The Student Room Group

Which a-levels should I pick for Law?

My sixth form is a regular state school but I am aiming to get in some prestigous unis. Problem is I don't want to stay in the UK and work there for the rest of my life, I'd prefer the US. I haven't looked at oppurtunities for uni abroad but I wouldn't mind I just don't see a future in the UK. Which a-levels should I take for law if I plan to apply to oxbridge and other russel groups and which unis would be best.
I've seen people get into Cambridge law studying only stem subjects. Don't worry too much just study what you like and most probably what you will do well in. If you wish to take an essay based subject English literature is great as it involves reading and closely analysing large bodies of text. You have to be critical and you'll get a feel for tone of language etc which is a nice skill to have under your belt. I studied English, geography, biology and chemistry and honestly I loved the mix. Lawyers should be well rounded people. Hope it all goes well
Reply 2
Original post by twixster
My sixth form is a regular state school but I am aiming to get in some prestigous unis. Problem is I don't want to stay in the UK and work there for the rest of my life, I'd prefer the US. I haven't looked at oppurtunities for uni abroad but I wouldn't mind I just don't see a future in the UK. Which a-levels should I take for law if I plan to apply to oxbridge and other russel groups and which unis would be best.

I would definitely recommend trying to study at least two essay-based subjects if you plan to study law, as this will give you more to talk about in your Oxbridge interviews (if you get one) and it will help you develop the writing skills needed in a law degree. There are no formal entry requirements for A level subjects when it comes to law, but a lot of law students tend to end up taking either history or English (literature, language or literature and language). I'll be applying to law in September and personally, I didn't take any of these subjects, although I did start off taking English literature and language. My A levels are psychology, politics and philosophy, which are all good essay-based subjects. I would say in terms of understanding law, politics and philosophy have probably helped me the most, but psychology has been useful in certain topics to do with criminal law, and will continue to be next year when I start forensic psychology as one of my optional topics for the third paper. Take subjects you enjoy, but I wouldn't recommend taking more than one non-essay based subject, unless you are not 100% sure you want to study law.

If you want to live in the US, studying law in the UK may still be a useful option. In certain states, they will accept an LLB, so long as you sit and pass their bar exams (e.g. New York). In others, they may require more than this, but going to law school in the UK has it's benefits. If you were to study abroad in the US straight from undergrad, you would have to go to university (college) for 4 years, then apply to law school to get your JD for another 3 years, sit the bar exam and I believe after that, do supervised professional practice for a certain number of years - correct me if I'm wrong on this. It's a longer route and you'll qualify as an attorney, which is a very different role to barristers and solicitors in the UK. Attorneys can represent clients in court as well as working on their case with them (usually in a firm but it could be private practice), whereas in the UK we divide these roles up. Solicitors work on the case with the client and hire a barrister (they are usually self-employed) to represent their client in court. Depending on the area of practice you go into, you may, as a solicitor, get to represent your client in court, but its not very common. I would say that in the UK, we are more specialised than in the US and the process to become a solicitor or barrister technically is shorter, but most people will qualify in the same number of years that it takes to qualify in the US, because we have to pass more exams and (usually) secure pupillages or training contracts, which are notoriously competitive.

I also go to a state school (sixth form college instead of a sixth form) and it is definitely possible to secure a place for law at top UK universities. I think you should do some more research into what exactly is required for you to practice law in the US and compare that with the different roles and salaries that could be offered in the UK. Also look into different areas of practice, if you haven't already. One thing I can tell you about working in the US in general is that its a lot of work and not much play. The pay might be high, but there are lots of negatives that come with it. Obviously there are the general dangers of America, such as guns, but if you prefer the US, you might want to look into some of the negatives of living and working there to see whether this is really something for you.
Reply 3
Original post by twixster
My sixth form is a regular state school but I am aiming to get in some prestigous unis. Problem is I don't want to stay in the UK and work there for the rest of my life, I'd prefer the US. I haven't looked at oppurtunities for uni abroad but I wouldn't mind I just don't see a future in the UK. Which a-levels should I take for law if I plan to apply to oxbridge and other russel groups and which unis would be best.

definitely pick at least one or two out of english/history/politics but then it depends on the uni as well and what they are looking for. Essay based subjects are a must
Reply 4
Original post by bibachu
I would definitely recommend trying to study at least two essay-based subjects if you plan to study law, as this will give you more to talk about in your Oxbridge interviews (if you get one) and it will help you develop the writing skills needed in a law degree. There are no formal entry requirements for A level subjects when it comes to law, but a lot of law students tend to end up taking either history or English (literature, language or literature and language). I'll be applying to law in September and personally, I didn't take any of these subjects, although I did start off taking English literature and language. My A levels are psychology, politics and philosophy, which are all good essay-based subjects. I would say in terms of understanding law, politics and philosophy have probably helped me the most, but psychology has been useful in certain topics to do with criminal law, and will continue to be next year when I start forensic psychology as one of my optional topics for the third paper. Take subjects you enjoy, but I wouldn't recommend taking more than one non-essay based subject, unless you are not 100% sure you want to study law.
If you want to live in the US, studying law in the UK may still be a useful option. In certain states, they will accept an LLB, so long as you sit and pass their bar exams (e.g. New York). In others, they may require more than this, but going to law school in the UK has it's benefits. If you were to study abroad in the US straight from undergrad, you would have to go to university (college) for 4 years, then apply to law school to get your JD for another 3 years, sit the bar exam and I believe after that, do supervised professional practice for a certain number of years - correct me if I'm wrong on this. It's a longer route and you'll qualify as an attorney, which is a very different role to barristers and solicitors in the UK. Attorneys can represent clients in court as well as working on their case with them (usually in a firm but it could be private practice), whereas in the UK we divide these roles up. Solicitors work on the case with the client and hire a barrister (they are usually self-employed) to represent their client in court. Depending on the area of practice you go into, you may, as a solicitor, get to represent your client in court, but its not very common. I would say that in the UK, we are more specialised than in the US and the process to become a solicitor or barrister technically is shorter, but most people will qualify in the same number of years that it takes to qualify in the US, because we have to pass more exams and (usually) secure pupillages or training contracts, which are notoriously competitive.
I also go to a state school (sixth form college instead of a sixth form) and it is definitely possible to secure a place for law at top UK universities. I think you should do some more research into what exactly is required for you to practice law in the US and compare that with the different roles and salaries that could be offered in the UK. Also look into different areas of practice, if you haven't already. One thing I can tell you about working in the US in general is that its a lot of work and not much play. The pay might be high, but there are lots of negatives that come with it. Obviously there are the general dangers of America, such as guns, but if you prefer the US, you might want to look into some of the negatives of living and working there to see whether this is really something for you.

Do you know if Louisiana is one of those states?
Reply 5
Original post by twixster
Do you know if Louisiana is one of those states?

You’ll have to check what the requirements are to practice law are in Louisiana with an international qualification.
For historical reasons, the laws of the State of Louisiana are partly based on the Civil Law of France and Spain rather than on the common law of England.

In any event, obtaining a visa to work as a lawyer in the US is not straightforward.

As for the work done by barristers and solicitors, the summary above is in broad terms correct but there is more to the work of a barrister than appearing in court. Most barristers are consultant litigators, who as well as arguing cases in court also draft court documents, advise on substantive and procedural legal issues, and advise on litigation strategy and tactics.

In the US, and other jurisdictions, the legal profession is fused, although in practice some US attorneys do work like that of an English solicitor, and some work more like barristers. Star trial lawyers in the US are sometimes instructed by other lawyers, much like barristers in England.
(edited 1 month ago)

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending