The Student Room Group

Politics + Law Conversion or LLB?

I'm currently in Year 12 studying politics, philosophy and psychology and was hoping to apply to study law at university in September. I've been having doubts about studying law, as many people have encouraged me to pursue something I'm more passionate about or interested in at undergrad then do a conversion degree. I had struggled for a while to think about any other subjects that I could study, but I've been enjoying politics a lot more at A level lately, so I'm wondering whether this could be an option. I looked into some politics degrees at the universities I want to apply for law at (York, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds) and all of them had courses that I enjoyed. For Nottingham and Manchester, they don't offer standalone BA Politics, so I found myself leaning more towards their politics and international relations courses, since I'm really interested in global politics and development, as well as conflict and counter-terrorism. I will be attending open days for Birmingham, Nottingham (once bookings open) and York, so I will 100% check out the departments for my courses.

As I said before, many people have encouraged me to pursue something other than law first and then do a conversion degree, since I still want to become a solicitor. I understand that law will consume my whole life once I begin to study that, and I am fine with that as I have a genuine interest in the subject. I only started considering the benefits of doing a conversion degree when I looked past the disadvantages of doing law. By this, I mean that doing a conversion degree will allow me to learn 3 years worth of content in 1 year. This to me sounds like a smart career move, as before beginning a training contract and starting the SQE, a lot of the core module information will be fresh in my memory, in comparison to someone who has done an LLB and is having to refresh their knowledge in certain first year modules, such as contract law or public law. Either way, I had planned to do a postgraduate degree, and recently I have taken an interest in intellectual property and corporate law, so if I were to study an LLB, I would likely do an LLM in one of these specialised areas (or real estate). If I were to study politics or politics and international relations, then my masters would have been in law or I would have done a PGDL, depending on the university.

I'd like to know more from people who didn't study law at undergrad and how they have found doing a conversion degree if possible. Do you regret not picking law initially, if you had an interest in it before doing your undergrad? If you could go back, would you have studied law and if so, why or why not? I'd also like to gain some perspective from people who did or are currently studying law at undergrad. Do you wish you studied another subject and if so, why? If you are a trainee solicitor, how have you found revising from the SQE topics based in your first year (e.g. public, contract, tort)?

I know it's early, but I have already written my personal statement for law and I don't plan to make any changes to it until the summer. The reason I did it this early on in the year is for me to see whether I was capable of demonstrating my interest in law and create a cohesive structure for a personal statement, so if I change my mind about law (hopefully I won't), I'll have had some practice to help me navigate a new personal statement. I do struggle with indecision sometimes, but the one thing I am certain of is that I want to become a solicitor, I'm just unsure about what route I should take to get there. Law is a new subject and I understand that sometimes it can be boring, but I do enjoy engaging with content from people who study or have studied law about topics and cases in the legal world. My issue is that I also engage similarly with politics and current affairs and there is so much overlap between the two.

For anyone wondering what my grades are looking like (because obviously law has high requirement) these results are from my most recent assessments:

Psychology - A*
Politics - A
Philosophy - B

For my upcoming mocks I'm hoping for AAA - AAB (B in philosophy) and A*AA - AAA (A* in psychology) for my predicted grades. I do not plan on sitting the LNAT as of right now, but open days may change my mind.
Hello,

My short answer is: study what interests you at the best university you can get into, do as well as you can, and then, if you have not done a Law degree, do the GDL.



My long answer follows.

I studied History at university and then did what was then known as the Diploma in Law, now called the GDL.

At that time, the course involved studying Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, Equity and Trusts, and Land Law, and passing exams in each of those subjects after three terms of study.

After the Diploma, I did the old Bar course, for which as well as studying civil and criminal procedure, pleadings, and various other things, I also studied Tax Law and Company Law.

I then did pupillage in a chambers which went on to become one of the magic circle chambers (they weren't called that back then), and I was taken on as a member of those chambers.

I had planned to do a D Phil in History and become an academic historian, but I changed my mind at the end of my second year and decided to become a barrister. My historical studies and an interest in politics and justice inspired me to do this.

After a fairly busy time studying history, I found the workload for the Diploma to be light, and I found the law interesting (mostly) and easy to learn.

