Its tough. Its competitive. It will mean far less clubbing and far more late library nights. So why do so many university applications, 25,000 a year according to the Law Society, chose law as their undergraduate degree? If you too wish to join the new cohort of upcoming lawyers, read this article – here are 3 reasons to persuade you that your decision to enter the legal field is the right one!
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One of the most obvious reasons to chose law is its vocational application. A degree in law allows a student to immediately apply for the Legal Practioners Course, (LPC), or the Bar Professional TrainingCourse (BTPC), after which they are qualified to undertake a training contract at a law firm or a pupillage at chambers respectively.
Without a law degree, applicants must undertake the GDL, a Graduate Diploma in Law. This takes an additional year, and again is costly.
Here is a cost and time comparison of beginning your career in law with a law degree in comparison to beginning a career in law without a law degree:
Law is an interdisciplinary subject. Not only will you spend your hours readingjurisprudence, digesting facts and analysing judgements, but the study of statutes enables your skills base to grow far quicker and far wider than one would first imagine.
Below is a list of the skills commonly developed by law students:
Problem solving – A common exam paper will include Problem Questions where students must apply their knowledge of the law to resolve a legal issue. These fictional scenarios test your ability to think under pressure and come up with a rationale solution to the difficulty at hand. This is also good practice for professional scenarios when a lawyer would have to resolve a case for the client.
Communication skills – To be a successful law student, you must have an opinion. However, an opinion is use in an argument, legal or otherwise, unless it can be conveyed to your audience. Debating, presenting and mooting, a common form of mock-court procedure carried out in law schools. All are mandatory activities which help students develop articulation of their thoughts and the ability to provide counter-arguments to common opinions. This not only great for your personal confidence when it comes to public speaking, but also will ensure you will always have a say in a dinner party conversation!
Commercial awareness – Being a lawyer in a corporate world will mean you must keep up to date with the world. The world of finance and business is independent on the legal sphere. A holistic understanding of the relationship between the two industries helps law students rationalize the changes seen in the economy day to day. It is also hugely important when it comes to finding employment post-graduation. Employers will want to find someone who understands the operation of a business on both a micro and a macro scale, and law students are best placed to apply their commercial knowledge here.
Finally, if you are a people person, then the subject of law is for you. The opportunity to network with fellow lawyers comes in all different shapes and sizes. Here are just a few listed below:
Competitions: There is always an opportunity to form teams and take part in debates, moots, public speaking competitions and more. Through this you will most definitely find yourself working with others very similar and very different to you, making it a great environment to make friends and sometimes … enemies!
Employer events: Graduate employers will throw a host of events all year round on campus. Students can expect bowling parties, pizza making evenings and three course meal dinners, all complimentary. This is a great opportunity to not just meet new students, but also individuals that may help further your career and work out where you would like to make use of your law degree.
Seminars: As well as more independent tutorials, most law schools for bigger modules with host seminars, usually longer in length and bigger in size than other classes. This space for intellectual challenge, debate and collaboration, where many friendships form, students can reach out to one-another and ask for help. This form of networking is particularly useful if you are a little shy to ask your tutors for help one-on-one and is great to boost your confidence if you want to contribute in a group setting.
With these three reasons in mind, it suddenly seems a lot more obvious why so many students the world sign up to this minimum three-year course to prove their legal interest. If you’re not persuaded, then maybe the study of law is not for you. If you are, then enjoy your legal journey which will offer all these opportunities as it goes along!