Masters of Law (LLM) are becoming as popular as the LPC (Legal Practice Course) due to the opportunity to specialise in certain areas of law with a pathway to obtaining a PhD. Depending on your country of origin, you may choose to do an LLM immediately after graduating, or wait a few years until you have some practical experience in your chosen area.
However as the legal profession becomes more internationalised, and demand becomes higher for undergraduates to demonstrate a good knowledge of the legal systems outside of their own country, an LLM may become a big advantage to your chosen career.
Here are some of the advantages of obtaining a Masters of Law:
Opportunity to specialise
The chance to focus on a particular aspect of the law can be a great advantage. It is an opportunity to specialise in an area of law in much more detail, and once you graduate, if you have a certain area of law in mind that you wish to pursue, obtaining specialised knowledge will make you stand out from the crowd.
Alternative to the LPC
Not all law undergraduates wish to pursue a career in practice. As an alternative, taking an LLM instead of an LPC will open up an opportunity for you to teach at postgraduate level. Although most institutions require you to be working towards a Phd, many undergraduates see this as a useful platform.
Opportunity to work in the U.S.
Many undergraduates wish to pursue a career in the United States and choose to complete an LLM in order to go on to practice there, there are opportunities for foreign lawyers to apply for a bar exam in certain states upon completion of an LLM degree.
Helps with the application process
As many undergraduate students find out when attending interviews, whether it be for a training contract or a pupillage, to be successful you have to be able to make yourself stand out and be unique in your application. You also need to demonstrate a dedication to the law and your chosen career. Obtaining an LLM shows that you have gone that extra mile, and this may be the difference between getting that interview or not.
A cheaper alternative
It is not unknown for students to struggle to finance their own legal education. An LLM can set you back approximately £5,000 – 10,000, whereas an LPC could cost you £7,500- 15,000, although the cost of doing an LLM is usually higher if you are a non-EU or International student studying in the UK. So make sure you are aware of the specific details of your chosen course, since it can vary between universities and colleges. However, many undergraduate students still chose to do a LLM for this reason , and then once this is obtained, go on to secure funding for training contracts thereafter.
Once a legal practice course was every law graduates idea of postgraduate study. Now a masters of law is highly regarded and is becoming more popular due to the advantages and possible opportunities it offers. If practice is not for you then an LLM is something to strongly consider. In my opinion, you will not be disappointed.