I found Land Law boring, but that may have been because the Land Law tutor had a boring teaching style. I also found Tax Law dull, but I had to do it because I hadn't done it at university.

I was taught Contract and Tort very well by a witty young barrister who, years later, I did cases against in Court (the current score is three one to me: sometimes the Padawan can out-fence the Master).

I paid little attention to Equity and Trusts until I got into practice, when I needed to use constructive trusts as remedies in commercial fraud cases. My Equity tutor, another witty barrister, became a drinking buddy but he wasn't a great teacher.

Constitutional and Administrative Law is interesting, and pretty easy for a History graduate. I already knew about the Constitution of the UK and how it got to be like it is (not all lawyers know this, but they really should). In practice, Public Law is easy and interesting.

While doing the Diploma, I read some jurisprudence in my spare time, because it's interesting.

Criminal Law is interesting as an academic subject but pretty horrible in practice, unless you do white collar fraud, murders, terrorism, and so on.

Do I wish I that had a Law degree? Sometimes. I sometimes skated on thin ice when I was a very junior barrister, because my legal knowledge base was a bit slender.

I wish that I'd studied Roman Law. It is foundational, even in the common law system (and much more so in the Civilian law countries). I have taught myself Roman Law recently because I am working on cases which involve jurisdictions where Roman-Dutch law is part of the legal system.

I do a lot of Conflicts of Laws because I have an international disputes practice. I have had to learn Conflicts on the hoof. It is interesting and quite difficult.

I picked up EU law in bits and bobs as I went along. Before Brexit, EU law came into about fifteen percent of the legal work of a general commercial lawyer who was not an EU specialist (doing Competition Law and so on). When Farage et al went on about EU law dominating English law I knew that they were lying, because 85% of the typical UK civil legal practice had zero EU content.

I am glad that I did a History degree. History remains my main intellectual interest, and informs my view of life. I still read History when I am not reading law books or novels.

My History degree was a great platform for becoming a lawyer. It taught me about evidence, and the presentation of a careful argument based on evidence.

I work at the pointy end of an adversarial legal system. My job is to annihilate my clients' enemies using words, and sometimes to make peace with them using words. The Oxford tutorial system helped me to become a good courtroom lawyer and negotiator, but I learned a lot about those things during my pupillage (with three barristers who are now big beasts of the legal forest), and on the job. Litigating is a lifetime thing, you keep on learning as you do it. No matter how good you get, there is always someone better than you.

Being a litigation lawyer is a great job. It's hard work, but it brings good rewards, and I don't just mean big sacks of money. Do I wish that I was a professional historian? A bit. But being a barrister ain't a bad second option.

