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Law Student Report 2011

Author: Legal Week |

15 Feb 2010 | 16:32

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Capturing the views of over 3,000 law undergraduates from the UK's top universities (Russell Group) as well as Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students from the College of Law, BPP Law School and Kaplan Law School, this report identifies the reasons why students choose law as a career and how their views of law firms develop throughout their studies. This report looks at the career options considered by students, what attracts them to law and the most powerful influences on their choice of firm. The report reveals which forms of marketing have the most impact and which firms students believe are the most prestigious, the best for training contracts and best for a healthy work/life balance.

The study 

Now in its fifth year, this report canvasses the views of law students at the leading universities and largest GDL providers in the UK. Respondents are asked a series of questions to establish their professional ambitions, their views of the courses and faculties, their exposure to legal marketing and their resulting perceptions of law firms.


The first half of the report examines why students have chosen a career in law. It then looks at their sources of information and the importance they attach to each one. In the second half, international, national and City law firms are assessed across five different performance criteria:


- which firms have the most sticking power in terms of brand recognition?

Best training programme

- which firms have communicated the strength of their programmes to the students and the law schools' careers offices?

Work/life balance

- which firms will allow graduates to have a life outside the office and which are regarded as ‘sweatshops'?

Best career options

- which firms are the best for starting out with, in terms of students' CVs?

Best for equal opportunities

- which firms actively promote the role of women internally and in the profession?

  • We use the results to create benchmarking tables of all 60 firms covered in the report.
  • These will be broken down into International, National and City firms.
  • The tables will specify your scores for each of the performance criteria as well as the results of the other 59 firms.
  • The overall rankings are broken down by reference to year of study, type of institution, gender and ethnic grouping, but also by motivation and career ambition. 

Research methodology

  • In 2010, the survey received over 3,000 replies from law students at Russell Group universities and GDL students from the College of Law, BPP Law School and Kaplan Law School.
  • Law faculty department heads and career advisory bodies at each institution disseminate a link to an nonline survey.
  • Law students are also contacted by telephone to answer more specific questions on behalf of individual law firms.

Standard package

  • As part of the standard package, you'll receive:
  • A hard copy of the report, a PDF copy for internal distribution, plus all the charts and tables in Excel
  • A management presentation of the results from our director of research. This can be to your firm's board or the graduate recruitment/HR team, or both. The presentation will drill down from the general findings to a firm's specific scores, especially in the context of a hand-picked peer group.
  • Participating law firms that perform best in their category (international, national and City) are awarded an accreditation as Best Graduate Employer 2011

Additional services for 2011

  • This year, in response to client feedback, we're offering a number of additional services:
  • Firms have the opportunity to ask respondents firm-specific questions, giving them the opportunity to probe branding and reputational issues in more detail.
  • There are new questions this year on firm-specific Legal Practice Courses and redundancy programmes. Law firms can gauge the effect of publicity on their reputation among the country's best legal schools.
  • The best-performing firms will be highlighted in Legal Week, on legalweek.com and in Legal Week's student supplement.

Click here for a full summary PDF of the report.

For more details, contact Paul Birk on 0207 316 9864 or email paul.birk@incisivemedia.com.



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