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gcse's and a-levels

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katz22 | 23:45 Tue 23rd Aug 2005 | Jobs & Education
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I would like to be a barrister but i don't know what GCSE subjects i will need to take or what grades i will need to get. OR what a levels i will then need to take and what grades to get after that. I would love to be a barrister and im confused at what subjects etc i would need to take and what levels i wioll need to achieve in order to get where i want to be.

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First of all - good luck!

Just to add to the information already given, you will need to achieve the highest grades you possibly can.  You'll need A-Cs in English and Maths at GCSE and then AAB, or maybe even AAA at A level.  I don't mean to scare you, but if it's your dream, you need to know the score. 

dinsdale's info was of course correct, but one thing to be added is that in law, prestige is everything and you need to aim for the top every time.  That means trying to get to the best universities (not necessarily Oxbridge though) and for that you need good grades.  Definitely do a law degree! :-)

Always keep up interesting extra-curricular activities as, as well as making your life more interesting :-) , it will improve your CV and chambers will be interested in that sort of thing too!

Finally, the best thing you can do for your career, is to try to gain experience.  Talk to barristers and try to get work experience in a chambers.  Remember that your strongest tool is your own personality and the best technique is flattery.  So read about a barrister in your town/city, then contact him/her and tell them that you've read about their success in cases X,Y and Z and that you're interested in becoming a barrister and would love to hear more about the job from them.  In many walks of life, WHO you know is as important as WHAT you know, as I'm sure your parents, and many other users would confirm.

Just to add to the 2 (great) answers above:
English is essential. Any language is useful, as is anything that involves research (e.g. history) as you need to do lots of research in law!

Ideally you want GSCE's such as English Lang, Drama, Maths, French or German, and History. A-levels - I took English Lit, History, and Law, and AS-Level English Language - they seemed to be well looked on.

january_bug is right in saying that high marks are VERY helpful, but you can come back from low ones. I got 2 A's, 2 B's, 4 C's and 1 D at GSCE, a B, a D and an E at A-level, a B at AS level, and only a 2:2 for my degree (English Lit). But I've just completed all the training to be a barrister. It's hard to find places willing to take you with lower marks though - I got lucky.

Cambridge, Oxford, and Exeter (Exeter is a fantastic law uni) all require 3 A's at A level. You can get a place somewhere with about 3 C's, but it won't be a particularly well thought of place.

As well as extra-curricular stuff, try and look for some legal experience - sit in court and watch some sessions (you might decide being a barrister is not for you after that!), work experience at a Chambers, marshalling, etc.

Good luck - maybe we'll meet in court some day!
Hi there,

dinsdale - the link you posted has now changed to http://careersadvice....profilename=Barrister .

Thanks,

Careers Advice Service

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