UK/London IB Uni Choice (NEED HELP) - Durham/Warwick/Bristol Law

Hey guys, I hope you are well.

I need some help for university selection in regard to UK/London IB recruiting and opportunities.

My options consist of Durham, Warwick and Bristol all in the speciality in Law.

I recognize that the understanding on this forum is that Warwick is strongest option of the 3 aforementioned universities, but does this apply to faculties outside of WBS (Warwick Business School)? Will my degree in Law be of hinderance in my recruitment process?

I have also seen Durham vary wildly in reputation in relation to the environment of investment banking recruiting in London, from that of a (low) target down to the ranks of a low semi-target. Where does Durham fall, and what are the on-campus recruitment opportunities? Would I be limiting myself by going to Durham over Warwick?

My other 2 'safety options' are Manchester and QMUL, but I am assuming that the likes of Durham/Warwick/Bristol negate the ability of those being competitive options for my current ambitions.

Thank you for taking your time to read this and if anyone would like to contribute I would greatly appreciate it.

EDIT: I don't know why the formatting came out as undesirable as it did, my phone is clearly on drugs

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Comments (34)

Feb 18, 2021 - 2:28pm

To be honest, you can't go wrong with any of them! Warwick probably edges ahead of the others, but it's marginal.

As long as you're on the ball for spring weeks, you'll be absolutely fine!


  • 1
Feb 18, 2021 - 3:06pm

Thanks for the response.

Are spring weeks necessary for a good shot at a SA position? I've heard they are ridiculously selective. Will a 2.1 be sufficient or should a 1st be what I need to have a decent chance?

Feb 18, 2021 - 3:26pm

Spring weeks aren't necessary but can help a lot. A 2:1 should be fine, but it's less defensible than a first (i.e. If you tell me you're a hard worker, but you have a 2:1, I'll have doubts about your definition of working hard). However, anyone who knows what studying law is like should know how difficult a first is!


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Feb 18, 2021 - 3:19pm

I think you will have a tough time. Warwick is a target and the rest are semis but law is an unusual degree for someone who knows they are looking to go into IBD. Don't get me wrong- you can spin it and many can but you will need to have a great CV in order to have that chance to explain yourself. 

Why are you studying law if you want to be a banker?? 

If you aren't a diversity candidate or have something incredible on your CV, then I think the Springs will be a tough tough route ahead. 

Most Helpful
Feb 18, 2021 - 3:42pm

I appreciate your response.

As per your question, I am (at this point) evaluating my options with investment banking in combination of my ambitions to practice law, as in the chance that I begin my studies and law and find that it is not for me, investment banking and finance in general is the route I want to pursue. As for the law school reputation/recruiting, they are very much comparable for big law and although Durham/Bristol may have slightly stronger placements in that environment, all 3 are generally equals. So, by considering the prowess and recruitment opportunities for investment banking for each school i'm (essentially) hedging some risk if studying law turns out to be not what I think it will be.

Also, I have a finance related internship (albeit not necessarily a prestigious one) and would take every possible step to beef up my CV for spring weeks. I appreciate the honestly pertaining to the realistic opportunity of me getting a spring week internship, and definitely would appreciate more feedback pertaining to how the selection process works.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2021 - 5:11pm

Why are you studying law if you want to go into banking. 

Feb 18, 2021 - 7:08pm

As I said in the previous response, considering the prowess and recruiting opportunities for banking in the alternative that I determine that Law is not for me is of importance in my decision making process.

I am taking law with the intention of studying and practicing it, however since the three schools I am considering are of equal measure as law schools, if I decide to pursue investment banking or finance in general I am curious as to how they stack up against each other. In addition, it is my understanding that it is not uncommon for non-economics/finance degrees to enter IB.

Feb 18, 2021 - 7:39pm

Durham is a lot stronger than the others for law, for what it's worth. At most MC firms it's by far and away the third most represented uni and often doesn't trail Oxbridge by much. Not quite sure why, but Warwick and Bristol are far behind by comparison (and KCL and UCL are probably in between them and Durham). Warwick probably has the least placement power for law as a STEM/business focused school that's not quite as full of private school kids as Durham or Bristol.

But as the others have said, for banking Warwick is your best bet by far. Still an uphill struggle given the law degree, but it will be even more difficult from the other two. Might also be worth considering doing law then an MSc in something relevant at a target (Oxbridge, LBS, LSE, Imperial). In that case, Warwick and Durham would probably confer a marginal advantage over Bristol in how they would be viewed by admissions.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2021 - 10:59pm

Hard to recruit at Bristol if you are not diversity or connected 

  • Business School in IB - Gen
Feb 19, 2021 - 10:44pm

Warwick but Durham has on campus recruiting n is prob best outside of top 6 (Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial, UCL, Warwick) so u will lose some ground but not much

Feb 21, 2021 - 1:42am

Thanks for the insight. I have looked into that and will definitely consider doing so if I choose to attend Warwick.

In the case that I can't, do you know if I am excluded from certain opportunities as a non-WBS student? I'm assuming Econ students fall into a similar situation and if you have any light on if clubs/events are limited to WBS students i'd greatly appreciate any information you might have.

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Feb 21, 2021 - 7:33am

Sorry it's been nearly a decade so I can't really remember but there were plenty of non wbs career events plus there are lots of finance societies doing stuff in addition to what wbs society (wbss) does so you'll be ok

In fact the Warwick finance societies from memory was much much better than wbss which had a big management and big 4 focus so you'll be ok. 

Try Google those society names and you should see the events they held. 

Personally for law id chose Durham but yes for a finance career with a law degree I'd choose Warwick. See if you can load up on corporate finance / restructuring law modules and spin it as "you learn all the actual finance you need on the job and you wanted to also have legal angle before hand which you'd get less of an exposure to at work"

Feb 20, 2021 - 7:07pm

All three can make you get there. I know nothing about law, but for banking Warwick would have a slight edge over the two others. Now think about where/which university you actually want to attend as all 3 are quite different. Bristol is probably the most "party one" Durham the poshest one and Warwick the most driven one. I would consider this point way more than placement as from all 3 unis it will be more dependant on you than the actual uni. Being at a uni you like and enjoy, in which you fit and take part in relevant societies/clubs is way more important than incremental 1% chance of getting an offer. 

also to all the others - at the UG level degree really does not matter. In fact for spring weeks it may be easier if you study a non traditional degree, and interviewers will expect less technical knowledge.

Feb 21, 2021 - 1:50am

Thank you so much for that perspective and insight.

I noticed that you also recently posted a London IB informational post that was very in depth and I actually stumbled upon before making this post. You mentioned that the course doesn't matter for IB recruiting, instead the school being what is important. Is this only relevant for differentiating economics/finance/business related courses or does this also apply to non-conventional backgrounds, such as law?

Thanks again for your time to give such an in-depth response!

Mar 11, 2021 - 4:36pm

Either Warwick or Durham, drop the rest. 

Warwick is much stronger in finance, and Durham in law. It's a tough call between the two, but would probably pick Durham if I had to. The law school is much stronger than at Warwick and you'll have a much better time (college system et all). 

If you want to study law and then do IB, I suggest you pursue a restructuring banking route. This would be a great use of both finance and legal skills. It also 'makes sense' to go to a better law school and then push for IB vs the other way around. You'll also stand out better among the DUBS undergrad IB candidates with you coming from law compared to the other way around at Warwick. 

Best of luck! If you go to Durham, pick a 'fun' college!

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