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M130 Law in Practice

LLB Law in Practice is a four year programme: students study the first two years at Queen Mary University of London; the third year is spent on a paid internship with a legal practitioner, returning to QMUL for the final year of study.

This Qualifying Law Degree covers all the core modules needed to satisfy professional requirements for the foundations of legal knowledge and skills in England and Wales and some other jurisdictions. The third year of the programme is spent pursuing a legal internship with a legal employer, which is currently Reed Smith LLP in the first instance but may be expanded to other employers in subsequent years.

Pictured: Georgios Viopolous, Roxana Burghel, Victoria Lebed, Saleh Zaheer; the four placement students for 2016-2017
Pictured: Georgios Viopolous, Roxana Burghel, Victoria Lebed, Saleh Zaheer; the four placement students for 2016-2017.

You should apply directly through UCAS onto any LLB programme and you will have the opportunity to make an internal application for the Year in Practice at the end of your first year of study.

Who can apply?

The Law in Practice degree is available for up to five Queen Mary undergraduate law students each year. The first cohort completed the placement year in 2016-17. All four students who completed the 2016-17 placement year were offered (and accepted) training contracts with Reed Smith LLP. Decisions are made based on application, first year grades and attendance. Shortlisted candidates are then interviewed by the law firm. 

Programme structure

The placement is during the third year of the four year programme. You will be required to keep a weekly reflective journal, which will be maintained as a portfolio throughout the year and presented at the end of the internship. You will be assessed on a pass/fail basis and the placement year is a 120-credit module. This module does not count towards the degree classification.

If you are selected for M130 from a programme other than M100 (LLB Law), M120 (LLB English and European Law) or M105 (LLB Global Law), your timetable will be tailored in the second and final year to ensure you have covered all core modules necessary to graduate with a QLD. Therefore students who initially enrol onto a joint honours degree (LLB Law with History, LLB Law with Business, LLB Law and Politics) will be required to leave the joint school after the first year to enable you to take the required core law modules in your second year – a requirement before you take a placement. M101 (LLB Senior Status) students are eligible to apply for the Law in Practice LLB, but must be prepared to switch from a 2 year to a 4 year programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the career benefits of the placement year?

A: The Law in Practice programme gives you the chance to learn first-hand what it is like to work in a law firm and to better understand this type of business and career path before you complete your degree. The placement year will provide you with exceptional career benefits.

Q: What sort of work will I do while on placement with Reed Smith?

A: Students will be involved in a range of work which is currently carried out by paralegals and those who attend their undergraduate vacation schemes. Reed Smith receives excellent feedback on the quality of experience on their vacation schemes, which recently won Best Level of Support and Best for Job Satisfaction in this year’s AllAboutLaw Top Law Firms Awards 2014.

Student Experience

M130 LLB Law with a Year in Practice student Saleh Zaheer"I was successful in being one of the first five students to attain a place on the Law in Practice Programme whereby I would spend 8 months in three different departments at Reed Smith. A top global law firm with 27 offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The opportunity offered by Queen Mary is the first initiative at any Russell Group University to provide students the opportunity to complete a year in industry. Having completed internships at Linklaters, Freshfields, Slaughter and May, Freshfields and Herbert Smith Freehills, I felt that I had accumulated enough experience and was reluctant, at first, to do a year in industry. Now, three months into my placement at Reed Smith, I am genuinely overwhelmed and grateful to the Law department for the immense and hugely beneficial learning experience presented to me on a daily basis.

It has enabled me to put into practice the legal knowledge I accumulated over the first two years on the LLB. Examples of some of the work I am involved in is: assisting in drafting advice notes; researching legal developments; drafting articles for the Reed Smith Shipping team LinkedIn and Blog; drafting presentations for Partners to present at seminars; representing the firm at various events such as Law fairs; Pro Bono work and much more. The field of law is very competitive and after speaking with many lawyers and graduate recruitment teams at the different law firms, the Law in Practice programme definitely puts you in the driving seat and sets you apart from the huge number of graduates in pursuit of a training contract. The course is a game changer and will provide you with a strong foundation of legal and business skills necessary to learn, develop and thrive both as a student and future lawyer.’’ - Saleh Zaheer, LLB Law in Practice

Reed Smith Experience

“Reed Smith has enjoyed working very closely with Queen Mary for a number of years; both on recruiting students for our vacation schemes and for training contracts. In addition, we have found Queen Mary’s Law School always to be very forward thinking and open to our suggestions of innovative programmes, which we have then collaborated to create and deliver. A prime example of this is the LLB Law in Practice degree which we launched in 2015, a degree unique amongst other Russell Group universities. The new degree gives students an opportunity, during their Queen Mary LLB degree, to build practical skills with a ‘year in industry’, working at the London offices of our global firm. In October 2016 we welcomed our first cohort of students on the new degree into the firm for their practical experience, and we are really pleased with the results. It is fair to say that the internal feedback from the business exceeded our expectations. The students have all impressed the business enormously with their professionalism, high quality work and positive attitudes – which in turn has resulted in the students being given stretching work at which they have excelled. Given the SRA’s recently-announced changes in the route to solicitor qualification in the UK, this innovative model of Queen Mary, blending practical experience into a degree, is one which we expect will become more prevalent.

We are delighted with how the first year has progressed and look forward to working with Queen Mary on the placement for many years to come.” - Chloe Muir, Graduate Recruitment Advisor

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