Over 23,000 new students to start law degrees in September

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By Katie King on

Biggest intake ever… yet places STILL remain available at top law schools like Leeds and Reading


A staggering 23,110 new students will descend on UK law schools this year, prompting concern about the legal profession’s ability to cope with increasing graduate demand.

The number of aspiring solicitors and barristers enrolling on law degrees has steadily increased since 2012 — interestingly the year the tuition fee hike came into effect.

UCAS stats show the number of newbie law students increased from 19,820 in 2012 to 21,400 in 2013, then up again slightly to 21,410 in 2014. In 2015, the figure was 21,910 — meaning this year’s cohort represents an increase of 1,200 (5%) on last year.

And this could well go up. Law has been one of the most searched subjects on UCAS’s clearing service and — almost a week after A-level results day — there are still places available at the likes of the University of Leeds, the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Reading and the University of Westminster.

Though a law degree offers better value for money than other courses, talk is beginning to turn to what this all means for the job market.

Fortunately, the legal profession is growing (the number of training contracts increased by 500 to 5,457 in 2014-15), but the rate of growth cannot and does not accommodate the surplus of law grads. Of course, not every law student wants to pursue a career in law, but the question remains: with so many more people to compete with, what job prospects will this stream of aspiring lawyers have once they graduate?

Tune in in three years time for the answer.