Choosing your GCSEs can be tough, especially if you already know what our dream career is, but you’re not quite sure how to get there. So, how important really are GCSEs? And which subjects will put you in the best position to move forward in your journey to becoming a Lawyer?
It is important to always consider the fact that GCSEs are not the most relevant qualification for becoming a Lawyer, but they do serve as stepping stones to get into your ideal Law-Related A-Levels at Sixth Form, and Universities do have minimum requirements for GCSE Grades in some subjects.
The short answer to this question is that, in order to be a Lawyer, you will be required to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs, including passes in English, Maths and Science. These GCSEs are required for most Law-related A-Levels, as well as being basic requirements for most Law University courses. You may also want to take some Humanities-based subjects (such as History or Geography) or perhaps even a Modern Foreign Language. The most important thing that you should remember is that Law is a competitive field, so you want to aim as highly as you can with your GCSEs, to put you in the best position you can be in to move forward into a career as a Lawyer.
Now you know what the basic requirements for GCSEs are to become a Lawyer, read on to find out more information about GCSEs in relation to studying Law.
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What GCSEs Do You Need to Study Law Related A-Levels at Sixth Form?
There are a number of A-Level subjects which will be useful to students who would like to study Law at University. If you would like to find out more about which subjects these are, take a look at this useful article about which A-Levels you need to become a Lawyer.
However, despite the fact that there are some subjects that set you up better for studying law, most Universities don’t have specific requirements for A-Level subjects taken. Clearly, this varies between Universities, so it is worth looking at the requirements. It is also worth noting that many Universities do not count Critical Thinking or General Studies as valid qualifications.
Generally speaking, the GCSEs that you will be required to have minimum grades in for Sixth Form are Maths, English and Science. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this, and in more specific subjects (such as Modern Foreign Languages), individual Sixth Forms will state what grades are required.
One example of an A-Level course that you may want to take at Sixth Form is History. This would help you develop your critical analysis skills – something which would be incredibly useful to you as a Lawyer. Therefore, an example of a subject which may indirectly aid you with your career at GCSE level is History. Doing the GCSE would obviously set you up better for the A-Level, but if you are already doing your GCSEs and have not taken this subject there would be no need to worry, as many Sixth Forms only ask for it as a preference, but will accept you onto the course if you have a good enough grade in English Language.
The important thing to remember is that as long as you work hard in whichever GCSE subjects you decide to take, and achieve the general minimum grades required, you will have the opportunity to study the A-Level courses that will help you progress into a career as a Lawyer.
Which GCSEs Will Help You Develop The Skills You Need To Become a Lawyer?
There are a number of different skills which are ideal for Lawyers to have. If you want to find out more about the types of skills that are included in this, take a look at this useful article which lists the qualities every good lawyer should have.
An example of one of these skills is Analytical Skills. Subjects at GCSE such as History and English Literature will help you develop these specific skills. These subjects allow you to develop your ability to interpret information and come to an informed decision based on the facts that you know. They will also enable you to practice using evidence to back up your answers, which will be useful to you in your career as a Lawyer.
Subjects like these will also enable you to take large amounts of information in, and teach you how to make it manageable and useful. These are not only skills which are useful for Lawyers, but they will certainly greatly aid you in a career in Law, due to the vast amount of knowledge that you will be required to have and apply.
What GCSEs Do You Need to Study Law at University?
Generally speaking, when you are applying to University, GCSEs are not the most relevant qualifications which you will have on your application. However, this does not mean that they are something which should not be taken incredibly seriously, as they will certainly be considered by Universities when you are applying to do your Law degree. If you would like to find out more about how relevant GCSEs are, take a look at this useful article about how important GCSEs are to Universities, Employers and Colleges.
Most Universities will require you to have a minimum of 5 GCSE pass grades, and you must have passes in English Language, Maths, and Science in order to be offered a place at the majority of Universities to study Law. However, this can vary between Universities, and it is important to check out what grades you will need to get into your dream University! It is also important that you remember that these are minimum requirements, and the better your GCSE grades are, the better your position will be in the incredibly competitive field which is Law.
