate with a 62-64 in Oxford law.
I think you’ll be fine. I think the fact that you’ve gone to Oxford will help you a lot in and of itself. A 2:1 is fine and I don’t actually think it matters that much if it’s a high 2:1 or low 2:1 unless you’re going to pursue something where academics really matter eg the Bar (since you say youre not enjoying your degree I’m assuming that’s not what you want to do, but even if it is, that door isn’t completely closed either)
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
You say you don't want to change degree courses, but I'm wondering why not, if you really don't enjoy law. Have you considered switching to another humanities or arts subject that you do enjoy, or at least enjoy more than law? There are other well paid careers other than law, like management consultancy, or other roles in large multi-national companies.
Original post by Username123ab
I'm purely asking if there is any hope for me if I graduate with a 62-64 in Oxford law.


No. There isn't. That's what you came on the forums to ask, so you got your answer. If you refuse people to give advice and guidance, then that is to your great detriment.

But, your question will be next: "Why?". Why? It's obvious to everyone reading.

1. You have no motivation to complete the Law degree.
2. You are achieving average/mediocre grades in the first year.
3. You have chosen a degree with the intention of getting into an industry specifically money, rather than choosing a degree you are interested in.
4. You are studying at one of the most difficult university's in the country.

First, let's begin with motivation and your grades. Your average grades aren't the issue. Your average grades and poor motivation, in combination, is the issue. As you progress in your studies, you will require more studying in year 2 and 3, requiring more papers and case studies, more tutorials, more homework, more subtle understandings and external research is needed. The fact that you only achieved 63 in your first year with no motivation, will be your peak. You are unlikely to achieve any higher because you lack the motivation to research further into the subject, which means your grades will suffer even further as you progress into the second and third years, so you will be doing the absolute minimum - which is not enough. So, I would predict you are likely to end up with a 2:2, or a third based on your motivation levels by the end. Some motivated students at Oxford don't achieve a 2:1 at the end, so you should reconsider whether this is for you.

So, your first year grades will be predicted to be the highest you achieve based on your motivation level, so I would expect a decline in grades as time progresses.

Studying a degree with no interest will be your great detriment. You are unlikely to achieve a 2:1 by the end, and so your job prospects will suffer more by studying something you hate. If it was a few months further of studying, then the obvious recommendation would be to continue. But the fact you are in your first year, is not an ideal situation to be lacking in motivation.

Therefore, your job prospects will be massively affected, and I predict you will achieve a 2:2 at best, and possibly lower. So, your job prospects will be lower than if you changed to a degree that you had a greater interest, but slightly less prospects, as you could end up achieving a much greater grade, and that would consequently result in greater options being available.

It's up to you, but I would advise changing degrees to a different subject.
Original post by Baleroc
No. There isn't. That's what you came on the forums to ask, so you got your answer. If you refuse people to give advice and guidance, then that is to your great detriment.

But, your question will be next: "Why?". Why? It's obvious to everyone reading.

1. You have no motivation to complete the Law degree.
2. You are achieving average/mediocre grades in the first year.
3. You have chosen a degree with the intention of getting into an industry specifically money, rather than choosing a degree you are interested in.
4. You are studying at one of the most difficult university's in the country.

First, let's begin with motivation and your grades. Your average grades aren't the issue. Your average grades and poor motivation, in combination, is the issue. As you progress in your studies, you will require more studying in year 2 and 3, requiring more papers and case studies, more tutorials, more homework, more subtle understandings and external research is needed. The fact that you only achieved 63 in your first year with no motivation, will be your peak. You are unlikely to achieve any higher because you lack the motivation to research further into the subject, which means your grades will suffer even further as you progress into the second and third years, so you will be doing the absolute minimum - which is not enough. So, I would predict you are likely to end up with a 2:2, or a third based on your motivation levels by the end. Some motivated students at Oxford don't achieve a 2:1 at the end, so you should reconsider whether this is for you.

So, your first year grades will be predicted to be the highest you achieve based on your motivation level, so I would expect a decline in grades as time progresses.

Studying a degree with no interest will be your great detriment. You are unlikely to achieve a 2:1 by the end, and so your job prospects will suffer more by studying something you hate. If it was a few months further of studying, then the obvious recommendation would be to continue. But the fact you are in your first year, is not an ideal situation to be lacking in motivation.

Therefore, your job prospects will be massively affected, and I predict you will achieve a 2:2 at best, and possibly lower. So, your job prospects will be lower than if you changed to a degree that you had a greater interest, but slightly less prospects, as you could end up achieving a much greater grade, and that would consequently result in greater options being available.

It's up to you, but I would advise changing degrees to a different subject.

I didn't choose law for the money, I chose it because I was interested in it and enjoyed reading about it before I started my degree so I thought I would enjoy studying it, I only mentioned needing to make a decent amount of money because my parents are not rich enough to be able to financially support me for a long period after uni and I am from Cornwall where there are very few job prospects so I would need to pretty much instantly be able to fund an independent life in a city upon leaving uni.

