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. 

Features of LSE courses

We teach a degree programme with an emphasis on understanding law in context. In so doing we aim to encourage you to develop a broad outlook on legal issues, to  gain an understanding of the functions of law and of the legal system, and to appreciate 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 organises an engaging public events programme.  Recent debates have included Austerity on Trial, Crowdsourcing a New UK Constitution, Imprisoning the Mentally Disorded: a Manifest Injustice?  and What Have you got to Hide?, an upcoming event which will explore the role of the media in state surveillance.  The Department’s innovative ‘Conversation’ strand also allows the public the opportunity to put their own questions to prominent speakers via Twitter including the legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg, Baroness Hale (the only female judge in the Supreme Court) and Keir Starmer (former Director of Public Prosecutions for the Crown Prosecution Service).

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 a limited number of LLB students and applications are invited during their second year of study. For further details please visit our departmental website|.

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 formal tuition each week, as well as LSE100 teaching.  In addition, the Law Department runs the LAWS programme in the first year of study to facilitate students’ legal writing skills.  All staff hold advice and feedback sessions during which students can discuss their progress on an individual basis.

You will undertake formative assessments each term and sit summative examinations at the end of each year for the courses you have taken. Your final degree is assessed on the basis of your performance in the second and third years of study. Some of the optional courses in your last two years are examined by essay. You must pass each set of yearly 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)
  • T Bingham The Rule of Law (2011, Penguin Books)
  • A Bradney et al How to Study Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2005)
  • C Gearty Can Human Rights Survive? (Cambridge UP, 2006)

Graduate destinations

LSE offers an attractive programme of careers events with many of the major law firms, FTSE 100 companies, NGO, charity and public sector organisations etc. visiting to deliver targeted information and advice sessions to attract our graduates. A dedicated LSE Careers service that sources and advertises legal internships, vacation schemes, training contracts and volunteering positions and runs sessions on applying for such opportunities. One-to-one careers advice also available. 

92.7% of LLB graduates are in employment within six months of graduation. Recent graduates have gone into law and legal services, accountancy, banking and finance, government and politics, consulting, tax, charity and development, and education and academia.

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