Applying for Law Courses
A law degree is still the most popular route to becoming a solicitor or a barrister but there are many law degrees available throughout the UK and Ireland and it can be hard to distinguish between them. If you do want to become a barrister or a solicitor you need to make sure that you choose a qualifying degree recommended by the Law Society (for solicitors) or the Bar Council (for barristers).
Law is a highly competitive profession with a lengthy and expensive training programme so you will need to be determined, analytical, objective and socially aware. It is also a good idea to get some work experience before or during your studies as both higher education institutions and law practices look favorably on this.
You do not have to become a solicitor or a barrister with a law degree. There are many courses where you can study law with another subject for example, accountancy, psychology, criminology, languages or politics. You could choose a career in business, management, finance or politics. The skills that you acquire through studying law are highly transferable.
Studying A level Law is not required for entry on a Law Degree!! Admissions tutors are looking for transferable skills which can easily be obtained through History, RS Philosophy and Ethics and English A level courses.
The application process
For law degrees you need to apply through UCAS in the normal way. The deadline for applications is 15th January for entry in September. For late applications, the date is 30th June. It is important to remember that places to study law are highly sought after, so it is advisable to make the 15th January deadline.
You may also need to take an admissions test.
LNAT – The National Admissions Test for law
The LNAT – The National Admission Test for Law is run by a group of universities in the UK. The test has been introduced to help universities to make clearer and fairer decisions on who they offer places to from amongst the many applications that they receive each year. The LNAT tests general levels of intellect, logic and judgment and is not based on a candidates’ background or academic achievements.
You will need to take the test if you are applying to study for a law degree at the following institutions beginning in September or deferred entry in September.
|Institution||Course and UCAS Code|
|University of Birmingham||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law with Business Studies, M1N1
LLB Law with French, MR11
LLB Law with German, MR12
|University of Bristol||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law (European Legal Studies), M300
LLB Law with French, MR11
LLB Law and German, MR12
|University of Cambridge||LLB Law, M100|
|Durham University||LLB Law, M101
LLB Law (European Legal Studies), M155
|University of Exeter||LLB Law, M103
LLB European Law with French or German, M120
LLB Law with European Study, M124
|University College London||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law with Advanced Studies, M101
LLB Law with another Legal System (Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong), M102
LLB Law with French Law, M141
LLB Law with German Law, M142
LLB Law with Italian Law, M143
LLB Law with Hispanic Law, M144
LLB English and German Law and Baccalaureas Legum, M146
|University of Glasgow||LLB Law, M114
LLB Law with Czech Language, M1R7
LLB Law with French Language, M1R1
LLB Law with French Legal Studies, M121
LLB Law with German Language, M1R2
LLB Law with German Legal Studies, M122
LLB Law with Italian Language, M1R3
LLB Law with Italian Legal Studies, M1M9
LLB Law with Polish Language, M1RR
LLB Law with Spanish Language, M1R4
LLB Law with Spanish Legal Studies, M123
LLB Law and Business Economics, MN11
LLB Law and Business Management, MN12
LLB Law and Economic and Social History, MV13
LLB Law and Economics, ML11
LLB Law and English Literature, MQ13
LLB Law and Gaelic Language, MQ15
LLB Law and Geography, ML17
LLB Law and History, MV11
LLB Law and Philosophy, MV15
LLB Law and Politics, ML12
LLB Law and Slavonic Studies, MR17
|King’s College London||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law with European Legal Studies, M100
|University of Nottingham||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law with French, M1R1
LLB Law with German, M1R2
|University of Oxford||LLB Law, M100
LLB Law (4 years with a year spent abroad), M120
You can register for the test now but it needs to be sat by 15th January.
This is also the UCAS deadline. If you intend to make a late application you will need to take the LNAT by 30th June. This should be taken after you have submitted your UCAS form as you will need the UCAS number to put on the LNAT test paper.
If you are applying to study law at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge you need to register and sit the LNAT Test by the 15th October.
You need to go to www.lnat.ac.uk to register and pay for the test. Currently this costs £50.
The test itself lasts for two hours. It is computer-based and is made up of multiple choice questions and an essay component. The test isn’t something you can actually revise for as it is not testing your knowledge of law, but of your ability to understand and interpret information in a logical and coherent manner. It is a good idea to read a quality newspaper everyday to keep abreast of current affairs and to practice answering these types of questions. Practice questions are available at www.lnat.ac.uk.
Multiple Choice Sections
This part of the test last for 80 minutes and intends to test your comprehension, interpretation, analysis and verbal reasoning skills, no legal knowledge is required. You will be presented with a series of passages followed by multiple choice questions. You need to choose 1 answer out of each set of questions. You are only awarded marks for correct answers and no marks are deducted for incorrect answers.
• Read through the questions first and note any keywords or phrases
• Remember that only 1 answer is correct and that there are no trick questions
• Pace yourself and try not to leave any unanswered
This part of the test lasts for 40 minutes and aims to test your ability to argue economically to a conclusion and your use of written English. Again, no legal knowledge is required but you should have some knowledge of what is going on in the world.
There are five sections but you are only required to answer one of them. Your essay should be between 500-600 words.
• Remember that the assessor is not looking for your opinions but your ability to argue and defend a position
• Try not to repeat yourself or waffle
• Be as clear and as straightforward as you can when constructing your argument and essay
• This part of the test is sometimes used to distinguish between borderline candidates.
After your degree
Your studies do not stop once you have finished your degree if you wish to become a solicitor or a barrister. You will need to undertake the Common Professional Examination or Graduate Diploma in Law (if you are a non-law graduate). If you wish to become a solicitor you will also need to study for the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Vocational Course if you wish to pursue a career as a barrister.
|The Bar Council||www.barcouncil.org.uk|
|The Bar Council – Law Library of Ireland||www.lawlibrary.ie|
|The Department for Children, Schools & Families||www.dfes.gov.uk|
|The Faculty of Advocates||www.advocates.org.uk|
|The Law Society||www.lawsociety.org.uk|
|The Trainee Solicitor’s Group||www.tsg.org|
|UK Centre for Legal Education||www.ukcle.ac.uk|