In a fast-paced and competitive legal market, it is natural that lawyers will try to gain advantage over peers and challenge themselves to new skills, knowledge and experience. This can be done in several ways. Some may wish to pursue an MBA degree to move into the management side of the legal profession or to appreciate corporate ways of working. Others may transition into full-time research by using the practical knowledge that they gained to further research and explore undiscovered areas of law. One of the popular outlets for many lawyers is to gain additional legal qualifications through a Masters in Law, specialising in a specific area of law.
There are several reasons why lawyers would want to pursue an LLM, here’s a look at what they are:
1. Going back to theory
Whilst you were studying for an LLB degree, you may have come across people saying that theory is far removed from the actual practice of law. While this may be true, it is the opposite when you commit to study an LLM program. LLM programs are designed to give you a grip on the practical aspects of law to prepare you for a specialised program. It combines the theory of law with practice by using innovative means of teaching and discussion, such as case study discussions, classroom debates, inviting expert attorneys to discuss real-life case examples, etc. Some lawyers may wish to take a break from work by going back to studying and get a better understanding of the areas that they specialise in.
2. A feather in your cap
An LLM can add weight to your CV if you considered specialising in a particular area of law to advance your career interests or venture into full-time research. You may wish to talk to people who have already done an LLM degree to know which colleges offer courses you may be interested in. If you are considering an LLM degree look ahead and see yourself graduate with a specialised degree and as something, which means a lot to you which puts you in a better position than you were in before. It is important that you do your research since an LLM degree will be an investment of your TME – time, money and effort! There are numerous articles that you can have a look at on our website stating what an LLM degree can do for you.
3. Networking opportunities
Universities offering LLM programs usually tend to prescribe a packed schedule into your LLM semesters, which consists of attending seminars and assessment deadlines as well as platforms to network with alumni and staff. You may also find opportunities to interact with PhD students and attend sessions where distinguished speakers take to discussing a variety of legal issues. Networking events that are organised on campus and externally can be useful to meet other colleagues and discuss career interests by developing your own knowledge on current legal affairs.
4. To take a gap year
Some lawyers may choose to take a gap year to stay away from their busy work life and to get back to being a student while others may be sponsored by their firms or companies to pursue an LLM specialisation. You can also consider the experience as a means to live in and explore a new place, meet interesting people and returning home with an LLM degree!
5. Seizing the moment
It is never too late to pursue an LLM degree. Lawyers with several years of work experience still show a desire to go back to the classroom and take time off for dedicated study. There are several reasons why they may wish to do so: to learn new skills, challenge their own knowledge in a particular area of law, to keep up to speed with academic advancements in legal theory and practice or to simply have the opportunity to interact with students and academic staff.