Famous for the academic nature of its programme, City Law School might feel more like a three-year LLB packed into nine months, some students claim. This contrasts with the GDL at many other providers, which focuses more on getting students from A to B. But City’s rigour is considered a positive, particularly since the teaching itself is “hard to beat”. A City student reported that, “some students respond very well to this style”, though it is worth noting that “some are overwhelmed”.
The course materials match City’s academic outlook. It doesn’t issue manuals, and the “vast majority of the work and research is expected to be done by the student”. This might be more hard work but: “You learn to think for yourself – no manuals is a good thing!!” (Better for the environment too – the course is delivered via textbooks and tutoring, “rather than reams of photocopies”).
In view of the academic style of City’s GDL, it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s the preferred choice for future barristers. Many students agree that it’s “the best place to go for the bar” as it “seems more targeted towards barristers”. Accordingly, there are “frequent and very good chambers-related events throughout the year”.
On the school’s career service: “There is a strong focus on the bar – if you are looking to go down the solicitor route you may have to do a bit more work yourself,” one recent graduate tells us. City also reserves some perks for students who secure a mini-pupillage; they’re permitted to take a week off to spend time at chambers.
Both City’s barrister and solicitors-to-be are more than happy with the quality of tuition at the law school noting that “all lecturers are enthusiastic and actually seem to enjoy teaching.” A recent graduate said the course was: “Genuinely engaging and surprised me with its quality. Great preparation for the actual career!”
And a PS: “the provision of pro bono and mooting is also very good”. Rather mysteriously, there’s a distinct sway in favour of the land law lectures – a module that’s usually considered to be the ultimate nightmare, but which one City student has described as “outstanding”.
Insiders have also reported that the online resources are “really quite excellent’” with “lots of past papers and Oxford handbooks”. City also has its own legal learning resource – Lawbore – which is apparently very good.
City’s graduates appreciate being part of a larger ‘full-service’ university, which, aside from the bigger libraries means there’s also a canteen. City is in the process of moving into a new £30 million law school in Clerkenwell. The impressive new building includes a seven-storey glass tower, plus a four-storey brick building to adjoin it. All City Law School students will be located here.