Greetings non-law graduate and welcome to the postgraduate world. Next stop… the GDL! You’ve weighed up you choices, scribbled down the differences between the GDL and graduate LLB and decided that the GDL is the way to go.
Right, so what’s the application process? Good question. Let us explain.
Every GDL application is made through lawcabs.ac.uk. Think of LawCabs as the UCAS of postgraduate law courses.
The application process starts in October and November and closes in February. GDL applicants need to register (duh, obviously!) with LawCabs and also pay a £15 fee.
LawCabs GDL application stages
The first two stages of the GDL application process accounts for your basic contact details, nationality, English speaking ability and any special requirements – all fairly straightforward.
Next up, you need to reveal which career path you’re planning on taking (be it solicitor, barrister or undecided). You also need to tell the folks who will be reading through you application if you’ve taken any legal training modules that will exempt you from some parts of the GDL.
The quicker you can get yourself through all these legal qualifications, the better, right?
Choosing a law school
Following on from this is the institution selection bit. You can select up to three GDL courses and you should obviously do as much research into where you want to study the GDL as you did for choosing a university for your undergraduate degree.
Luckily, we’ve got our own GDL course directory that you can use to read up on institutions that offer the GDL. Aren’t we kind?
After you’ve selected your institutions, you need to list all your qualifications from A Levels upward, so no need to go too far down memory lane and attempt to recall all your GCSE results.
If you have a law degree from abroad or if your undergraduate degree was over four years ago, you need to provide your transcript.
Next section: Employment. This is as you would expect; list details about any previous employment history, just like you would in a CV.
GDL personal statement
Now for the juicy bit, a 10,000 character (about 1500-2000 words) personal statement that should address:
- Why a certain institution is your first choice
- Why you are applying for the GDL
- What interests you about the course
- What motivates you
- Your careers aims
- Skills and achievements
Try to keep on topic in whatever you write about, focussing on the GDL and your law career.
References for your GDL
The final parts of the application form require you to let LawCabs know who is paying the course fees (e.g. you, your parents, your training contract provider) and you need to provide a reference too.
Make sure you ask your referee before putting their details on the application form – you want them to write positive things about you, your commitment to law and how clever you are. Best to have them do that when they’re actually expecting a reference request.
After you’ve declared that everything you’ve filled in is accurate and true, then your GDL application is ready to be sent off. Best of luck!