In defence of the GDL

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  • "everybody knows"

    Do they? Who? What insubstantial rubbish. And you want to be a lawyer?
    Argumentum ad populum

    Both LLB and GDL are Qualifying Law Degrees WHEREVER they are obtained.
    They satisfy the legal professional bodies’ requirements for the academic stage of legal
    training for England and Wales, and enable students to enter the vocational Stage of training as a solicitor or a barrister where they will gain practical knowledge and skills.

    "I'm sorry if this sounds like academic snobbery, but it's true."

    It sounds like academic snobbery because that's precisely what it IS.

    Something isn't true simply because you feel it must be.

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  • It's not about how long you do the course for, it's about the depth in which you study the subjects.

    I did a four year LLB honours degree in Scotland, at a Russell Group university. These are the first and second year courses:

    1st Year
    Legal Reasoning and Legal System
    Contract and Unjustified Enrichment
    Family Law Ordinary
    Public Law of the UK and Scotland
    Delict Ordinary
    Further Courses
    2nd Year
    Property Law Ordinary 1
    Property Law Ordinary 2
    Business Entities
    Commercial Law Ordinary
    Public Law and Individual Rights
    Criminal Law Ordinary
    European Community Law A
    Taxation Ordinary
    Trusts and Succession Ordinary

    Then two years of in depth honours study, culminating in four honours exams and a 10,000 word dissertation.

    I cannot fathom that in one year it's possible to cover the above, in sufficient depth to have a real, detailed, comprehensive grasp of core subject areas for commercial practice, and key legal principles such as contract, delict (tort), evidence.

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  • I think we should have more of these chats on as we love to get into these issues!

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  • So it's simply "pure assertion" to say that there is a substantial difference between studying law at a faculty where the entry requirements are AAA + LNAT and a faculty where the entry requirement is CCC, is it ? Be realistic.

    As the above poster rightly states, it all comes down to the depth you study the subjects in.

    Any law student who has decided to use nutshells and a "more accessible" text book used at the ex-polys rather than do the reading they have been set will be able to tell you what happens... You think you've submitted a really good piece of work and it comes back covered in red pen due to the shortcuts and generalisations these textbooks employ. There are different levels of depth of legal study (as in any subject.)

    Of course both the GDL + the LLB both satisfy the professional bodies' requirements but this does not mean that they are simply "equal."

    It is not arrogant to assert that an LLB is a more rounded and substantial legal qualification, it is an undisputable empirical fact.

    What IS arrogant is to assert that after a 9 month crammer which merely touches the surface one has obtained a qualification "equivalent" to an LLB.

    Perhaps if somebody set up a "history" or "maths" school which charged £10,000 a year to spoon feed the basics of some of your undergraduate degrees you would also be slightly sceptical about the courses validity.

    This is a silly debate anyway. Almost all of the GDL students I know who went to decent unis acknowledge that the GDL provides a superficial knowledge of the law compared to an LLB since they are happy with their own undergraduate degrees.

    They will go on to become equally good, if not better lawyers because they appreciate that after just 9 months of rushed legal cramming they do not yet "know it all" (something most LLB students also realise very early on in their degree)

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  • "I cannot fathom that in one year it's possible to cover the above, in sufficient depth to have a real, detailed, comprehensive grasp of core subject areas for commercial practice, and key legal principles such as contract, delict (tort), evidence."

    Oh purleeze. Undergrad students are drunk for half the course. Lecturers are always complaining that LLB students on the LPC can't remember most of what they've (supposedly) been taught.

    The vast majority of three year degrees (including LLBs) could be done in half the time or less. Students simply adapt to the pace ala Parkinson's law. Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

    Look, it's understandable that LLB ers are bitter but get over it chaps, enough already.

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  • Who cares? GDL or Law degree? I read that 40% of solicitors in the City of London came through the GDL route. In my experience I have not been able to find any noticeable difference between a GDL Lawyer and an LLB Lawyer.
    I think one big difference is if you want to qualify in New York. With a GDL you need to take an extra 20 semester credit hours IN the USA (distance learnign doesn't count) while those with an LLB can sit the exam right after getting the LLB. The CoL brought a test case before the NY bar and failed. I believe the Law Society are continuing to lobby the NY Bar on the basis that they should allow all English qulaified solicitors to take the bar exam without looking behind the title but the discrimination continues.....

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  • Bpp gives you an LLB for the GDL plus only two additional modules.

    Can't be that much more 'in depth' then. It would seem that the GDL party are winning this particular argument. Evidently a great part of the actual LLB is academic training per se.

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  • What a lot of the immature on here also fail to realise is that many students on the GDL have actual legal experience. I was a lay representative for an investment company and spent four years appearing in the County Courts. There are several paralegals on my GDL course, none of them need to spend three years doing an LLB, two of which are learning to write essays.

    There is a great deal of ignorance on here about the GDL. It is an incredibly arduous and intensive course, even for those used to working in a high pressure environment.

    The LLB is a good degree but come on guys, stop trying to dis something that is quite well regarded in the profession. It doesn't do you much credit.

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  • James Harvey: "It's a doss in comparison."

    Try reading law while working 100 hours a week, while being bombed, while being shot at, while being thousands of miles from the UK. You are all dossers in my eyes.

    LadyGaGa: "because law is one of the hardest degrees to study."

    Try Medicine. Try Arabic. English Law is one of the easiest subjects I have ever studied.

    Our company lawyer trod the GDL route. He bombed a couple of subjects. He still earns, like me, a tax-free six figure salary. So how about more studying and less flaming?

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  • "while being bombed"


    He's right though, law isn't difficult really. That's why a law degree is the most popular degree chosen by undergrads.

    People think lawyers are all dead intelligent and loaded but they're actually like actors, a few very successful and earning millions and the vast majority just glorified clerks scrabbling around for a living.

    Getting a GDL is still harder than an LLB though, not the content per se but the effort required.

    The LLB really is a doss, maybe all takers should have to work hundred-hour weeks and be shot at.

    Then they'd know what the GDL feels like :)

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