So you want to convert to law?

  • Last updated 22-Jul-2016 16:39:25

Odds are that if you’ve managed to get through three years of university, all of the coursework, exams and perhaps even a dissertation, surely a little top up course is a walk in the park? Well, yes and no.

Is the law conversion course competitive?

For most law schools, as long as you can pay the fees (and have a 2.2 or above) you should have a place. I say this only anecdotally, but I’ve never heard of anyone be rejected from a law school upon applying for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

Although I would always recommend applying, I know a few people who called up my law school a matter of weeks before the course was starting and managed to get a place on the GDL that academic year.

But that is where it stops being so easy.

What does the law conversion course consist of?

The GDL has seven core modules and most courses also teach two or three other modules, covering research and an essay of a topic outside the curriculum, a piece of coursework, and introductory tests on the English legal system.

The latter often takes place within a couple of weeks of starting the GDL and covers learning all about the court structure, how to read a case, the process of creating legislation etc. It’s all systems go from the second the course starts.

The course content is delivered at a high-pace, with each week’s material building on previous weeks. The little known secret is that the material taught is rarely complicated or difficult; it’s more a case of quantity.

How difficult is the law conversion course?

Anyone who can secure a 2.1 at university shouldn’t struggle too often with grasping any legal concepts, but you must make sure that you’re prepared to work hard and manage your time properly.

This includes being sensible about the social aspect: don’t expect university-esque club nights twice a week.

If you’re living in London, be prepared to consider how commuting will figure into your routine: would you rather live further away from law school and have two hours cut out of each day commuting?

Are you prepared to work properly at home or will you need to spend your day nine to five in law school studying?

The most important thing is to remain focused yet avoid getting stressed. It is a demanding course, but – in my opinion – the final year of university required just as much work.

Will I enjoy the law conversion course?

With the GDL, because it’s so broad, it’s a dead cert that you’ll find a few modules or topics which aren’t as stimulating as you’d like. But the most important thing is to keep an open mind and work through everything you’re set.

As jam-packed as the conversion course is, it still only scratches the surface of law. You’ve got the LPC or BPTC to look forward to next…

To find out where you can convert, head over to our GDL Courses section. If you're currently on the hunt for a Training Contract or Vacation Scheme, head over to our Law Jobs section.

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