Picking your A-Level subjects can be challenging, and it is something that requires a lot of thought, especially if you have a clear idea of the degree that you would like to progress onto. Becoming a Lawyer is a long journey, and choosing your A-Levels is just the start. So, which subjects should you choose? What grades do you need? And how does each subject help you progress into a career in Law?
This article is going to list and explain the A-Level subjects which will help you move forward into a career as a Lawyer. Hopefully it will make choosing your A-Levels that little bit easier!
If you want to save a bit of time, and just have the short answer, here it is. In order to put yourself in the best position to study Law at University, you should choose your A-Level subjects from the following list:
- A-Level Law
- A-Level History
- A-Level Politics
- A-Level Languages
- A-Level Maths
Although there are not generally any specific subjects required by Universities for Law, these are the A-Level courses which will best prepare you for a Law degree.
If you would like to find out more, this article will go into more depth about each individual subject, and how it is potentially well-suited to you, as a Prospective Lawyer.
What A-Levels Do You Need to Study Law at University?
If you want to study Law at degree level, there are often no specific subject requirements set out by most Universities. However, this is not to say that there aren’t A-Level subjects which will prepare you better for studying for a Law degree.
Mainly, these are subjects which give you the opportunity to develop your analysis and language skills, as these will be incredibly useful to you as a Lawyer. The A-Levels that you choose will demonstrate to your chosen Universities that you have the abilities that will be essential for a Law degree.
Instead of the subjects you take at A-Level being the most important factor in your application to study Law, your grades in those subjects are the thing that will really make the difference. Therefore, in order to get on to a course to study Law at University, you will need to make sure you choose subjects which you are confident that you will be able to succeed in, and which will also help you develop those incredibly important skills.
The only subjects that you need to remember often aren’t accepted by Universities are General Studies and Critical Thinking.
What Makes A-Level Law Well Suited to a Prospective Lawyer?
It seems obvious, but an A-Level in Law will give you a basic understanding of some of the concepts which you will study as an Undergraduate. In this sense, it means that you will have the opportunity to understand some important principles at a basic level, which may make you feel more comfortable when you start University.
Although it is not required by Universities, studying Law at Sixth Form gives you the opportunity to trial the subject before committing to a 3-year course at University. Choosing this A-Level gives you the chance to decide if Law is a subject which you enjoy and want to continue with. Even if you decide after your A-Level that you don’t like it, the course will have also enabled you to improve your writing, reading and speaking skills, which are all valuable to Universities and employers.
Therefore, if you think that you would like to be a Lawyer, A-Level Law is a good subject to consider at Sixth Form, as it will give you an introduction to Law as a subject, as well as the opportunity to decide if Law is in fact the subject which you would like to pursue.
What Makes A-Level History Well Suited to a Prospective Lawyer?
A-Level History is a great choice of A-Level for Prospective Lawyers. It is a subject which enables you to develop a range of skills which will be useful to you in a career in Law.
One example are your essay writing skills. History is an entirely essay-based subject, and therefore, you have plenty of opportunity to develop your written English skills. Although this is one of the things that makes A-Level History challenging, being able to come across as an articulate person in writing is incredibly important for any career.
Another example of a skill is critical thinking. As a Lawyer, you would need to take evidence into account and come to a conclusion and judgement. From there, it would be incredibly important that you were able to develop logical arguments, in order to defend your judgement. These are skills which will obviously be invaluable to a Lawyer.
A benefit of taking History A-Level is that it is a valued choice for many subjects at University, as the skills it enables you to practice are useful for many different courses. Therefore, it keeps lots of doors open for you, while also pointing you in the right direction to becoming a Lawyer. Take a look at this helpful article about how hard A-Level History really is if you would like to find out more.
What Makes A-Level Politics Well Suited to a Prospective Lawyer?
A-Level Politics is another great A-Level choice if you are interested in becoming a Lawyer. It gives you an overview of the political systems and governments which may help with your basis for understanding your Law University course.
A-Level Politics is another example of an A-Level which will help you to develop your analysis skills. Additionally, you may be able to develop your debating skills, which, similarly to your critical analysis and logical argument skills (which are developed in History), will be essential in a career as a Lawyer.
So, A-Level Politics is a great choice but only if you have some interest in current events in the political world, as you would be required to keep up with events. It is important that you choose A-Level subjects that interest you so that you are motivated to succeed in them. Don’t forget – getting high grades while developing skills is the most important thing!
