Law combines the academic study of legal theory with its application to real-life scenarios. In this guide, we share some of the topics you’ll learn about, how to get in, and what a typical week on a law degree might look like.
This blog is based on a profile in Unifrog's Subjects library, a tool where students can learn about over 100 degree subjects. The above video is sponsored by Bangor University. We chatted to Millie Thompson, who is studying law at Bangor, about her experience of the degree.
What will you learn about on a law degree?
Law affects every part of people's lives, giving each of us rights and responsibilities. On a law degree, you’ll usually learn about criminal law, public law and company law, as well as legal issues relating to property, the environment and human rights. You might also look at topics like prison systems and employment structures, or related subjects like criminology and international policy.
You could learn about influential figures like Baroness Hale, the first female President of the Supreme Court; and Mahatma Gandhi, who worked as a lawyer before moving into the political world.What are the entry requirements?
Studying law, politics, history, English, sociology, philosophy, or a language at A level or equivalent (Level 3) will often be an advantage. Grade expectations tend to be on the higher side and are often more important than the subjects you’ve studied, so choose subjects you know you’ll excel in.What else might help you apply successfully?
You could join your school's debating society, or show an interest in policy and decision-making by getting involved with local politics. Some schools participate in something called a 'mock trial', in which different schools compete against each other in a realistic trial scenario.
In addition to extracurricular activities, many universities will expect you to have undertaken some work experience in a legal setting. This could be at a law firm or a barristers' chamber (this is referred to as a 'mini-pupilage' in the UK), for example. Securing a placement is competitive, so begin looking early: ask family members, friends, and school teachers whether they have any contacts. Visit law firms in person (this will help you to stand out) and always take with you a carefully tailored CV and speculative covering letter.
Don't worry if you're unable to get involved with something specifically relevant to law, though; most extra-curricular activities will allow you to showcase relevant skills and experience on university applications if discussed with care. For example, you could show critical thinking and writing skills through a blog.What does a typical week look like when you’re studying a law degree?
On a law degree, a typical week consists of lectures, seminars, and tutorials covering areas like tort law (looking at civil wrongdoings), criminal law, or contract law. In between these, there’s time to work on assignments, do reading, or take part in extracurricular activities like debating or being a part of the law society.What might come next?
A law degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a lawyer, like a solicitor or barrister (also known as an advocate or attorney). But it's equally useful for any career where thinking logically and communicating clearly are important.
15 months after graduating, you could be earning £23,666 a year. 72% of graduates are employed in highly skilled jobs.
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