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    Ok - far be it for me to to detract from the fun of inter-university or inter-collegiate rivalry... However, I think some things need to be kept in mind.

    1) The huge variation in a particular institution's ranking from one table to another, and from one year to another should be decent evidence of the inherent subjectivity of these tables, or more accurately the subjectivity of which metrics are seen as relevant, and the respective weight to be given to each.

    2) As such, some of the standards used will be entirely irrelevant to you... they are not to the purpose.

    3) The tables themselves and their supposed accuracy tend to be championed by those who are pleasantly content with their own university's ranking. Indeed - it isn’t unknown for someone to sing the praises of a league table one year, only to attack its accuracy another simply due to a change in position of their favoured Alma Mater.

    **************

    NOW. When determining which university you wish to attend - the logical thing is to approach it in the following way:

    "WHAT ASPIRATIONS DO I HAVE FOR MYSELF; WHAT AM I DOING THIS DEGREE WITH A MIND TO?"

    **************

    Now, not everyone will be thinking of a career in the law, or indeed, a career at all. So there are a variety of possibilities:

    1. You wish to do the degree simply due to an interest in the subject
    2. You want the degree, and then plan to do something entirely unrelated and for which the degree will have no worth.
    3. You want to tell people you are doing law - but couldn’t care less what happens beyond that.

    Clearly nos. 1-3 will render the choice of university one based largely on your personal preference as to the: campus, atmosphere, location, nightlife, housing, etc etc... but the academic credentials of the University will be off less importance. I would assume that this does not apply to many here.

    4. You hope to go on and become an academic (teaching)
    5. You hope to go into research

    Here – you may well have more reason to pay attention to the academic reputation of the university – with a focus on the research ratings in the different tables. Again though – these should not be taken as Gospel, but can be factored in in a way that they might not be when the goal is otherwise.

    6. You want to become a solicitor - anywhere will do - you don’t really like the notion of the "city"
    7. You want to become a Barrister but not at a top set
    8. You want to go into another career, but not at the highest level.
    9. You want to become a Solicitor in a MC or US firm
    10. You want to become a barrister at a top chambers
    11. You wish to use the degree as a launch pad into a non-legal career, such as IBanking, or Consultancy - both at the top of those respective industries.

    For Nos. 6-8, most of the respectable universities will do. For a solicitor’s job – you should be looking at a university within the top 30-35 in the country… but for a pupilage you should aim a bit higher. However, there will be no need to go to Oxbridge, with a LLM from Harvard.

    However, nos. 9-11 (which the majority here seem to have in mind) will require you to be more selective. However – when it comes to determining WHICH university to go for – the league tables, as stated, will be of little help. Here – the real importance is WHAT DO THE EMPLOYERS IN QUESTION PREFER. Time and time again there are ubiquitous discrepancies between this list and the league tables. However the question itself is easy to answer – and the answer is somewhat predictable (though it must be made clear that this is not a scientific ranking):

    (Each group in no particular order):

    Oxford
    Cambridge

    KCL
    LSE
    UCL
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Bristol

    Manchester
    Birmingham
    Warwick

    (to a lesser extent):
    Newcastle
    Southampton
    Leicester
    Exeter

    Within these groups there is really negligible preference demonstrated by employers. Obviously an applicant from Cambridge will beat out one from UCL, all things being equal. The problem is, things rarely if ever ARE equal in a relevant sense. Indeed, people from Oxbridge often seem to be under the misconception that a mid range 2:1 of theirs will be favored to a 1st from Durham or KCL. This is not the case.

    As such, it is important to realise that by far the most important factor in finding a top job (assuming you make it into the first 3 groups) will be your grades, followed by extra-curricular activities, and finally your institution.

    This tends to render arguments about which university is better than another largely irrelevant to the purpose most have in mind. Concentrate on your grades, and it won’t matter what the Times, Guardian, or even New of the World says.

