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Cambridge Law

I'm currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I've made a vow to myself that if my teachers predict me the grades that I need, I'll apply to Cambridge to study law. I'd like to know a little bit about what they look for in applicants. I'm going to list some things I've been doing and my stats so far in case there are any successful offer holders, current or past students or admissions tutors who can tell me a little bit about what they may be looking for and if there's anything more I should be doing. Quick PSA, I know my GCSEs are well below average for a Cambridge applicant but I have lots of extenuating circumstances and I intend on filling out their extenuating circumstances form to explain this, as well as gathering any proof needed for admissions officers to verify this. Please don't be too harsh or discourage me on the basis of my GCSEs. I'm proud of my achievements considering all my difficulties and the worst that can happen is they say no, which does not bother me. I'll only be applying if I get the grades needed for A levels.

GCSEs:
English Language - 8
English Literature - 7
Combined Science - 65
Maths - 5
French - 4
(I also took AS psychology a year early and got a U because I didn't sit the second exam. As stated above, I have lots of extenuating circumstances.)

A levels:
Psychology - will likely be predicted an A/A*
Politics - will likely be predicted an A/A*
Philosophy - will likely be predicted an A

I'm doing my mocks in just over a week, but I'm feeling more prepared now. I will also be doing my EPQ next year based on either the South Korean legal system or counter-terrorism in the UK.

LNAT:

On my first practice test (sat in March) I got 23, which is the national average. I did not do the essay portion and since then I've only been attempting multiple choice questions to get my score up, but I will begin practice tests again after my mocks. I think I can get my score up to the high 20s to mid 30s if I spend lots of time mastering the technique.

Super-curriculars and other things:
Debate club (this isn't very stand out, I know)
Specialised law programme at my school (in which I've attended talks from legal professionals)
Watched a high court judicial review in person about health law
Have watched and read about various topics within health law, pharmaceutical regulation and medical ethics (books, podcasts etc.)
Done work experience in general surgery twice and will be going back a third time very soon
May be doing optometry work experience (trying to reschedule it because I was sick and had to cancel my original placement dates)
Attended events at a commercial law firm (and currently waiting on a scholarship/assessment centre decision after having my interview)
Will be applying for work experience in commercial law firms for the summer
Helped out at every single open day since the begin of Year 12 for all my subjects (mainly philosophy)
Will be completing virtual work experience in law over the summer
Received a music scholarship for 4 years when I was younger from the mayor and played the keyboard for 7 years (might not be relevant because it was such a long time ago)
Overcame my struggles in order to get back into education (personal achievement)

Personal statement:
I've completed it already (very early, I know) but I might start tweaking it and editing again in the summer. I've only received feedback from my friends and family but they seem to like most of it. I'll get teacher feedback in September

If I were to apply to Cambridge, I'm mainly looking at Jesus College. I'd appreciate any feedback that I can get, as I'm hoping to make my application stand out (if I get the grades).
Reply 1
Original post by bibachu
I'm currently in Year 12 studying psychology, philosophy and politics. I've made a vow to myself that if my teachers predict me the grades that I need, I'll apply to Cambridge to study law. I'd like to know a little bit about what they look for in applicants. I'm going to list some things I've been doing and my stats so far in case there are any successful offer holders, current or past students or admissions tutors who can tell me a little bit about what they may be looking for and if there's anything more I should be doing. Quick PSA, I know my GCSEs are well below average for a Cambridge applicant but I have lots of extenuating circumstances and I intend on filling out their extenuating circumstances form to explain this, as well as gathering any proof needed for admissions officers to verify this. Please don't be too harsh or discourage me on the basis of my GCSEs. I'm proud of my achievements considering all my difficulties and the worst that can happen is they say no, which does not bother me. I'll only be applying if I get the grades needed for A levels.
GCSEs:
English Language - 8
English Literature - 7
Combined Science - 65
Maths - 5
French - 4
(I also took AS psychology a year early and got a U because I didn't sit the second exam. As stated above, I have lots of extenuating circumstances.)
A levels:
Psychology - will likely be predicted an A/A*
Politics - will likely be predicted an A/A*
Philosophy - will likely be predicted an A
I'm doing my mocks in just over a week, but I'm feeling more prepared now. I will also be doing my EPQ next year based on either the South Korean legal system or counter-terrorism in the UK.
LNAT:
On my first practice test (sat in March) I got 23, which is the national average. I did not do the essay portion and since then I've only been attempting multiple choice questions to get my score up, but I will begin practice tests again after my mocks. I think I can get my score up to the high 20s to mid 30s if I spend lots of time mastering the technique.
Super-curriculars and other things:
Debate club (this isn't very stand out, I know)
Specialised law programme at my school (in which I've attended talks from legal professionals)
Watched a high court judicial review in person about health law
Have watched and read about various topics within health law, pharmaceutical regulation and medical ethics (books, podcasts etc.)
Done work experience in general surgery twice and will be going back a third time very soon
May be doing optometry work experience (trying to reschedule it because I was sick and had to cancel my original placement dates)
Attended events at a commercial law firm (and currently waiting on a scholarship/assessment centre decision after having my interview)
Will be applying for work experience in commercial law firms for the summer
Helped out at every single open day since the begin of Year 12 for all my subjects (mainly philosophy)
Will be completing virtual work experience in law over the summer
Received a music scholarship for 4 years when I was younger from the mayor and played the keyboard for 7 years (might not be relevant because it was such a long time ago)
Overcame my struggles in order to get back into education (personal achievement)
Personal statement:
I've completed it already (very early, I know) but I might start tweaking it and editing again in the summer. I've only received feedback from my friends and family but they seem to like most of it. I'll get teacher feedback in September
If I were to apply to Cambridge, I'm mainly looking at Jesus College. I'd appreciate any feedback that I can get, as I'm hoping to make my application stand out (if I get the grades).

