Legal Cheek readers’ ultimate nightmare law exam revealed

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By Katie King on

Can you guess what it is?


Which is the ultimate nightmare law exam subject?

Which is the one that everyone fears? Which is the one which will still be giving you nightmares in the decades to come?

Here at Legal Cheek, we were determined to resolve once and for all these fundamental questions. And who better to ask than our readers?

Last Thursday saw the launch of the inaugural World Cup of Law Exams. In an opening ceremony packed with glitz ‘n’ glam, the crucial group draw was made. Four subjects, four polls, each a mix of optional and compulsory law exam subjects. And then we passed the baton to our twitter followers to pick the finalists.

After 24 hours of voting and a total of 1934 votes cast, the ‘winners’ of the first round were revealed — and there were a few shockers.

Maybe it’s the run up to the referendum that’s driving aspiring lawyers crazy, or maybe it’s the intense pressure of feeling you have to learn to spell Internationale Handelsgesellschaft to be in with a chance of impressing the examiner. Whatever the reason, EU law was the clear winner in Group A. It beat tort law (22%), legal history (14%) and environmental law (10%) with a whopping 54% of the vote, totally overshadowing its nearest rival.

In Group B, it was land law that scooped 65% of the vote — a clear victory. Is anyone surprised? Land law has haunted law students for years. By comparison, criminal law, company law and the law of evidence seem like a walk in the park, and lagged behind in the poll on less than 15% each.

Though public law managed to earn a respectable 28% of the votes cast in Group C, it was trusts that came out on top with 52%. International law and criminology failed to make a dent, scoring just 13% and 7% respectively.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the Group D results. Jurisprudence fought off all the competition (in the form of family law, commercial law, and the dreaded contract law) to win an impressive 38% of the votes. Well, Nozick’s theory of justice is hardly light reading is it?

Semis over, and we were one step closer to finding out the ultimate nightmare law exam. Our contenders were whittled down from 16 to four: EU law, land law, trusts and jurisprudence.

But who would prove victorious? Today, we found out.

Drum roll please…

It’s land law that has taken the prestigious crown!

In joint second place is EU law and trusts with 27% — both compulsory modules on LLB courses. And poor jurisprudence came in in fourth with just 10% of the 582 votes cast.

With 36% of the overall vote, the study of land and property is more than deserving of the title. With its baffling concepts (does anyone actually know what proprietary estoppel means?), reams of confusing case law, and notoriously harsh marking, land law really is the king of nightmare law exams.