Law

Overview

The study of law involves examining and analysing the rules and institutions that society establishes to promote justice and order. In addition to being a preparation for the legal profession, knowledge of law and the analytical and logical reasoning skills it develops will be valued by many employers.

Recent graduates have pursued a variety of careers including accountancy, tax advice, banking, insurance and the civil service.

Features of LSE courses

We aim to encourage you to develop a broad outlook on legal issues and gain an understanding of the functions of law in society and of the legal system and the formal rules of law.

Our staff expertise covers an unusually wide range of specialist options.

The qualities we hope you will develop while studying law are independent and original thought, and analytical and logical reasoning about many varied aspects of human activity, which will be of value even if you are not necessarily planning to become a lawyer.

The Department of Law at LSE organises a series of lively events and evening lectures, given by distinguished lawyers, throughout the academic year. Recent speakers include Lord Philips, Present of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Justice Scalia, a senior Justice of the US Supreme Court and Professor Jeremy Waldron, from New York University School of Law.

The Department also runs a double degree programme with Columbia University Law School in New York. This LSE LLB/JD (juris doctor) programme is open to LLB students and applications are invited during their second year of study. For further details see Double Degree Programme: Columbia Law School|

Degree structure

You can study law at LSE in a three year LLB (Bachelor of Laws), or in a joint honours degree| with anthropology.

Direct entry to the second year of the degree is not permitted in any circumstances.

Teaching and assessment

Most courses at LSE are taught through lectures and compulsory classes which are small discussion groups. In some courses, you may have seminars instead where a short lecture leads on to group discussion. You can expect about 12 to 15 hours of tuition each week, as well as LSE100 teaching.

You will have examinations at the end of the year on the courses you have taken. Some of the optional courses are examined by essay. You must pass each set of examinations to progress to the next stage of the degree.

Professional training

The Bar

A student with a law degree from LSE will normally be eligible to be considered for a place on the Bar Professional Training Course. You should check the position personally by obtaining the relevant regulations from: The General Council of the Bar, 2/3 Cursitor Street, London EC4A 1NE or barcouncil.org.uk|

To enrol for the Bar Professional Training Course, you normally need at least a lower second class honours degree.

The profession of solicitor

To qualify as a solicitor, you will need to serve for two years under a training contract with a practising solicitor, and complete a Legal Practice Course approved by the Law Society. Most law graduates will normally be granted a certificate of completion of the academic stage of training and may attend a Legal Practice Course before entering into a training contract. You should check the position personally with: The Solicitors Regulation Authority sra.org.uk/students/students.page|. The SRA have a London office at 2nd Floor, 24 Martin Lane, London, EC4R ODR.

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books:

  • J Adams and R Brownsword Understanding Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)
  • A Bradney et al How to Study Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2005)
  • C Gearty Can Human Rights Survive? (Cambridge UP, 2006)
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