What is a 'good' university if I want to be a solicitor? We interview hundreds of trainees each year. We always ask what university they went to, so we have a MASSIVE amount of data on what universities successful training contract applicants come from.
Editors' note: this report was published in 2012. Click here for our most recent report on law firms' preferred universities, published in 2016
One of the most common threads that comes up on internet message-boards related to law is something along the lines of: “Firm X says applicants should have a 2:1 from a good university? What do they mean by 'good'?” Or, in a similar vein: “I have offers to study at University A and the University of B. Which one is better if I want to be a lawyer?”
To answer this question, we have done some number-crunching for you. As you'll probably know, to write our True Picture features on 120 law firms, we interview hundreds of trainees each year. We always ask what university they went to, so we have a MASSIVE amount of data on what universities successful training contract applicants come from.
You can see our findings by clicking on the link below. In the PDF document you'll see a number of caveats and disclaimers - what they boil down to is this:
- This isn't a scientific survey. We deliberately haven't included numbers on the graphs to stop it looking like one - to stop people out there on the internet using it to claim that "UCL is 4.3% better than King's - FACT." It's a survey with some interesting findings which may point towards some general truths, but nothing more.
- It's not a university ranking table, or a list of unis that law firms prefer. It's a simple survey of which universities trainees came from. There's a big difference. Course quality and law firms' preferences come into it, but many other factors come into play.
- There are no guarantees in this game. An Oxbridge education will certainly help you get noticed, but it won't bag you a training contract by itself. Conversely, a graduate of the lowliest university in the country could bag a training contract at a magic circle firm given the right circumstances. It is in our nature to be sceptical about producing lists of the so-called 'best' universities, but we realise the data we've collected will be of interest to many students. Take it all with a pinch of salt and please don't freak out if your uni hasn't fared as well as you'd like.
This feature was first published in our December 2012 newsletter.