Online or distance learning is a brilliant solution for those people who are still working or have other commitments but want to gain extra specialists legal knowledge.
Most online LLMs are completed on a part-time basis while the student is still working, but there are a growing number of students who undertake fill-time LLM courses online. Whichever option you choose it’s important to make sure you can balance your online study with the other aspects in your life.
Here are a few reasons why studying for an LLM online can help your career.
Meet new contacts
Law schools have great links to legal communities and even if you are studying online you can use these links. You will find that there is an online student community that you can join and many courses, like the one at the University of Birmingham, encourage students to interact with their fellow students. Many online courses have short sections that are held on-campus, so use these sessions to your advantage and get networking.
Gain specialist knowledge
A big advantage to undertaking an LLM program online or otherwise is that you will gain lots of specialist knowledge in your area of interest – which will be an invaluable addition to your CV.
Learn transferable skills
There are lots of transferable skills that you will learn while you study online. Of course, if your IT skills are not quite what they could be, you'll find that they will improve but undertaking your studies online, as will your written and spoken communication skills. Using online resources, such as video conferencing, are useful skills to have and will become more useful in the future.
Improve your analytical legal mind
Spending time considering current legal issues and debating them or writing essays will improve your analytical skills. Perhaps you've been working for a while and haven't excised those legal muscles? If so an online LLM will give you some focus from a legal perspective.
Consolidate existing knowledge
If you have already spent a significant amount of time working in a particular area of the law, then an LLM can help you consolidate this knowledge. Proving that you have an intimate knowledge of a topic is often difficult without an actual qualification. Undertaking an online LLM will demonstrate to others exactly what you are capable of and will assist you with getting that next job.
Change career direction
Studying an LLM online can help you change the direction of your legal career, as you can choose to focus on a whole new specialism. Find out first what those already working in that field think of the online course and speak with academic staff about what other students have moved onto doing after completing the course to ensure it's the right choice for you.
Prove time management credentials
Balancing studying, work and other commitments takes significant time management skills. Most law schools don't have lessons all year round, only during the academic terms, so you won't be studying all year. However, any potential employer will regard your ability to balance work with studying as an indication about your commitment to your career as well as your ability to manage your time efficiently.
UK & US law schools offering LLM programs online
Here is a selection of law schools offering online LLM programs in the US and the UK.
Source: 1 & universityies' websites