Pathways to Law

Pathways to Law

Pathways to Law is an innovative national project, which aims to give young people a unique chance to experience university life and to encourage their aspirations to pursue a career in law.

On the Pathways to Law programme, you’ll be invited to take part in a number of academic activities and networking events, which will help you to develop key skills for higher education and in your career. You’ll also be able to get a taste of life as a legal professional during a week of practical work experience in a major London law firm.

Throughout the programme, you’ll be able to find advice and guidance from your UCL LLB student mentor through the Pathways to Law E-Mentoring scheme. There will be opportunities to discuss your education and career ambitions with university advisors and legal professionals who will be explain the options available to you, and suggest the best way to approach applications for study and professional roles.

Programme activities and highlights include:

  • Visits to the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inner Temple in London
  • Working with students from across the country to explore your critical understanding and knowledge of the law, and enhance your individual and group presentation skills
  • Have the chance to take part in a Moot – a mock trial – and develop effective arguments and practise your public speaking
  • Attending the Pathways to Law National Conference and meet fellow students, take part in debating and negotiation workshops, receive careers and university advice, and enjoy a special networking drinks and gala dinner with representatives from major firms.


  • Careers day
  • Work placements
  • Parents' information session
  • Residential conference
  • University open days
  • Application advice sessions
  • Student mentoring

Pathways to Law is a widening participation programme, seeking to encourage and support students who might not otherwise have the means or opportunity to pursue a career in the law. Facilitated by The Sutton Trust in conjunction with The Legal Education Foundation and The Brightside Trust, Pathways to Law focuses on 17 and 18 year-olds in Years 12 and 13 whose parents have not been to university, or who have been eligible for free school meals. Preference is given to those in lower performing schools and poorer areas.

Pathways to Law is currently run through a network of universities across the UK, with support from over 30 law firms, including Allen and Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Mayer Brown. 

How to Apply
To apply for the Pathways to Law programme, you’ll need to complete an application and your school will need to provide a reference and details of your predicted grades. Your parent or guardian will also need to support your application.
If your application is successful, you will be recruited to the London programme and then allocated to either UCL or the LSE. Unfortunately, you can’t choose a specific London university, but the programme will bring together students from both universities at a number of joint events during the year.
In order to be eligible for the programme, you must:

  • Demonstrate an interest in a career in law
  • Attend a state school or college
  • Have at least 5 As or A*s at GCSE
  • Be either the first generation in their family to attend university, or be or have been eligible for Free School Meals (or, where this information is difficult or sensitive to obtain, the participant attends a school that is significantly above the regional average in terms of number of students eligible for free school meals)

In addition, preference will be given to those students:

  • In schools with below average levels of attainment / progression to university
  • In schools with high free school meal rates
  • From deprived postcodes as evidenced by POLAR, IMD or ACORN.

To apply, visit the Pathways to Law pages on The Sutton Trust website:

When are the deadlines?

The application deadline for Pathways 2014 is on Monday 29 September 2014. 
A decision will be made on your application jointly by the UCL and LSE co-coordinators, and providing you meet the criteria previously listed will be based on your grades, personal statement and teachers reference..  It is hoped these places will be offered by Wednesday 8 October 2014. UCL will be recruiting 35-40 students and LSE 70 students, meaning a recruitment to the London programme of around 100 students.
Please note the Launch event at UCL is planned for Saturday 18th October.
If successful you will be offered a place at either UCL or LSE, if you have attended a summer school or previous programme at or have an affiliation to either university you are encouraged to reflect this in your personal statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m in Year 11 - when should I send in my application?
Each year, we accept Year 11 applications for Pathways to Law during the summer holidays for entry into the programme in September of the same year.

I am in Year 12 - can I still apply to the programme?
If you have just started in Year 12 in September 2014 then you can apply by the deadline of 29 September 2014

I’m in Year 10 - how can I find out more about Pathways to Law?
If you are currently in Year 10, and are about to move into Year 11, we would be happy to visit your school and talk to you about the Pathways to Law programme. Please contact us at pathwaystolaw@ucl.ac.uk to find out more.
In addition, there may be Year 12 or 13 students at your school already on the programme who could talk to you about their experiences.

