Having an LLM qualification can be rewarding; especially in today’s job market, where employers are constantly raising the barriers of the coveted dream jobs many graduates have their eyes on. Students decide to study a Master of Laws program for different reasons; here are top 10 reasons for doing an LLM program.
Some employers expressly state that they prefer candidates who have a postgraduate degree. Even where it has not been stated, an LLM is an asset that enables you to stand out amidst the throngs of other jobseekers. In today’s tough, competitive job market, having an LLM is a great addition to your portfolio and CV, it can facilitate your dream job, showing employers that you have intellectual ability. Intellectual skill is part of the competency framework employer’s use when assessing candidates.
An LLM allows you to progressively further and continue your education, some students do an LLM to increase their knowledge of the law or specialize in a legal field. There are over 40 universities in the UK offering over 350 Master of Laws programs, and this demonstrates that there are many areas of the law that students can specialise in to increase their knowledge, for instance LLM in Criminal Litigation, Commercial law, Human Rights Law and so on.
Studying an LLM program is a great excuse to travel to a different country. Many adventurous students embark on their LLM programs to experience a new culture and place. As a result, the LLM facilitates an immersion into the new culture, creating an avenue for the foreign student’s to mix with the locals. It is possible that many students continue to live or relocate to the country where they have done their LLM program. For example you could choose to travel to Aberdeen to study an LLM program in Oil and Gas Law, as the city is synonymous with oil and gas. Aberdeen has the second largest heliport in the world; with service ship harbor port that oil rigs off-shore benefit from. Once your postgraduate law course is complete it may well be a good idea to remain in Scotland and put your new-found knowledge in action! Likewise you could travel to London to study LLM Commercial law as London is the financial hub and capital in the United Kingdom.
Many students, who want to be solicitors or barristers undertake the LLM program. It is an addition to the legal practical training, LPC (Legal Practice Course) or BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course), which are both professional legal training courses that allow you to become a solicitor or barrister. An LLM gives in-depth knowledge and develops your analytical, critiquing and evaluative skills, which will be useful in your chosen career.
Often people decide to change professions, and an LLM is a great opportunity to gain legal knowledge. Those who have worked in a different profession or industry for years such as Engineering and Education and feel a need to move on and experience a new career, can do an LLM followed by a GDL (Graduate Diploma of Law) in order to be able to practice as a lawyer. The Graduate Diploma of Law – also referred to as the Common Professional Exam – can be taken by non-law graduates who wish to study law.
In order to have a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or be referred to as a doctor, a taught postgraduate master’s course is usually necessary. Many students do a Master of Laws in order to further their education to reach the academic level that will facilitate them studying a PhD.
In a situation where there is seemingly no opportunity for promotion at the work place, having an LLM qualification may help you progress at work, thus increasing your salary package. In essence, the LLM may help to open many doors career-wise upon completion.
Doing an LLM in the UK is a great way to improve upon your English language (similarly, if you wish to improve your French language, studying France; is a great way to achieve this). And not only are you learning a new language, but you are also gaining a qualification. By immersing into the culture, you learn the language faster due to the constant communication with the locals.
In a situation where your first degree was taken in an institution that isn’t ranked that highly in the league table or has little to no reputation, studying your LLM in a top ranking, reputable institution might be a welcome remedy. Not only does this look great on your CV, it might also boost your confidence in a job interview.
As previously stated employers are constantly looking for the ‘cream of the crop’, making some companies impenetrable if you have lower undergraduate degree grades, often times exceptions apply where employers recruit on discretion and not on merit. However, in a situation where you feel you could have excelled in your undergraduate studies but did poorly, it is possible to do an LLM to improve your grades and improve your chances of getting your dream job.