As I mentioned in another comment, the main issue preventing me from changing courses/unis is the toll it will take on my mental health to contact other unis and potentially go through the interview process again and my college/tutors are being largely unhelpful when I raise my concerns. Along with the fact that Oxford law had always been my dream and I'm still reluctant to let go of it.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 5
@crazyjamie
Original post by 89leah
You say you don't want to change degree courses, but I'm wondering why not, if you really don't enjoy law. Have you considered switching to another humanities or arts subject that you do enjoy, or at least enjoy more than law? There are other well paid careers other than law, like management consultancy, or other roles in large multi-national companies.

The main issue is my current motivation level is not at the point where I can face excessive research on courses, contacting other unis, meetings with my Oxford tutors and potentially interviews for other unis. I've always been a very quiet/shy person so those things take a lot out of me. My college has no dedicated academic advisor I could go to, I have a meeting with my head tutor in a few weeks where I will bring it up but I have raised similar concerns in the past and she just basically told me to work harder and that my marks will improve but I am already putting in 6-8 hours a day and my struggles with mental health/motivation as well as not having any friends here make it harder to put more work in.
Reply 7
Original post by Username123ab
The main issue is my current motivation level is not at the point where I can face excessive research on courses, contacting other unis, meetings with my Oxford tutors and potentially interviews for other unis. I've always been a very quiet/shy person so those things take a lot out of me. My college has no dedicated academic advisor I could go to, I have a meeting with my head tutor in a few weeks where I will bring it up but I have raised similar concerns in the past and she just basically told me to work harder and that my marks will improve but I am already putting in 6-8 hours a day and my struggles with mental health/motivation as well as not having any friends here make it harder to put more work in.


Hey. So a few things here that might be helpful to consider.
1. You say you're working 6-8 hours, but are you working productively? You can spend hours in the library, but if you aren't assimilating anything that you're reading and your note-taking isn't effective, then you won't actually learn anything from it. Obviously you need to spend enough time studying (which is mainly reading, note-taking and practising problem questions for law), but four hours of effective studying are better than six hours just mindlessly reading and copying from a text book, without actually processing the information for yourself. There are lots of videos about productive studying on Youtube - there's a channel by a Cambridge science graduate, Abbey Robins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBDJ1nfbTjQ . There are plenty of similar channels. You could explain that you're struggling to effectively study to your tutor, and ask for their advice. They should be happy to help you with this.
2. Try to address your mental health issues. Is there a welfare team, ideally a counsellor or psychologist, in your Oxford college, or as part of a broader University mental health service?
3. I've said this before, but is there an option to change courses? I know you've said that motivation is the issue, but if you try everything (e.g. studying more efficiently, addressing your mental health, beginning to socialise and make friends), and you still really hate law, then maybe you'd better off taking a subject you genuinely find more interesting. Could be worth asking your tutor about this.

Good luck.
Original post by Baleroc
No. There isn't. That's what you came on the forums to ask, so you got your answer. If you refuse people to give advice and guidance, then that is to your great detriment.

But, your question will be next: "Why?". Why? It's obvious to everyone reading.

1. You have no motivation to complete the Law degree.
2. You are achieving average/mediocre grades in the first year.
3. You have chosen a degree with the intention of getting into an industry specifically money, rather than choosing a degree you are interested in.
4. You are studying at one of the most difficult university's in the country.

First, let's begin with motivation and your grades. Your average grades aren't the issue. Your average grades and poor motivation, in combination, is the issue. As you progress in your studies, you will require more studying in year 2 and 3, requiring more papers and case studies, more tutorials, more homework, more subtle understandings and external research is needed. The fact that you only achieved 63 in your first year with no motivation, will be your peak. You are unlikely to achieve any higher because you lack the motivation to research further into the subject, which means your grades will suffer even further as you progress into the second and third years, so you will be doing the absolute minimum - which is not enough. So, I would predict you are likely to end up with a 2:2, or a third based on your motivation levels by the end. Some motivated students at Oxford don't achieve a 2:1 at the end, so you should reconsider whether this is for you.

So, your first year grades will be predicted to be the highest you achieve based on your motivation level, so I would expect a decline in grades as time progresses.

Studying a degree with no interest will be your great detriment. You are unlikely to achieve a 2:1 by the end, and so your job prospects will suffer more by studying something you hate. If it was a few months further of studying, then the obvious recommendation would be to continue. But the fact you are in your first year, is not an ideal situation to be lacking in motivation.

Therefore, your job prospects will be massively affected, and I predict you will achieve a 2:2 at best, and possibly lower. So, your job prospects will be lower than if you changed to a degree that you had a greater interest, but slightly less prospects, as you could end up achieving a much greater grade, and that would consequently result in greater options being available.