So, it is clear that GCSEs are required in order to get onto a University Law course, even though your A-Levels will be the most recent and important qualifications that you have at your time of application. As I said before, GCSEs are not something to be ignored. If you have high aspirations of becoming a Lawyer, you should be trying to demonstrate your focused attitude from the time of GCSEs by working hard and achieving the best grades of your ability.
What GCSEs Do You Need to Train to Become a Lawyer After University?
After you have completed your degree at University, GCSEs become slightly less important than they were at your time of application. Because you have a number of more recent qualifications which are more related to Law, GCSEs have much less impact on your ability to move forward in your career.
That being said, you should consider the fact that if you have good GCSEs, it is clear to your future employers that you are a very hardworking, high-achieving, motivated individual, and you have consistently been so from a very early stage in your academic career. If you are researching which GCSEs you should be taking in order to become a Lawyer, it would suggest to me that you are very motivated and focused, and you want to be able to demonstrate this with your grades!
If you would like to find out more about the further qualifications you will need in your path to becoming a Lawyer, and which GCSEs you may need for those, carry on reading this article, keeping in mind that the higher your grades, the better off you will be.
What GCSE Grades Do You Need to Achieve to Become a Lawyer?
As I said before, the GCSE grades that are required in order for you to become a Lawyer are the same grades that are needed for you to get into University. So, the GCSEs that you need to achieve to become a lawyer are 5 GCSE passes, including passes in English Language, Maths, and Science.
Ideally, you should always try to achieve the best that you can, so even though there are minimum requirements, it is important that you make sure you can work as hard as you can, so that you achieve your full potential in your exams.
Can You Become a Lawyer Without Particular GCSEs?
If you want to become a Lawyer, you need to keep in mind that it is a very competitive field, and will require a lot of hard work. Your academic grades are the easiest way to demonstrate your dedication to the subject, as well as your personal attributes, such as your motivation, and how hardworking you are.
Therefore, GCSEs will be relevant for your career, even if they just serve as a means of getting on to the right A-Level and University courses. As I have said all the way through this article, you will need at least 5 GCSE pass grades including in English Language, Maths and Science in order to progress onto a Law University course. Without these, it may be difficult for you to become a lawyer down a University route.
However, if you are concerned about which options you should be choosing at GCSE, there is no subject which you will especially need in order to progress into the field of Law. The only thing that you should be considering at GCSE is taking subjects which will allow you to continue onto the preferable A-Level courses for Law. However, even when considering this, there is variation in entry requirements between Sixth Forms, and so it is important that you do your research into your local Sixth Forms.
Remember, courses like History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages may help you in terms of the fact that they would help you understand the specific A-Levels better, but they are not absolutely essential, and not choosing them will not limit your opportunity to be a Lawyer.
It is however, perhaps important to consider the fact that Law can be a very academically challenging subject, and therefore you are likely to be a little bit better off if you choose academic subjects at GCSE. So, for example, although you might enjoy Music lessons at school, Music GCSE may not be the right choice for you, as it is more creative than academic, and therefore won’t directly impact the skillset that you will need for Law. However, this is not to say that you should not continue with Music as a hobby outside of school!
What Other Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Lawyer?
There are a number of different types of Lawyer, so to find out what other qualifications you need to become one, you have to first decide which route it is that you would like to go down.
For example, you may want to be a Solicitor. In this case, you would need to complete your Law degree, then the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), before starting a training contract with a Law firm. This is true from September 2021 onwards, and more information can be found here.
Alternatively, if you wanted to become a Barrister, you would need to complete your degree and then a Bar Training course, before you can start a year of on the job training, known as pupillage. If you would like to find out how the Bar Training course works (and how it is changing), take a look at this website (the same as the link above). Similarly, if you would like to find out what pupillage is, do some further research here.
Does the School at Which You Get Your GCSE Qualifications Matter to Universities?
Very simply, the answer to this question is no. Even though you may have some concerns about the school where you are earning your qualifications because of the competitive nature of Law, you must remember that there is no difference between a GCSE grade 9 from one school to another.
GCSEs are judged on a national scale, and therefore, the school where you earn them means nothing to Universities when they are considering you for a place on their Law degree courses. So, ultimately, the important thing is that you achieve the highest grades that you can by working hard, as this is how you will be compared to other candidates, rather than by which school you studied at.