Lessened by letter of the law?

Law school sends letter to prospective vacation scheme firms marking out 2:2 students

Law students’ eternal battle for vacation scheme places could have been made a little bit easier – at least for those studying at the University of Nottingham law school.

The directors of the school have written a letter, apparently in consultation with students, asking firms to consider students with a 2:2 in their first year modules for placements as the university marks with uniform severity over the whole of the LLB rather than taking it easy on first years.

Higher Education Statistics Agency figures show that in 2011 just 55 per cent of Nottingham’s straight LLB graduates obtained ‘good honours’ (1st or 2:1), making it the lowest of the top 20 universities for law, despite demanding the seventh highest entry requirements of A*AA-AAA.

Whether this reflects poorly on Nottingham depends on where you are standing. Objectively, the university asks for the brightest students, delivers a course with a 97 per cent satisfaction rate according to the National Student Survey, and doesn’t bow to the prevailing inclination to inflate grades, which one source said has been evident for about eight years.

But if you are an LLB student at Nottingham, your judgement might be clouded by the fact that you should, by virtue of your A level results and admission to the law school, be more likely to obtain good honours in all three years.

So will the letter have an impact? A graduate recruiter at a top City firm said: “Anyone used to screening applications knows the law school trends. It’s up to us to review letters and use our own judgement.”