We know choosing a degree is not always easy, it can seem like a huge decision to make so early on in life, one which can dictate your future career.

That’s why we’ve launched a new series on our student and graduate blog programme called ‘Which degree is for me?’.

To help you decide which undergraduate degree is right for you, a different graduate and student will be sharing their insight into their degree subject, including entry requirements, what to expect, study tips and what sort of graduate jobs you can get into using that degree.

The first of our ‘Which Degree is for me?’ series comes from Jade Altass-Hye, a Law student from the University of Sussex. She is about to complete the fourth year of her LLB Law degree and shares with us some fantastic tips and provides insight into what a Law degree entails.

If you’d like to write for our student and graduate blog programme and gain valuable copy-writing experience, get in touch below:

Register to our site to set up job alerts for specific industries and roles!

Have an industry or role in mind already? Check out our graduate jobs board!

Why study Law?

An undergraduate Law degree is one of the hardest but most rewarding degrees.

If you want real insight into human nature, a degree where you’ll constantly be thinking in new ways and challenging others, then a Law degree is a great option for you.

Studying Law offers the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and explore many aspects of human life.

Law gives you the chance to strengthen your understanding and deepen your experiences across the full range of humanities and social sciences.

Questions to ask yourself when deciding if a Law degree is for you

  • ‘Government, politics, business, finance, relationships, internal relations, families, media, environment, human rights, crime, punishment, war crimes..’

    Almost every aspect of society is subject to law. To study undergraduate Law, it’s important you have an interest in society how people act towards one another, as well as an interest in deciding how people should act.

  • Making compelling and logical arguments and counter-arguments are central to the study of Law. You’ll be asked to write essays arguing which viewpoint you think is right.

    You’ll need to be able to effectively interpret data to make a rational judgment as to what you think is right, and then campaign for your case.

    If you’re a passionate, logical thinker and like proving people wrong, an undergraduate degree for Law would be a good fit for you!

  • An undergraduate Law degree requires a lot of reading and absorbing large amounts of text and information. If you hate reading, then Law may not be the subject for you.

    Not only does undergraduate Law require large amounts of reading, but you need to also be able to read particular passages carefully, defer meanings about these texts and interpret your own ideas from what you have read.

    Law isn’t just facts with an easy distinction from what is right and what is wrong – a lot of the time there is a fine line, and it is up to you to interpret readings to make an informed decision for your argument.

What type of Law degrees are there?

By far the most popular is the LLB Law degree, a qualifying degree which, until 2021, allowed you to go on to the bar, or to do the LPC, after your degree to become a qualified lawyer.

The introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) from September 2021 means that you can have a degree in any subject, and still go on to take the two SQE assessments, alongside two years of qualifying work experience, and pass the character and suitability requirements.

You can also carry out the Law conversion course, otherwise known as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), but from 2021 this will no longer be a necessity.

Although, it may give you an insight into the law industry before choosing to undertake it as a career.

Not only that, but many universities offer a qualifying Law degree that also has a subsidiary component to your degree.

For example, you can do LLB Law with American Studies, or with a language and still finish your three years with a qualifying Law degree.

What should you expect in each year from your Law degree?

If you do a qualifying Law degree, an LLB, then each year of your degree will be structured and relatively limited by the core modules.

This will differ between each university, but the core modules you will have to study are:

  • Criminal Law
  • Property Law
  • Equity and trusts
  • EU Law, contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Constitutional Law

 

First year

Usually, as with other degrees, the first year does not count towards your final grade.

You will most likely still carry out some of the mandatory modules in your first year, and employers will look at this when reviewing applications, so it’s still important to try your best.

 

Second year

Often, people say your second year is the most difficult. Most universities use this year to do four core modules that last one year in duration, so you don’t get to choose any of your subjects.

 

Third year

In your third and final year, with just a Law degree, you get to choose all your modules.

When choosing your modules, it is important to start thinking about what you want to specialise in when you start to practice, as firms and chambers will sometimes look at the subjects you have taken.

 

A Law undergraduate degree is tough, so it’s pretty normal if time to time you feel overwhelmed.

Make sure to reach out to friends and lecturers if you need further support and want to share with others how you’re feeling.

For further advice visit our blog for how to look after your mental health at university.

Doing a year abroad with your Law degree

Most universities offer year abroad programs, where you take a year (sometimes a semester) studying your degree at an international university.

This can vary from Europe, to America, to Australia.

Doing a year abroad, statistically, increases your chances of being employed at the end of your degree.

A year abroad can also give you a range of new skills, ones that a Law degree specifically don’t give you.

Putting yourself in a brand new environment, with lots of new people, helps you to develop your communication and people skills – both things that will look great on your CV.

A year abroad also means you get to have a lot of fun in the middle of your degree without the worry of taking a year out, and delaying starting your career by a year.

If you’re considering studying abroad, visit our blog for how to get the most out of studying abroad.

Law exams and essays

Assessment types vary by university, but most subjects have a mixture of essays and exams.

It’s important you aim high in all components of your modules, as they’ll add up to form your entire module grade, and then your average grade for the year.

Law study tips

Law is one of the most challenging undergraduate degrees, so it’s important you’re motivated and committed to your degree.

Here are some good Law degree study tips:

  • It’s important to do all the recommended reading as this will make essay writing much easier and help prepare ahead of time for your exams.

    When you finish a topic, recap it and make a new set of summary notes.

  • You’ll be expected to include cases in your essays and exams. Using flashcards is a great way to remember key dates, acts and figures.

  • For help if you don’t understand something, they’ll always be happy to help.

  • If available when preparing for exams or preparing for LSAT, for example, and get used to the format!

  • There is a lot of technical law jargon you’ll be expected to know, and incorrect spellings can mark you down in exams.

  • It’s important to make sure you’re eating food that will help fuel you for study sessions and exams – visit our blog for what to eat before exams.

Graduate Law jobs

Studying undergraduate Law in the UK does not limit you to just becoming a lawyer.

The skills you gain from a Law degree are widely recognised and set you up for a range of different careers, and so there are many benefits of having a Law degree.

The list is long but here are a few careers your undergraduate Law degree can apply to:

  • Arbitrator
  • Company Secretary
  • Detective
  • Paralegal
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Stockbroker

 

Graduate Law jobs are some of the best-paid graduate jobs.

Take a look at what are the best-paid jobs in the UK.

It’s a good idea to complete work experience and internships if you’re looking to peruse a career in law as this will help your applications stand out when applying to graduate law jobs.

Keep up to date with any career fairs or talks your university’s Law department is hosting, as this is a good way to learn more about graduate law jobs and decide what graduate career path you’d like to follow.

If you do want to pursue a career in law, but didn’t study Law as your undergraduate degree, then a law conversion is a great way to follow a career in law.

Usually lasting one to two years, they quickly bring you up to speed with what you need to know about law jobs in the industry.

If you’re looking for graduate law jobs, make sure to visit our range of graduate jobs in London and across the UK.