Skills required to study law

Intellectual ability

The study of law is hard work, but it is also intellectually challenging and highly rewarding. It involves large quantities of written material which you will need to read, comprehend, synthesise and analyse. You will need the ability to read and digest information quickly and to take good and accurate notes.

Lawyers need to be able to accurately recall legal provisions and use the relevant law in new situations. You should be able to take a logical approach and apply knowledge to factual situations. You must be willing to apply critical reasoning to issues, and to appreciate the ethical and moral dimensions of any cases you encounter.

Communication skills

Communication is very important to the study of law. You must have an enthusiasm for discussion and an ability to present ideas and argue a case. Your written work has to be of a very high standard, as you will be assessed by timed examinations and extended essay projects. Accurate and precise use of language is a prerequisite of legal scholarship.

Ability to think and work under pressure

Law students (and lawyers) often have to work and think under considerable pressure and the ability to respond well to the demands of the course (and legal work) is crucial.

Study skills

You must be able to motivate yourself to study when not constantly supervised, to take the initiative, to identify and search for material independently, to plan your studying, manage your time and meet deadlines.