Applying to university can be stressful, but applying to study Law can be particularly difficult as it’s one of the highest ranked degrees in the UK today – luckily, our friends at University Compare have compiled a few helpful points to help you with your application. University Compare is a university comparison website that provides helpful hints and tips on the university application process; comparing over 36,000 courses across 425 institutes.
Studying Law at university differs depending on the university that you’re applying to and there are plenty of universities that offer Law courses. If you’re applying to a university or a Law school in the UK, the application can be done easily through the UCAS website. However, applying abroad, especially in the US, you are required to have passed the LSAT Test (The Law School Admissions Test). Whilst this is not a requirement in the UK, if you do have it then we recommend that you add it to your application. You’ll also need to have the appropriate grades for your course as stipulated by your university of choice.
For some Law Schools, you will need to take the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT), which was adopted in early 2004 by eight UK universities – it’s used as an admissions requirement. The LNAT test was established at the behest of Oxford University, to help them distinguish from a competitive pool of prospective students. To this day the eight universities that adopt this are:
- University of Birmingham
- SOAS School of Law, University of London (BTEC only students)
- University College London
- Durham University
- King’s College London
- University of Bristol
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- University of Glasgow
A Levels are not essential to study Law at higher education level, there are one or two other subjects that you can look at as useful for studying Law. Critical thinking can be a very big help with the Law National Admissions Test but you will have to keep your options open as the subject is better done more as a fifth AS-level. Some of the more essay-based subjects; History or English will prepare you for law at degree level than other A-Levels. When studying Law you’ll have a lot of essays to write so essay-based subjects at school level will help you prepare for this. Lots of students studying Law also tend to take at least one facilitating subject, a foreign language, English – generally deemed to be very good choices for potential Law students.
A personal statement for university is one of the most difficult parts of the application process. Never fear! There are plenty of personal statement guides on the University Compare website and right here on The Student Lawyer! Check them out to be one step ahead. Make sure your statement is subject-specific to what you will be studying, be it Law, Law and Business, Law with French etc. When it comes to Law, there are a lot of things that admissions tutors recommend that you include, such as:
- A book or some text that you have read that had a legal inclusion to it, something that sparked your interest in the subject.
- Demonstrate your interest in the Law:
- By visiting your local magistrates’ court or the Crown Court or by going to your nearest employment tribunal.
- By joining a debating club or by starting your own, this will allow you to make critical and sustained arguments and to explore all sides of an arguments.
- Any relevant work experience that you may have, which could be anything from working in a solicitor’s firm or in a mini-pupillage or even just your Saturday job, if you had one.
Your personal statement can be very difficult to get right, they will read hundreds a day and you will need to make yours stand out, which can be a lot easier said than done!
An example of a personal statement that you can use in some way, comes courtesy of a student at the University of Kent, who said:
“I applied to study Law because I was fascinated with the way proceedings took place, plus I took a liking to it at A level. I went on to study at BPP and loved it. It’s hard work, but the learning aspect and clever thinking that is required in this career fascinates me. Studying at the University of Kent was so much fun too, I’d recommend it! It’s hard-work but also rewarding if you stick at it.”
Easy, concise, to-the-point and above all it tells you everything that you need to know about that student’s application straight away.
Law as a Subject
Law is notorious for being a course that is big on reading with many former Law students complaining about the high intensity of the large reading load for the course’s syllabus. It is definitely worth bearing in mind that the reading element of Law definitely cannot be forgone or be ignored either, this is part of studying Law. The reading element of Law can be something you can thrive on, if you’re an avid reader. If you don’t enjoy reading, or you prefer other methods to learning, you won’t be able to avoid it entirely, but there are other ways of learning what you need to know and still becoming a great lawyer.
There is also an awful lot of coursework – it seems to start straight from the beginning and you can sometimes have three assignments at any one time. Coursework can be stressful and will cover various aspects of Law – you’ll be studying Tort Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Land/Property Law, Equity Trusts, EU (European Union) Law, Human Rights Laws and Public/Constitutional Law – as a result you’ll have an awful lot of coursework related to this. The various subjects will require a lot of independent work and will also require you to look into various aspects of the respective legislation that may not be covered in your degree. As long as you enjoy what you are studying, you will find this fascinating (give or take a few painful overlength library sessions!) and your hard work can be extremely rewarding.
If you’ve got this far then give yourself a pat on the back! Law ranks as a very prestigious degree and as one of the most difficult in the UK. It will take very hard work right from the get-go, but you will always be able to be extremely proud of your achievements.
For more on applying to university, check out University Compare, a university comparison website that compares over 36,000 courses across 425 institutes.