Should you opt for a January start date for your LLM due to Covid-19?

January is a great time of year to start an LLM program and with the issues around Covid-19 impacting on law schools around the world you’ll hopefully have a better idea of what to expect by then.

Not all law schools have the same approach as some, such as Cardiff University, are staggering the start dates for different courses, this means their LLM courses all start at the end of October rather than in September or January. However, there are plenty of law schools that are offering a January start date in addition to a September one and there are plenty of benefits to this approach. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Give yourself more time

If you've just completed your law degree and qualified as a lawyer, then starting in Jaunary gives you a bit of breathing space after the academic year has started to access your options. Alternatively, if you've been working for a while, starting in January allows you to get funding and other important aspects organised before the start of the term rather than trying to get this done over the summer when colleagues might be on holiday.

Law schools will be definite about teaching methods

By waiting until January to start an LLM you will have allowed your law school to have worked out exactly how they are going to operate courses in light of Covid-19. If your planned course was traditionally delivered online, then you might find that there is little difference between how it is taught. However, many universities have declared that they are teaching differently from previous academic years. For example, the University of Edinburgh is aiming to deliver all of its courses online to all students next year regardless of whether they are campus-based or not for the whole academic year. Other law schools, such as the University College London aim to deliver courses as normal in September, but those students delayed by coronavirus-related issues can begin their LLM course online.

Accelerated LLM programs

Queen Mary University of London has always offered students the opportunity to start in January in addition to the more traditional September start date, and this is now offered across all of their LLM courses. This is for students who are delayed for many reasons, including those related to Covid-19 and also for full-time students who wish to undertake an accelerated LLM program in nine months rather than 12.

Student law societies should be up & running

Hopefully, by January 2021 the extracurricular activities that add and build your knowledge and confidence, such as student law societies, will be back up and running. Currently, all of their activities have been suspended, however, they will still be active online. By beginning in January full-time students will get to experience the law school and it's events across two academic years maximising the number of students you will meet and network with.

LLM courses with January 2021 start dates

Here are some examples of LLM programs at UK law schools with a January 2021 start date.

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