University Law Courses: The Application Guide 2017

It is notoriously difficult to gain a place on a university law course

If you are planning on applying to study Law at university, then you have a difficult but exhilarating journey ahead of you. Getting a place on a University Law course is extremely tough, and you’ll need to work extra hard in order to gain a much-coveted spot – but the rewards from doing so are endless. In this blog, we’ll give you a full insight into the University Law course application process, and give you some top tips for success!

The Different Types of University Law Test

Getting a place on a University Law course isn’t as simple as applying for certain other subjects. Many universities are notoriously selective about the calibre of students who they are willing to accept on their course, and as a result, there is a good chance that you will have to take some form of test prior to entry – as well as meeting the expected grade margins. Different universities use different tests for their candidates. Below we’ve outlined the main tests that you can expect to face.

The LNAT

The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) is a separate test (which goes along with standard qualifications) that some universities require their applicants to take. The list of universities who require their students to take the LNAT is as follows:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of Glasgow
  • King’s College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University College London

So, what is the LNAT? In a nutshell, it’s a complex form of situational judgement/verbal reasoning test. You won’t actually need to demonstrate any understanding of the law to pass the LNAT, but you will need a good eye for detail, and good comprehension/reading ability.

In order to demonstrate, let’s have a look at a sample LNAT question. In the LNAT, you will be given a passage of text to read through, and then answer questions on. You’ll receive a number of passages in the text, all with 4 or 5 questions relating to the specific passage.

Self-Publishing Vs. Traditional Publishing

Speaker A: The last decade has seen an incredible rise in the release of self-published books. New technology, namely Amazon, means that self-publishing a book is now far easier than ever before. No longer do writers have to jump through the hoops that large, traditional publishing houses lay out. No longer must they toil and send their work out to different agencies and book publishers in the hopes of their talent being recognised.

Traditional publishing houses continue to operate under the same stringent conditions. That is to say, you will have to be either extremely talented, or extremely fortunate if you are to obtain a publishing contract. Even then, you’ll lose so much creative control over your book that you might start to wonder why you ever tried at all.

Speaker B: The rise in self-published books is extremely concerning to me. I cannot help but feel that with the sheer number of books that are now saturating the market, the overall quality of the literary market has declined steeply. A well-written book is now extremely hard to come by. Search a topic on Amazon and you’ll be given a wealth of terribly proofread books, which probably should never have seen the light of day. I’m all for giving writers a voice, but there needs to be more exclusivity in publishing a book. There needs to be a feeling of genuine reward and hard work, as if you have produced a book that is of good enough quality to be published. Are traditional publishing houses the ones to judge this? Perhaps not, but it seems to me that they are the safest port of call in such a storm of literary mediocrity.

Q. How do Speaker A and Speaker B contrast in their view on self-publishing?

  • A – Speaker A believes that self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that they are unlikely to get should they opt for a traditional route. Speaker B believes that traditional publishing houses are the only qualified judges of publishable material.
  • B – Speaker A believes that self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that is impossible to get should they opt for a traditional route. Speaker B believes that traditional publishing houses are the best judges of publishable material.
  • C – Speaker A believes that self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that they are unlikely to get should they opt to publish via Amazon. Speaker B believes that traditional publishing houses are the best judges of publishable material.
  • D – Speaker A believes that self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that they are unlikely to get should they opt to publish via a traditional route. Speaker B believes that traditional publishing houses are the best judges of publishable material.

Answer = D. Speaker A believes that self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that they are unlikely to get should they opt to publish via a traditional route. Speaker B believes that traditional publishing houses are the best judges of publishable material.

Explanation = Of all the answer options, answer D is the only one that does not contain any flaws. Answer A states that B believes ‘traditional publishing houses are the only qualified judges’, this is not true. Answer B states that A believes ‘self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that is impossible to get should they opt for a traditional route’, this is not true. Answer C states that A believes ‘self-publishing presents authors with an opportunity that they are unlikely to get should they opt to publish via Amazon.’

