Questions of analysis and interpretation, logical reasoning, ethical judgment, political liberty and social control: Law at Cambridge allows undergraduates to see law in its historical and social contexts, and to examine its general principles and techniques. Although our course (referred to elsewhere as LLB) is primarily concerned with English law, there are opportunities to study other legal systems, including civil (Roman) law, EU law and international law. You can also study theoretical and sociological aspects of law such as jurisprudence or parts of criminology.
Cambridge is generally accepted as having one of the strongest law faculties in the country. As well as covering the 'core subjects' constitutional and administrative law, contract, criminal law, equity, EU law, land law and tort – which you will read wherever you study law in order to gain full exemption from the academic stage of the Bar and the Law Society examinations, Cambridge offers you the opportunity to explore very diverse areas of the law, from French law to medical law and from labour law to law and philosophy.
The Cambridge system of university lectures complemented by small group teaching in supervisions with specialists in each subject from various colleges enables the wider issues that lie behind the "rules element" of law to be discussed and evaluated. Supervisions also give you the opportunity to sort out particular difficulties, get advice and assistance on legal problem-solving and develop your skills in legal reasoning, writing and discussion in a non-hostile environment.
Some King's students take advantage of the optional Erasmus year abroad between the second and third year of the Cambridge Law course. They spend an academic year studying Law at one of the partner universities: Poitiers (France), Regensburg (Germany), Utrecht (the Netherlands) or Madrid (Spain).
The "King's approach to law" continues to focus on encouraging students to think critically about the role of law within the political, economic and moral system, as well as mastering the necessary tools of legal reasoning and analysis. With about 5-6 places in law each year, the King's lawyers form a friendly and supportive community and are carefully supported in their studies by the supervisors and Director of Studies. Students normally have one hour-long supervision a fortnight for each examination subject, with supervisions varying both in form and content. "Problem questions" (i.e. questions about how the law would apply to a set of facts) may be considered, points raised in lectures discussed, and advice given on further reading. Supervisors set an essay for each supervision and give detailed constructive feedback to ensure that legal issues are approached in the appropriate manner.
King's has produced a number of extremely distinguished lawyers and members of the judiciary. Our alumni include Lord Phillips, the current President of the UK Supreme Court (also an Honorary Fellow of the College); Lord Clarke, a Justice of the Supreme Court and former Master of the Rolls; Eleanor Sharpston QC, the UK's Advocate General at the European Court of Justice; Sir David Calvert Smith, Head of the Parole Board; Alexandra Wrage, an expert on anti-bribery compliance and president of TRACE; and Sir Patrick Elias, a Lord Justice of Appeal.
It is not unusual for students in other subjects to change to law later in the degree: for many years, King's students have come to law successfully from a range of other disciplines, such as Modern and Medieval Languages, Natural Sciences, HSPS and Economics. "Pure" lawyers therefore share supervisions and talk informally with others who have changed into law, whose different perspectives, difficulties and strengths usually make for lively and wide-ranging discussion. As well as more informal discussion in College, King's College Law Society (KCLS) organises a number of social and academic events for students interested in Law (whether or not they are studying it).
Fellows at King's in Law:
We welcome applications from candidates who look able to meet our entrance requirements from all kinds of schools all over the world. Every year we interview applicants from a very wide range of backgrounds. We usually admit 5 or 6 Law students each year, although numbers do vary.
There is no specific set of subjects that have to have been studied at school to study Law at King's (and taking Law at school gives no particular advantage!). You need a clear logical mind, a willingness to think through and argue a case, and the ability to assimilate, condense and use large quantities of information. Law is quintessentially a language-based subject, so the ability to speak and write coherently and precisely is vital. At least one essay-based subject at school would be useful.
There are no pre-interview assessments for Law, although students who are invited for interview in Law are also asked to take the Cambridge Law Test, which lasts one hour. No specific preparation is required for this test. You do not need to register in advance for this as it will be organised automatically by the College if you are invited for interview.
You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application to King's.
Interviews normally last up to 25 minutes at most, and you will be asked to collect and read a text in the half hour before your interview to be discussed with the interviewers.
There are no particular books that Law applicants are required to read, but you may find the introductory reading suggestions useful below.
Other events which may be of interest in the year before you apply (year 12 in the UK) include Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, CU Masterclasses, the Cambridge Sixth Form Law Conference, the annual Law Faculty Open Day and King's Open Days. Students from backgrounds where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education might like to think about applying for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools or the CUSU Shadowing Scheme.