The Cambridge Law Tripos
Every Law student in Cambridge attends the same lectures, organised by the Faculty of Law in its striking modern building (designed by Lord Foster in 1995) on the university’s Sidgwick Site, which is just 10 minutes’ walk from Corpus. Supervisions on each topic are arranged, usually in groups of two to four students, by the Colleges, with each College sending its Law students to teachers who are specialists in the particular branch of Law concerned. Corpus lawyers, in common with all Cambridge Law students, receive some supervisions in their own College and some in other Colleges. Three of the four first-year papers (Constitutional Law, Tort Law and Civil Law I in 2018-19) are taught ‘in-house’ at Corpus. A considerable choice of papers is permitted in the second and third years of study, with Contract Law, Equity, Administrative Law and International Law also currently supervised in-house. For additional information about the Tripos syllabus, please consult the Faculty website
There is also a special website for those thinking of applying to study Law at Cambridge.
Why study Law at Corpus?
Law at Corpus has a long and proud history, and an enthusiastic present! Old Members include many senior judges and leading practitioners, such as Lord Hodge (Justice of the UK Supreme Court), Sir Terence Etherton (the Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice), Judge Christopher Vajda (European Court of Justice), Mr Justice Stuart-Smith and Mr Justice Lavender of the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). Other Honorary Fellows include the retired judges Sir Murray Stuart-Smith and Baroness Butler-Sloss, who was the first female Court of Appeal judge in English history. Practising old members maintain active links with the College through the Nicholas Bacon Law Society, named after the Elizabethan Lord Keeper of the Great Seal – another Old Member of the College in the sixteenth century. At any one time there are about 15-20 Law undergraduates at Corpus, as well as 3-4 LLM/MCL students, and around two students engaged in research for a PhD in Law. Law students work hard, but are enthusiastic about the subject.
Corpus students in particular take an active interest in mooting (competitions that involve the argument of hypothetical cases before mock courts). Each year a College mooting contest is held for first-year law students with the final judged by one of the College’s judicial Old Members. We also have an annual moot against Corpus Christi College, Oxford, sponsored by the barristers’ chambers 7 KBW. The College’s undergraduate library has a dedicated Law reading room. This contains much of the material that an undergraduate will need. The university’s Squire Law library is only a short distance away in the Law Faculty building. It maintains one of the largest legal collections, both printed and electronic, in the UK. Corpus offers excellent teaching across a range of subjects in Law, with two Fellows and two Praeceptors (experts who teach for the College).
What does Corpus look for in Law applicants?
Law students may come from either an Arts or a Science background: no particular A-Level subjects (or equivalent) are preferred. All candidates are required to register for the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) which is taken before any interviews. The test is common to all the Colleges and is set by the Faculty of Law. Our typical minimum offer in Law is A*AA, or 41-42 with 776 in Higher Level Subject for IB students. We welcome students from other educational backgrounds, full information on typical offer levels can be found on the university admissions website. Corpus usually aims to make between 6-8 offer in Law each year.
Nicholas Bacon Society and Fund
For many years the Nicholas Bacon Law Society has maintained links between Law students and alumni through its annual dinner and other events. It has a flourishing social programme organized by and for the current students. One very important aspect of links between current and former members of the College has been the establishment of the Corpus Christi Nicholas Bacon Fund as a separate registered charity (no. 1115923) by a group of old Corpus lawyers, led by Sir Terence Etherton. This fund aims to support undergraduate and postgraduate Law students at Corpus who might otherwise have encountered financial difficulties. Current students are invited to apply for awards from the Fund, and many receive funding each year. The Fund also provides law textbooks for all undergraduates.
Exploring Law: Studying Law at University
This is an open-access online course, designed primarily for 16 to 18-year-olds who are considering whether to study law at a university in the UK. It is free for anyone to access and complete. The course is intended to help any student, whatever their background, and whatever their particular university aspirations. The course aims to give potential law students a taste of what studying law at university involves. Its primary aim is to demystify the study of law and in that way help potential students to feel more confident in deciding whether a law degree is right for them. It also helps to develop understanding and skills that will assist them when applying to university and then when first starting out as a law student. Beyond just the fundamentals of law, you'll have the chance to explore in depth some fascinating questions of criminal law, public law, and private law. The teachers on the course are all Faculty members from within the University. Under their guidance, you'll gain insights into the law and develop key skills needed to succeed in legal studies. For more information, please see their website.