Studying law in United Kingdom

Studying law in United Kingdom


Going to study law in the UK is an extremely rewarding experience. At the same time to perfect his level of English, by integrating the legal vocabulary Anglo-Saxon, but also to understand the wheels of the common law. An opportunity also to stand out from other candidates at the doors of the largest law firms.

The universities of the United Kingdom resemble in their organizations French universities. Within the same university, there are several different schools, interacting with each other while remaining individual entities in their own right. But unlike the organization of universities in France, British universities select their students, from applications, directly at post-Bach level.

Studying law in United Kingdom

How to access it?

It is imperative to justify a certain level of English (variable depending on the university and subject studied). We must therefore pass language exams: IELTS, Toefl, Toeic or PTE. Academic institutions and language centers offer students the chance to take these tests, which are now indispensable for studying abroad.

The Anglo-Saxon system is particularly interested in the balance of life of candidates. A student who has done his third internship in a law firm or volunteers with a human rights NGO may hold the attention of the head of admission. In short, British universities want a “well-rounded” individual, ie balanced.

Once a dossier and letter of motivation have been sent, the students begin to receive either “unconditional offers”, which do not need explanations … or “conditional offers”: the university accepts the candidate on condition that he obtains some notes.

It is also possible for students to undertake studies in a completely different field and to join the legal field afterwards by doing a condensed year of law, the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) which will make up for the accumulated backlog. the student.

As Erasmus

British universities have many partnerships with their European counterparts. French students may therefore, in their third year of law degree or Master 1, depending on their university, study law in the United Kingdom for a semester or a university year. This obviously depends on the universities, grades obtained during these academic years and results on the language tests: a rather vigorous selection.

Anne Salles, exchange manager for the LEA curriculum at the Ministry of Higher Education (Applied Foreign Languages) explains “We can not send someone whose behavior could jeopardize our relationship with the partner university” [ 1]. Students are therefore selected on file. The selection is all the more demanding, as the students are very numerous to want to leave in exchange, and especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. There are more candidates than there are places available. It should also be noted that 41% of students taking advantage of the Erasmus curriculum come from the law, social sciences and commerce sectors.

At the postgraduate Master level, the famous LL.M.

It should be known that in the United Kingdom the Mastères (or LL.M.) last one full year (from September to September). It is nevertheless possible to do it part-time, over a period of 2 years, or even remotely. There is also the possibility of doing a joint degree (double degree) including an MBA. But not all universities offer this possibility, as is the case for the prestigious universities of Cambridge and Oxford. British universities offer many LL.M. in different areas of expertise. It is thus possible to specialize in this way. To access it, you must have obtained certain grades during the license.

The rating system in the United Kingdom

At the university level, the rating system in Great Britain is in percentage. The notes are divided into five classifications.

the 1st, which means getting 70% and above (14/20 and over)
2: 1, for averages between 60 and 70% (between 12/20 and 14/20)
2: 2, between 50 and 60% (between 10/20 and 12/20)
3rd, between 40 and 50% (between 8/20 and 10/20)
FAIL for notes below 40%. (8/20)

You will probably understand, the average in the UK is only 40% or 8/20, where the French system usually claims an average of 10/20. However, to study Law at the Master’s (or LL.M.) level, universities often ask their students a minimum of 2: 2 and 2: 1, depending on the university and program. The universities of Cambridge and Oxford require their candidates a 1st.

Few British students undertake Mastères. The cause ? A high cost. Unlike the license, the government does not give loans for the Masters and universities offering scholarships to the best.

Being a graduate of an LL.M. does not qualify you to become a lawyer. To practice, it is imperative to perform, not a LL.M., but a Law Practice Course. For aspiring prosecutors, they need to do a BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course). These last one year and finally allow to join a cabinet, for a “training contract”, apprenticeship contract, which lasts two years. After obtaining the latter, the student may practice as a lawyer or attorney.

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