TL/DR again: do what you think is interesting, whether Law or something else.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Stiffy Byng
Hello,
My short answer is: study what interests you at the best university you can get into, do as well as you can, and then, if you have not done a Law degree, do the GDL.
My long answer follows.
I studied History at university and then did what was then known as the Diploma in Law, now called the GDL.
At that time, the course involved studying Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, Equity and Trusts, and Land Law, and passing exams in each of those subjects after three terms of study.
After the Diploma, I did the old Bar course, for which as well as studying civil and criminal procedure, pleadings, and various other things, I also studied Tax Law and Company Law.
I then did pupillage in a chambers which went on to become one of the magic circle chambers (they weren't called that back then), and I was taken on as a member of those chambers.
I had planned to do a D Phil in History and become an academic historian, but I changed my mind at the end of my second year and decided to become a barrister. My historical studies and an interest in politics and justice inspired me to do this.
After a fairly busy time studying history, I found the workload for the Diploma to be light, and I found the law interesting (mostly) and easy to learn.
I found Land Law boring, but that may have been because the Land Law tutor had a boring teaching style. I also found Tax Law dull, but I had to do it because I hadn't done it at university.
I was taught Contract and Tort very well by a witty young barrister who, years later, I did cases against in Court (the current score is three one to me: sometimes the Padawan can out-fence the Master).
I paid little attention to Equity and Trusts until I got into practice, when I needed to use constructive trusts as remedies in commercial fraud cases. My Equity tutor, another witty barrister, became a drinking buddy but he wasn't a great teacher.
Constitutional and Administrative Law is interesting, and pretty easy for a History graduate. I already knew about the Constitution of the UK and how it got to be like it is (not all lawyers know this, but they really should). In practice, Public Law is easy and interesting.
While doing the Diploma, I read some jurisprudence in my spare time, because it's interesting.
Criminal Law is interesting as an academic subject but pretty horrible in practice, unless you do white collar fraud, murders, terrorism, and so on.
Do I wish I that had a Law degree? Sometimes. I sometimes skated on thin ice when I was a very junior barrister, because my legal knowledge base was a bit slender.
I wish that I'd studied Roman Law. It is foundational, even in the common law system (and much more so in the Civilian law countries). I have taught myself Roman Law recently because I am working on cases which involve jurisdictions where Roman-Dutch law is part of the legal system.
I do a lot of Conflicts of Laws because I have an international disputes practice. I have had to learn Conflicts on the hoof. It is interesting and quite difficult.
I picked up EU law in bits and bobs as I went along. Before Brexit, EU law came into about fifteen percent of the legal work of a general commercial lawyer who was not an EU specialist (doing Competition Law and so on). When Farage et al went on about EU law dominating English law I knew that they were lying, because 85% of the typical UK civil legal practice had zero EU content.
I am glad that I did a History degree. History remains my main intellectual interest, and informs my view of life. I still read History when I am not reading law books or novels.
My History degree was a great platform for becoming a lawyer. It taught me about evidence, and the presentation of a careful argument based on evidence.
I work at the pointy end of an adversarial legal system. My job is to annihilate my clients' enemies using words, and sometimes to make peace with them using words. The Oxford tutorial system helped me to become a good courtroom lawyer and negotiator, but I learned a lot about those things during my pupillage (with three barristers who are now big beasts of the legal forest), and on the job. Litigating is a lifetime thing, you keep on learning as you do it. No matter how good you get, there is always someone better than you.
Being a litigation lawyer is a great job. It's hard work, but it brings good rewards, and I don't just mean big sacks of money. Do I wish that I was a professional historian? A bit. But being a barrister ain't a bad second option.
TL/DR again: do what you think is interesting, whether Law or something else.

Thank you so much for your insight. I am also a big public law fan, because of my interest in politics! I have been doing some more research into ways I can still engage with politics if I study law and vice versa. At the moment, my main interest is in law, so I think it makes the most sense to pursue it for my undergraduate degree. As much as I like politics, I think it was more a case of me second guessing whether law was the best thing for me right now or not, and whether I would be okay losing politics as an academic subject. Since I want to ideally engage with law and politics outside of academics (in university societies), I looked into some societies offered at one of my top choices, University of Nottingham. They obviously have their law society, but as well as this I found a range of other options that lie within my interests, including a debating society, a politics society (that welcomes non-politics students too) and a pro-bono society, which appealed to me in particular, as I would like to take on a legal advisory role sometime before starting a training contract. I’ve also looked into some joint honours degrees (e.g. Law with Politics LLB, Politics, Philosophy and Law BA), so this is another option I will look into. Subject talks at open days will definitely give me a clearer idea, but for now, I don’t think I will deviate from my plans to study law too much and simply look into more options.

Thank you again for your detailed response, it has been very helpful. I quite liked history too when I was younger, but chose to study geography at GCSE since I was better at it (which I later dropped), resulting in me not being able to study history A level. I do have one more question for you, if you don’t mind. Do you think that studying law requires a big interest in English as a subject? I switched from English language and literature to politics at A level and I’m slightly worried that I may not enjoy law, as English seems to be one of the most commonly recommended subjects to take, alongside history.
You are most welcome. Law and policy are intertwined, and sometimes law and politics intertwine. It is possible to combine a career in law with a career as an activist, although there are not many job openings in such roles.

There have for example been interesting recent developments in the use of commercial law and human rights law to address environmental issues.

Anyone practising public law, whether challenging the decisions of government and regulators, or defending those decisions, is involved to some extent with how policy works in the real world. I add, by the way, that being a lawyer of almost any variety is one of the most real world of jobs - it's not the ivory tower occupation which some think. Most judges are better connected to reality than are the tabloid media which criticise judges.

