Should you study Law at undergraduate level?

Author: Adi Sen

Table of Contents

Why should you still consider studying law despite the popularity of the law conversion course?

There is a big debate surrounding whether to study law at undergraduate level or to read another subject and then do a law conversion to practice as a lawyer. The latter is increasingly popular with more than half of the current cohort of trainee solicitors having studied a different subject at undergraduate level before doing a law conversion.



A key feature that recruiters look for, over a particular subject, is an education from an exceptional university.

In this sense, Oxford and Cambridge are the perfect place to study, regardless of subject. To learn more about gaining a place at Oxbridge, request a free consultation with one of our expert Oxbridge admissions consultants here. However, whilst recruiters don’t mind whether or not you have studied law, there are still a number of reasons why pursuing a law degree might be the right option for you.


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1. You learn more about law as an undergraduate lawyer

The Graduate Diploma in Law – the law conversion course – gives you a whistle-stop tour through the seven foundational subjects required for practicing law in the UK. Contrastingly, studying law at Cambridge allows you to study these seven foundational subjects in depth alongside seven other subjects. One of these options must be Roman Law – a compulsory subject in first year – but students have free reign to choose the other six options from a very long list. This allows you to specialise in either private or public law or take subjects geared towards your interests and career aspirations. For example, Company Law and Commercial Law are popular options amongst students keen on pursuing corporate law in the city whilst Human Rights Law and International Law are popular amongst students interested in working for organisations like Amnesty. You can even do a dissertation under headings such as ‘Select Issues in International Law’ and ‘Women and the Law’ in your final year.


2.  You learn to think like a lawyer

Studying law over three years gives you more time to harness your legal skills compared to a one-year conversion course. Whilst law in practice is very different to studying law, many of the skills you acquire whilst studying law are very useful later on. For example, both require you to be able to identify issues in practical problems, to apply both case law and statute to those issues, and to reach a conclusion as to the what likely conclusion of the court might be. Furthermore, at Cambridge, you have the opportunity to develop these skills under the supervision of professors who are experts in their fields.


3.  You develop other legal skills

As a law student, you have the opportunity to get involved in activities which are invaluable to your future career. At Cambridge, there are mooting competitions available for students in all years. This gives you the chance to a present a legal argument in front of a judge which is invaluable experience for anyone interested in becoming a barrister or doing their own advocacy as a solicitor. Furthermore, there are a number of pro bono projects open to law students. For example, law students at Cambridge can apply to volunteer with Amicus in Texas for the summer which is an organisation which helps secure equal access to justice for those facing the death penalty in the United States. These opportunities are both incredibly rewarding and useful for legal practice.



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