Law students unhappy with LLB application rise

Nearly three-quarters of Lawyer2B readers believe that this year’s 5 per cent rise in LLB application is a negative development.

Citing increased competition, 73.5 per cent (78 people) of voters chose this option in our poll this week.

Just 12.2 per cent of voters believed this was a positive development, agreeing with the statement “Yes, it’s great. More people are realising the value of the LLB” while 14.1 per cent of readers believed 5 per cent was too small an increase to make much difference to law students’ career prospects.

Reacting to the news earlier this week of the increase in LLB applications, the president of the UK Law Students Association (UKLSA), Thomas Innes, said that he believed the increase was “promising”.

Innes said: “The latest UCAS figures are very promising. Increasing levels of understanding of the workings of the English legal system are bound to have a positive effect on communities as the current generation of university students progress… even in the event that not all those studying law choose to continue this into practice.”

Innes said that it was difficult to pin down one reason for law’s increasing popularity but highlighted the recognition that law could lead to all law-related careers, rather than just work as a barrister or solicitor and the increasing appreciation that law is a subject with strong, transferable skills relevant to a wide variety of non-legal roles.

He added: “Graduates with law degrees are exceptionally well placed in the job market, even where the sector that they are targeting is not law. The study of law inherently involves the development of essential competencies that are attractive to a wide variety of employers.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Law Teachers said of the increase: “Law is an excellent discipline to develop critical thinking skills which can be transferred to a number of different working environments and prepares students well to be useful and active citizens.”

In 2011, more than 103,613 students applied via UCAS to read law. This year, that number rose by 5,527 to 109,140. Overall, there was a 3.5 per cent rise in university applications to nearly 2.5m.

Earlier this week, students £20bn debt was revealed (6 February 2013).