The Student Room Group

Law Conversion Timeline

Not really sure how to word this, but I'm an English student at Durham (incoming finalist) considering transferring over to law via GDL (probably IP/employment/litigation/etc., something where case law comes up a lot). I have a lottt of extra-curriculars (mostly in volunteering in welfare/mental health, not a lot of advocacy/debating unfortunately), but mostly 67+ grades although I don't have any for the year just gone because of boycotts- and I'm a bit confused about what the timeline is in terms of applying for minis/vac schemes. (I'm not even really sure whether I'd like to be a barrister or a solicitor- being a barrister sounds more varied and practical, but so much more competitive and precarious where I already know my non-law background puts me at a bit of a disadvantage). Is there any point in me applying for these things, and if so when should that be done? How do I decide what I want to do (re: bar/pupillage) if I haven't done any legal training yet? Thanks in advance, my head is spinning a bit- hence the messy message.

NB: I am looking at doing a few online courses in advance of writing any legal applications e.g., with FutureLearn, because I know that no matter how many extra-curriculars I have, they won't be hugely helpful if I can't link them back to law. But I'm deeply aware that they may be more useful for Vac Scheme applications, as 'commitment to the Bar' seems to be a separate thing from 'how much you like law itself.' Is that a correct assumption? (I'll probably do them anyway as they look really interesting, just curious!)
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by zazzy.r
Not really sure how to word this, but I'm an English student at Durham (incoming finalist) considering transferring over to law via GDL (probably IP/employment/litigation/etc., something where case law comes up a lot). I have a lottt of extra-curriculars (mostly in volunteering in welfare/mental health, not a lot of advocacy/debating unfortunately), but mostly 67+ grades although I don't have any for the year just gone because of boycotts- and I'm a bit confused about what the timeline is in terms of applying for minis/vac schemes. (I'm not even really sure whether I'd like to be a barrister or a solicitor- being a barrister sounds more varied and practical, but so much more competitive and precarious where I already know my non-law background puts me at a bit of a disadvantage). Is there any point in me applying for these things, and if so when should that be done? How do I decide what I want to do (re: bar/pupillage) if I haven't done any legal training yet? Thanks in advance, my head is spinning a bit- hence the messy message.

NB: I am looking at doing a few online courses in advance of writing any legal applications e.g., with FutureLearn, because I know that no matter how many extra-curriculars I have, they won't be hugely helpful if I can't link them back to law. But I'm deeply aware that they may be more useful for Vac Scheme applications, as 'commitment to the Bar' seems to be a separate thing from 'how much you like law itself.' Is that a correct assumption? (I'll probably do them anyway as they look really interesting, just curious!)


Hi @zazzy.r!

I am just about to complete my MA Law (conversion) with the University of Law which is the equivalent of the PGDL but at the end of the course you write a dissertation to make it a MA degree :smile: I have really enjoyed the course and would really recommend doing a conversion of some kind (I also studied English at undergrad). I wouldn't dismiss your extra-curriculars even if they are not specifically connected to law as they can still show many different admirable qualities about you! Of course, it is also important that you seek out some more legal experience, however, I wouldn't necessarily worry about doing this before starting your PGDL particularly if you aren't even sure yet if you want to be a solicitor or barrister. Unfortunately, I cannot help with Vacation scheme deadlines as I am focussing on the Barrister route myself. However, to find the deadlines for mini applications you simply need to go on the chamber's website that you are interested in doing a mini at and all of the info will be there. I would say 99% of chambers accept individuals who haven't started their law education yet so are only interested in why you think you will make a good Barrister and why you are interested in becoming one. I would say apply to as many as you can as they are of course competitive, however, myself and my friends have all managed to secure a few each over the year. I think the best way to determine whether you want to be a Barrister would be to do a mini, however, in the time being I would recommend going to court and seeing how a trial works etc. Most courts allow any member of the public to go and see a case :smile:

Also, any schemes or programmes that you can do will help so if you have the time I would 100% go ahead and do them. When trying to become a Barrister, there really is no wasted experience...

I hope this helps a bit and good luck!

Sophie
Student Ambassador at the University of Law
Lots off non law students apply during their degree by the way for vac schemes, join the law society, get work experience so that when they graduate they have found a firm (if they want to be solicitors ) to pay for their law conversion and SQE courses. However others will apply later, sometimes much later - it is up to the individual.

If you definitely want to be solicitor or barrister you can apply now to start a full time course in September via a post grad masters loan eg a future solicitor might choose BPP (or univesity of law) masters (must be masters if you want the 12k loan) PDGL and SQE1. That course from September with BPP takes 16 months - so about 4 terms - PGDL - law conversion and then starting SQE course the September after. In theory you don't have to do the PGDL for solicitors now but most firms want it along with SQE.

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending