10 Top Tips for The GDL

Hello friends!

I hope you’re having a good Monday and that July wasn’t too bad to you.

Today, I wanted to focus more on the law element of my blog and talk about something I don’t mention that much on here.

I decided to convert my degree in September 2017, and decided to study the GDL. This stands for Graduate Diploma in Law. It is basically three years of law in about 9 months, and it is killer hard.

I think it was the hardest qualification I have ever taken.

However, it isn’t impossible- it is actually very much possible to achieve, and today I’m going to give you ten tips on studying the GDL.

  1. Have NO expectations

I think a lot of people go into the GDL probably expecting things from it, but you can’t have expectations for that kind of thing. It is really, truly, 100% difficult. If you expect that you’re going to get a certain grade etc, then you set yourself up to place a lot of stress on yourself. It’s stressful enough without you making yourself feel worse.

2. Do some pre-reading

For the GDL I did, there was a course before the actual course started. It had basic info on the legal system and how the law worked, but it didn’t do me any harm to read a book on the law first. It really was a tiny book on an intro to law, and it really helped me.

3. Understand that people will come from all walks of life

People on the GDL are coming from so many backgrounds, but it is really good! You will meet some people married, some will have kids, some maybe 50 and changing their career path. Everyone will be different, which leads me to…

4. You’re all in the same boat

You are all starting law at the same time (okay, so people may have been thinking about this since they BEGAN their degree- I never get that), and you will all be in the same boat. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t know something because law is DIFFICULT to get your head around, and it’s really hard to grasp at first.

5. Forget everything from your degree

Okay, don’t forget what you learned in your degree (because that costs SO much money), but try to forget any technique you learned. For me, my habit is writing long essays when I don’t need to. You best believe in every single GDL exam I wrote 14+ pages. The thing is, law is a totally different technique compared to an English degree. I was very annoyed when I didn’t need an intro or conclusion to my criminal law questions.

6. Be organised.

I cannot stress this enough, but you HAVE to be organised. You have to do the prep work and the reading before class otherwise you will get left behind- and no one wants to get left behind with land law.

7. Set REALISTIC goals

You can’t get all your prep work done in one evening, and you can’t not have a social life. Set a goal that tomorrow you’ll do your work for say contract law, then the day after you’ll make notes on your other tort class. Don’t set yourself goals that you won’t achieve- the last thing you want is to feel like you are failing the GDL.

8. Take breaks

Give yourself a break every now and then. I joke that I didn’t have a social life, but I did give myself a night out once every couple of weeks. And I consumed my body weight in alcohol (that’s what law does to you… just kidding… probably). Do what you have to do to get through. Don’t let yourself burn out.

9. You get out what you put in

If you don’t put the work in, then the GDL won’t be kind to you. However, if you put in lots of effort and work hard, then you can achieve the GDL. It is doable, and that’s from someone who did it and survived!

10. Know that the GDL is hard- and resits happen.

I had to resit two exams, but the second time round I knew that subject off the back of my hand. I dreamt of case law, I knew things off by heart, and the resit did me some good!


If you are starting the GDL, then good luck fellow comrades.

You can do this, you can survive it.

Legally Fierce Feminist (1)


4 thoughts on “10 Top Tips for The GDL

  1. Massive props to you for getting through this, I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to have all that crammed into less than a year! These are some really great tips and I’m glad you mentioned taking breaks, it’s something a lot of people forget to do and it’s so important to take care of your mental health no matter how busy things get.

    Alice x

    Liked by 1 person

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