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Quiz: Should I Do An LLM?

Law is an ever changing and dynamic field. If you decide to follow this career path you’re guaranteed to be challenged in all sorts of ways. So is this for you? If the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, then you will need to keep in mind the time, money and passion (not necessarily in that order) that you will need to invest to make this dream a reality. If you’re up for a challenge then an LLM program will sharpen your focus and could start on your dream career path.

Take our LLM quiz to see if studying an LLM degree is the right choice for you and whether now is the right time to do it.

1. Is law your dream career?

A. I have dreamt about it since I was young;
B. Yes, it is a well thought out plan, and I know that it is this way or the highway;
C. I’m an avid viewer of Suits and that show makes law look cool;
D. I am interested in to suing people and this is the best way to make it happen.

The reason we ask you this as a first question before progressing with the rest of the quiz, is because an LLM
is not only an investment in terms of time, but also money and draining on one’s faculties.  If you have
answered A or B, you can proceed to the next question, if you answered C or D, sorry but you should probably
pursue an alternative academic path.

Can you get the balance right for an LLM

2. Are you ready to invest in terms of time and money?

A. I am sure that this is my path and I will do what it takes to achieve it;
B. Wait, how much money are we talking about potentially?
C. I think I can do it, I mean how bad can it be (the author of this quiz has done it);
D. I have a plan (top secret stuff).

Please note: Talking finances, it’s true that an LLB + LLM = a tough financial combo. But a bit of planning ahead by applying for scholarships and loans you can get through. Plus, most universities have their own scholarships offered for students who get through to their LLM program.

Are you prepared for an LLM

3. Are you fully prepared financially for the cost of LLM tuition?

A. I am prepared for it financially;
B. Really?
C. My whole family now lives on the streets to put me through law school;
D. I have taken a line of credit and the banks are paying my fees (*pats self for finding this route*) (*cries when 75 years later, they are still repaying the loans*).

4. Do you think you can put in 100% of your time and energy into a course? For example, if you have family commitments or are the breadwinner of your family.

A. I can take a part-time course and finish my LLM in 2 years instead of 1 year;
B. I can work for some time beforehand, get my family stable and then do my LLM;
C. I’m Superman and can handle my responsibilities;
D. I’m sure the money will come flooding in once I have passed my LLM.

Please note: Studying a part-time LLM course does not make you any less qualified. In fact studying part time demonstrates the skills taken to balance your family commitment and school, so kudos to you!

5. Although it is one of the most rewarding professions in the world, law does also consist of working long hours, getting stabbed in the back and lots of office politics… Are you ready for this or will studying an LLM make you question your sanity?

A. I know that when I make it as a lawyer after numerous LLM exams and licensing papers, that I will probably still need to work my way up the corporate ladder. The key phrase here is hard work and I am prepared for it;
B. I want to be a solicitor and am prepared for corporate drama of the highest order, (although nowhere near the amount of drama portrayed in my fave TV show Suits, Boston Legal, etc…);
C. While pursuing my LLM, I am worried that it is going to be hard to get internships, much less offered positions – and I am finding the thought of this really stressful;
D. I do not think I can take the stress of studies, internship finding, excelling at the internship, moots, job searches and maybe, just maybe, getting a placement at the end of all that effort.

LLM Goals

6. Law consists of a multitude of streams such as Environmental Law, Business Law, Finance Law, Human Rights Law, etc. Do you have a dream stream and an end goal?

A. I know what my goal is and I am working towards it. I have been passionate about Environmental Law since my first year as an undergrad student, and I will go into this field;
B. I am comfortable working in any stream and actually want to study a general LLM to keep my options open once I qualify;
C. I will take up any stream and then work in any field that the law firm offers me regardless of whether I am passionate about it or not;
D. I am confused about my dream stream and my area of interest. As yet I have not been able to identify what it is that I am passionate about doing.

7. The journey does not end at passing law school and completing your Masters of Law. If you want to go onto become a barrister or solicitor you will then face a gamut of professional license exams, different for different states and countries. Are you ready to make that commitment to achieve success?

A. I can make the commitment (what is one more exam after 100 law school papers!);
B. It is going to be ok, I knew this was coming and I am mentally prepared for the arduous journey;
C. I think I might have bitten more off than I can chew;
D. I might want to go back to choosing a profession where there are no more exams after you get a job.

Please note: For practicing laws in different countries, it is important to pass the relevant set of bar exams, eg, New York Bar Exam, Ontario Law Bar Exam, Delhi Bar Exam, etc.

Study an LLM abroad

8. Should I study my LLM abroad?

A. I honestly want to learn more in this specific field – and an overseas law school specialises in my area of interest;
B. I see all the cool kids going to overseas law schools and I want to do that too;
C. I want to spend a year abroad (like a vacation);
D. The cost that I will incur will yield to better jobs back in my country.

9. Lawyers excel when they work in a field of law that they are passionate about. How would you cope if you started working in a field that you don't enjoy after spending all that time, work and money on your LLM?

A. I would stick it out for a couple of years and see where it goes. However I am worried that I would lose valuable years, and that once I get comfortable, it may become hard to transition to another job;
B. I would quit that firm and join another one that has more subject matter that interests me;
C. I would quit law entirely;
D. I have not thought this through at all, and maybe should have done a bit more research before entering this expensive profession!

10. Is an LLM truly worth the blood, sweat and tears?

A. It’s always advantageous to have a Masters of Laws so that more doors open up career wise
B. I think an LLM degree would make me more focused in the area of law that I am interested in;
C. I think I can do what I want in life without studying an LLM, my LLB should be sufficient;
D. To be honest, gaining an LLM is just another feather in my cap, plus it will keep my relatives off my case and stop them from asking too much about my future.

LLM student results

So how did you do in our LLM quiz?

Tot up your answers and work out what category got the majority, and this should help you make your all-important decision.

Mostly As

Well done!

You are a determined and focused individual, and you know exactly what you want in life. In our opinion you are the very definition of a legal beagle and would make a welcome addition to any law school and law firm.

You already know your life goals and we know that you are going to achieve them. We  now officially pronounce you a successful LLM candidate. Good for you! Now what are you waiting for? It's time to apply for that Master of Laws program.

Good luck!

Mostly Bs

Although you definitely have what it takes to continue pursuing the noble route down the LLM path, you may need to direct your enthusiasm and focus your attention a little bit more to ensure total academic success and course satisfaction.

Don't be disheartened though, if you can manage to combine a few more of the ‘A’ qualities, you’ll be climbing successfully up that ladder of law before you know it.

Go for it!

Mostly Cs

We are not denying that you have the brains to study an LLM program, however current indicators show that this is probably not your academic and career preference. Rather than launching yourself straight into a Master of Laws program after your bachelors degree, you might be better giving yourself some time to work out what it is you really want to do with your future.

With a couple more years working and some more life experience under your belt, you might realise that an LLM program is the right course of action for you. However, during this time you might find something else you'd rather do instead.

Mostly Ds

Do we really need to point out that you do not wish to pursue an LLM program at all? In the slightest... No way José!

You're either being forced down this route by your parents, think you should follow in the footsteps of some great aunt or uncle, or are just trying to postpone the inevitability of having to work for a living! But don't be fooled into thinking taking an LLM is the easy option. It takes a lot of commitment, hard work and dedication to successfully pass a Master of Laws program, and all indicators show that you posses know of these qualities.

Try doing something you are actually passionate about instead, then you're much more likely to have a happy and successful future.