Law students among least hardworking of all students

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Medicine, dentistry, architecture and even arts students have it harder, research suggests

New figures produced by an independent think tank suggest that law students may not be working as hard as they would have you believe.

Number crunchers at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) have compiled stats on the degree subjects with the highest (and lowest) workloads. The findings — based on the study habits of 14,072 uni-goers — have thrown up a result law students may find difficult to swallow.

According to the ‘Student Academic Experience Survey 2019’, which was published earlier this summer, law students manage 28 hours a week — ten contact hours, 15 hours of independent study and three hours on placement. The in-depth survey shows (and what is sure to ruffle some feathers) that those studying creative arts and design clock 31 hours a week — that’s an extra three hours than their law counterparts.

Credit: Student Academic Experience Survey 2019

The most workload-heavy degree disciplines appear to be those that are vocational and hands-on. Subjects allied to medicine work, on average, for 46 hours a week, which is around six-and-a-half hours when divided equally between all seven days. Law students work less hours than that a day even with weekends off. Medicine and dentistry manage 44, architecture, building and planning 40 and education 38.

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By way of comparison, law demands the same hour count as history and philosophy (28), and requires more hours than social studies (26) and linguistics/classics (25).

The students that have the easiest timetables with just 22 hours spent hitting the books each week are, according to the research, those studying mass communications and documentation. Following closely behind are business students who study for 25 hours a week.

This isn’t the first time HEPI has suggested law students are among the least hardworking. Law has featured only once in the top ten subjects with the heaviest workloads in the past five years. With relatively modest workloads as such it’ll be a surprise for lawyers-to-be once they’re hit with billable hour targets (which can reach thousands) in practice!

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That’s completely inaccurate, at least from a personal perspective. I use to live with an English undergraduate who barely did any work. He also finished his 3rd year by mid March whereas my last exams took me to the end of June.



Cool, let’s add those 2 data points to the sample of 14,072 and see how it changes things.



Oh piss off.



“from my personal experience” I know you wanna be snarky but it’s not like he was saying the study is objectively inaccurate



Oh dear, your English major ex flatmate didn’t do anything to improve your grammar!

It’s used to live with.



Law at the non-Oxbridge RG uni I went to was much less demanding than the American law schools my friends attended. They spent more hours per week preparing for class



Undergrad law was a piece of piss. Miss those days.



When did more time spent studying = working harder?



Exactly! Being efficient and using your time well is more important – working smarter, not harder.



Once a week read the five main cases, one chapter of the hardest textbook and three articles. Enough for a first.



Sounds like Nottingham Trent really brought some hard work out of you



Oxbridge, darling.



More like Oxford Brookes



Oxbridge isn’t a uni and anyone from either uni wouldn’t refer to their as mater as “Oxbridge”



*Alma, thanks autocorrect


How is Creative Arts & Design ranked so highly? All art students do is moan about anything that’s to the right of the Labour Party politically, smoke cannabis and listen to abysmal indie music.



How has Alex not banned you from spamming every post on this site for the last week? If people here wanted to give you money, they would have done it one of the first dozen times you spammed your link



Barristers already know this. They know they aren’t as bright as those in STEM fields and neither is the GDL compatible to 8 years of medical study to become a doctor.

Why do you think that harassment, binge-eating, alcoholism and bullying in the profession is so widespread?

For all the outward bravado, there will never be any other group so inwardly insecure.


BAME Entrepreneur

BAME law graduate here – please don’t waste your time on the BPTC like I did.

They aren’t going to be racist to your face, but when you look at chambers’ websites and see only one or two other BAME folk, you can guess who that pupillage is going to go to next. What they say and what they do are two different things.

Go into business instead. I don’t miss long hours working for someone else or travelling to court all over the UK one little bit.



Anyone know who the Ashurst partner who got reprimanded for shouting at his secretary recently was?



No, but glad to see this is out in the open.

I’ve seen loads of volunteers shouted at in certain legal charities. Yes, people have been punished for it.

Keep speaking out.



Yes and no. I understand that on occasion the legal environment can result in high pressure, conflicting personalities etc. and on occasion people get shouted at. That is happens is not controversial, I suspect the same thing happens in most other industries (professional or otherwise). The key point is that in most cases that I have witnessed there has been an apology and a handshake shortly after and business continues as normal.


Renell Harding

Please can you donate money towards my GDL fees by using the crowdfunding link below, thank you:



You have two A Levels.

Maybe wait until you have saved the money or loans for the course FIRST before applying?

Plenty of people start their TCs at 28+



Seriously, why?

I worked and saved to afford my GDL fees.

Why are you above working to earn the money? Isn’t working hard and for long hours something you are going to have to do at any law firm?




I worked throughout Uni to cover my GDL fees.

I then continued working throughout the GDL in case I needed to cover my LPC fees (thankfully I never had to as my employer appreciated the work that was done and saw the value to sponsoring me).



Are you a girl? If so I would be happy to donate!



Gofundme for an “aspiring commercial solicitor”? Come on mate, at least pick more a altruistic goal to get behind.



Any potential gf he’s hoping to secure as a commercial lawyer is going to run when they see this



I worked full time during the GDL and LPC in order to support myself during the courses. Is there any reason why you don’t address your ability to work to save for the course and work to cover your cost of living while you study?



@Renell, have you looked at the MA in Law instead at the UoL? From what I gather, this is effectively a GDL with a bit extra strapped on to make it a Master’s degree (this means you can at least some funding from student finance).