Along with this, LNAT candidates will also need to take essay based questions. You can read all about the essay based questions, and take more comprehension exercises, in our LNAT book!

Want a place on a university law course? We can help you!

When Will Universities Get My LNAT Results?

As from the 21st October 2017, LNAT scores will be available to universities. Following this, and within 24 hours after you have finished the LNAT, your score and final essay will be available to view by your chosen universities. Thus, they will see your score before you do. If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry. Different universities will use the LNAT in different ways, so your score will be analysed differently by different universities.

In terms of when you get your own results, this largely depends on the date on which you took the test. If you took the test after the 20th January then you’ll receive your results in August 2017. If you took the test before, then you’ll have already received them!

University Law Course Interview

Instead of the LNAT (or sometimes in addition to!), some universities will require you to take a face-to-face interview with a member of staff. Many of these interviews will be preceded by either the LNAT or another form of test – likely to be specific to that university. Of course, university law programmes get thousands of entries, so the faculty staff can’t interview every single person who applies. However, you can expect that if you do progress to the interview then it’s going to be very tough! The interviewer will be focusing on areas such as:

  • Your preliminary understanding of the law. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to have a full and in-depth knowledge of legal terminology, but the interviewer will be looking to get a good idea of what areas of law you are most interested in. So, before you attend the interview, brush up!
  • Your knowledge of global events. The interviewer will question you on your opinion about current/global news stories and events. They want to know that you are interested in global affairs. This shows that you are an enthusiastic, intelligent and diligent person.
  • Your motivations for applying to that university. This is a really important one. The interviewer will definitely ask you questions based around what you know about their university, the course that you are applying for, and why that university and course in particular interests you. Before you attend the interview, make sure you carry out extensive research in all of these areas. This is one element of the interview where you really can’t afford to slip up.

With all this in mind, here are our top tips for passing the all-important law interview…

Top Tips For Passing The University Law Interview

Tip 1 – Research the university, know the course

As mentioned above, the interviewer is very likely to ask you questions relating to both the university and the course itself. So, make sure you research up on both! When it comes to the course, take a look over the modules and find particular modules which you find exciting/interesting. Be ready to tell the interviewer about why these are interesting for you, and what you like about them. Likewise, you don’t have to give a detailed history of the whole university, but it’s always helpful to know what kind of endeavours the university is involved in – especially when it comes to the law programme.

Tip 2 – Practice your responses

Just as you would for any interview, it’s integral that you practice your responses for the university law interview. Although it’s perhaps a little harder to predict exactly what you’ll be asked during this interview, there are certain questions which are bound to come up, including:

  • Why have you chosen this university law course over others?
  • What makes you want to pursue a degree in Law?
  • What are your career ambitions?
  • Is there any particular area of Law which interests you the most? Why are you interested in that area?

All of these questions are extremely common, and therefore it goes without saying that you should practice your responses to them, so that you aren’t caught out.

Tip 3 – Engage with the interviewer

One of the most important tips we can give you for this interview, is to be yourself. The interviewer doesn’t just want to know about your motivations for joining the law course, but they also want to know that they are taking on someone who is responsible, enthusiastic and willing to learn. They want to know that you are a dependable person, who won’t spend too much time partying and will take a responsible attitude to learning. That being said, they know that you are only human, so try not to come across as robotic or uninteresting.

Tip 4 – Read over your personal statement

It’s very likely that, during the interview, you’ll be asked questions relating to your personal statement. With this in mind, make sure you read over your statement extremely carefully before you attend the interview. The interviewer will have studied this in detail beforehand, and will be ready to question you based on what you’ve written. Make sure there’s nothing here which can catch you out.

Tip 5 – Ask questions

Finally, make sure you ask plenty of questions! This is all part of engaging with the interviewer, and creating a friendly persona. At the end of the interview, you’ll be invited to ask your own questions. Prior to the interview, write down a list of things which you’d like to ask. This makes you seem interested and enthusiastic, and will go a long way to impressing the interviewer.

In order to pass the university law interview, you'll need to put in a lot of extra work!