13 things you’ll only understand if you study A-level law

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Can I sue my teacher for the emotional distress caused by having to learn all these cases?


1. So. Many. Cases


How is it possible to learn so many case names and legal principles? There are so many post-it notes on your bedroom walls you even had to stick some up in the living room, kitchen and bathroom as well. You’ve bought out the WHSmith highlighters section and now your revision notes are just one big rainbow.

2. Just when you thought you’d tackled the cases, then there are the essays…


Law A-level essay questions are the stuff of nightmares.

3. You still don’t really understand the difference between s18 and s20


You know they’re both types of GBH and that one’s not quite as bad as the other, but that’s pretty much all you know.

4. Law school trips are the best


Catching the bus down to the local magistrates’ court is the highlight of the year. Lucky Londoners might even get the chance to visit the Old Bailey and the Houses of Parliament.

5. Listening to the word ‘assault’ in normal conversation is really annoying once you’ve studied it at school


How can it be an assault if there was physical contact? That’s a battery!

6. Your hand is always sore from all the writing


Can I sue for repetitive strain injury?

7. You are counting down the days until your 18th birthday so you can apply to be a magistrate


It sounds really fun and you don’t have to be a qualified lawyer to do it.

8. Some legal terms still really confuse you


Devolution? Delegated legislation? Sovereignty?

9. Your favourite case is Dudley and Stephens


Closely followed by Donoghue v Stevenson. You like R v Collins too, but watching your teacher try to explain it to the class was pretty awkward.

10. You’re sick of being asked whether you want to be a solicitor or a barrister


You don’t 100% know the difference and you have no idea which one you’d rather be. Other questions you’re tired of being asked are “would you defend a murderer?” and “can I have some legal advice?”

11. Dropping Latin into everyday conversation is your new favourite hobby


Your favourite is mens rea.

12. Your teacher loves talking about the fact he’s an ex-lawyer


Though he has some cool stories, you don’t really understand why anyone would train up to be a lawyer and then become an A-level teacher instead.

13. You really, really, really want to try on a wig


Birthday list sorted.



Briana’s back?



I prefer her front, but whatever floats your boat.



I prefer Katie from the side.



Isn’t law considered to be a ‘soft’ subject at A level by some universities?


Not Amused

I wouldn’t recommend a student study it and no reputable uni advises kids study it.

Buy on the other hand if you do it then it won’t harm you. It’s not a weak A level. It is an academic subject and will be taken seriously.

All prospective law undergrads need to make sure they pick and stay with traditional academic A levels whether arts or sciences.



I did A level law and it did me no harm in getting into Oxford to study law.



Cool story brah, made me study Law at A level.



As a qualification for university entry ‘A’ level law does seem a restrictive choice, even as preparation for a law degree.

But I’m all in favour of teaching the very broad basics of law at school. Law should be part of a compulsory Civics and Economics GCSE that would also cover basic personal and business finance – loans, mortgages, interest rates, the consequences of debt, tax, inflation, market indices and so on.

Basic understandings of how the law – civil and criminal – actually works and how money works seem to be missing in most school leavers, whatever their level of academic achievement.


Not Amused

Agreed. I’d even teach constitutional law from ages 11/12.

Not teaching Criminal Law, yet making children liable from age 10, seems remarkably reckless for any modern society.



s20 is when you’ve been rudeboi, s18 is when you’ve been proper rudeboi.


Phwopa rudeboi

Top bantz. 10/10.



18/20, surely?



Dindu nuffin mate.

He walked into my fist, like… several times, innit?


Lord Lyle D'Antiquities et Objets Du Vertu

Re the dialogue between Anon of 949 and Not Amused. I would make Rhetoric and Empirical Logic , compulsory to O-Level. Antiques et Objets du Vertu should probably be compulsory too. As for A-Levels, I would say the student is old enough to make his own choice. I did a mix of 5 A Levels, but some may choose only 3, all in sciences. It’s up to them.


Bad ass paralegal

I studied law at A level despite the rumours that universities prefered us not to and I am so glad I did! It helped enormously and took the pressure off my first year as I already had a really good grasp of the subject and knew that I wanted to continue with it. Each to their own but I found it very helpful!



You’re a paralegal so not sure how that worked out for you mate. I’m sure that A Level in law was well respected at Middlesex but with the big boys and girls it goes down about as well as Media Studies and Critical Thinking.



If you had a media studies A’level you could pretty much run legal cheek, as you’d be more qualified than anyone else there


MC (donalds) trainee

I did A level law as I wanted to get a taste for the topic before spending three years and a large amount of money on a degree. I had offers from five fairly decent RG unis (including Durham and UCL) and feel like I’ve done relatively well for myself since.

IMO it does not give a student any advantage at application stage, but, with the exception of LSE, I don’t think it will handicap you either. I was going to say Oxbridge as well as LSE, but I know of a few people who went to Oxford and had studied it as an A level.



I wouldn’t choose solicitor advocate as the best solution to the solicitor/barrister question.



*I WOULD not wouldn’t (pred text error)



A level law is useful if you’re a certified roadman



Anon of 11.48. Why would you not choose ‘solicitor advocate’ as the best ‘solution’ to the solicitor/barrister question? Surely solicitor advocates are both solicitors and counsel? To wit, both barristers and solicitors simultaneously.



It was a typo :(. I would choose solicitor advocate.


Scouser of Counsel

I did A-level law and found it very helpful for understanding the basics when I got to University. I would ignore the naysayers and do it. It will also give you an idea of whether or not you will enjoy the subject, rather than just liking the idea of it.

But then I did go to a red-brick, so this advice might not be universally applicable.



There’s actually very little difference between a Barrister Litigator and a Solicitor Advocate!

Look it up, boys and girls.


Oxbridge First Chancery Pupil

So didn’t progress much beyond Pre-school level, then, Scousey?



Pleasing you should think of soeithmng like that


Lyle of Reality

Dear Kidz, employers don’t really care what you did at A-Level. It’s your degree they are interested in and you as a person.


Lyle of Professional Fusion

Anon of 427.
There’s still loads of difference twixt a barrister and a solicitor advocate. A barrister can only do barrister stuff (apart from the direct access scheme) but a solicitor advocate can do everything a barrister can, on top of everything a solicitor can.


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