Can I choose whether to study on Pathways to Law at UCL or LSE?
Unfortunately, you cannot choose a specific London university, or switch universities. However, all aspects of your application will be taken into account for your placement. We bring together students from UCL and the LSE for 3 or 4 joint events per year.

How many people can apply per school?
Pathways to Law aims to give as diverse a spread of students as possible the chance to study on the programme, so it may not be possible to take all applicants from the same school. As a general rule we would take up to five students from the same school, who would be split between UCL and the LSE.

How many programme sessions are there?
UCL offers between 6 - 8 sessions per year across the two-year programme, plus the residential Pathways to Law National Conference and your work placement in the first year, and the Pathways to Law Graduation Ceremony in your second.

What personal commitment do I have to make?
Pathways to Law students are expected to attend all of the 8 -10 sessions per year, across both years of their participation. Condoned absences will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and must be requested beforehand, except in the case of an emergency or unforeseen event.

Do I need to bring my own lunch or refreshments?
No. UCL or the event organiser will provide all necessary food and refreshments at each event.

Who are the mentors?
Each Pathways to Law mentor at UCL is a LLB second year undergraduate student. Mentors will provide support primarily by email and attend occasional events, and look after 3 or 4 Pathways to Law students. In most circumstances, you will have the same mentor for both years on Pathways to Law.

If I become a Pathways to Law student will I be guaranteed an undergraduate place at UCL?
No. The Pathways to Law programme offers no automatic place at any of our partner universities. However, participating students are strongly advised to draw upon their experiences on the programme. Do refer to your involvement with Pathways to Law when making applications to universities and seeking employment opportunities in the future. The UCL Laws admissions team will note any applicants who are members of the Pathways to Law programme from any of the twelve universities.

Is attendance at the National Conference compulsory?
All Pathways of Law students are strongly advised to attend the National Conference, which takes place in July after the school term is finished. The Conference offers a unique opportunity to gain an insight into university life and meet different individuals from across the legal profession. The Pathways to Law National Conference is a key element in the schedule of the first year of the programme. There will also be a mini UCAS fair involving all twelve Pathways to Law Universities.

What happens at the National Conference?
Students are fully supervised at the National Conference. They join groups of students from other universities to network and make new friends. Up to six of the LLB student mentors from UCL will also attend to help with organising, chaperoning and facilitating groups. The University of Warwick is a campus-based university, so it is completely self-contained.
Students are not allowed to leave the campus and in fact will have no need to. Accommodation is  in single sex blocks, and is within five minutes walk of the dining facilities and lecture rooms. There are coffee shops, a post office, a supermarket, cash-point machines available on campus.

Do we have to cater for ourselves at the National Conference?
No. The Conference is fully catered, with a choice of cooked or continental breakfast or fruit and cereal etc. Lunch is normally in the form of a packed lunch and then there will be a cooked two-course meal in the evening. On the last evening there is a gala dinner which, though formal, is fun too. Representatives from Law firms who hosted student placements also attend and everyone is expected to dress smartly (no jeans). There is a disco afterwards.

How much does Pathways cost?
Nothing. The Pathways to Law programme is fully funded by partner universities, national sponsors and the College of Law. All events, transport, refreshment and materials will be provided free of charge or expenses refunded. Transport costs can be refunded upon presentation of a valid ticket and/or receipt. The National Conference mentioned above is fully funded and a small amount of spending money is all that is needed.

When is the deadline?
The deadline for applications to start the programme is Monday 29 September 2014

For more information, please view our Pathways flyer.


For more information about the Pathways to Law programme at UCL, please email pathwaystolaw@ucl.ac.uk

Telephone: 020 7679 8547

You can also contact us by writing to:

Kerry Newlyn,

Pathways to Law
UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens
London WC1H 0EG