Earlier this year, London was named the second best place in the world to be a student by Top Universities. There’s no denying that the cost of living is higher than elsewhere in the country, but the opportunities that students can take advantage of during and after studying in London mean that it should be a serious contender for any prospective law student. Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, the capital certainly has its benefits for prospective lawyers. But why?
London is prime location for law firms
Lots of law students love the fact that they are studying a stone’s throw from many of the country’s top legal firms and chambers. Being so close to the environment they want to start their career in provides motivation and means they can visualise their future career – not to mention the tangible benefits of being within commuting distance of firms where they might want to do a work placement.
Not all London law courses are unaffordable
Studying in the capital doesn’t have to mean paying top dollar for a course. Among London’s large number of higher education providers are specialist organisations and alternative providers that offer a smaller range of courses focused around specific areas, often at lower tuition fee rates than you’ll find at public universities. As a private provider, Kaplan Holborn College offers competitive rates on law degree programmes, awarded by respected universities, which give you the freedom to concentrate on your course rather than worry about financing your next semester of study.
Your London law course could save you money
If you’re from London, you might feel the temptation to go further afield for your studies. But with rising rents, growing numbers of students are choosing to stay at home while they study. Even if your parents ask for a contribution towards household costs, it’s unlikely to be as much as renting privately. And there are added perks of staying at home – always food in the fridge and a good chance of having your washing done!
For students who face taking their GDL after their undergraduate degree, and law students who go on to face their LPC or BPTC , having a reasonably priced roof over your head can be a bonus even if living with mum and dad isn’t quite the same as being in student digs.
It’s possible to find smaller places to study law, even in the UK’s largest city
Many of the students at Kaplan Holborn College enjoy the fact that it is smaller and friendlier than many of the alternatives. While still being based in central London and close to the City, one of our students, Frances Villa, pointed out that the College’s “good reputation, nice atmosphere, and friendly tutors” were factors in choosing it. She also said that the small size of an alternative higher education provider makes it easier to focus on studying while also being close to everything London has to offer.
You’re close to all the legal action – take advantage of it!
These days, there are lots of resources out there to give you a head start on your job hunt. The legal sector has a variety of initiatives – try contacting professional bodies such as the Royal Society of Law to find out how they can help, certainly check their website for firms that practice the area of law you’re interested in. Contact your local CILEx branch to enquire about work shadowing opportunities. At Kaplan, we have experience of helping would be solicitors and barristers gain valuable work experience during and after their courses.
Above all, do your own research and be proactive. If you find a firm you like the look of, give them a call to ask for work experience. If you don’t hear back, keep calling! Employers like seeing tenacity and determination. If you want to be a lawyer you’ll need those qualities from the get go.
More broadly, a sense of where you’re going and how you want to get there is important – and the sooner the better. The end of second year is an excellent time to gain some experience in the field. Do you have a sense of what it is you want to do? Do you aspire to work in a city law firm, a regional firm, or perhaps you’re aiming for a support role? Having an idea at this stage will help you throughout your degree and beyond – and being in London will give you the best chance of trying out different paths and working out what’s right for you in terms of vacation schemes and training contracts.
Click here to find out more about Kaplan Holborn College law courses.