Why study law in the UK?

06 November 2018
Durham University International Study Centere student Calvin Nathan MANIK

In 2016/17, 23,090 international students chose to study law in the UK. It is one of the most popular subject areas for students studying in the UK and there are a range of benefits and advantages if you choose to pursue an undergraduate degree in law.

Why study law?

If you are looking to start your legal career then a degree in law provides the perfect platform for putting you on the right path.

From fantastic career prospects to learning a variety of skills that are key for success, there are plenty of advantages to studying law.

Highly respected, prestigious career

Being a lawyer receives a generous amount of respect and is typically seen as a highly prestigious career path. With a high level of academic knowledge and hard work required to succeed, lawyers enjoy a strong professional status.

Transferable key skills

You will learn and develop a range of skills that are not only crucial to becoming a lawyer, but will help you thrive in a number of professional roles. A few of the skills you will master include:

  • Research
  • Evaluation
  • Communication
  • Analytics
  • Working to tight deadlines
  • Critical judgement.

Great career opportunities and high salaries

Students who choose to study law will have the opportunity to be rewarded with a high-salaried career.

Studying law gives you access to a diverse range of career opportunities. You could become a solicitor, barrister, judge, consultant or work within the legal sector.

If you decide to follow a career as a solicitor, you could be looking to earn between £25,000 and £40,000 at entry level in the UK. With lots of experience you can expect to earn over £100,000 a year. Globally, law is typically a well-paid field.

You will also have opportunities to work for high-level employers such as prestigious law firms, government and international corporations. Some careers in law benefit from international travel, working on global cases with flexible working hours.

Structured further study

You will also benefit from having a clear further study path, with specific courses required to follow certain careers. For example, to become a barrister in England you will need to complete the Bar Professional Training Course, or to become a solicitor you will need the Legal Practice Course.

What are the benefits of studying law in the UK?

With major educational institutions, the UK is a constant draw for international students looking to study law. Some of the benefits of studying a law degree in the UK include:

The UK law system

Studying UK law means you will get to learn about a law system that is constantly updating and adapting. You will study in a country where common law originated and learn about the laws that cover the whole of the UK, as well as the ones specific to Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

Common law is recognised globally, with over a third of the world having a legal system based on English common law.

At Durham University you will gain an understanding of the law of England and Wales as well as crucial legal research and practice - you could also specialise in areas such as public law or human rights.

Globally recognised

Developed over 900 years ago, the UK law system has influenced legal systems internationally. It forms the basis of many countries’ law systems and English commercial law is commonly the governing law in global contracts. The UK is also home to hundreds of international law firms, with some of the world’s biggest firms basing their headquarters here.

If you study law in England, you will be able to learn about European law. Once you graduate, you will have qualifications that are recognised internationally.

Improve your English

Studying law in the UK is the perfect way to help improve your English language skills. You will be able to to develop your academic English through practical and theoretical situations, whether that is through group work or writing case studies.

You will also be able to dive into everyday social situations that will help your overall English language ability. Through practising in real world scenarios you will dramatically increase and perfect your English, all while studying for a degree that will put you on your desired career path.

Quickest route to becoming a lawyer

Compared to studying law in countries such as the USA and Canada, the UK offers one of the shortest paths to becoming a lawyer. Your degree will typically take three years, followed by a one year Legal Practice Course. You can then apply for a training contract with a law firm. This stage of your training is typically two years.

Why study law at Durham University?

Durham Law School provides the perfect platform to launch your legal career, whether in the UK or abroad. With its prestigious reputation, world-class law degrees, long traditions and modern values, Durham University has a lot to offer its law students.

Top ranking law school

A world leader in legal education and design, Durham Law School is in the QS World Rankings top 50 law schools and their research was ranked 3rd in the UK’s last national Research Excellence Framework in 2014.

Durham University is also ranked 7th for Law in The Complete University Guide 2019 thanks to its award-winning legal education and numerous awards for teaching excellence.


Durham Law School boasts fantastic employability and career options. The University saw 91% of its 2016 graduates in paid employment or further study six months after graduation (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2015/16 graduates).

The University has had graduates on the UK Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and in government.

During your time at Durham, you will benefit from regular events to develop your employability. You can receive insights into the skills needed to succeed in both legal and non-law careers.

Extracurricular activities led by law students

Studying law at Durham Law School will mean you will have access to a wealth of extracurricular activities. You will be able to advance your learning outside the classroom with student-run societies such as Durham University Law Society.

You could also participate in the Mooting Society, which allows you to take part in simulated court or arbitration proceedings. This is a great way to gain some practical law experience.

Prepare for your Law Degree at Durham University International Study Centre

With Durham University International Study Centre you can prepare for your law degree at the University with our International Foundation Year in Humanities, Law and Social Science. The programme will help you develop key academic and English language skills needed to succeed at university. You will also cover core modules that will give you the necessary knowledge to progress to LLB (Hons) Law at Durham University.

Law degree job prospects

With a law degree you could pursue a legal career in a variety of roles including:

  • Barrister
  • Chartered legal executive
  • Solicitor.

A law degree from Durham University is highly respected by employers across various industries, so you could also follow a career path in roles such as:

  • Data analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Human resources officer

Further study

After graduating from your law degree at Durham Law School, you could follow the Solicitor career path and complete the Legal Practice Course.

If you want to become a barrister you will need to undertake the Bar Professional Training Course.

Alternatively, you could go on to study a Masters degree at Durham University. With a law degree from Durham you will have a wide range of options to choose from.