The pointlessness of a law degree

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  • a weapon is only as good as its owner......I wouldn't completely rule out the usefulness of a law degree or any degree for that matter. however it is up to the owner of the degree to use it in a manner in which they see fit.....the realities of the working world are always different from the academic world (the taught world) but hey give me lemons and i will make lemonade......innovate !!!

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  • As a holder of both law and non law degrees and as a solicitor turned barrister, I say what a load of Horlicks. For anyone considering the profession, a law degree is invaluable. I thought that old buffer types who boast of not having read a case in years had gone the way of the dinosaurs, but sadly it seems that is not the case. I would say I've looked up some law every day in practice for the last 25 years. The fact that undergrad law degrees focus on pure law for 3 years and not practice skills like clause drafting is a good thing. You can pick all that up later on the job. On the other hand, I'd say anyone not intending to be a lawyer should not consider spending their precious years at uni doing law just because it seems "interesting". Spend the time on something that will enrich your life more like science, philosophy or literature.

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  • I completely disagree. I am currently studying an LLB in Hertfordshire and we draft injunctions, memo, run meditations and practice advocacy skills such as drafting opening speeches and cross examining witnesses etc.
    It is not all about learning the law.

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  • so, what does everyone suggest to do instead of a law degree if I want to become a lawyer?

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  • This writer forgets that GDL is a truncated LLB. You can poke fun at the real deal but all the other degrees that have you mentioned as its match, equivalent will never prepare prospective Lawyers as the old faithful LLB does.

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  • True - I suppose when clients meet a very impressive lawyer, they don't automatically assume "oh, that lawyer must have done a law degree". They would rather, most probably ask where that person was trained.

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  • Law degree, non-law degree, who cares. You've got so little chance of getting a TC or pupilage it doesn't matter either way. Do something more worthwhile and fulfilling as a way of life than the private practice hell many people wind up in!

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  • I did English followed by GDL+LPC. I loved every minute of my degree and I did extremely well at law school - as someone else mentioned the fact that the fundamental principles of contract and tort were fresh in my mind was a considerable advantage on the LPC as those are subjects generally taken in the first year of an LLB. As a trainee I have observed no significant differences between my performance and that of my peers who studied law. At my firm about 60% of my intake studied subjects other than law so an LLB is clearly not seen as essential.
    It is obviously ridiculous to suggest that an LLB is pointless for the would-be lawyer, but I do think it is important that people realise that it is not the only route into the law. I'm sure that the vast majority of people choosing the LLB do do because they want to be lawyers, not because they are passionate about the law - how could they be? They're 18 and have likely never studied it (yet 21yr old graduates studying the GDL can't possibly know what they're doing...). The LLB is a difficult degree and it is presumably more difficult if you're not enjoying it. Then it comes to TC application time and you have to answer a load of legal questions while your non-law peers get asked about their work experience placements and hobbies, and are valued for the 'diversity' they bring to the workplace.
    For all the people who would have been happier studying English or history or languages or whatever, but did an LLB cos their parents/teachers told them it was a good career, it really is pointless.

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  • My Degree in 'Advanced Frisbee and the Cooking of Frittata (AFCF)' has stood me in good stead as a lawyer; my Law degree less so. Obvious really. The above article is of course quite brilliant and not intended in the least to provoke reaction. (Note to self: don't bother to read anything else by him.)

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  • For those commenting, not very much research would reveal that (according to his profile at Preiskel & Co) the author is 'Of Counsel' with the following background:
    "David was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham and was called to the Bar in 1999. He cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and has since worked for leading City law firms and the Treasury Solicitor. He joined Preiskel & Co in 2009 so as to develop his own commercial, media and technology law practice."
    That said, I'd hate to rely on legal advice from someone who didn't read any form of law reports or articles and I suspect this may be an exaggeration (or perhaps a provocation)...

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