GDL?

#1

Hi all

Nobody’s posted anything yet, so I guess I’ll go first…
I’m just doing a History degree at the moment, and am thinking of doing the GDL afterwards.
I’ve had a look at the details already, but am worried about getting a job afterwards. Would it be better to do a full Law degree? And will the workload be really heavy, squeezing it all into one year?

Thank, Andrew

#2

Hi Andrew.
I graduate in English in 2005 and considered law for a while. From talking to lawyers and trainee solicitors who had converted from English and History degrees (most people I met who were dong GDL seemed to have studied either English or History) it seems to me that the GDL is pretty simple. The GDL course structure ISN’T like a degree. Law degree teach you a lot of theory and interesting stuff that isn’t relevant to the vocational side of law. the GDL teaches you ONLY the vocational stuff, and schools like BPP and College of Law serve you p exactly what to revise for their tests and pretty much spoon feed you the answers. As long as you work hard it’s not difficult to do well and get on to the next year (the LPC) which again, is not that hard.

There’s not much point doing a full law degree having got a history degree already. It’s more expensive, and you will spend three years doing something you could do in one. I also looked at the option of doing a three year or two year full law degree too - but decided that the only good reason for doing it would be to have three more years at uni (which actually wouldn’t have been too bad :))

Don’t do the GDL without getting sponsored by a law firm first though unless you really have to. Law firms are happy for you to apply to them two years before you start working for them and will often pay for all your GDL and LPC fees AND give you a bursary to live off as well.

Hope this helps.

#3

I would advise you to secure some work experience in law first. You need to know someone to get going in law. If you don’t, you’ll never get that first job: everyone will just reject you because you have no previous experience. This should be several months - maybe even a year if you can manage it.

Can you afford to work unpaid? You might need to do on such a placement.

I got a 1st on my BA in PPE, then I did the GDL and LPC, and scraped through on both. I couldn’t get any sort of job in law. Now I work for the Department of Health. This is why I’m saying this. Do not underestimate how difficult it is to get a job in law! Out of the people I knew from my time on the GDL, only about half went into law.

#4

Hi
I also came at law from a non law degree. Personally I had a BSc in Economics and then did a 2 year Masters instead of the GDL before going on to do the LPC. In answer to your question, the legal market is incredibly saturated and getting a training contract is very very hard regardless of your first degree. Although some firms do seem to prefer law graduates these are in their minority with issues such as work experience and good grades being much more important.
I would therefore focus more on work experience and wouldn’t worry about the course you are currently studying. You can also find out which firms take non law graduates through the various different legal publication and these may be worth a look. Both the GDL and LPC are expensive and I wouldn’t necessarily encourage anyone to embark on these without at least some work experience behind them to make sure it isn’t wasted time and money. It may even be worth trying to get in with a law firm first and then moving your way upwards rather than undertaking these expensive qualifications. But in summary I don’t think not having a law degree in itself will hold you back.
N

#5

There are enormous similarities here with accountancy. There is no prerequisite that you need a finance degree before setting out on the course of being either chartered or certified. The content of your degree is not what is paramount. It is the quality of the degree that will give to most recruiters the signal that you are able to study and have a retentive memory, as well as being able to present your thoughts clearly.
The work experience applies in both professions as this allows for the future employer ti know you have a taste of what the future holds. Both professions appear to still attract the starry eyed student woth the view that the end rewards are significant. They are as long as you are suited to the profession and put your back into the study.
No gain - no pain could be a very true adage for students in both professions.

#6

I strongly believe that there are big benefits to be had in studying a different first degree before going on to do legal studies through the use of the GDL. Employers are increasingly recognising that there is strength in having a different first-degree provided of course that is academic in nature. For example those that have studied a financial or economic degree prior to the studying law will be particularly coveted by commercial employers. Similarly some science degrees will be particularly valuable when it comes to studying certain areas of law.
In essence the GDL is a very useful route to studying law provided it is approached sensibly and with the use of an academic degree initially. Law is very competitive and a weak first degree will put a student at a distinct disadvantage.

#7

Hello I am Sheenam and I plan to get a LLB from the U.K.Can you tell me what are the job prospects after that for an international student and the visa issues? Please help, I really want to work there and also will a post graduation in Law help my case?