Getting into the firm
So you want to be a solicitor? Derek Bedlow gives you the do's and the don'ts of gaining a career in law
Step one: Get your degreeA qualifying law degree will exempt you from the Common Professional Examination (CPE). If you are doing a law degree, especially if it is a combined honours degree, ensure the course options cover all seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge – Obligations I (Contract) & II (Tort), Foundations of Criminal Law, Foundations of Equity and Law of Trusts, Foundations of the law of the European Union, Foundations of Property Law, Foundations of Public Law – otherwise any gaps will have to be made up the following year before you can apply for the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Likewise, if you do not commence the LPC within seven years of graduation, then you will have to take the CPE.With a few exceptions, a 2:1 is pretty much a minimum requirement (see law firm table, page 48-49), whether a law degree or not. Law firms are not as Oxbridge-dominated as they once where, but most still favour the old ‘red brick’ universities over newer ones. GCSE and A-level results are taken into account as well as degree performance, but if you do have a good non-academic reason for choosing a new over old university, this may be taken into account.Some universities have arrangements with individual law schools which guarantee places for their students who achieve a certain grade. It is certainly worth finding out if your university is one of these.Total cost so far: tuition fees plus living expenses: £18,000.
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