It's up to you, but I would advise changing degrees to a different subject.

A 2:1 in the first year is not a bad grade, if OP managed 63 at the end of their degree that's still a 2:1 and therefore something to be proud of. Do not be so negative.
Reply 9
Original post by Thisismyunitsr
A 2:1 in the first year is not a bad grade, if OP managed 63 at the end of their degree that's still a 2:1 and therefore something to be proud of. Do not be so negative.


Exactly....And it's a 2:1 from Oxford. A 2:1 from Oxford - whether low or high - is sufficient for an application to lots of graduate schemes. The only places where it might be an issue are the Bar (and even then, probably regional sets of criminal sets might be ok) and some of the US law firms.
Also, I didn’t study at Oxford so idk how the course works there, but you might find you enjoy law more in second and third year when you can start choosing your own modules more. I actually get you not wanting to change courses because it feels like a big shift. But obviously remember that you don’t have to be a lawyer just because you did law - I think consultancy firms etc really like oxbridge grads.

There’s been a lot of negativity and discouragement on here which I think is often quite characteristic of the student room lol. Ultimately you managed a 2.1 at Oxford even while struggling with your mental health and motivation. Well done, you should be proud of yourself. I’m sure you have a great career ahead of you whether it’s in law or something else.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by januaryjjj
Also, I didn’t study at Oxford so idk how the course works there, but you might find you enjoy law more in second and third year when you can start choosing your own modules more. I actually get you not wanting to change courses because it feels like a big shift. But obviously remember that you don’t have to be a lawyer just because you did law - I think consultancy firms etc really like oxbridge grads.

There’s been a lot of negativity and discouragement on here which I think is often quite characteristic of the student room lol. Ultimately you managed a 2.1 at Oxford even while struggling with your mental health and motivation. Well done, you should be proud of yourself. I’m sure you have a great career ahead of you whether it’s in law or something else.


Re negativity - I'm not sure where Baleroc has got their information from, or what knowledge/experience they have of Oxbridge and their graduates.

It's simply false to say that OP has little employment prospects with a low Oxford 2:1 (which OP hasn't even graduated with yet - they may well do far better in their finals, but even if not, they won't be an objectively 'bad' position).
bro all you need is a 2.1 to apply for a vac scheme or a vacation scheme, there is literally nothing to stress about you are in a great situation plus attend the best uni in the world.
if it makes u feel better i am also averaging around 65 in law at uni of notts.
Reply 13
Original post by Baleroc
No. There isn't. That's what you came on the forums to ask, so you got your answer. If you refuse people to give advice and guidance, then that is to your great detriment.

But, your question will be next: "Why?". Why? It's obvious to everyone reading.

1. You have no motivation to complete the Law degree.
2. You are achieving average/mediocre grades in the first year.
3. You have chosen a degree with the intention of getting into an industry specifically money, rather than choosing a degree you are interested in.
4. You are studying at one of the most difficult university's in the country.

First, let's begin with motivation and your grades. Your average grades aren't the issue. Your average grades and poor motivation, in combination, is the issue. As you progress in your studies, you will require more studying in year 2 and 3, requiring more papers and case studies, more tutorials, more homework, more subtle understandings and external research is needed. The fact that you only achieved 63 in your first year with no motivation, will be your peak. You are unlikely to achieve any higher because you lack the motivation to research further into the subject, which means your grades will suffer even further as you progress into the second and third years, so you will be doing the absolute minimum - which is not enough. So, I would predict you are likely to end up with a 2:2, or a third based on your motivation levels by the end. Some motivated students at Oxford don't achieve a 2:1 at the end, so you should reconsider whether this is for you.

So, your first year grades will be predicted to be the highest you achieve based on your motivation level, so I would expect a decline in grades as time progresses.

Studying a degree with no interest will be your great detriment. You are unlikely to achieve a 2:1 by the end, and so your job prospects will suffer more by studying something you hate. If it was a few months further of studying, then the obvious recommendation would be to continue. But the fact you are in your first year, is not an ideal situation to be lacking in motivation.

Therefore, your job prospects will be massively affected, and I predict you will achieve a 2:2 at best, and possibly lower. So, your job prospects will be lower than if you changed to a degree that you had a greater interest, but slightly less prospects, as you could end up achieving a much greater grade, and that would consequently result in greater options being available.

It's up to you, but I would advise changing degrees to a different subject.


ngl imma be real reading this completely destroyed my confidence… I didn’t do that well in mods either and was in a pretty similar situation to op and finals were a mess and I was already stressing about it 😭 thanks a lot! can’t wait for my third
Hello just need some help regarding my degree. So part 2 is compromised of year 2 and 3 and are both weighted equally 50/50. So hypothetically if I finish yesr 2 on 57% and year 3 on 65% are they going to award me my degree based on 65% as I have finished part 2 on that. Or are they going to average it out so 57+65= 122/2= 61 and classify me with 61% ?

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