In this blog we’re going to take a look at how to make sure you’re fully prepared for your LLM studies, considering a number of different aspects, from telling your loved ones the level of commitment you're going to need to give your studies to finding the perfect LLM student home. Getting this right will help ensure that you live well as an LLM student. Read on.
Speak to friends & family
Whether you opt to study your Master of Laws program full or part-time, it will be a major commitment in terms of your time and energy, so you're not going to have the same amount of time to spend with your nearest and dearest as you did before. You can prepare your friends and family for this and manage their expectations by making sure they know what they can expect from you time-wise for the next year or two.
Improve your language skills
If English is not your first language and you’ve passed the English language test in order to be accepted on to your Master of Laws program it’s clear you've got the skills. However, if you are still in doubt at all about your English language ability, you can always get some extra experience in. Many law schools – such as the University College London – offer certain courses during the summer before the academic year starts, so it could be worth checking these out.
Get accommodation sorted
You’ll need somewhere to live whilst you are studying your LLM if you’re not planning to stay at home, and you will need to arrange this in advance. Your law school or university will have advisors to help if you are moving a long distance, just like the University of Pennsylvania does, and plenty of accommodation providers offer online booking services including many university halls of residence. If you are planning to study in the UK and want to experience student-style communal living of a high standard, Fresh Student Living is an excellent choice. Fresh offers a range of different purpose-built accommodation options, including self-contained studios, shared apartments and en-suite rooms, and they are all based in many of the UK’s most popular student cities. Find out more about Fresh Student Living here.
Plan module choices
Most law schools will advertise the modules they offer online and you should have a good read through these to see which specific modules you want to undertake during your LLM program. You will probably have discussed this with your academic advisor during the application process, but it’s still a good idea to come prepared to make any necessary decisions as soon as you start your course.
Think about your thesis
Discussing what you may wish to do for your dissertation or thesis will almost certainly be part of the application process. However, a little more thought into the areas you would like to research will mean you will start the program ready to begin studying to the best of your ability.
Clubs & societies
Every law school will list its law clubs and societies online – just like the University of Edinburgh – and many of them will have a social media feed as well. If there is a club or society you know you will want to join, reach out to them in advance and you'll be all ready to join the moment you start the course. Joining clubs and societies is a great way to meet fellow law students and kick-start your networking.
And this leads us onto actual networking events… Are there any major networking events that are held annually that you might want to participate in. Have a look at what events were held the previous year and make a note about any of them that seem useful and/or interesting to you. That way you will be prepared and you can avoid any potential clashes with other events or trips.
What are you going to do after the course?
And finally, before you've even started your LLM you need to think about what you are going to do after the course. A year, or even two if you are part-time, is not long at all and will be over before you know it! If you have a plan about the future it makes many of the choices for your LLM a little easier. For example, do you have a good idea about what your future potential employer is looking for?
In a recent survey students were asked if they new what skills were important to employers after graduation, and it seems that for the most part students do have some ide of what employers are looking for. Here is a table illustrating the answers to the question ‘Do you feel you know the skills that are important to employers?’