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Posted Sept. 25, 2017
Getting Ahead Of Your LLM Before You've Even Started
When you finish your bachelor degree in law, if you want to proceed with a career in law or in the world of legal academia, you will be faced with many decisions. Maybe you should try a taster course online? Or study a diploma program on the area of law in which you are interested in to get to know more about it? You could opt to do an internship or a research project in your field of interest. However, if you decide to study an LLM there are certain steps you can take to ensure you get the best out of the experience.
It is important to prepare yourself beforehand so that the transition is quicker and you are able to make the most of your LLM student life.
Let’s look at various ways in which you can get ahead of your LLM degree even before you have started it!
1. Browse information in advance
When you get to your LLM induction, you will be asked to let the law school know of the modules that you wish to choose on your LLM program and eventually also let them know of your chosen topic for LLM dissertation. You can get to a quick start on these items by browsing information online and visiting libraries in your own jurisdictions before you get to your induction. The law school website may not always have full information on final module topics that will become available on the program, however you can get in touch with the admissions team before you start to be certain of the ones they will offer. As for choosing your dissertation topic, if you are not too sure of what you wish to present on, then this is a good time to start your research on the topic. You could do your own independent research and then talk to work colleagues, law school professors or friends to get specific guidance.
2. Develop skills and experience
Some LLM programs can expect you to have certain skills by the end of your bachelors degree, such as basic knowledge of legal concepts and topics, referencing tools and research methods. While others may require previous knowledge or experience in a certain area of law. It’s best to make sure you know how you can fulfill these requirements if you plan on doing specialised courses or to try and equip yourself with the right skills so that you have a better understanding of the area you wish to specialise in.
3. Early networking
Once you know the law school you are going to be studying at it’s a great idea to start developing your network of contacts early on. If you live in the same city or country where you plan to do your LLM, you should try and visit the law school in advance by attending open day events, LLM fairs and networking sessions to meet and get to know others keen on applying to the same law school as you. A great way of networking is by signing up to law school pages on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to get a head start on what the law school offers and what visitors think of their courses and facilities.
4. Manage finances
Before you decide to study a Master of Laws, it is advisable to think of how you plan on financing your studies. You will first need to familiarise yourself with tuition fees that the law school charges and whether it also offers or recommends funding options such as scholarships, bursaries or loans. Any given LLM program consists of costs associated with tuition fees, registration costs, books, use of facilities, campus accommodation, etc. On top of these costs you need to factor in costs on food, transportation, basic living expenses, etc. Getting a fair idea on what these costs would amount to will prepare you better in planning your finances. Postgrad Solutions offers two Global & LLM Study Bursaries worth £500 each, which you can apply for once you have been formally offered a place on an LLM course.
5. Get to know the area
A great way to help you settle down quickly when you start your LLM student life is to find out early on about where you will be living, the facilities that the campus offers and what things will need to do to adjust to the new life. Talk to family or friends who have visited the city before to check what items to shop for in terms of clothing, good places to eat, recommended supermarkets, etc.
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