Graduate LLB vs. GDL

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of the Graduate LLB and the GDL in a nutshell.

  • Last updated Mar 4, 2019 5:28:32 PM
  • By Jos Weale

Graduate LLB pros:

The course will qualify you to proceed with either the LPC (the solicitor path) or the BPTC (the road to the Bar).

It’s an intense course, but you won’t be pressured into studying everything in the space of just one year, giving you more time to engage with the topics.

This might help you to establish which of these you’d like to specialise in at a later date or even gauge your legal career direction.

 You’ll have access to the university environment, with opportunities to network through law society events and mooting and debating activities.

The extra time will give you chance to build up more legal work experience.

Graduate LLB cons:

 Extended academic study before entering a market that is becoming more competitive for jobs by the year.

The Graduate LLB is a two-year course, meaning two years’ worth of tuition fees and an extra year of living expenses on a student budget.

GDL pros:

The course will qualify you to proceed with either the LPC or the BPTC.

The GDL is the speediest way of getting the qualification you’ll need to progress to the LPC or BPTC if you’re coming from a non-law degree background.

The GDL is a well-established step on the way to the LPC or BPTC. Tutors rarely detect any difference between students from GDL and LLB backgrounds once they reach the penultimate stage of their training. 

The short course length may force you to be more focused on your studies.

You will save on an extra year of tuition fees and living costs at this level.

The LPC and BPTC are also one-year courses, so you’ll already be conditioned to studying in this kind of time-frame after the GDL.

GDL cons:

The speed of the course might mean most of your time will be dedicated to study, resulting in less time to undertake legal work experience.

There will be less time to get to grips with each topic.

You won’t necessarily have the advantage of the university environment.

The conclusion

Ultimately, you should go with the option that’s best for you. Have a good think about how you learn best, what funding available to you, and take it from there.

Either way, both options will cover the same principles in order to prepare you for the penultimate stage of legal training.

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