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The University of Law

The University of Law
Former names
The College of Law (1962-2012)
Motto Leges Juraque Cognoscamus
Motto in English
May we learn the laws and ordinances
Established 1962 (1962)
Type Private
President John Latham
Provost Andrea Nollent
Students approx. 16000
Undergraduates approx. 6600
Postgraduates approx. 9400
Location Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, London (Bloomsbury and Moorgate), Manchester and Leeds, England
Campus Urban
Nickname Template:If empty
Affiliations Universities UK

The University of Law or UOL (formerly The College of Law) is a private university located in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1962, UOL is the biggest-established specialist provider of legal education and training in all of Europe.[1][2]

It is one of the major provider of Continuing Professional Development courses for judges, barristers and solicitors.[3] The university is frequently ranked among Europe's top private law schools.[4][5] In 2014, the National Student Survey ranked UOL as Great Britain's joint fourth best university, excluding small and specialist institutions, with a learner satisfaction level of 92%.[6][7]

UOL taught many notable alumni, including many ministers, 153 UK Members of Parliament, 14 Lord Chief Justices, 8 Lord Chancellors and some governors of overseas nations.[8]

In January 2015 it became one of eight members of the newly formed Independent Universities Group whose objective is to differentiate their academic credentials from the more commercial elements of the alternative sector.


20th century

File:College of Law Crest.jpg
Coat of arms of the former College of Law

The Law Society of England and Wales created The College of Law by merging its own School of Law and the tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon in 1962.[9] The College was created in its legal form by Royal Charter on 5 December 1975.[10] It was registered as a charity on 24 May 1976 with the aim "to promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law in all its branches".[10]

In 1975, The College of Law submitted proposals which changed the face of legal education, recommending a 36-week Final Examination course for aspiring solicitors and a Common Professional Examination (CPE) or law conversion course for non-law graduates. It became a major provider of – and examining body for – the CPE (now known as the Graduate Diploma in Law).

In the 1980s, The Law Society asked the College to produce a scheme for additional tuition in accounts for articled clerks (now trainee solicitors), combining distance learning with one-day's attendance at lectures. The course became compulsory for those taking the Final Examination, which meant the College was able to develop distance learning study on other courses over the coming years.

The skills-based Legal Practice Course replaced the Final Examination, giving students a more vocational education. Student numbers grew to around 4,500 a year by the mid 1990s. A few years later, the College severed its links with The Law Society and, when the Council of Legal Education lost its monopoly, was able to run the new Bar Professional Training Course, for aspiring barristers.

21st century

File:University of Law.jpg
The Bristol campus

The University of Law pioneered the establishment of pro bono clinics, with students undertaking legal advice work for free under the guidance of practitioners. It also forged international links, introducing young European lawyers to the English legal system for the British Council.

The University restructured its Legal Practice Courses to give students more choice and won a contract to develop law firm-specific LPC programmes for three magic circle firms – Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. As of 2015, the University will run the firm-specific LPC only for Linklaters; Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance announced their move to City Law School for their firm-specific LPC.

In 2006 the College became the first independent institution to be granted degree awarding powers by the Privy Council, leading to development of its Bachelor and Master of Laws degree programmes. The London Moorgate centre was also opened – currently the UK's largest corporate-specific law school.

In March 2010 the College announced that they would become the first legal education provider in the UK to offer direct access to the New York Bar for non-law graduates.

It was also announced in April 2012 that the College has teamed up with international law firm CMS Cameron McKenna to launch an International Legal Practice Course, the first LPC to focus on the global legal services market.[11]

On 22 November 2012, it was announced that the College was given full University status and its name was changed to "The University of Law".[12]

In May 2014 it announced that it was going to sell its entire property portfolio. It also announced debts of £177m in the first accounts published since Montagu Private Equity bought the College (as it then was) in 2012 for approximately £200m[13] Critics have compared the purchase by Montagu Private Equity to the ‘leveraged buyouts ’of Premier League clubs in English football.[14] The University of Law’s ultimate parent company is L-J Holdco Limited, incorporated in Guernsey.

On 13 October 2014, UOL announced partnership with University of Liverpool and Shanghai’s leading law school, The East China University of Political Science and Law. The partnership between these two law schools created an innovative academic partnership between the UK and China. [15]

Academic profile

Various student surveys and legal forum show that The University of Law is between the top postgraduate law courses providers in the UK along with UCL Faculty of Laws and The Dickson Poon School of Law. This may have been attributed to the number of applicants the three law schools receive annually, consistent top ratings from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and their partnerships with law firms.

In an article published in The Daily Telegraph, the University of Law was described as "the country's best law school". It was further stated "Mix the institution's experience of delivering education, with its unrivalled contacts within the legal profession and no other law school can match their reputation and commitment to preparing future lawyers for the fast moving world of modern law".[16]


A large variety of courses are offered,[17] including:

The Open University's courses in Law (including the LL.B by distance learning) are offered in association with The University of Law.

In May 2006, The University of Law became the first private institution to receive the power to award degrees, allowing it to award the degree of LL.B to those of its students who complete both the Graduate Diploma in Law and either the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Professional Training Course.[18]

The University of Law also offers a range of undergraduate law degree LL.B programmes, which started with the two-year course in September 2012.[19]

For over 100 years, the University of Law has been helping lawyers achieve their professional ambitions.

Until the transfer of its training business to The University of Law Ltd, The College of Law was in the top 100 of UK charities ranked by expenditure.[20] The charity is now called the Legal Education Foundation.

The University of Law is a recognised body,[21] an institution which has its own degree awarding powers under British law.

Notable alumni

Some notable alumni of the University of Law:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Paton, Graeme (22 November 2012). "Britain's first profit-making university opened". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Private and State Law Schools". LLM study. 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Jack Grove (12 August 2014). "National Student Survey 2014 results show record levels of satisfaction". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "History and heritage". University of Law. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Charity Commission Profile". Charity Commission. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Stokes, Nicola (27 April 2012). "College of Law joins forces with CMS Cameron McKenna to launch International LPC". CMS Cameron McKenna. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ College of Law rebranded University of Law, Lawyer 2B, 22 November 2012
  13. ^
  14. ^ John Morgan, “For-profit won the title (and a ‘Premier League’ debt to boot)”, Times Higher Education, No. 2,150, 1–7 May 2014, pg. 6
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The College of Law leads the way". Telegraph. 9 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "College of Law – courses". College of Law. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bar Professional Training Course – BPTC". University of Law. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Undergraduate". University of Law. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Charities Direct". Charities Direct. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "DCSF". Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Graham Defries at website of Dechert LLP Retrieved 17.August 2013

External links