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LLB or GDL?

02/04/2017
Posted by: Beth Simpson

Despite a survey from Legal Cheek finding that 78% of its readers favoured the traditional LLB over the more modern GDL, the debate over the two rages on.

The GDL rather obviously gives students who didn’t study law as an undergraduate the same opportunities as their LLB peers. In recent years it has become far quicker and easier to complete but in reality, there’s a lot to be said for both routes into the profession and students should consider which path is best for them.

Benefits of the LLB

Completing a legal degree can provide a quicker route into the profession with some students going straight from a three year LLB to training contract. The course will also give students the option to study additional modules and also more time to gain valuable legal work experience. And it’s worth noting that those who study a BA in law, like their non-law counterparts, will still have to complete the GDL before progressing to either the LPC (Legal Practice Course) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

More representative of training contracts

Alternatively, the GDL is a well-established step on the way to LPC or BPTC and provides non-law graduates with the necessary knowledge to gain the same qualifications as their legal counterparts. Many have argued that the short, sharp nature of the GDL is arguably better at preparing students for the intense nature of training contracts. And in some cases, non-law students may even have an advantage over their LLB peers as firms are increasingly those with degrees in fields like modern languages.

Ultimately, it depends on you as an individual and despite the LLB still being viewed as the ‘traditional’ way into the profession, alternative routes such as the GDL and legal apprenticeships are certainly rising in favour.

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