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Which of these A-Level combinations would be the best to study a law degree?

I recently realised I didn't want to do Biology at A-Level or go do a science related degree at university. Instead, I want to do a law degree. The subjects I'm currently looking at doing are Chemistry, Maths, History or English Literature. I actually didn't do History at GCSE but have always been interested in studying it. I also am not a big fan of English Literature, but I have heard it would be a useful subject for Law as it is essay based. Really, I'm most interested to know if I need to two essay based subjects or just one, and if so is History or English Literature the better choice.
Would it be better for me to do
Chemistry, Maths and History or
Chemistry, Maths and English Literature or
English Literature, History and Maths.
I want to keep my options open but good for a law degree at a good, optimistically Russel Group University. Any advice would be appreciated.
Study whichever three rigorous academic subjects you are most interested in. There is no magic combination of subjects for the aspirant student of law. If you are thinking of becoming a lawyer, please bear in mind that only about half of the practising lawyers in the UK have law degrees. If you wish to study law at university, great. If you wish to study another rigorous subject at university and study law thereafter, also great.

SB (A levels in History, Ancient History, and English, degree in Modern History, Diploma in Law, practising barrister and occasional part time university law tutor).
(edited 1 month ago)
As above, there are no required or preferred subjects for Law - you just need 3 high grades.
Pick 3 subjects you will enjoy studying and where you feel confident of top grades.
Many people find taking an essay-based subject like English, Politics, History is useful for skills, and the essay element of LNAT - but it not essential.

If you look at the entry requirements for Law on Uni course pages you will see that they state the entry requirements as just 3 grades ('AAA', 'ABB' etc) - with no specific subjects, and many other social science subjects at Uni will be the same. Examples
Undergraduate - Liverpool Law School - University of Liverpool - AAA
Undergraduate prospectus : Undergraduate study : Law Department : University of Sussex - AAB
Law - Keele University - ABB
etc.
You can do a law conversion after your degree, they usually prefer that instead of actual law degrees :smile:
Original post by avawetherall
You can do a law conversion after your degree, they usually prefer that instead of actual law degrees :smile:

The first part of your statement is correct. As to the second part of your statement, if by "they" you mean law firms and barristers' chambers, those organisations usually have no preference as between law degrees and non-law degrees.
Reply 5
Original post by Stiffy Byng
Study whichever three rigorous academic subjects you are most interested in. There is no magic combination of subjects for the aspirant student of law. If you are thinking of becoming a lawyer, please bear in mind that only about half of the practising lawyers in the UK have law degrees. If you wish to study law at university, great. If you wish to study another rigorous subject at university and study law thereafter, also great.
SB (A levels in History, Ancient History, and English, degree in Modern History, Diploma in Law, practising barrister and occasional part time university law tutor).

Thanks for the advice, I'll probably end up doing History, Chemistry and Maths, as I think I will get good grades in all of them, thanks again.
Reply 6
Original post by McGinger
As above, there are no required or preferred subjects for Law - you just need 3 high grades.
Pick 3 subjects you will enjoy studying and where you feel confident of top grades.
Many people find taking an essay-based subject like English, Politics, History is useful for skills, and the essay element of LNAT - but it not essential.
If you look at the entry requirements for Law on Uni course pages you will see that they state the entry requirements as just 3 grades ('AAA', 'ABB' etc) - with no specific subjects, and many other social science subjects at Uni will be the same. Examples
Undergraduate - Liverpool Law School - University of Liverpool - AAA
Undergraduate prospectus : Undergraduate study : Law Department : University of Sussex - AAB
Law - Keele University - ABB
etc.

Thanks for the links to the courses. I'll think I will do History (for an essay-based subject) and Chemistry and Maths because I will like them and do well, I hope.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
The first part of your statement is correct. As to the second part of your statement, if by "they" you mean law firms and barristers' chambers, those organisations usually have no preference as between law degrees and non-law degrees.

Lots of magic circle (google Clifford Chance Stem graduates) chasing Stem graduates with law conversion - they bring a different angle than the traditional route. So whatever you do best at really. No wrong way these days.
Original post by Maddie57
Lots of magic circle (google Clifford Chance Stem graduates) chasing Stem graduates with law conversion - they bring a different angle than the traditional route. So whatever you do best at really. No wrong way these days.

Thanks, that is useful info!
Some of my friends who studied science subjects went on to become lawyers, often specialising in IP and other tech related fields of legal practice, and they have found their first degrees to be of assistance to them in their legal work.

I know of a bloke who has a legal practice relating to rare and valuable classic cars. His youthful study of engineering is relevant to some some of his work.

There are lawyers working in the medico-legal field who have medical training.

I have found that my study of history has helped me in my job as a litigator. In some respects, two barristers arguing a case in front of a Judge are like two rival historians, each putting forward an interpretation of facts, whether disputed facts or agreed ones.

One linguist friend has has a great career in international legal practice, where her languages have been useful.

I know of an economics graduate who has strong maths, and she has made a name for herself in disputes arising from the financial markets, and in assessments of damages and other financial remedies.

A Classicist colleague is a barrister who is able to use his Latin when working on matters in the Roman-Dutch legal systems dotted around various parts of the World.

I sometimes think that the Americans have the right idea, and that law should always be be a postgraduate subject. But for those who wish to study law as an undergraduate, the opportunity to do so is great. You can study the law in depth and at length.

I and everyone I know who did the Diploma in Law and went into practice picked up the law quickly, and learned more about it on the job.

There is, I think, equal merit in taking the law degree path and the non law degree path.
(edited 1 month ago)
Here’s one of the articles about Stem and law graduates. Seen a stat that over 50% of law grad schemes are filled with those who didn’t do the traditional law degree. It’s an old article BUT only have to google stem law graduates and you’ll see many of the magic circle firms holding seminars or the like in a bid to recruit these stem students.

https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/where-to-start/newsletter/stem-students-how-to-become-a-commercial-lawyer
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Maddie57
Here’s one of the articles about Stem and law graduates. Seen a stat that over 50% of law grad schemes are filled with those who didn’t do the traditional law degree. It’s an old article BUT only have to google stem law graduates and you’ll see many of the magic circle firms holding seminars or the like in a bid to recruit these stem students.
https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/where-to-start/newsletter/stem-students-how-to-become-a-commercial-lawyer

That is very helpful, thanks. I hope that aspiring undergraduates will be wise enough to ignore the ill-informed but loudly opinionated teachers, students, relatives, and others who tell them that non-law degrees won't be of any relevance or use to practising lawyers, and/or who see university purely in terms of employment and monetary gain, missing much of the point of what university is for.

I think that people should study a rigorous academic degree subject which most interests them, whether that be law or anything else.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
That is very helpful, thanks. I hope that aspiring undergraduates will be wise enough to ignore the ill-informed but loudly opinionated teachers, students, relatives, and others who tell them that non-law degrees won't be of any relevance or use to practising lawyers, and/or who see university purely in terms of employment and monetary gain, missing much of the point of what university is for.
I think that people should study a rigorous academic degree subject which most interests them, whether that be law or anything else.

Absolutely. We are living in a AI/tech heavy world and having like minded graduates can only be a bonus for legal work in those fields as well as the non traditional. University is a luxury item for many - for the mind and career - and agree studying a rigorous academic curriculum that complements ones learning approach is the ideal.

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