A huge number of students wait until they are further along their career paths to study an LLM program rather than jumping straight in after finishing their undergraduate degree course.
This has the obvious advantages of career and life experiences, as well as giving the student the chance to save up a bit of money for their studies. But getting your qualifications out of the way before starting your real work has its advantages too. Let’s take a look at whether you should study your Master of Laws straight after finishing your undergraduate degree.
Why you should go for it straight away
If you start your LLM program fresh out of gaining your bachelors degree, you're already set in a rhythm of exams, essays and the academic calendar, which should all help contribute to settling in easily. If you know that you need to study an LLM, then there is no time like the present. You've got the current contacts to research and enquire about courses effectively and you will have your eyes wide open to the difficulties of student living and budgeting. Finding accommodation is easier when you know what you are doing and where to look, especially if you are staying in the same place you did your first degree or you've returned home. If you're staying on at the same law school, then you'll know the professors and the rest of the staff, and you'll know your way around the law library. Once you've completed your LLM program you're most likely to be one of the younger members of your cohort and you've now got plenty of time to build on your specialisation. You've got plenty of reasons to go for it and do an LLM right after graduation.
Why you should get a little experience first
You are in good company if you decide to wait a while to do an LLM, a huge proportion of postgraduate students are over 30. With a year or two of working under your belt, you'll have a great idea of what you do or do not want to study. You can also get your professional qualifications out of the way before you commit to a certain path. Networking with people who are already working in positions you would like to see yourself in will mean that you can ask them what they would recommend you study and where. Those few years before you do your Master of Laws you can spend saving money and even making contacts to secure more funding for your course. If you're in a lucky position, then you might find an employer who wants to pay for your LLM and all you'll need to worry about is your completing your coursework. Waiting to do an LLM will also show those around you that you're not just staying as a university student, but that you have some realistic career aims and that the LLM course is a part of that.
Plenty of students go straight to a postgraduate course like an LLM and lots of students wait a while as well. So, no matter what you decide to do you will be in excellent company.
Age of UK students in taught postgraduate courses 2016-17
Here is a table detailing the age of students in the UK engaged in postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17.
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