The process of applying for law can seem a little bit lengthy and intimidating. However, law is a rewarding subject and career to get into if you have a genuine interest. Law remains one of the most popular subjects to study in the UK.
With a variety of types of law courses to choose from, a compelling Personal Statement to write, and the dreaded LNAT to sit, it’s not surprising that lots of students find the process of applying daunting. Here are 4 key steps for getting into law.
1. Do your research
There are lots of available law courses and possible careers in the industry. University courses range from BA/BSc degrees which focus on law as an academic subject, to more practical LLB courses which provide the skills necessary to practice in law. It is also possible to combine courses together. Some potential combinations include law with a modern foreign language, or law with business.
If you are interested in practicing law or pursue a law-related career, you can actually take a non-law related academic course for your undergraduate degree, and then complete a Graduate Diploma in Law for non-law graduates. You can find out more about what specific route you may need to take for some law-related careers by reading our guide on ‘Becoming a barrister’ and ‘Becoming a solicitor’.
You also need to research entry requirements for your chosen course. To get onto a law degree, you are typically required to have a minimum of two A-Levels, and specific requirements can range from BCC to AAA. You are not required to study Law as an A-Level, but be sure to check out what subjects are essential for or preferred by the universities you wish to apply for. Other qualifications, such as BTECs, may be accepted by some institutions on a case-by-case basis.
2. Ace your Personal Statement
The Personal Statement is at the heart of every UCAS application. When writing a law personal statement, it can be a little challenging or daunting, as chances are you’re writing about a subject you might not have studied before.
Your personal statement is all about you, and it’s an opportunity to show what inspired you to pursue a law degree. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate what specific experiences and skills you have that would make you the right candidate for the course.
For more tips and guidance on writing a great personal statement, have a look at our guide ‘Writing like a boss: the personal statement’ here, where we break it down step by step. You can also check out a more specific example by looking at our ‘Example Personal Statement: Law’ guide here.
3. Work experience
Work experience is an important way to show your interest and passion in pursuing a law degree or career. It is also a great way to figure out exactly what you like most about law, and potentially even the specific career and fields you are interested in.
Work experience is an important section in a Personal Statement - but don’t be too concerned if it isn’t extensive at this stage. Although opportunities of work experience prior to university are difficult to come by, you should still try to get some legal related experience to showcase your interest in law.
- Attending the public viewing gallery at The Old Bailey or their local court.
- Asking to shadow a local solicitor/barrister.
- Applying for a legal internship with high street law firms
- Volunteering as an advisor for Citizens Advice Bureau
- Marshalling (this involves shadowing a judge and opportunities can be obtained by contacting a local crown or county court).
4. Prepare for and sit the LNAT
The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) is a key examination for you to take if you are interested in a legal career. It is a skills-based assessment which tests you on your legal thinking and ability to analyse. The LNAT is a two-hour, two-part test which is used in combination with your other application materials to determine whether you’d be suitable for your chosen legal course. You are only allowed to take the LNAT once in an academic year. Some of the universities that require you to take the LNAT include:
- University of Bristol
- Durham University
- University of Glasgow
- University College London
- King’s College London
- The London School of Economics and Political Science
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- SOAS, University of London
Part A of the LNAT is multiple choice comprehension test made up of 42 questions, and Part B is an essay question. Part B isn’t actually counted towards your LNAT score, but it’s an important question as it offers you the opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills and ability to argue for your chosen universities.
The LNAT may seem a little bit daunting at first glance. However, if you book your test well in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare. The LNAT also does not require specific knowledge or information, and there are plenty of practice tests available to help you get an idea of what to expect.
We’ve written a guide ‘How to ace the UK LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test)’ here to help you through preparation and sitting the exam.