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Legal Cheek readers’ ultimate nightmare law exam revealed

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Can you guess what it is?

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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.

30 Comments

Bigboii Lawyah

Hah, I bagged a First in Land Law my top RG university, no idea what are you wannabe lawywr flogs so scared about.

(13)(42)

Anonymous

Cool! Have a cookie…

(21)(0)

Anonymous

By the looks of it you failed basic English though.

(30)(0)

Anonymous

Sorry button too close mistake

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Anonymous

Nozick’s theory of justice is really easy.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Family law is the one most people dread/will come to dread at my RG university. The markers are significantly harsher than you find on any other course.

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Anonymous

Bizarre. Land law is not even close to being the most challenging of those mentioned.

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Anonymous

Glad to see that you figured out how to spell “is” by the time you posted Group C

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Anonymous

I hated land the most, followed by equity and trusts

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Anonymous

I hate law.

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Anonymous

Those who voted Land Law as harder than Evidence have clearly never studied the latter. As someone who generally does quite well in most modules, the rules on character evidence and hearsay absolutely boggle my mind.

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Anonymous

I totally agree, and was surprised to see Land trump Evidence as ‘worst law module’. I hated Land, but it paled in comparison to the sheer volume of information and work required for Evidence. Land is just a memory exercise.

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Anonymous

Most undergraduate students won’t study evidence. So the numbers will go towards the compulsory subjects.

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Anonymous

Then you will absolutely hate doing Criminal Litigation on your LPC :/

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Anonymous

I wrote my dissertation on hearsay evidence and had to self-teach evidence law, having not covered it during my studies, and I can agree that evidence law far supersedes that of land and even trusts in the “what the f**k am I reading” sweepstakes.

Hopefully it’ll look impressive, though.

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MT

Not too sure why land law was top, it’s such a nice and structured exam!

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Anonymous

Wait a KK article that isn’t about diversity? Am I awake?

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Anonymous

Diversity of subjects. Subjects are being classist/racist/misogynist.

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shadowy figure

awake, but clearly stupid

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Jess E

land and equity were my worst during my LLB but they’re nothing compared to BLP on the LPC 😂

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Anonymous

I found BLP to be the easiest of the core subjects. I’m finding the electives to be much more challenging myself.

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Anonymous

All you people who think EU law is difficult really must be a bit dim.

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Scep Tick

My nightmare was criminal law. The others mostly made sense. Probably because trust, tort and contract was largely the creation of judges who know what they are doing. But criminal law was suffused with legislation that often messed things around (e.g. passing off a dud cheque) and a lack of jurisprudence because the law on appeal was limited. At the time I did it the Caldwell test applied, but we also had to learn Nedrick, and it came across so much as “this bloke looks guilty so let’s make sure he is” rather than rational legal analysis.

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Anon

Law is a pussy’s subject – whether it’s criminal law, EU law, family law, land law – it’s ALL law. Some areas are more boring than others, but you’ve got 3 years to learn how to answer a law question, and they all more or less require the same skill set. Quite a few degrees (even from non-RG universities) require a diverse skill set and to do well you have to excel in varied subjects like maths, stats, economics, science, social sciences etc. THAT’S a nightmare.
PS Lawyers should do a statistics course – a rudimentary understanding of sampling error might prevent them looking like tits when trying to deal with statistical evidence.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

You make a good point. Doing biochemistry for example requires a very high-level understanding of Chemistry and Biology – each of which require a good understanding of maths (from stats to complex algebra), reasonable Physics (depending on module choices) and some psychology perhaps.

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Anonymous

You clearly misunderstand the nature of law then! To become a successful lawyer one needs to have good analytical skills in order to interpret financial accounts and documents supplied by the client (it is actually compulsory to do Accounting and Taxes on LPC so you do need a bit of maths). Additionaly, one would need to have commercial awareness and business acumen to understand the nature of your client’s business and the markets (here goes Economics and Business Law which are also on LPC). Furthermore, one needs to have good communication skills and psychological skills in order to find the correct approach to your client and know how to present yourself (especially useful for Family Law, as well as commercial sectors – Corporate Law, Comemrcial Law etc.) I have also studied Banking Law, which required knowledge of current IT/tech trends, banking system and operations, risks and etc.
Broadly speaking, all of the Law subjects require understanding of the UK government and its structure, justice systems of both the UK and EU, as well as a bit of British history – Tory/Labour parties, their objectives, legislation they have passed and the intentions behind it.
And don’t even get me started on more specific subject like Medical Law or Land Law – damn, you need to understand the whole bloody conveyance system of land in the UK! The mere fact that lawyers understand differences between legal and equitables titles should amount to getting an Oscar because this stuff is hard.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I didn’t study Law at uni, but on the LPC the class I’m hating most is the Public Companies elective at Ulaw. Regulation of public companies is an absolutely mind-numbingly boring topic. I’m sure an IPO is exciting in practice but learning about the requirements for doing so is not in the least.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I work in it, and feel your pain.

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Old Fogey

Law of Evidence way back in my day was wonderful – full of fantastically weird sex cases that I still remember 33 years on – like the Headmaster who liked to be in the ‘passive’ role – R v Boardman 1975 HL

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Er, righty tighty…

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