The Student Room Group

aspiring law student help

Hi, In September this year, i will be starting my first year of A levels (subjects chosen: English Literature, Economics, Spanish, psychology and, most likely, an EPQ). I would love to study law at university and my dream would be to go to UCL (University College London). I know grades, especially A level grades, are going to be the most important factor, but what else can higher your chances of being accepted into a top university/ how can you appear a better candidate? I have quite a few leadership roles in my school already, including, having co-found and led a club, and I have a work experience placement lined up for Summer. Those of you who have/ are studying law and/or have attended/ attending/ due to attend a university such as UCL, what work experience or extracurriculars are important and useful to have? Thank you!!

Also are these subjects a good mix for wanting to study law?
Hello :smile:

First off, unless your school/college is making you do 4 A levels, I’d suggest just picking 3. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs, and it’s better to have 3 A levels with better grades, than to have 4 with not do good grades. I say this especially as you want to do an EPQ.

Work experience is by no means necessary, and no one will expect any candidate to have any, but it’s always nice to have. I wouldn’t worry too much about extracurriculars unless you can relate them to law at all. So for example, doing the Duke of Edinburgh isn’t really directly applicable, but engaging in a debates society, or a law society might be useful. I would recommend doing wider research into law, for example, reading books that relate to law. I read the Rule of Law by Tom Bingham, for example. But there are always books like letters to a law student, the secret Barrister etc. (these books are a bit more generic but they can be a nice read). You could also go and visit your local court and sit in the gallery.

The last time I checked, TSR has a collective of students’ personal statements, and some tell you the grades they got and where they got offers from. It might be worth having a look at some of the law ones to see the sort of things they wrote about? (Obviously if they were rejected from most of their choices then it may not be the best PS out there)

Any more questions, let me know, I’m a first year law student :smile:
Hi Jaykaur4,

Universities will consider your application holistically, so grades and experience. It's worth checking out a few universities in advance to see what they're looking for. For example, York is pretty unusual (and special) in using a system called problem-based learning to teach undergraduate law so if you decided you liked York you might tailor your activities to best suit this teaching & learning style. It's also not too soon to start attending open days to find out what departments are looking for in applicants.

Wherever you go, good luck.

E.
Reply 4
Original post by Squiggles1238
Hello :smile:
First off, unless your school/college is making you do 4 A levels, I’d suggest just picking 3. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs, and it’s better to have 3 A levels with better grades, than to have 4 with not do good grades. I say this especially as you want to do an EPQ.
Work experience is by no means necessary, and no one will expect any candidate to have any, but it’s always nice to have. I wouldn’t worry too much about extracurriculars unless you can relate them to law at all. So for example, doing the Duke of Edinburgh isn’t really directly applicable, but engaging in a debates society, or a law society might be useful. I would recommend doing wider research into law, for example, reading books that relate to law. I read the Rule of Law by Tom Bingham, for example. But there are always books like letters to a law student, the secret Barrister etc. (these books are a bit more generic but they can be a nice read). You could also go and visit your local court and sit in the gallery.
The last time I checked, TSR has a collective of students’ personal statements, and some tell you the grades they got and where they got offers from. It might be worth having a look at some of the law ones to see the sort of things they wrote about? (Obviously if they were rejected from most of their choices then it may not be the best PS out there)
Any more questions, let me know, I’m a first year law student :smile:

Hi, thank you so much for your detailed reply!!

My school would like us to all start with 4-alevels, but, most, do drop one by about December of year 12, so I will be doing the same, leaving me with 3 A-levels plus the EPQ. I definitely agree with you; I know EPQs can be helpful in lowering your contextual offers for universities, and I am definitely interested in the prospect of doing one, but would you say it's just extra work for no reason- as in, how much can it actually help aid your application?

Okay, great, I'll try and get what I can done! Yes, I understand that too, I plan on joining some clubs such as the ones you listed, I think they could be useful and interesting. Thank you for your suggestions as well, I'll definitely have a read of some of them too.

I'll have a look at the collective you are referring to as well, and see what kind of things universities seem to be looking for :smile:

I know law can definitely be a competitive course to apply to, thus, would you say its more about your personal statement, besides grades, that highers your chances of being accepted, rather than work experience (as you mentioned it is not an expectation) and extra-curriculars (which are not directly related to law)? So, from now on, is it best to focus on (other than grades) things that you put on your personal statement, such as becoming a member of law society, rather than being selected as a sixth form prefect?

Thank you once again!! 🙂
Reply 5
Original post by University of York
Hi Jaykaur4,
Universities will consider your application holistically, so grades and experience. It's worth checking out a few universities in advance to see what they're looking for. For example, York is pretty unusual (and special) in using a system called problem-based learning to teach undergraduate law so if you decided you liked York you might tailor your activities to best suit this teaching & learning style. It's also not too soon to start attending open days to find out what departments are looking for in applicants.
Wherever you go, good luck.
E.

Hello,

Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely keep in mind the advice you have offered and do so, I plan on starting to attend open days, as you mentioned, this upcoming academic year. As you mentioned for York, once I have checked out a few universities, is it then best to cater directly for what they want- for example, if they prefer candidates with lots of work experience or leadership roles?

Thank you!
Reply 6

Hi,

Thank you for these great links- I will definitely check them out!!

Thank you again :smile:

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