First, we look at academic performance. This will include your past performance, such as GCSEs and AS Level modules, including UMS marks, and predicted results (where predictions are made). The interview will also give us another perspective on your academic ability. Your academic performance is perhaps the single biggest component of how we objectively measure your potential to do well in Cambridge, but it is not the only one.
Second, we consider your ability to make the most of your academic abilities. Your academic performance tells us a lot, but we will also look for examples of your dedication, focus and willingness to work on difficult issues. Your school reference and personal statement might tell us more about this too.
Finally, we want to know about your interest in Law. You may be academically strong and be highly dedicated, but if you have no real interest in studying Law you would not make the best Law student. We would expect candidates who tell us on personal statements and at interview that they are fascinated by Law to be able to say why Law fascinates them. It might also not be unusual for us to ask how that fascination has been developed and explored. We do not require anyone to have shadowed a barrister or visited with a solicitor, as that opportunity is not available to everyone — and we are not concerned with whether you want to be a practising lawyer. But there is a lot of information available to the public about law, from government reports to public court buildings, from leading newspapers to websites and books available from local libraries, and so we can reasonably expect you to have done some background reading to help inform your decision to study Law at university. Those who apply to us to read Law come from a huge range of backgrounds, having had different experiences and opportunities: we understand that you will show interest in Law in different ways.
We pay a lot of attention to each candidate. There is no one type of perfect candidate. You do not need to have studied any particular subjects at A level. Almost any combination of school subjects is acceptable (subject to the conditions laid down in the Acceptable A-level Subject Combinations list: click here.) It is advisable to take at least one subject that involves regular essay writing. Past performance is not everything: you need not have attained a certain number of A grade or A* grades. It is true that typically those who get a place have done well at both GCSE and AS level, often all or almost all A grades or above. But all the circumstances are taken into account in assessing each application.
Law students come in all shapes and sizes. Some aspiring law students might wonder what the legal effect of this sign, to the left, would be, do you? If the structure fell down, and injured someone who saw the sign but had nonetheless been climbing on it, should there be a claim? What if the structure fell down and the flying debris injured someone on a nearby path? Would it make a difference if the person on the path had read the sign? What does the sign suggest about insuring risks of such structures, or planning rules? The study of law is open to lots of different perspectives, whose inquiry might begin from a simple faded sign.