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LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?

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zemeckis07

Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 99
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Sun Jan 22, 2012 01:04 PM
Obviously, that's got to do with each candidate's personal goal in legal studies. However, I wonder if it would be a good idea for me to apply to even the best LLM programs in UK right now. What I read every week is that the UK's economy is slowly but surely succumbing in face of this decade's political and international challenges. What I worry about (besides scholarships, which are always a concern) is that this would impact my graduate degree in the UK - or the reputation of my graduate degree in the UK - negatively.

Other than that, I don't understand the choice for an LLM in the UK for the purpose of furthering your career in the legal profession - and this is for foreign-trained lawyers like myself. Many people say it is very difficult to become a practicioner in the UK, so they take their LLM and apply for jobs elsewhere. Why wouldn't you do that in the US, for example? It's much more feasible to get an LLM in the US and pass the bar in NY - with that, your chances of getting a job in the US, in Germany, in Sweden, in Denmark or anywhere are significantly better, I presume.

This is a genuine doubt, by the way. I'm not trying to belittle the efforts of people applying for LLMs in the UK, and I know that the quality of certain LLM programs (Oxford, Cambridge) can and will be raised in replies to this post. Still, it doesn't really convince me as a career choice.
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Floris
Joined: 28 May 2010
Posts: 84
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 02:52 PM
you're talking about a one year program..... what do you expect ?

The rest of your CV will make the real difference, especially if you're talking about continental europe, where these degrees are at the best seen as some additional 'eye candy'.
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Voice.of.Reason
Joined: 01 Apr 2009
Posts: 106
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 03:36 PM
The above^^^ comment is highly intuitive. An LLM degree is mere padding onto what you are already trained to do by your LLB. You should make your decision based upon what YOU want to gain from it because no hiring manager will make HIS decision based purely (or even minimally) on the fact that you have an LLM. Want prestige? Go to OxBridge. Want year-long sunshine mixed with a bit of learning? Go to a school in Australia. In the end, you will have to start at a job and grind it out like everyone else.
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psyfi
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 38
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 03:49 PM
Of course hiring managers will take into consideration that you've already pursued an LL.M., especially when it's an internationally focussed law firm in continental Europe. Eventually, the big law firms in my country normally expect an LL.M. or at least work experience in an english-speaking country, nota bene for an associate's position. An LL.M. is thus definitely an advantage. at some places even a condition.
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zemeckis07

Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 99
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 04:02 PM
My decision has already been made (Harvard & NYU), because these two law schools have - in my opinion and from my research - the best LLM programs in my areas of expertise worldwide (Corporate Law & International Taxation).

I don't necessarily want prestige and I could care less about "year-long sunshine". If I did, I'd have applied for University of Hawaii. I want the best LLM program in my areas of expertise, but paired with realistic job prospects in the country of the law school I choose. My thoughts are that an LLM in UK right now could be less interesting than it would have been, let's say, five years ago.

Credentials, grades and work experience are not a problem to me. It just strikes me as a little odd that people (specially foreign-trained lawyers like myself, eager to build a career in the legal profession in other countries) are applying for LLM programs in the UK at the present time - then again, because of what I feel UK is going through right now.
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Wheretogo_
Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 288
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 04:53 PM
There is nothing wrong in applying to LLM programmes in the UK. UK Universities offer good programmes and you don't need to go to Oxbridge.Even if you do an LLM in the UK you can certainly go to other countries.

The legal profession in the UK is very much in decline and not to mention the US. The current billing and law firm operating system will have to change or face a grimmer prospect in the future.

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qualifiedlawyer
Joined: 24 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 08:37 PM
If I'm honest, I'm doing an LLM for two reasons:
1. My career - I'm a young lawyer, but I'm managing a team and looking to the next step (Head of my department). An LLM will add gravitas to me / my advice, and I can be more easily compared with my European colleagues (e.g. all my German colleagues are LLM / PhDs).

2. My interest - as you get more experience and work your way up in a firm, you may well find that you slowly move towards management / administration / client relationship which draws you away from the detailed technical knowledge; you are expected to use wisdom and be more strategic in your decision-making, and you rely on others (incl. PSLs) to give you the very latest law. To try and rebalance a bit, I'm doing some further education.

As they said before, do what you feel is right and best for you.

[Edited by qualifiedlawyer on 25 Jan 2012]

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qualifiedlawyer
Joined: 24 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Wed Jan 25, 2012 08:43 PM
I confess I can't agree the UK legal profession is in decline - with partners still taking home telephone number salaries, a huge demand on training contract places, the law of E&W growing in international contracts, and thought-leadership in regulation (my expertise), to name but a few reasons of why it is still good to be a lawyer in the UK. Yes some law firms are suffering billing constraints, but that starts with the customer who wants more for less - it just means you need to innovate, add value and differentiate yourself. (Why not get rid of some of the chaff?)

Perhaps what has changed is that being a lawyer isn't a job for life. People move into business, into the not for profit sector, into government, or something vocational like teaching (often having paid the mortgage off).
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athyd
Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Posts: 82
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Sun Jan 29, 2012 08:31 AM
Hi, I guess the initial idea of the thread was whether in view of the current recession gripping most of the economies whether it would be viable option to go in for a Masters in Law...
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giovanni80
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 3
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Sun Jan 29, 2012 04:27 PM
Hi guys, does anyone of you knows the LONDON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS and FINANCE (LSBF)? anyone knows tell me if it is a good school? ... would like to request the inscription at the LLM in Business Law from this school and I need to figure out what kind of reputation ... Thanks everyone!)

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Russ

Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 208
LLM in UK: Is it really a good idea right now?
Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:31 PM
Get your own picture: www.find-mba.com/university/1453/photos/588

Seriously, I think there are much better options in London. Check the University of London colleges (UCL, LSE, KCL, QMUL, SOAS, Birkbeck, IALS).

[Edited by Russ on 30 Jan 2012]

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