You are heading in the right direction, but please note that Cambridge will only be interested in things related to the course you are applying for i.e Law. Working in general surgery, optometry and getting Music scholarships will therefore be irrelevant, so don't waste valuable space in your PS covering this. At most, just have 1 or 2 sentences on these and other non Law related personal achievements. The rest should be focused on Law.
Reply 2
Original post by lalexm
You are heading in the right direction, but please note that Cambridge will only be interested in things related to the course you are applying for i.e Law. Working in general surgery, optometry and getting Music scholarships will therefore be irrelevant, so don't waste valuable space in your PS covering this. At most, just have 1 or 2 sentences on these and other non Law related personal achievements. The rest should be focused on Law.

Thank you so much! I had included a few sentences about general surgery and seeing health laws work in practice but I’ll probably reduce this down when I begin the editing process again. Is it worth mentioning career aspirations at all? I know in most subjects you shouldn’t really talk about it, but because this is a qualifying law degree, I’ve seen some people say to talk a little about career aspirations, since they’ll be expecting you to have applied on the basis that you want to practice law. I’m relieved I don’t have to mention my other achievements because I didn’t think they’d be relevant and I wouldn’t have space, I’ve just seen some successful PS from Oxbridge applicants who did mention it and wanted clarification.
Reply 3
Original post by bibachu
Thank you so much! I had included a few sentences about general surgery and seeing health laws work in practice but I’ll probably reduce this down when I begin the editing process again. Is it worth mentioning career aspirations at all? I know in most subjects you shouldn’t really talk about it, but because this is a qualifying law degree, I’ve seen some people say to talk a little about career aspirations, since they’ll be expecting you to have applied on the basis that you want to practice law. I’m relieved I don’t have to mention my other achievements because I didn’t think they’d be relevant and I wouldn’t have space, I’ve just seen some successful PS from Oxbridge applicants who did mention it and wanted clarification.

Adding career aspirations is fine, assuming you want to be a lawyer, as it adds further weight to why you want to do this course, so is relevant.

Maybe don't spend too long updating it now and focus on your mocks to get the required grades, plus there will be things that you do over the summer months that will be relevant, so you will have to update it again anyway.
(edited 1 month ago)
As you appear to have an interest in medico-legal matters, maybe read up on some of the Public Inquiries into healthcare matters. For example, Bristol Cardiology, Mid Staffordshire Hospital, Alder Hey, Shrewsbury Maternity, and infected blood. There may yet be a Public Inquiry about the Tavistock Gender Clinic (the book to read on that is "Time to Think" by Hannah Barnes).
Reply 5
Original post by Stiffy Byng
As you appear to have an interest in medico-legal matters, maybe read up on some of the Public Inquiries into healthcare matters. For example, Bristol Cardiology, Mid Staffordshire Hospital, Alder Hey, Shrewsbury Maternity, and infected blood. There may yet be a Public Inquiry about the Tavistock Gender Clinic (the book to read on that is "Time to Think" by Hannah Barnes).

I have a few books currently relating to medical ethics and pharmaceutical regulation (one about the ethics of organ transplantation and another about the Purdue Pharma lawsuits) but I am always keen to update my knowledge on current issues in these fields! All of your recommendations sound very interesting so I will definitely look into some of these cases.
I spent over two years working on the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, and have done a fair amount of GMC regulatory work. I'd be happy to discuss that sort of thing here or via email if you'd like.

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