There are plenty of reasons why a person might choose to study for a law degree, but the most obvious is to enter the legal profession. A qualifying law degree provides one of the quickest and easiest routes to becoming a solicitor or barrister, which are among the most reputable and well-paid careers in the UK.
Students in England and Wales should be aware that a qualifying law degree need not be an LLB. Opting for a combined-honours programme is acceptable provided that specific modules are covered and passed to a sufficiently high standard. These subjects include obligations, public law, criminal law, property law, equity and trusts and European Community law.
After these modules have been studied and passed at university level, the graduate can go on to complete the further requirements of becoming a solicitor or barrister. Students can also study for the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) to learn these important subjects.
Why A Law Degree?
Whether studying for the LLB or a combined-honours degree, students who learn about the law at university level face plenty of competition. Thousands of law graduates are produced by universities in the UK every year; in fact, there are many more law graduates than there are training positions in law firms. Before enrolling on a law degree, students must consider the risk of graduating without any realistic prospect of entering the profession at a high level. The most ambitious, successful and dedicated of law graduates, however, should be able to find suitable vacancies without too much difficulty.
Some legal practices consider only LLB graduates, whilst many prefer BA graduates who have studied useful subjects such as business, economics or a foreign language. Family law solicitors near Leeds and other major cities in the UK tend to employ a mix of LLB and BA graduates to ensure that the pool of talent is rich and varied. Choosing either the LLB or a combined-honours degree, therefore, is largely irrelevant provided that the degree satisfies the academic stage of training for solicitors.
Studying for a law degree is not merely necessary or useful to enter the legal profession at a high level. Modules such as legal skills, public law, tort,
contract and consumer law develop core skills that can be transferred to virtually any profession. When studying for a law degree, students ought to
hone their writing skills to a reasonably good standard. Researching becomes second nature and gleaning the salient points, facts or issues from large volumes of text can be turned into an effortless skill.
Many employers value the analytical skills of law graduates, who tend to possess a broad range of skills. Law graduates are often objective, resourceful and intelligent, which are attributes that can be used in all industries. Although vacancies in law firms may be limited, opportunities for law graduates in general business are usually excellent, however, as with most degrees, employers expect a minimum standard (usually a first or high 2:1 for the top-paying roles).
Another reason why people should consider studying for a law degree is that there are many types of lawyer; graduates are not restricted to becoming a solicitor upon qualification. Law graduates can become solicitors, barristers, solicitor advocates, legal executives or paralegals. Some choose to stay in higher education, studying for the LLM and eventually lecturing at a university. As more students enrol on law degrees, universities will be required to extend their teaching facilities, presenting new opportunities for law graduates to remain in the insulated world of academia.