Commercial public law has been a thing for ages. Businesses may use public law remedies to challenge the award and refusal of Government franchises, the decisions of regulators, and so on. Businesses even bring cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, especially cases about property rights.

As for A levels, generally the subject mix isn't important, as long as the subjects are rigorous ones. English is important, whether studied at A level or not. Good lawyers should have excellent linguistic comprehension, and should write with clarity and precision. Lawyers tend to be sticklers for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Law is a thing of words.

Studying law and practising law require large amounts of reading and writing. Although arguing in Court is the key focus of my job, I spend far more working time reading vast quantities and writing vast quantities. Transactional lawyers do even more paperwork. Back to the litigators: a mastery of fluent and persuasive spoken English is essential for an advocate.

The best way to write well is to read well. Read the greatest British, Irish, and American novelists and essayists, and also the judicial writings of the best British, Irish, and American Judges. Classicists make good lawyers because Latin underpins most modern European languages, even English - a Germanic language with Latin bolt-ons. A person who knows Latin rarely makes mistakes when writing in English.

Follow your (informed) instincts when it comes to choosing a degree subject. Don't miss the opportunity to spend three or four years studying in depth a thing which you really like, whatever that thing is. If it's law, great, but you can always study law after studying something else. Doing so won't harm you career prospects.

In the legal profession, the class of your degree and where you got the degree do matter, at least for the first job, if you are aiming at the upper end of the sector. Many firms and chambers are now recruiting university blind, but graduates wth 2.1s or Firsts from a familiar group of universities still tend to get the gigs.

Nottingham is well regarded for law, although it doesn't have quite the rep that it had a while back. I am not sure why that is. Do you have an idea of what sort of A level grades you can realistically hope to obtain?

Good luck!
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Stiffy Byng
You are most welcome. Law and policy are intertwined, and sometimes law and politics intertwine. It is possible to combine a career in law with a career as an activist, although there are not many job openings in such roles.
There have for example been interesting recent developments in the use of commercial law and human rights law to address environmental issues.
Anyone practising public law, whether challenging the decisions of government and regulators, or defending those decisions, is involved to some extent with how policy works in the real world. I add, by the way, that being a lawyer of almost any variety is one of the most real world of jobs - it's not the ivory tower occupation which some think. Most judges are better connected to reality than are the tabloid media which criticise judges.
Commercial public law has been a thing for ages. Businesses may use public law remedies to challenge the award and refusal of Government franchises, the decisions of regulators, and so on. Businesses even bring cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, especially cases about property rights.
As for A levels, generally the subject mix isn't important, as long as the subjects are rigorous ones. English is important, whether studied at A level or not. Good lawyers should have excellent linguistic comprehension, and should write with clarity and precision. Lawyers tend to be sticklers for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Law is a thing of words.
Studying law and practising law require large amounts of reading and writing. Although arguing in Court is the key focus of my job, I spend far more working time reading vast quantities and writing vast quantities. Transactional lawyers do even more paperwork. Back to the litigators: a mastery of fluent and persuasive spoken English is essential for an advocate.
The best way to write well is to read well. Read the greatest British, Irish, and American novelists and essayists, and also the judicial writings of the best British, Irish, and American Judges. Classicists make good lawyers because Latin underpins most modern European languages, even English - a Germanic language with Latin bolt-ons. A person who knows Latin rarely makes mistakes when writing in English.
Follow your (informed) instincts when it comes to choosing a degree subject. Don't miss the opportunity to spend three or four years studying in depth a thing which you really like, whatever that thing is. If it's law, great, but you can always study law after studying something else. Doing so won't harm you career prospects.
In the legal profession, the class of your degree and where you got the degree do matter, at least for the first job, if you are aiming at the upper end of the sector. Many firms and chambers are now recruiting university blind, but graduates wth 2.1s or Firsts from a familiar group of universities still tend to get the gigs.
Nottingham is well regarded for law, although it doesn't have quite the rep that it had a while back. I am not sure why that is. Do you have an idea of what sort of A level grades you can realistically hope to obtain?
Good luck!

