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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in FranceFind LLM programs in France
If you are looking to study in the heart of Europe, in a culturally dynamic place then you may wish to consider studying in France. France borders many other European countries, including Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.
France, a country which often symbolises romanticism and is considered by many to be home to art, culture and heritage, has something to offer to everyone. For this reason it has become one of the most popular study destinations for international students.
An international degree is likely to be highly regarded in your home county and being able to obtain a masters degree abroad will significantly increase your chances of getting a good job. There are a number of specialisations that law students can take as part of their LLM degree, such as International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-commerce. In addition, students make take part in the diverse and rich cultural activities in Paris and as many universities conduct classes in French, there are better opportunities of language immersion.
Reasons to study your LLM in France
For law students interested in the legal practice in France, or merely interested in education in the main branches of French and European Union Law, France provides excellent opportunities to pursue a Master of Laws. Studying an LLM program in France provides non-French lawyers the opportunity to receive high-level university education and specialised practical training in law firms, companies, important French legal institutions, such as the Sénate, the National Assembly, the Cour de Cassation, and the Conseil d'Etat, and become acquainted with them which is ideal for those seeking internship opportunities.
The law of France is different to the law in many English-speaking countries as it is based on the Civil Law system otherwise known as Napoleonic Law. Many other countries use similar or related legal systems especially those that have a historical tie with France or with close European neighbours to France like Belgium. If you are working or studying in a country that uses Common Law, as most English-speaking countries do, then taking the time to understand the Civil Law system will help your career grow on an international level as all international organisations need to understand how to operate in different jurisdictions.
Law schools in France
France is a founding member of the EU and so can offer access into the institutions of the European Union (EU) and other organisations related to the EU that are unavailable from other countries. France also has a permanent seat on the UN's Security Council, so offers an introduction to the United Nations that many other countries cannot.
Most of the best law schools in France are based in Paris – in fact the top five French universities for law and legal studies according to a recent rankings compilation were all in Paris as depicted in this table.
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Some law schools in France have been teaching for a long time, for example Sorbonne University which was founded in its earliest form in 1257, and others are more recently established such as the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas which was established as recently as 1971. This means there is a breadth to the approaches to teaching between what ancient institutions can offer and the more modern approaches of the recently established institutions – and both are equally valid.
The education system in France is highly valued and offers a great educational experience. There are many law schools and institutions in France that offer LLM programs which means there is a variety of institutions to choose from across the country depending on whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Paris or the distinctive history and more relaxed vibe of a city like Lyon in the Rhone-Alpes region. You may also wish to consider your preferences in terms of tuition fees, entry requirements and the curriculum.
French institutions offering LLM programs include:
- HEAD Law School
- Jean Moulin – Lyon 3 University
- Panthéon-Assas Paris II University
- Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University
- University of Cergy-Pontoise
- University of Orleans
- CEIPI (Centre d'Etudes Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle)
- University of Cergy-Pontoise
- Lille Catholic University.
Most of the courses run in these French universities offer the chance to study an LLM on a full-time or part-time basis depending on your circumstances and preference. The LLMs in these institutions are all taught in English.
Entry requirements and application procedures
Admissions into a Master of Laws program are open to French and non-French lawyers and graduates – for admission into an LLM course the student applying should hold the following:
- A first degree in law of high academic standing – check with the institution of your choice for grades/percentages required.
- Since many courses are taught in English, a good command over English Language is required to be proved through recognised English language tests such as TOEFL/ IELTS.
- A good command over French language would of course be useful, although, some universities do offer intensive French language courses throughout the year.
- Generally, admission selections are based on the applications but a telephone/online interview may also be requested at the discretion of the university.
Entry requirements may differ for each university so it is crucial to check whether you meet the requirements of the specific institution you are interested in. There will also be different procedures according to nationality, country of residence and the program you apply for.
Tuition fees and living costs
The tuition fees for a Master of Laws program vary depending on the university however, on average the tuition fees is approximately €20,000 for the LLM (one academic year) – this excludes accommodation and living expenditures.
Some French universities provide scholarships and financial aid – please check the website of the institution you are interested in to see what financial help they provide.
Visa requirements for international students
Unless you are a national of European Union member country, all international students require a valid student visa to study in France. The visa you apply for will largely depend on the duration of your course, however, students wishing to stay in France for over three months will be required to obtain a long-stay visa.
The French consulate of your country of residence will grant you a Student Long Stay Visa Residence Permit (VLS-TS). It is advisable to apply for the visa at least eight to ten weeks prior to intended date of departure.
To obtain the visa you will require:
- A valid passport for the duration of the visa
- Proof of enrolment into an educational institution in France
- Proof of finances
- Proof of required vaccinations (applicable to nationals of certain countries)
Your visa will be required to be validated upon arrival to France and students whose length of stay is more than three months must pass a medical examination organised by the territorial directorates of the OFII (l’Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration).
Other European LLM study destinations
Are you interested in studying your Master of Laws program in another European destination? If so we have a great selection of LLM destination study guides, including:
PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.Find your PERFECT LLM PROGRAM