What Makes A-Level Languages Well Suited to a Prospective Lawyer?
Language abilities are incredibly useful in any career. As I’ve said before, English writing skills are incredibly useful for any Prospective Lawyer. So, if it interested you, an English A-Level may be a good choice for you.
However, it is not only your native language that has the potential to be useful to you as a Lawyer. A Modern Foreign Language A-Level, such as Spanish, French or German, could be incredibly useful to someone looking to be a Lawyer. There are many global Law Firms, and if you want to work internationally, a Language will certainly help you out.
Languages are amazingly applicable skills, and therefore taking a Language A-Level will not be a waste of your time. A second language will open up so many doors for you in any career, so it is certainly something to consider. Although a foreign language A-Level will no doubt be challenging, you must remember that it would be very valuable in any career, and Law is no exception.
What Makes A-Level Maths Well Suited to a Prospective Lawyer?
If you don’t want to take all English-based A-Levels, Maths is a great way to develop your analytical skills in a different way. As well as this, it will give you the opportunity to follow logical processes, which is something that may continue to be useful to you.
Although A-Level Maths is not essential, it may be useful to a Lawyer who works with numbers, such as a Lawyer who deals with Tax Fraud or Copyright Law (who may use formulas in their day to day career), or a Divorce Lawyer (who will have to deal with Percentages).
This, of course does not mean that you will need to do Maths A-Level, but if it is a subject which you are skilled at, and feel you would be able to succeed in, it is something to consider when choosing your A-Level subjects. Take a look at this useful article, about the difference in difficulty between GCSE and A-Level Maths in order to help you make an informed decision about your A-Level choices.
What A-Level Grades Do You Need to Achieve to Become a Lawyer?
The top 2 Universities for Law in the UK are Cambridge and UCL. Both of these Universities require you to have A*AA in your chosen A-Level subjects. That being said, the higher your A-Level grades are, the better.
In any subject, you need to work as hard as you can to achieve the highest grades possible, and Law is certainly not an exception to this. In fact, because Law is so competitive, it is perhaps even more important that you come out of Sixth Form with as many As and A*s as you can get.
However, don’t forget that every University has different A-Level grade requirements, so it is important that you do your research about which Universities may take lower grades if necessary. The important thing is that you put as much effort into your studies at Sixth Form as you possibly can.
Also make sure you remember that A-Level grades are not the only thing that will be taken into account when you apply to University. You should have a strong personal statement too, which is not something that is particularly related to your grades.
Can You Become a Lawyer Without Particular A-Levels?
In order to study Law, there are generally no subject which Universities absolutely expect you to have studied. Therefore, there are no specific A-Levels which will stop you becoming a Lawyer if you don’t have them.
The only subjects which you must remember are often not counted by Universities are General Studies and Critical Thinking. So, these are certainly subjects to avoid! Other than that, you have almost complete freedom over the subjects you choose.
However, as I have been saying throughout this article, it is important that you try to choose A-Level subjects which will allow you to develop useful skills over the course of your 2 years at Sixth Form. These skills include things like:
- Critical Analysis
- English Writing Abilities
- Developing Strong, Evidence-based Arguments
- Following Logical Processes
The best subjects for you to take are those listed in the main part of this article, but there are also some facilitating subjects which would be accepted by Universities. Some examples of these are: Geography, Religious Studies, Economics, and Philosophy.
The important thing is that you achieve a high grade in all of the subjects which you take at Sixth Form, and that you are able to explain how they have aided you in developing abilities which will be helpful to you as a Lawyer. This is something you could talk about in your personal statement briefly, or in a potential interview.
What Other Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Lawyer?
Becoming a Lawyer is something that takes time, but it is certainly worth it in the long-run. The types of qualifications which you will be required to get after University vary depending on the type of Lawyer that you would like to be.
Some examples of types of Lawyer include: Barrister, Solicitor, Chartered Legal Executive, and Legal Conveyancer. If you would like to find out more information about these careers (and more!), and which qualifications you would need to become a certain type of Lawyer, have a look at this helpful website, which has a comprehensive list of careers and necessary qualifications.
As well as A-Levels, a Degree, and Post-University Qualifications, Prospective Lawyers will also need to have GCSE Qualifications. If you would like to find out more about what GCSEs you need to become a Lawyer, then take a look at this useful article. As with A-Levels, it is incredibly important that you work hard all the way through your academic career if you would like to be a Lawyer, as the field is often incredibly competitive.