    And with that – I leave you to return to the rivalry.
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    This is a great post, Lawz. Very helpful.
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    Nice one lawz

    I am surprised at the exclusion of some uni's I thought to be pretty good for law, but how do I know really?

    In fact, I asked my boss (solicitor) the other day, when I was helping out for interviews, what law schools he thought highly of .... tbh he wasn't too sure which ones were how good. Obviously he knew about Oxbridge and the London Colleges, but he wasn't particularly concerned at all about the institution at which the degree was obtained, so long as it was a decent class and the candidate had an adequate LPC mark.

    The two law grads we have working with us now are from... rather different academic backgrounds. One has an LLB (2.1) & LLM (unsure what class) from Bristol and the other got a 2.2 from Southampton Institute :|

    We're only a small firm, admittedly, but it does go to show that it's not half as important as people think.
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    (Original post by Onearmedbandit)
    Nice one lawz

    I am surprised at the exclusion of some uni's I thought to be pretty good for law, but how do I know really?

    In fact, I asked my boss (solicitor) the other day, when I was helping out for interviews, what law schools he thought highly of .... tbh he wasn't too sure which ones were how good. Obviously he knew about Oxbridge and the London Colleges, but he wasn't particularly concerned at all about the institution at which the degree was obtained, so long as it was a decent class and the candidate had an adequate LPC mark.

    The two law grads we have working with us now are from... rather different academic backgrounds. One has an LLB (2.1) & LLM (unsure what class) from Bristol and the other got a 2.2 from Southampton Institute :|

    We're only a small firm, admittedly, but it does go to show that it's not half as important as people think.
    Out of interest - what institutions do you think should have been included? I am certainly not infallable - just setting out my experiences of it ... but I would be interested to know if I have missed a Uni or two.
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    Hmm....

    I would have thought Warwick was better than Exeter for law. I'd probably have put Cardiff, Southampton, UEA, Newcastle, Liverpool.. and some others alongside Exeter and Leicester. Maybe Birmingham alongside Manchester?

    That might just be because I don't like Manchester though :p:

    Ooh and some Scottish unis are very good for law, if they count.
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    During my second year, I attended various receptions and placements with top City firms. I was actually audacious enough to ASK graduate recruitment people what were their preferred universities (just for fun obviously!).

    From the firms that actually gave me a full answer (i.e. Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Ashurt Morris Crisp and Simmons & Simmons - the rest tactfully refused to comment!), these eleven universities seem to feature, in this order of grouping (but the universities are in no particular order within the groups):

    Cambridge
    Oxford

    UCL
    LSE
    KCL
    Durham
    Bristol
    Warwick
    Nottingham

    Manchester
    Birmingham
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    Oh and York!
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    (Original post by Onearmedbandit)
    Hmm....

    I would have thought Warwick was better than Exeter for law. I'd probably have put Cardiff, Southampton, UEA, Newcastle, Liverpool.. and some others alongside Exeter and Leicester. Maybe Birmingham alongside Manchester?

    That might just be because I don't like Manchester though :p:

    Ooh and some Scottish unis are very good for law, if they count.
    I think I shoudl have actually included Newcastle in the last group...

    I wouldnt have included Cardiff, Liverpool or UAE.. though I do think Manchester is a better bet than Birmingham for employment...
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    Nice to see LSE placed in the 2nd tier and not in an intermediate tier between Oxbridge and the others, as they often purport themselves to be...Can't think of any glaring omissions in the list either...nice job

    Now, let's start fighting about the order of each group
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    A few graduate recruitment officers (I won't name the firms) were harsh enough to say that even if candidates get a first from 'certain' universities (again, I won't name those universities), they would be rejected outright because the City law firms have no confidence in the standards and reputation of those universities.

    Harsh I know, but cold hard facts. I personally know a very good friend who took a first in law from 'one of those' universities (she was second in her year and won a prize at uni too) and was very active in various extra-curricular activities, but was rejected by 22 City law firms. The ones who did give her feedback politely said that her A-level grades (BBC) were 'unsuitable'.
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    (Original post by Onearmedbandit)
    Oh and York!
    York doesn't do Law...hence it's absence...

