The basics
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Studying Law abroad

Why is Law one of the most popular – and competitive – fields to study? Learn all about studying Law abroad...

Studying Law abroad

What is Law?

The field of Law deals with what a society deems to be right and wrong in order to preserve order. Law also looks at the punishments involved to deter the breaking of these laws as well as to punish those who do so. Laws vary from country to country, as well as change over time to reflect the changing attitudes of society, all of which open up debates as to what laws are ‘correct’ or ‘fair’. Thus Law is about resolving a conflict of interests and perspectives which permeate all aspects of our life, including media, civil rights, economics and business to name a few.



Why study Law?

Law has long been considered one of the most respected areas to study because of the depth of knowledge and high stakes involved. Those who study Law are incredibly well-read and informed as they have to know a whole history of preceding cases and developments in order to tackle modern day issues.


Plus Law governs all facets of our life, dictating what we can and can’t do which is clearly very important. Sure, the law can be changed but this doesn’t happen overnight. It is a complex subject which essentially comes down to what human behaviour our society decides is right or wrong. Those who study Law can move into one of many, many areas building entire careers around these focuses. These include Media Law, Estate Law, Criminal Law, Tort, Corporate Law, Immigration Law, Tax Law and Military Law.


Studying Law isn’t just about remembering legal cases. Law teaches and strengthens key core skills which employers across many fields look for. These include the ability to argue or communicate a point of view effectively, whether in writing or orally; to research and extract key points from an extensive piece of text material, quickly; and to retain a vast amount of knowledge.


As well as the opportunity to fight for change, represent individuals against corporations and even focus on areas like Human Rights – all of which are incredibly noble pursuits – the field of Law also has a glamorous side, as you might have seen in TV and Film. Those who work in the legal profession are often very well compensated for the long hours they put in, eventually becoming judges and partners of firms, as well as moving into politics and other areas.


One of the benefits of studying Law in an English-speaking country like the UK or the US is that their legal systems have served as a basis for those around the world. So as well as receiving a high quality education, you can take what you've learned and apply it in a number of destinations.



Who would be good at studying Law?

To study Law is a huge undertaking, requiring hours and hours of reading in order to acquire the knowledge you’ll be applying every day. This involves great amounts of detail, including names, dates and key points. Therefore those who are adept at sitting down for long periods to learn material (and retain what they read) will make the transition to studying Law comfortably (though it may still be a shock when you begin). In fact, it can be the small details which drive forward a case you’re attempting to make, so being capable of focusing your attention on dense material over long periods is crucial.


In addition to the ability to effectively research and make the most of your time, excellent writing skills are also sought out in applicants. As well as the ability to confidently construct an argument on paper, those who wish to represent clients in court, mediations or tribunals will need to be confident when speaking in public and delivering their point. The ability to organise yourself will also benefit those pursuing a legal career, both in terms of setting out the argument you plan to make (remember, cases can last for months and even years) as well as juggling multiple cases you’re working on at any one time.



What is the criteria for studying a Law course?

Admissions officers will often look for a strong grade in English which demonstrates that your writing and comprehensions skills are up to scratch to take on a Law course. Because of this, be aware that the English language test grade you have to obtain can be a bit higher for a Law course compared to other courses at a particular university – this is to ensure that students can keep up with the complex material. Sometimes even a good Latin grade will impress admissions officers, especially since many legal terms retain their Latin origins (though this isn’t essential).


In their personal statement, applicants should also talk about any individuals or major life events which have influenced them to apply to study law or to pursue a particular aspect of the field – this is where their passion for the field can come across and demonstrate to an admissions officer that they are ready for the undertaking and work involved.


You should always check the entry requirements for a course with the university themselves.



What specific courses can I study?



What can you do with a Law qualification?

Most students who study Law abroad will do so with the intention of becoming lawyers, whether as part of a firm or as a public defendant. Many move up the ladder in a particular firm, eventually becoming a partner. Some even become judges, at varying different levels too. There is also the opportunity to work in-house at a company.


However there are other end goals which don’t involve a courtroom. Some merely consult with their clients and prepare their case before it goes to trial (a solicitor); or support those who will be arguing the case (a legal clerk). Plus as we’ve mentioned above, the skills which the Law field teaches are highly-sought after; so while transition to another field might require some additional training, Law graduates will find a number of lucrative career paths open to them.



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About Author

Studying Law abroad

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

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