I'm not sure what grades I could get for my final exams next year, but I'd like to think I may be able to achieve A*A*A with the two A*s being in psychology and politics. I'm also aiming for an A* in my EPQ, but I won't start that until next year and being allowed to take one is dependent on my performance and ultimately decided on by my school. I think I should be fine as my grades in my subjects have either improved or stayed at a high standard.

In philosophy, I started the year off on a D, which shocked me, but I was told that this is quite normal for most people at the start of Year 12. I then received a C grade (1 mark off a B) in my next assessment and a B in my most recent, which was an essay. I'm hoping to continue this one grade improvement and secure an A in my mocks. Getting a B wasn't down to my lack of structure or knowledge, I just needed to go beyond the specification to boost my grade, since the argument was one with few in depth criticisms, so I have learnt my lesson for next time. I had achieved an A* in an essay rewrite of the paper I got a C on, which reassured me that I am capable of achieving a high grade in philosophy. As of right now, I would be happy getting either an A or a B in my end of year mock, as my teacher told me that if I got either of those as my grades, he would predict me an A on UCAS.

In psychology, I've generally gotten As, except from one instance in which I got a B (which was very close to an A grade). Although I got an A* on my last assessment, I knew the questions in advance, so I had prepared my answers well. I was surprised to find out that the questions I had struggled with more were actually the ones I received full marks in. I've only recently sat my final assessment before my mock and I'm hoping to secure an A, since I did run out of time. I might have over-revised for that one, which caused me to get confused in the actual exam. I have two teachers, so I wouldn't be surprised if I get a B or below, as this one is a harsh marker and his marking doesn't always seem to make sense. In general, he is confusing. For my end of year mock, I'm pushing myself to get an A*, but I'd be happy with an A. I'm more likely to get predicted an A* in psychology, as these teachers tend to be more lenient when it comes to predictions than in my other two subjects.

I've been getting As in politics since I transferred into the subject, but I was slightly disappointed when I didn't receive an A* in my last assessment. The grade boundaries are so slim since we only do essay practice before mocks, so I was hoping that I had finally done enough to get above the grade boundary, but I ended up being 2 marks off again. I'm going to use my teacher's feedback from the start of the year to identify what I could be doing better and use this when doing my final exams. I'm aiming for an A*, but even an A will suffice. I don't think my teacher is likely to predict me an A* as he, like others, is quite stubborn when it comes to predictions.

