The impact of the Covid-19 virus has yet to be fully felt, but indications are that there are a few parts of our lives that are going to change long term if not forever.
LLM student numbers have been increasing in the UK over the past few years, and this table illustrates how the number of postgraduate students studying law in the UK overall – including LLM students – has increased. So, it's fair to say that online LLM programs are well placed to see a growth in student numbers too.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we are likely to see an increase in online studying for LLM students in a post-pandemic world.
There was already an increase in law degrees
For the past few years, there has been an increase in law students at all levels. This is for several reasons, one is the attractiveness of a legal career to many and for others, it’s the prestigious reputation of obtaining a law degree. Law graduates are increasingly popular with employers as the transferable skills such as critical thinking skills are useful in a wide variety of industries and roles. This has meant there has been a steady increase in students searching for postgraduate LLM programs, as there is a huge range of possibilities for future career choices for LLM graduates.
Demand already increasing for online PG courses
The UK has seen a large rise in postgraduate students, especially those on taught masters programs such as LLM programs. Part of this increase is due to the new arrangements in funding that the UK Government provides to LLM students and other postgraduate students. In line with many other subject areas before Covid-19, there was an increasing demand for online courses. Many universities and law schools had begun to offer online LLM programs, especially those with a focus on LLM students who focus on one area of the law.
Students have become more adept at skills involved
Both students and academic staff have become more adept at learning and teaching online. This is partly because many students studied online for half of last year and will continue to do so, many from their rooms on-campus. The experience that the academic staff have now gained in offering their courses online will probably result in many law schools and universities continuing to offer some LLM courses online after the crisis is over.
Many people will be reassessing career options
There are plenty of people who on furlough and have spent the summer of 2020 reassessing their options. If their careers had a legal element to them, then they may consider undertaking an LLM to improve their employability. In addition to this many lawyers or other legal professionals will have spent significant amounts of time working from home and will now be reassessing the time that they once spent commuting. In the UK, this might increase part-time online LLM students, which have seen a decrease in numbers in recent years.