Just how hard would you be willing to work for a generous donation? What would you be willing to do?


Jones Day Trainee

Jones Day?



Puts the weights down. Write a book about how baking and eating lots ad lots cake helped you overcome adversity.

Women LOVE cake. They’ll happily buy your book and you’ll have your fees covered in no time!


Why don't you work and save for university like a majority of the rest of us ?

Mr Harding,

You keep posting your go fund me page on a few articles on legal cheek now. I do not know why you think anyone should fund you. Lots of us have faced multiple adversities and I worked two jobs and saved to pay for my university. You also have the option of part time work and part time study. I am baffled as to why you even ask for funding when lots of us grafted very hard to pay for fees whilst going through hell.

I’m at university now and see many students doing shit jobs to fund their way through university.

You also were crowd funded a placement in New York, ate you intending on asking for crowd funding for everything in life ?

Sorry, but your request is derisory considering I worked, saved and suffered homelessness and disability but paid for it myself with no help at all.


Renell Harding

I will be setting up a crowdfunding page next year to raise money for my LPC fees. If you send me your email address I’d be happy to inform you once that has been set up.



Why the rush to do the LPC? A good firm will pay those costs, a living allowance and a TC.

Do you not see that by asking other people to pay your fees and risking the chance of not getting a TC, you are wasting other people’s hard-earned money?

Your behaviour impacts on others – it’s not all about your ‘dreams’.

I know you want to get out of a bad situation. Maybe law and course fees you can’t afford isn’t that way out?



Like others here, I worked (full time) and did a part time GDL and LPC, people respect that, crowd funding is not so respected. And as others have pointed out, some firms will pay.


Try Working to pay for the GDL

Sorry Renell

Why do you need 18,300 for a GDL?

That’s not the fees for a GDL and why don’t you study outside London to mitigate the amount you’re asking for ?

Why should anyone help you pay for this when you’re quite able to work and save like the rest of us ?

Being homeless in the past doesn’t entitle you to ask for funding when you can work like the rest of us. I was homeless I then worked as many jobs as possible to fund university.


He's a sponge

His attitude stinks. He’s had funding for a placement in New York a few years back. Now he’s requesting funding for the GDL and he’s clearly stated he’ll be setting up a go fund me page for the LPC.

He wants others to pay for everything when he can work and save like the rest of us.

Go fund me is for genuine hardship cases, I don’t see how your qualify as lots of us have been through adversities

You’re a sponge


City trainee

Renell, if you persist in this, your name will get around and come up on a cursory Google search when you come to fill in TC applications, and you’ll be forever known as that guy who expected to be given his GDL and LPC fees.

They will think that you are an entitled manchild and you will not get a job.

Cease this nonsense now, take the page down, get a part time job and save your future career. Life is not a charity and you don’t get to just be given heaps of money because you had a hard life. Lots of us did and we still worked to get what we have.



This is a joke, right? You’re not seriously expecting people to give yuh a hand out to pay for this! Get a job.



Not surprised. I spent the vast majority of my law degree in the pub. An hour before each tutorial was generally enough with the exception of a few nutcase professors that required two.



Is the fact that hard sciences and degrees with practicals and workshops have longer hours really news to law students? It seemed pretty clear at uni that while law was one of the most demanding humanities it was still in a different league of workload to the sciences.



This is all Bull and unexpected. Every law school has their own assessments some with coursework and exams others with only coursework.

So this looks to be an average of all the schools. AN Absolute Disgrace



This is ridiculous. I had to work most weekends to get a first in law. If your time investment into the subject is only low you will scrape a pass at best.



You’ll get a 2.1 if you are remotely bright. Law is not a difficult subject.



Not sure how law students get the label of “least hardworking” when the expectation is – outside of contact hours – that you will read 30-40 cases a week, along with journal articles and chapters, and write a 1500 word essay.



30-40 cases a week? Give me a break.






It was usually well over 60 for us, plus articles. 2-4 essays per week, each between 2,000 and 2,500 words. I thought it was a lot of work.

My LLM (different uni) didn’t require as many essays and I probably put in one third of the hours to get a Distinction (got a 2:1 in my undergrad). I don’t think it’s as simple as saying “law degrees in general require X hours of work per week”.


1/512th Cheyenne.

Total rubbish! When I was at Bristol Law bods worked v hard.


Eve Cornwell

No one works harder than me.



Would you like to go for a chat?


Eve Cornwell

Sorry starting as a magic circle lawyer on Monday. Too busy. Feel free to buy a millennial coffee club hoody though – will spray with perfume.


Bristol boi

Fake. We all know Eve quit her training contract to do YouTube full time. Linklaters are going to pay her to make some grad recruitment videos for them to help her repay her LPC fees



That would be a fitting end to the Eve Cornwall saga.


I put in probably 3 weeks of actual work per year in my LLB. Scraped a 2:1. I then worked my ass off on 12+ hour days for 6 months as a paralegal to convince my firm to give me a TC, which they did.

I now get those harder-working creative arts grads to make me my flat white on my way into my office. Work hard when it matters.



Sounds like you work at the shed, McDonalds flat white is it? pleb



My baristas are only the most hipster of arts grads – Taylor St or nothing.



Funnily enough I don’t believe your I did just three weeks a year work during my LLB brag. Why are you remaining anonymous?? Let us all know what a great legal role you scored after scamming your firm to give you a TC !



Work smart, not hard – No need to put in all the hours God sends.


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