    I suppose Newcastle would fit in there though, I know a few very good students who have chosen Newcastle over the likes of Leicester and Exeter (not saying that's it better, they pick it because it's local, but I could see it as on an even par with them)
    I'm suprised by the inclusion of Southampton more than by any exclusions. I had no idea it was that respected...
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    (Original post by lawgrad)
    A few graduate recruitment officers (I won't name the firms) were harsh enough to say that even if candidates get a first from 'certain' universities (again, I won't name those universities), they would be rejected outright because the City law firms have no confidence in the standards and reputation of those universities.

    Harsh I know, but cold hard facts. I personally know a very good friend who took a first in law from 'one of those' universities (she was second in her year and won a prize at uni too) and was very active in various extra-curricular activities, but was rejected by 22 City law firms. The ones who did give her feedback politely said that her A-level grades (BBC) were 'unsuitable'.
    Well i would imagine that the majority of those at such unis would have got less than AAB? Which is the A level cut off for most?
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    (Original post by ForeverDecember)
    Nice to see LSE placed in the 2nd tier and not in an intermediate tier between Oxbridge and the others, as they often purport themselves to be...)
    Oh definitely not for law within the City!! In fact, I would go so far to say that there are slightly FEWER LSE law graduates (compared to the other universities in that group) in City law firms. Of course, to be fair, that is probably because many of them are international students who return home.
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    (Original post by ForeverDecember)
    Nice to see LSE placed in the 2nd tier and not in an intermediate tier between Oxbridge and the others, as they often purport themselves to be...Can't think of any glaring omissions in the list either...nice job
    Lol - yeah - I have yet to meet someone NOT at LSE who saw themselves as a tier unto themselves
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    (Original post by lawgrad)
    A few graduate recruitment officers (I won't name the firms) were harsh enough to say that even if candidates get a first from 'certain' universities (again, I won't name those universities), they would be rejected outright because the City law firms have no confidence in the standards and reputation of those universities.
    Surely it could be benifical for people if you did name these universities, if there are leading names up there people should be aware of their lack of respect in the business (of course if you're going to name Teesside, Thames Valley and the Bolton Institute I doubt people will be too shocked).
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    Well i would imagine that the majority of those at such unis would have got less than AAB? Which is the A level cut off for most?
    Yes. It was a real shame because she obviously worked very hard throughout her degree, did so much at uni (pro-bono work, volunteering for charity, mooting, Law Society Vice-President, etc) and had a brilliant personality...but no City firm would even interview her! :-(
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    (Original post by ForeverDecember)
    Surely it could be benifical for people if you did name these universities, if there are leading names up there people should be aware of their lack of respect in the business (of course if you're going to name Teesside, Thames Valley and the Bolton Institute I doubt people will be too shocked).
    Put it this way - you WOULDN'T be shocked at all if I named those universities. No surprises whatsoever.
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    (Original post by lawgrad)
    Put it this way - you WOULDN'T be shocked at all if I named those universities. No surprises whatsoever.
    Damn, I was hoping for some juicy gossip that would embarass one of the universities that saw itself as superior...although it's still a shame that even if someone proves themselves capable of getting a first, they're restricted because of where they could get after their A-Levels, over three years ago...
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    (Original post by lawgrad)
    Yes. It was a real shame because she obviously worked very hard throughout her degree, did so much at uni (pro-bono work, volunteering for charity, mooting, Law Society Vice-President, etc) and had a brilliant personality...but no City firm would even interview her! :-(
    yeah well that's sad - though in the end - those types always float - it may just mean a slightly different career path ...

    It is scary thoguh in that it indicates how young your path can be set ... 1st year of A levels --- or even at GCSEs ... when some people arent even mature enough to care about it or farsighted enough to realise the consequences that may flow
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    Would Essex not be in the last tier (with Exeter dummy...not University of Greenwich!)
 
 
 

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