Revealed: 78% of Legal Cheek readers think law degrees are better than GDLs

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An overwhelming win for LLBers as number of students enrolling nears 24,000 a year


The age-old question of whether the humble law degree or the more modern Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is superior may finally have been answered.

Last week on Legal Cheek, Millie Pierce, a law student at Warwick University, and Monica Davis, who recently completed her GDL, went head-to-head to pitch for their respective routes into the legal profession.

The article sparked huge debate in the comments section, so we decided to settle the dispute the best way we know how: by asking our readers what they think.

Having received almost 400 responses, Legal Cheek crunched the numbers and can finally reveal — by a staggering majority of nearly three to one — the lawyers of Twitter back the LLB over the GDL.

This overwhelming win for LLB-ers comes as the number of students enrolling on undergraduate law courses hits an all-time high.

According to UCAS stats, a pretty mental 23,825 students accepted offers to study law last year. This represents an increase of 5,215 since 2007. This figure corresponds with a marked drop in applications for the postgraduate law conversion course: in 2008-09 there were 5,980 made for the GDL, but just 3,690 in 2014-15.



The “age-old question” resolved?

Here I was thinking a Twitter poll had sorted out the Schleswig-Holstein question…



I’m surprised Schrodinger didn’t use this method to find out if the cat was dead or not.



I particularly like this quote: “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it.” Lord Palmerston



Self-selecting as most LC readers will have done the LLB. It’s like hosting the X Factor and getting people to vote for one of their own family or a random bloke in a kilt from Kilmarnock.

Penetrative journalism nonetheless.



The bloke from Kilmarnock will always win. Never understimate the power of the Scottish block vote on TV reality shows.


Chief of Wit

Trump is about to find out why the block vote is so important. Wait..?



It would be good to put the LC writers to a public vote though. Tommy C would sweep up the Scots and women of a certain age vote. I suspect Alex would go in week 1.


Not Amused

“The age-old question of whether the humble law degree or the more modern Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is superior may finally have been answered.”

Let’s all consider this a binding undertaking by LC that it won’t just write the same pointless story about a pointless non-issue in 6 months time …


Chief of Wit

I think Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman would be proud of the amount of pointless than makes it on to LC.

Top banter.



In other news, Labour members believe Jeremy Corbyn will definitely beat Theresa May in a GE.



Literally none of the respondents will have done both the LLB and the GDL and in my experience most people who have done one have little idea about what happens on the other. What this poll has effectively done is reveal what percentage of legal cheek readers completed these qualifications, not which is better. Strong stats there LC.



In other news 78% of LC readers have completed the LLB.



I think were it not for the tuition fee problem, I would have done the GDL and given the chance to do it again I would do the GDL. It strikes me that you can do an “easier” degree than Law, do better in it because it is “easier” and probably more interesting than some of the dry stuff you have to do on the mandatory units, you would likely have more choice because you don’t have much that is mandatory on say a Theology degree and then do the GDL where you will do well because given the time constraints they cannot be as harsh as on a LLB. So you enjoy yourself more and come out with better grades and a more rounded education.



Funnily enough, 78% of statistics are made up!


Lord Harley of Harley

I think I just pooped myself. Is that enough for LC to do another story about me?




More people do the LLB than the GDL each year.

Firms recruit an almost 50/50 split between those who do LLB and GDL.

Surely therefore there is a greater ‘success rate’ amongst those who study the GDL?



Haha so wrong, only about 50% of LLB graduates become barrister/solicitor, that makes up the difference



Your logic is flawed, I am confident that over 50% of those who complete the GDL will go on to qualify as Solicitor/Barrister



My impression is that it doesn’t matter which subject you do at uni (within reason), a First is a First and a 2.1 is a 2.1. Also, for those who have training contracts before starting the GDL (and LPC obviously), am I right in thinking that your degree result is what will count the most in your career? e.g. would someone with a First from Oxford, but passes in the GDL and LPC, trump someone with a 2.1 from Oxford (or elsewhere?) with distinctions in the GDL and LPC?



(for top lateral hires, I mean)



“…..pretty mental…”??????


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