One major question that comes up when people talk about the possibility of pursuing an LLM is, “Is an LLM qualification recognised internationally?”.
In this article, we hope to demystify some of the common concerns surrounding the value of pursuing an LLM, so you can see why the qualification is a sound investment, no matter where in the world you intend to work.
The LLM is a postgraduate qualification, not a professional degree
It is important to note the difference between an LLM and a qualification to practise law. Unlike the SQE qualification that allows you to practise as a lawyer, the LLM is a postgraduate degree. This means that much like any other masters degree, it is not a professional qualification, but rather an academic one, so if you pursue an LLM degree, it is recognised globally that you have a higher academic qualification.
An LLM is recognised internationally because…
It provides an international perspective
Many LLM courses specifically aim to provide an international perspective. For many lawyers, an LLM is the chance to learn about law in a different part of the world from where they studied their LLB. That is why finance and business LLMs tend to emphasise their focus on international trade laws and international arbitration. So, not only are LLMs recognised internationally, but they are also often used as a tool to gain knowledge and a skillset that will be transferable to legal practices across a variety of jurisdictions.
It covers a variety of specialisations
LLMs are also recognised all over the world simply because of the sheer range of different specialisations available. For example, if you work in tech and are interested in understanding more about the legal regulations surrounding data protection, you could pursue an LLM in Legal Tech law to enhance your knowledge and skills on the subject. Alternatively, if you have a passion for helping disenfranchised groups and you want to understand how you can be involved in humanitarian work more effectively, an LLM in Human Rights Law will equip you with the skills to take on roles in the field – regardless of where you are.
It is respected in many professions outside of law
Another reason that having an LLM qualification is an asset no matter where in the world you are, is that LLMs are useful even if you are not intending to specifically pursue legal work. An LLM will provide you with a range of critical analysis and debating skills that are transferable across a range of corporate roles including in communication and business. It is well known among employers that the rigour of an LLM requires the student to have determination and higher-level problem-solving skills. That’s why having an LLM will be beneficial to you in workplaces the world over, regardless of what field of work you end up choosing.
It allows you to advance your academic career globall
An LLM is also useful internationally, especially if you want to teach law. LLMs are research-intensive and highly respected programs. That is why successfully completing an LLM could be the first step to helping you study a PhD and fast-track your career as a law academic and lecturer.
It provides a glimpse into what you can do internationally with legal knowledge
A typical LLM classroom will include students from a range of professional and academic backgrounds, from a variety of nationalities. This is a testament to the global recognition that the LLM receives, but also, shows how an LLM course provides excellent opportunities to connect with people the world over. Who knows, perhaps this is how you could get to know about an overseas working opportunity, or more about how labour markets in other countries operate that could help you in landing your next job.
As with any other masters degree, when deciding whether or not to pursue an LLM, there are many considerations to take into account such as costs and commitments. However, given the exponential rate of globalisation and the fact that people are moving around the world for work all the time, an LLM is an excellent choice as they are often designed to promote global perspectives and knowledge about legal industries in various countries. Plus, while studying your LLM program you will be able to network with people from all over the world and gain insight into legal practices in other nations, making it an invaluable addition to your CV.
Writer: Alisa Maya is a graduate student at the UCL Institute of Education.
She is passionate about improving learning experiences for all through EdTech.
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