The Student Room Group

Please guide me through my dilemma regarding university and courses

Hello there!
I am a recent law graduate from Nepal. I really want to purse my further studies and legal career in UK so recently I have doing a lot of research and I found that before I get to attend SQE and Bar exam I need to do GDL but some of the people are saying that no you can directly pursue LLM and then 1 year of LPC or BPC then you can attend the SQE and bar exam. So I’m confused that which of the information is right and if I can directly pursue LLM without GDL and LPC or BPC then which university is best.

And regarding the course, I have a great interest in criminal law but a lot of people are saying that it is hard to get into the field when it comes to criminal law. So I am thinking of commercial law and intellectual property law. Can anyone please guide me through this dilemmas. And I have having these course dilemmas then is it right to choose LLM general for now so that I can get more clarification later?
It is very hard to get a job as a lawyer in the UK particularly for the initial two year training contract before you are qualified, even for UK candidates. Most who apply fail even with very high exam grades.

To qualify as a solicitor in the UK if your Nepalese law degree meets the UK regulator's requirements for a first degree you need to pass the SQE1 and 2 exams for which you can study and sit the exams abroad if you want ans then you need to work for two years full time usually under a formal training contract for an English law firm in England. These training contracts are very hard to obtain even for UK students even with the highest examination grades and plenty have to work for years as a para legal first before obtaining one. You could apply from Nepal for a training contract as UK students do during their law degree as the firms recruit years in advance and then pay for their trainees to take the PGDL and SQE courses for those without an English law LLB OR for those with an LLB for the SQE course after which once the exams are passed the trainee solicitors start their 2 years of paid work with that firm under their training contract. You would also have immigration hurdles to over come too although plenty of law firms sponsor top candidates from abroad to be future trainee solicitors at their firm.

Our new SQE system gives more choices but if make the wrong choice is could be even harder to get a job once qualified eg you can now do the 2 years in the UK (or even abroad if you are giving legal advice there with an English solicitor who approves your training contract work/QWE) but then never obtain a job because your training was at a poor firm or just in the voluntary sector. There are lots of difficulties and dilemmas with the new system. Before wasting any of your money on a course do look into everything carefully.
You should also check if your Nepalese law degree would be sufficient to allow you to sit SQE1 and 2 exams. Even if it is law firms might never hire you without either a 3 year UK LLB or one year law conversion course. However even if you do pass all the law conversion course exams and SQE there is no guarantee to a training contract.

Criminal law is very very badly paid in the UK so you definitely would want to do a different area than that. You could certainly apply now for 2026 UK training contracts to see if you can find a firm to sponsor your studies which is the cheapest way to do it, but there is intense competition.
Reply 2
I heard ULaw has a lot of alumini so it will be less difficult to find internship, training contract and all. is that true?
Reply 3
Original post by Minion2056
I heard ULaw has a lot of alumini so it will be less difficult to find internship, training contract and all. is that true?


Doesn’t sound remotely true.
Original post by Minion2056
I heard ULaw has a lot of alumini so it will be less difficult to find internship, training contract and all. is that true?


ULaw is a commercial, low quality, factory-style provider of the bare minimum. It does not have a strong alumni ethos, most people just seem to be glad they escaped!
Reply 5
thank you all for your suggestion and help. It meant a lot thank you
Reply 6
so, there is no legal career in UK as an international student ?
Original post by Minion2056
so, there is no legal career in UK as an international student ?

There are plenty of international students who are lawyers in the UK, both solicitors and barristers. You just need to be realistic as to your prospects of succeeding in what is a very competitive industry in this country.

Just on the ULaw point, even if you were talking about an institution that does have a strong reputation for its students obtaining training contracts or pupillages, the key point to remember is that those candidates will have had their success because they are very good candidates, not because they went to a particular university. Going to a good university can give you advantages because of the superior quality teaching or opportunities that they provide, but the best universities also recruit the best students out of school, and that is generally the main reason behind students at better universities having more success. It's because they were better candidates to begin with, not because of some magic influence that their university has. That is not determinative, of course. I know some very good barristers who went to 'bad' universities, and I have seen many bad candidates for pupillage interview who went to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Universities. Better universities having students that have more success is just a trend and doesn't guarantee anything, but it is about the quality of candidates ultimately, and not their university.

On the criminal law front, you have been told wrong. Criminal law is, relatively speaking, more accessible than other areas (though still competitive), but it does not pay well and it can be much more difficult for junior practitioners to get by from a financial perspective. By contrast, commercial law and intellectual property law are both very competitive areas to secure training contracts or pupillages in.

You've been given a lot of information about the solicitor route. On the Bar side of things, you need to do a qualifying law degree (either an undergraduate degree, GDL, or possibly an LLM that acts as a qualifying law degree), then the Bar course and then you need to secure and complete pupillage. Your bar exams are taken on the bar course; they are not a separate thing. Statistically securing pupillage is even harder than securing a training contract, so you really do need to be sure that you have a realistic prospect of obtaining a pupillage before you commit to the time and effort needed to go down that route.
Reply 8
Original post by Crazy Jamie
There are plenty of international students who are lawyers in the UK, both solicitors and barristers. You just need to be realistic as to your prospects of succeeding in what is a very competitive industry in this country.

Just on the ULaw point, even if you were talking about an institution that does have a strong reputation for its students obtaining training contracts or pupillages, the key point to remember is that those candidates will have had their success because they are very good candidates, not because they went to a particular university. Going to a good university can give you advantages because of the superior quality teaching or opportunities that they provide, but the best universities also recruit the best students out of school, and that is generally the main reason behind students at better universities having more success. It's because they were better candidates to begin with, not because of some magic influence that their university has. That is not determinative, of course. I know some very good barristers who went to 'bad' universities, and I have seen many bad candidates for pupillage interview who went to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Universities. Better universities having students that have more success is just a trend and doesn't guarantee anything, but it is about the quality of candidates ultimately, and not their university.

On the criminal law front, you have been told wrong. Criminal law is, relatively speaking, more accessible than other areas (though still competitive), but it does not pay well and it can be much more difficult for junior practitioners to get by from a financial perspective. By contrast, commercial law and intellectual property law are both very competitive areas to secure training contracts or pupillages in.

You've been given a lot of information about the solicitor route. On the Bar side of things, you need to do a qualifying law degree (either an undergraduate degree, GDL, or possibly an LLM that acts as a qualifying law degree), then the Bar course and then you need to secure and complete pupillage. Your bar exams are taken on the bar course; they are not a separate thing. Statistically securing pupillage is even harder than securing a training contract, so you really do need to be sure that you have a realistic prospect of obtaining a pupillage before you commit to the time and effort needed to go down that route.

thank you so much. I'll be mentally more prepared for the upcoming hurdles and more focused on being a worthy candidate.
(edited 5 months ago)

Quick Reply

Latest