Do law firms have a preference re: the GDL or an MA Law ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lorenzo Pizarro, Mar 26, 2020.

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  1. Lorenzo Pizarro

    Lorenzo Pizarro New Member

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    Hi,

    Posting this here as I would appreciate insight from those who know more about how law firms recruit than I do.

    I'm a graduate who's interested in a law conversion, and I've just got off the phone from some of the University of Law's salespeople who have told me that law firms have no preference for either the MA Law (qualifies you to study the LPC or the BPC after) or the more traditional GDL. Is this the case? If so, why does anyone bother with the GDL?

    This would be good news to me, as I can apply for a student loan for the MA Law without exhausting my savings. I have the option to study whilst living at home, so other living costs are not a big worry for me.

    I'm posting here to confirm this, as the Uni of Law and other providers might have reason to hype up the MA Law course (higher fees).
     
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  2. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    I think for one the MA Law is harder than the GDL? The pass mark for the MA Law is 50% average and only is 40% for the GDL so that's probably a reason... also as you say the GDL is quite a bit cheaper and arguably gives you a more rounded year of study than the MA Law but I'm not certain on that
     
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  3. Lorenzo Pizarro

    Lorenzo Pizarro New Member

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    Hi Daniel - Thanks for the response.

    So law firms don't really have a preference as there are pros and cons to both? (The MA is more difficult but the GDL is more rounded?)
     
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  4. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Absolutely no preference at all as ultimately both allow you to study the LPC after a year. I don't think but most will assume people will do the GDL! That's the route they tend to fund but with the SQE coming in that could change
     
  5. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    Firms don’t care.

    Be mindful about the changes in the qualification process which mean as of 2021 never qualification will be needed.
     
  6. Zhang

    Zhang Legendary Member

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    Have law firms started to adopt the SQE for their future trainees? or will this be the case after September 2021.

    Is this the last cycle where I can avoid the SQE and still do the LPC?
     
  7. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Yes this is the last cycle
     
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  8. Zhang

    Zhang Legendary Member

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    Thanks mate!
     
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  9. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    depends on the firm.

    general consensus is that they won’t move until 2022 at least as they can have everyone go through the old system until then.

    Some firms are looking to move everyone across to the SQE in 2022 as they don’t want two sets of trainees on different programmes, and the non law grads will have to start the SQE by 2022 (if they haven’t started the GDL by this September).

    Some are hedging their bets and see 2022 as a trail year with a smaller sample size, with the full cohorts moving across in 2023 as this will allow some additional time to get the SQE training right.

    The main issue is that a lot of firms don’t want two sets of trainees with very different programmes and qualification systems - makes it muddled/complicated.
     
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  10. Zhang

    Zhang Legendary Member

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    Thank you so much Jessica for that :)

    When you say the dates 2022 / 2023 do you mean the cohort 2022 or 2023, as I’m aware law firms are recruiting for 2022 and even 2023 trainees this year, or do you mean that actual year 2022 or 2023 they will implement the SQE fully? Thanks again
     
  11. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    As I said l, it depends on the firm - there is not a uniform approach to this.

    some firms it will be the 2022 cohorts
    Some firms it will be the 2023 cohorts
    Some firms will be happy to run both sets of training programmes for a period of time (but most seem to not like this idea because of resource and the variations in the programmes)
     
  12. Beth_

    Beth_ Standard Member

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    Just to add to what has been said above.

    I am currently doing the MA Law at ULaw and have found that when applying, firms have shown no preference for me the GDL over my course.

    The only issue I have experienced is how to list it on application forms as it takes a little more explaining than the GDL (as it is contains all the elements of the GDL whilst also being a postgraduate degree).

    I wouldn't agree that the GDL is more rounded as you cover all the same modules as the GDL students and even have the same exam paper come exam time. The difference is in the compulsory dissertation.
     
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  13. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    How come you did the MA Law then Beth if you don't mind me asking? It sounds like you have to do more work, pay more and yet you still get the same qualification as the GDL or is that too simplistic a view?
     
  14. Beth_

    Beth_ Standard Member

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    I was self-funding my GDL so to help with finances I chose to do the MA so I could get the postgraduate loan. That was what swung the decision for me.
     
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  15. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Ah I see, that makes a lot of sense
     
  16. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    most people do the MA for the post graduate loan.

    the one year MA courses provided by BPP/UoL aren’t really seen as MAs by recruiters, they are just seen as the GDL with a dissertation (different time the two year MAs some unis provide).
     
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