Aspiring solicitors and barristers are required to study a degree to be eligible for and to enter the profession, and the qualifying law degree is often the degree of choice for many.
If you choose to study a non-law subject for your undergraduate degree, it’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll need to enrol onto a qualifying postgraduate law degree later on, such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
There are merits to both choices, but it’s important that you choose the right course for you and your interests.
Read on to find out the benefits of studying an LLB law degree at university.
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One of the benefits of the LLB is that the traditional three-year law degree is designed so that the areas of law you’ll need to know as a solicitor are covered in extensive detail.
The GDL is essentially a one-year crash course in the fundamentals of law so, although this course will cover all compulsory LLB subjects, you’ll have less time to absorb all of the information.
If you’re interested in a specific area of the law, such as media law, then you might be better suited to an LLB. You’re more likely to have the opportunity to specialise in what you’re really passionate about as you progress through stages of the course.
Even if you study a law degree and then decide that you don’t wish to pursue a career in it anymore, you would have still learnt plenty of transferable skills throughout the process.
You’ll be equipped with skills such as research via analysis of case studies, critical analysis via primary sources and how to simplify complicated terms and presentation via mooting. All of these are useful skills that could be used in an alternative career if you later decide that law isn’t the right path for you.
Skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning, communication, attention to detail and diplomacy are also transferable skills that can be used in careers, such as politics, journalism, academia, business, social work, teaching and more.
Another of the benefits of the LLB is that after graduating, you won’t have to go on to study the GDL (law conversion course) after university.
This will save you time and money and should speed up the process of becoming a qualified lawyer. You’ll still have to study the LPC or BPTC, depending on whether you want to become a solicitor or barrister. The good news is that you’ll be able to do this straight after you graduate.
As a law student at a British university, you’ll have many opportunities to meet new people and form a useful network of connections with students from the UK and lots of different countries.
Each year, many students come from around the world to study law at British universities. The mixture of nationalities will allow you to learn new things and broaden your cultural horizons too.
Another advantage of studying the LLB is that you often get the chance to take part in pro bono work.
This work is for the good of the community and allows students to volunteer to provide free legal advice and assistance to those that may not be able to access it otherwise.
Students work with organisations, like law clinics, to help those who need legal aid, services, research and training. Pro bono work can also include working with schools or charities to provide legal advice.
Law students can use this work to improve their standing in the job market, as it provides them with the realistic practice of client contact, as well as interviewing, researching and drafting skills – all of which are hugely important for a career in law.
Whilst there are many benefits to studying the LLB, there are also reasons why an aspiring lawyer may choose to study a non-law undergraduate degree.
For example, studying a subject such as history, geography or politics and then converting to law could give you a wider understanding of other areas that might affect your work as a lawyer. These courses are also good at forming wider commercial awareness and transferable skills too.
However, if you’d like a traditional and direct route into law, then studying the LLB could be the right choice for you.
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