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School of Law

M130 Law in Practice

Study your LLB and gain professional experience at a world leading employer

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 applying your legal skills and knowledge at an employer, returning to Queen Mary 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 an internship with one of the employers partnering with us on the programme, which currently are:

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 Qualifying Law Degree. The work placement on the Law in Practice degree (which takes place in the third year) will take the place of any year abroad. Students who initially enrol onto a joint honours degree (LLB Law with Business and LLB Law and Politics) will be required to leave the joint school after gaining a placement as part of the Law in Practice degree 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 degree placement at law firm Reed Smith (who recruit at the end of the first year of study), but must be prepared to switch from a 2 year to a 4 year programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

The Law in Practice degree is available for up to approximately 10 Queen Mary undergraduate law students each year. Many of the students who have completed the placement year to date have been offered (and accepted) training contracts with the relevant employer. Decisions are made based on an application, academic grades and attendance. Shortlisted candidates are then interviewed by the law firm.

How to apply?

You should apply directly through UCAS onto any LLB programme and you will have the opportunity to make an application for the Year in Practice at the end of either your first year of study or your second year of study (the different law firms have different timelines for application).

What are the career benefits of the placement year?

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.

What sort of work will I do while on placement?

Students will be involved in a range of work, which is currently carried out by paralegals, trainees and those who attend their undergraduate vacation schemes. At Reed Smith LLP, students are engaged in practice group work and innovation projects. At Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Mishcon de Reya LLP, students will focus mainly on one area of practice (including Corporate, Real Estate, Finance, Litigation or Human Rights, and Pro-Bono projects) for the duration of the placement. The area of focus at Paul Hastings LLP is the application of innovations in legal practice and how those apply to practice areas of the firm (ranging from M&A and Corporate Finance to Litigation).

After working closely with the partner, they asked me to lead the client call, and it gave me so much confidence. So when one month later the opportunity arose again I thought: ‘Well, I’ve led a call once, I can do it again’. That experience and the confidence it gives you is amazing.
— Law in Practice Student (2022)
You see the documents you talk about in university, such as contracts, used in practice... It really ‘clicks’ now and I see how the learning we had from the Contract or Corporate law modules is used by practitioners.
— Law in Practice Student (2022)
The level of responsibility was quite scary early on! And I realised that one important skill and habit, because of this responsibility, is the power of asking questions strategically... Ask more rather than less!
— Law in Practice Student (2022)
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