Updated: Aug 25, 2021
🚨 If you are interested in study law in the US, you should be aware that you will not be able to study law as an undergraduate (aka straight out of high school). Law is not like other subjects - e.g. computer science, chemistry, history, math, etc. Like Medicine, you study law as a graduate student — soz "Law School".
However, there are still many countries that have law undergrad. For instance, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
❓Why can't we study law as an undergrad in the US?
There are many explanations. You can check it out yourself :)
Let's go back to the right beginning — undergraduate.
If you are 100% sure that you are VERY (I mean completely) interested in law and you just want to focus only on it, UK universities are good options to choose from.
What are the top universities to study law as an undergrad in the UK?
Here are the top 15 UK universities for law degrees:
You might have already heard of some of the universities on the list (like Oxbridge, UCL, and LSE).
🚨Cambridge and Oxford, they are quite special as each of them actually comprises multiple colleges. So when you apply, you will need to choose a specific college to shoot for (each college differs in acceptance rate). Also, their BA is equivalent to other schools' LLB.
So let's explore the Top 4 universities. If you are interested in learning more about the other universities, you can explore it yourself and post your findings in the discussion forum!
Course Name: BA Tripos Undergraduate Degree
Course Duration: 3 years
First-year - Civil (Roman) Law, Law of Tort, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Skills and Methodology half paper
Second-year - Land Law, Contract Law, Option 1, Option 2, Option 3
Erasmus+ exchange scheme - you apply it the second year, abroad third year (however, subject to future change due to Brexit)
Third-year - Equity, European Union Law, Option 4, Option 5, Option 6 (or dissertation)
❓What is "Option"?
During the second and third years, students will be able to choose what area they want to expand their legal interests in.
Typical Offer (A-level/IB): A*AA/40-42 points
Admissions Test: Cambridge Law Test
Teaching Method: a combination of lectures and supervisions
Lectures: 8-12 lectures/week (Up to 200 students/lecture)
Supervisions: 2-3 supervisions/week (2-4 students/supervision)
Assessments: three-hour written examination for each paper
First-year: + two hours of Legal Skill and Methodology half paper
Course Name: Law (Jurisprudence)
Course I: 3 years - 205 students admitted
Course II: 4 years (unsure due to Brexit) - 30 students admitted
Year 1 (Term 1 and 2): Criminal law, Constitutional law, A Roman introduction to private law, Research skills and mooting program
Year 1 (Term 3), 2, 3, (and 4): Tort law: Contract law, Trusts, Land law, Administrative law, European Union law, Jurisprudence, 2 optional subjects
Year 3 for Course II: spent abroad
Typical Offer (A-level/IB): AAA (38 points)
Admissions Test: LNAT
*You will need to apply for A Year Abroad at the start (so with all your application and things). You can still get admitted into three-year law course if you did not succeed in four.
Teaching method: Tutorial system (similar to Cambridge's supervision) and Lecture (optional)
Assessments: Prelims (First-year) & Practical work/dissertations & Finals (last year)
Course Name: LLB
LLB Laws: 3 years
LLB Laws with French/German/Hispanic/etc.: 4 years
First-year: 4 compulsory modules (Contract, Property, Public, and Criminal)
'Laws with' required to take another 'European Legal Studies'
Second-year: 4 modules (Property II, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Tort, EU)
'Laws with' required to take one 'European Legal Studies II"
Third-year: choose 4 optional modules
Typical Offer (A-level/IB): A*AA/39
Admissions Test: LNAT
Teaching method: a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials (with approximately 9 students)
Assessments: written assessment for each module
Course(s) Name: LLB Programme and Double Degree Programme
LLB: 3 years
Double Degree: 4 years (last 2 years in Columbia Law School) - 2/3 students admitted
First-year: Law of Obligations, Property I, Public Law, Criminal Law, Introduction to the Legal System
Second-year: four options
apply for Double Degree in the second year
Third-year: three options and Jurisprudence
Typical Offer (A-level/IB): A*AA/38 points
Admissions Test: LNAT
Teaching method: lectures, small classes (15 students), and seminars
Assessments: written work, formative, and summative assessment
+ exchange programs
+ small class, more attention from supervisors/tutors
+ resourceful (teachers, facilities, libraries, etc.)
+ Cambridge gives more flexibility - allows more 'Option' subject
+ multiple colleges - small school community, get to know more students who study other subjects
± Cambridge have exams for modules each year, while Oxford have exams for First year and Last year (depends on whether you like progressive or summative assessment)
± location (too far from London, but quiet and ideal study environment)
- very competitive (hard to get in)
- for the year abroad, you will need
+ Able to study either French, German, Hispanic, and many other countries' law
+ situated in the middle of London
+ many options provided
- not as resourceful as Oxbridge
- classes larger than Oxbridge
+ chance (although slim) to exchange with Columbia Law School (US)
+ in London
- larger class
This is not the end, this is the end of the beginning.
Now we just began our exploration in potential schools which may interest you (if you are keen to just study law). I am definitely not saying that you should only choose law when you get out of high school, it is perfectly fine if you decide to study History, Political Science, or even Natural Science — whatever interests you matters.
There are many different routes that will get you to your end goal, for instance, becoming a lawyer (well... in the UK, there is barrister and solicitor):
To learn more about US Law schools, please ✅ out my next post on "Which uni is best for law? #2 (US grad)"!