The University of Law (ULaw) (formerly the College of Law) is a for-profit, private university in the United Kingdom, providing law degrees, specialist legal training, and continuing professional development courses for British barristers and solicitors. Founded in 1962 as the College of Law, it is the UK’s largest law school. The College of Law was granted degree-awarding powers in 2006, and in 2012 it became the UK’s first for-profit educational institution to be granted university status. ULaw has eight branches across England.
The College of Law had been incorporated by royal charter as a charity in 1975, but in 2012, prior to the granting of university status, its educational and training business was split off and incorporated as a private limited company. This became the College of Law Ltd and later University of Law Ltd.
The university does not hold any positions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but its alumni and staff include a number of UK Members of Parliament and chief justices.
The Law Society of England and Wales created the College of Law in 1962 by merging its own solicitors’ training school with the tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon. The college was created in its legal form by Royal Charter on 5 December 1975. It was registered as a charity on 24 May 1976 with the aim “to promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law in all its branches”. Until the transfer of its training business to College of Law Ltd. 2012, the College of Law was in the top 100 of UK charities ranked by expenditure.
Following the recommendations of the Ormrod Report on the reform of legal education in England and Wales, the Law Society submitted proposals in 1975 for a 36-week Final Examination course for aspiring solicitors and a Common Professional Examination (CPE) or law conversion course for non-law graduates to be taught at the College of Law. The first CPE was held in 1978. The number of institutions approved to deliver the CPE gradually increased until by 2006 the BPP Law School and 27 universities, most of them former polytechnics, were also running the course. However, the leading providers of the CPE (now called the Graduate Diploma in Law) remained the College of Law and BPP Law School whose enrollments still “dwarfed” those of the universities in 2010.
The college was granted degree-awarding powers by the Privy Council in 2006, leading to development of its Bachelor and Master of Laws degree programmes. The London Moorgate centre was also opened that year. According to the University of Law, the Moorgate centre is the UK’s largest corporate-specific law school.
Courses and degrees offered by the university (as of 2016) include:
- Bar Professional Training Course(the professional qualification for barristers)
- Graduate Diploma in Law(otherwise known as the Common Professional Examination, or the “Law Conversion Course”)
- Legal Practice Course(the professional qualification for solicitors)
- Master of Laws (M) in Legal Practice
- Master of Science (MSc) in Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance
- Bachelor of Laws (B)
- Professional Skills Course (the professional course studied by trainee solicitors by day-release)
The Open University’s courses in Law (including the LL.B by distance learning) are offered in association with the University of Law. However, the Open University announced in a 2013 press release that this partnership was being phased out and would end completely in 2018. In 2015, the university also established a one-year foundation programme for international students wishing to progress to undergraduate legal study in the UK.
To be eligible for admission to their LLM, the student must hold a UK undergraduate degree or international equivalent.
They recommend that non-law graduates have a basic grounding in common law. Qualifications will be checked before the LLM is awarded.
Their unique practice-driven LLM Master of Laws degree has been developed in association with the International Bar Association and adds a global dimension to their training.
Their LLM is a tailored, professional programme for graduates and practising lawyers seeking postgraduate legal qualifications.
All of their courses are designed with a unique, varied and innovative learning approach that’s proven to deliver self-reliant lawyers who can compete in the fast-changing world of legal services.
Their track record of excellence in learning and development has helped them establish worldwide connections with the legal services market. This is why many leading global law firms work exclusively with them to develop their people, and why legal employers of all types want to meet their students. It’s also why law schools and professional bodies around the world choose to enter into strategic alliances with them.
The University of Law is an internationally recognised expert in the field of law. Rather than focusing on academic research, their aim is to be thought leaders in the issues that matter to the legal profession and the next generation of practising lawyers.
Gain practical insights from tutors with extensive experience of international practice, their courses are designed and taught by qualified lawyers, solicitors, barristers or judges, and all have extensive practical experience which they are able to pass onto their students. They facilitate this process with high levels of student-to-tutor contact time and small class sizes.
They focus exclusively on practice-based training and give students access to their market-leading law careers service and legal vacancy database as soon as they accept a place with them. Students also benefit from their pioneering and award-winning pro bono programmes, which allow them to gain valuable work experience by helping real clients from the local community.
This combination means their graduates are in a unique position when it comes to finding employment. 97% of their full-time 2014 and 2015 LPC students had secured employment within nine months of graduation (based on known destinations).
They offer a wide range of scholarships to help talented University of Law students fund their legal training and achieve their career ambitions.