If your dream is getting an offer to study law at Oxbridge, you’ll be up against a lot of very strong competition. Both Cambridge and Oxford offer well-respected law degrees so you’ll have to prepare that bit extra during your application to ensure you have the best chances of being offered a place.
Here are six tips you can use to help secure an offer to study Law at the University of Oxford. Be sure to check out the bonus tip for Law with Law Studies in Europe course applicants at the end too.
What does the LLB entail, what is the admission process and what grades do you need to study it? Find out all you need to know about the LLB Law Degree with our free guide.
The only questions to consider when planning your application are: ‘Are you passionate about law?’ and ‘Why are you suitable for this particular course?’
Aside from your overall passion for law, you must do your research about the LLB law degree itself and the way the subject is taught at the institution. Then you should think about yourself in relation to the course.
Think about what Oxford will provide you with and what you will give them with in return. Luckily, there are straightforward ways of demonstrating passion and suitability, as seen below.
Taking part in supercurriculars is the key to getting an offer to study law at Oxford. Supercurriculars are similar to extracurriculars, except they are specifically related to the subject you want to study at university. It’s important to make sure there are things you do outside of school which relate to law.
Debate clubs are examples of supercurriculars, and they help prospective law students gain transferable skills including research, argumentation, presentation skills, etc.
Make sure to research and plan ahead for these, because some of them, such as summer schools, will have deadlines and you don’t want to miss out. Others can be done at any time.
Some general suggestions are summer schools, debate clubs, mooting, enrichment programmes, visiting courts and reading law books.
3. Ease up on the extracurriculars
This doesn’t mean not participating in anything, it’s about what you include in your law personal statement or what you emphasise during interviews.
Many of you will have varied interests, however, not all of them will provide you with skills that are transferable to a career in law. Continue doing what you love, but be picky about what you mention in your application.
Talk less about how much you love playing the violin and if you must include it, talk more about how it has taught you skills like discipline. Supercurriculars will boost your application more.
4. Don’t worry about work experience
While it can’t hurt your chances of getting an offer to study law at Oxford, work experience is not necessary. If you have arranged some, it will not help much, unless you show how it has confirmed and furthered your interest in the subject, or how it has given you transferable skills.
Do not fall into the trap of mentioning transferable skills that will help you with law as a career rather than a degree. You are applying to be a student, not a lawyer.
5. Thoroughly familiarise yourself with the LNAT
Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it definitely will make you good enough to pass. I would suggest getting a practice book, on top of an LNAT simulator or question bank.
Do not underestimate the importance of the LNAT, as the result will help you secure an interview at oxford. Practice multiple LNAT essays and time yourself accordingly.
The essays are not marked, but they are used by Oxford to assess your written communication and ability to make sound arguments.
Think ahead about when to book the LNAT, as schoolwork makes practice difficult, so it would be helpful to start as early as possible.
6. Practice talking about the subject
Become comfortable with considering multiple viewpoints, debating different sides of the argument, and the sound of your own voice.
Try to arrange free mock interviews with teachers, practice with friends and even on your own. Find prompts for law interview questions online, read legal news and ask yourself challenging questions.
Preferably, you could look at a statute and see how it fits different scenarios or practice summarising and debating a judgement. Be sure to feel confident in interviews, because there are no wrong answers, it’s all about your reasoning.
7. Bonus Tip for Law with Law Studies in Europe applicants
You must show passion and suitability for the foreign studies part of your course if this is what you’re applying for.
Unless you are applying for the Law with European Law in the Netherlands degree (for which language skills are not needed), make sure to mention your interest in the foreign legal system, as well as your experience with any other languages.
You can use similar supercurriculars as suggestions. Something as small as talking about an interesting journal article on a specific aspect of that legal system is enough.
If you struggle to show experience with the language outside of A-level skills, extracurriculars with French, German, Spanish or Italian, such as volunteering or reading are acceptable too.
Words: Maria Luiza Moris
What does applying to Oxford really entail? Find out all the important information on our Studying Law at Oxbridge guide.
Want to study Law at Oxbridge? Oxford and Cambridge are the UK's top two universities and are great places to study Law. Read our guide to find out what studying at Oxbridge is like, what the interview process involves and how to get ahead in your applications.