Law affects our lives in many different ways—every store purchase, every vote, every signature is regulated by a complex and constantly evolving legislative system. If you too find yourself stimulated and interested in many such interesting aspects of the world we live in, law might be a career path to consider. To get you started, here is a quick and easy guide that will answer many of your preliminary questions about studying law in the U.K .
1. If you’re aspiring to enter an undergraduate law program in the U.K. at one of the schools listed below, you will be required to submit an LNAT score as part of your UCAS application.
Note that the University of Cambridge does not require the LNAT, though it used to in the past. Instead, applicants who are invited for an interview take an hour-long essay-based Cambridge Law Test.
If your university of choice is not in the above list, there is no need to take the LNAT as it will not benefit your application in any way. In fact, it will not even be reported to any but the above mentioned universities.
2. The LNAT is computer-based, and requires no familiarity with legal concepts—instead, you will be required to understand and evaluate texts on a wide variety of topics—from offshore banking to history of the ballet. This allows universities to spot candidates with an aptitude for logical and argumentative evaluations. While knowledge of current affairs in the U.K. is not a requirement of the LNAT, it will benefit you, particularly for some essay topics.
3. The LNAT consists of two sections—the first one has 42 multiple choice questions that test your reading comprehension ability, and the second one is an essay. The latter is not graded by the LNAT Consortium, but is instead sent to the universities to be assessed together with your multiple choice score. There is no “pass” or “fail” grade—it is up to the universities to decide how strongly your LNAT performance, along with other factors, affects your admission prospects. We ask our clients to aim for a 27 or above, if not, a 25 or above to submit a competitive application to law schools.
4. The official LNAT website offers a solid, if a bit too laconic, study guide that gives you an insight into the logic behind the test questions and also provides you with various tips for both sections of the test. Additionally, one can find two practice papers with answer explanations on the website. This will allow you to get a feel for what is expected of you on the test. That said, the best way to increase your reading comprehension skills is to read a selection of quality newspapers regularly. The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Irish Times, The New York Times, The Scotsman and The Times are examples of such newspapers. As a bonus, they will allow you to understand current U.K. affairs better, which will undoubtedly reflect in the quality of your essay writing
5. It would seem that time pressure is not a big concern in LNAT—with 95 minutes for 42 questions, you have over 2 minutes per question, which seems like plenty of time. However, many test takers do not finish the test. To do well, concentrate on your reading skills—the ability to understand the text as a whole and the ability to find and match key words in the question and in the texts. For the essay, focus on backing your claims with examples and do not worry about making a balanced argument—a lawyer does not need to be objective, only persuasive. You will hear this advice in your first year of Law School, so why not use it now?
6. Registration for LNAT normally opens around 1st August, and the sitting of the test commences from 1st September onwards. 15th January is the deadline for most universities, and you should take your LNAT no later than 5 days after this deadline. To allow this to happen, make sure you book your test slot well in advance. Some universities allow later entries up to the end of June; however, you will need to verify this with each university individually. The University of Oxford has a much tighter application deadline, and generally does not consider late applications at all. You must complete your UCAS application by 15th October, and sit your LNAT by the same date.
In conclusion, don’t enter the battle field unprepared! You are only allowed one LNAT sitting during an academic year, so give it your best shot! Boost your chances of getting into a prestigious law school by honing your skills to perfection before you take on the test. Remember, as with most standardized tests, it is all a matter of preparation and commitment. We wish you luck in your applications and hope to see you on our campus soon!