I'm also not sure why Nottingham has fallen so much in terms of law rankings, but I suspect its not just to do with the university, but other universities improving their law departments. Although a lot of people tend to advise to focus on rankings when it comes to law, I think in some cases, a strong reputation can be more valuable. Even if Nottingham is ranked 18th in law, it has been a target university for city firms over the last decade, and my hope is that going there will prove this. I hadn't really considered it much until I looked into their optional modules again and saw that they were very specialised. Again, I'm hoping that attending their open day will give me a better idea of what it's like to study there and whether it is a good fit for me, but the campus is stunning and I've heard good things about diversity and nightlife in Nottingham. This coupled with the opportunities presented to law students has made Nottingham one of my top choices.
You have selected some good universities as your targets. If you remain on track for good grades at A level, maybe consider a shot at Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, LSE etc? If you do that, please treat any such shot as a long shot - most of those who apply to such places don't get in - but there may be no harm in trying if you can put together a strong pitch, and don't fixate on getting in. In my view, Nottingham would be fine, as would your other current choices. Best of luck!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by bibachu
I'm currently in Year 12 studying politics, philosophy and psychology and was hoping to apply to study law at university in September. I've been having doubts about studying law, as many people have encouraged me to pursue something I'm more passionate about or interested in at undergrad then do a conversion degree. I had struggled for a while to think about any other subjects that I could study, but I've been enjoying politics a lot more at A level lately, so I'm wondering whether this could be an option. I looked into some politics degrees at the universities I want to apply for law at (York, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds) and all of them had courses that I enjoyed. For Nottingham and Manchester, they don't offer standalone BA Politics, so I found myself leaning more towards their politics and international relations courses, since I'm really interested in global politics and development, as well as conflict and counter-terrorism. I will be attending open days for Birmingham, Nottingham (once bookings open) and York, so I will 100% check out the departments for my courses.
As I said before, many people have encouraged me to pursue something other than law first and then do a conversion degree, since I still want to become a solicitor. I understand that law will consume my whole life once I begin to study that, and I am fine with that as I have a genuine interest in the subject. I only started considering the benefits of doing a conversion degree when I looked past the disadvantages of doing law. By this, I mean that doing a conversion degree will allow me to learn 3 years worth of content in 1 year. This to me sounds like a smart career move, as before beginning a training contract and starting the SQE, a lot of the core module information will be fresh in my memory, in comparison to someone who has done an LLB and is having to refresh their knowledge in certain first year modules, such as contract law or public law. Either way, I had planned to do a postgraduate degree, and recently I have taken an interest in intellectual property and corporate law, so if I were to study an LLB, I would likely do an LLM in one of these specialised areas (or real estate). If I were to study politics or politics and international relations, then my masters would have been in law or I would have done a PGDL, depending on the university.
I'd like to know more from people who didn't study law at undergrad and how they have found doing a conversion degree if possible. Do you regret not picking law initially, if you had an interest in it before doing your undergrad? If you could go back, would you have studied law and if so, why or why not? I'd also like to gain some perspective from people who did or are currently studying law at undergrad. Do you wish you studied another subject and if so, why? If you are a trainee solicitor, how have you found revising from the SQE topics based in your first year (e.g. public, contract, tort)?
I know it's early, but I have already written my personal statement for law and I don't plan to make any changes to it until the summer. The reason I did it this early on in the year is for me to see whether I was capable of demonstrating my interest in law and create a cohesive structure for a personal statement, so if I change my mind about law (hopefully I won't), I'll have had some practice to help me navigate a new personal statement. I do struggle with indecision sometimes, but the one thing I am certain of is that I want to become a solicitor, I'm just unsure about what route I should take to get there. Law is a new subject and I understand that sometimes it can be boring, but I do enjoy engaging with content from people who study or have studied law about topics and cases in the legal world. My issue is that I also engage similarly with politics and current affairs and there is so much overlap between the two.
For anyone wondering what my grades are looking like (because obviously law has high requirement) these results are from my most recent assessments:
Psychology - A*
Politics - A
Philosophy - B
For my upcoming mocks I'm hoping for AAA - AAB (B in philosophy) and A*AA - AAA (A* in psychology) for my predicted grades. I do not plan on sitting the LNAT as of right now, but open days may change my mind.

Hi @bibachu

I, of course, do not have anywhere near as much experience as Stiffy Byng! However, as someone who did the GDL last year and is now on the BPC, hopefully I can add another perspective 🙂

Throughout school, I always considered the possibility of becoming a barrister and studying law. However, like you, lots of lawyers told me to study something I enjoyed at undergrad and then do the conversion. I don't think this is necessarily the right advice for everyone. For example, if you are certain you want to be a solicitor and you already know you love the subject then I do not necessarily see why you would choose to not study law from the outset. However, it was the right advice for me and may be the right advice for you!

I studied English lit at undergrad and absolutely loved it. I have always enjoyed the subject and found studying it at university level to be really interesting (it also taught me a lot of useful transferrable skills for later studying law). It was only in my final year of university that my desire to become a barrister was confirmed and I think having that extra time to make this decision has been really useful in ensuring that I am completely dedicated to pursuing this subject and can justify all of the challenges that come with it.

Having completed my degree, I then studied the GDL (it still covers the areas described by Stiffy but also now includes business law and a small amount of Human Rights Law (although this is in the most general sense possible)). Although people like to fearmonger slightly about the workload of the GDL, it really is manageable and the law is not particularly difficult to learn if you take a practical approach to ensuring you have always done all of the prep and the required reading. I would say it was easier in many ways than my final year of undergrad.

I do not regret doing a different undergraduate degree and the main difference I have seen so far is that those who did study law at undergrad do have a broader and deeper base knowledge. Therefore, at times on the BPC, I have had to do a little extra research and reading to catch up before tackling the work set. However, I wouldn't let this put you off as my grades do not reflect any sort of disadvantage.

This has been a rather longwinded way of saying that the conversion will not put you at any major disadvantage to your peers later in your career. Therefore, if you want to study something else first then go for it! Becoming any kind of lawyer is a long process and not a particularly easy one. Taking an extra year to get your qualifying law degree really won't change anything in the long run.

I hope this helps :smile:
About 50% of City Law and barristers have a none Law first degree.
If you are aiming for those you need to focus on best Uni you can in and getting a high degree classification. Where you go still matters more for legal careers than other areas. If you look at list of Universities City recruit from it's dominated by Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol etc
Big firms will pay for Conversion but it's extremely competitive. Oxford PPE to funded Law conversion is much more likely than a 2.1 Politics degree from a lower ranking Uni. What will you do if you don't get funded? You don't actually need a law degree or conversion to be a Solicitor just pass SQE1 and 2, but in reality most firms do require it.
With a Law degree you don't need to worry about funding that extra year.
There's an awful lot of overlap between Law and Politics, you'll study Constitutional law, English legal system.
Some straight Law degrees you can do a politics module each year eg Durham.
Some Unis offer Law with Politics - Glasgow, Queens Belfast, Manchester are all well regarded. So a qualifying law degree and option to study politics too.
I'd go to open days. Sit in the law sample lectures - does it interest you.
There's no right or wrong decision. Go with your interests.
I'm a Solicitor with a Law degree. My teen has offers for Law with Politics to keep their options open.
Reply 8
Original post by Dixiechick1975
About 50% of City Law and barristers have a none Law first degree.
If you are aiming for those you need to focus on best Uni you can in and getting a high degree classification. Where you go still matters more for legal careers than other areas. If you look at list of Universities City recruit from it's dominated by Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol etc
Big firms will pay for Conversion but it's extremely competitive. Oxford PPE to funded Law conversion is much more likely than a 2.1 Politics degree from a lower ranking Uni. What will you do if you don't get funded? You don't actually need a law degree or conversion to be a Solicitor just pass SQE1 and 2, but in reality most firms do require it.
With a Law degree you don't need to worry about funding that extra year.
There's an awful lot of overlap between Law and Politics, you'll study Constitutional law, English legal system.
Some straight Law degrees you can do a politics module each year eg Durham.
Some Unis offer Law with Politics - Glasgow, Queens Belfast, Manchester are all well regarded. So a qualifying law degree and option to study politics too.
I'd go to open days. Sit in the law sample lectures - does it interest you.
There's no right or wrong decision. Go with your interests.
I'm a Solicitor with a Law degree. My teen has offers for Law with Politics to keep their options open.

I didn’t know that firms were funding the conversion degree, I assumed I would have to self fund. If I were to do a politics degree, I would have likely applied for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition, unless, by that point, I had saved up enough money to fully fund it myself. I have been looking into the law with politics LLB at University of Manchester, so if I decide that I still want to study more politics, this would be an option I’d consider. I wouldn’t be able to study PPE as I don’t do maths at A level and only got a 5 in GCSE maths (I resat and got the same grade), but I would still be aiming for all Russell Group universities to study politics or politics and international relations. Ultimately, I think my decision will really come down to my predicted grades and whether or not my school approves me to do an EPQ, as my theme would be based around counter terrorism. I’m going to Birmingham, York and Nottingham for open days already, but I might consider going to some London universities (since they are local) to sit in on some law and politics lectures and talks. I’m leaning more towards law right now.
That’s a good plan to go to open days. UCL’s sample lecture was how to get away with murder and Queen Mary was Tort 2023.
Top City firms will pay for conversion but it’s very competitive.
If self funding you can get SFE funding for conversion if you do as part of a masters.
York is very different its problem based learning for Law a sort of let’s pretend we are working in a law firm approach.
Good luck whatever you decide.
Some leading law firms recruit university-blind. In general, the strengths of a candidate matter more than the name of his or her university.

At the very top end of the Bar, the nature of the selection processes and the intellectual demands of the work are such that most of those who join the leading chambers when young have one or more degrees from a relatively small group of well known universities, even when the chambers recruit university-blind.

The candidates to some extent select themselves by having academic profiles sufficiently strong to obtain places and do well at the most competitive universities.

But good graduates (law or non law) from a wide range of universities can be competitive when seeking places at a variety of firms and chambers.

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