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LLM (Master of Laws) in Private Law

An LLM in Private Law studies a broad range of courses covering the relationships between individuals, this is in direct contrast with Public Law because it purely deals with the relations between private citizens, while Public Law deals with the interactions between a state and its population.

A Master of Laws in Private Law will provide the student with an advanced knowledge of the legal system within an international context, and will arm you with the skills required to meet corporate demands. Areas likely to be covered in an LLM in Private Law include Corporations law, Competitions law, Civil law, Commercial law, Contract law or Law of Torts, and Family Law – which includes adoption, custody, marriage, and divorce.

Find LLM programs in Private Law

Number Crunching the LLM in Private Law

Law1 year of full-time study to qualify

10+ accredited UK universities are offering an LLM in Private Law

67 LLMs in Civil & Private Law in the UK

LLM in Private Law – Who’s It For?

An LLM in Private Law is best suited to legal practitioners engaged in Family Law, corporations or other legal settings involving the interactions between private citizens. It is also suited to graduates with a keen interest in this specialism due to their passion for human interaction. The Masters of Law program can be extremely beneficial to all members of the legal profession in both a national and international setting.

Where Can You Study An LLM in Private Law?

A Masters of Laws in Private Law is available at universities throughout the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and other countries across the world. Because of the scope of study within the field of private law, a European or International element is often combined with a Masters of Laws in Private Law. For example, the University of Amsterdam offers Masters European Private Law (LLM), the University of Dundee offers an LLM in Comparative and European Private International Law and the University of Edinburgh has an LLM in Comparative and European Private Law.

In the US some of the universities that lead the ranks in offering an LLM in Private Law include Harvard School of Law, UC Berkley, Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Study An LLM in Private Law?

To be accepted on an LLM program in Private Law in the UK and Europe you will need an excellent undergraduate law degree from an accredited university, as well as certified letters of recommendations. Applicants who did not study law as their first degree should have a degree in a relevant field and are required to demonstrate commitment and willingness to meet all the requirements for Masters of Law degree such as relevant work experience.

In the United States, for an applicant to qualify for an LLM in Private Law, they must have a first law degree or a Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited US school of law. International students will need to demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency which is proven by tests such as TOEFL or IELTS, to meets the minimum English skills requirement to qualify for an LLM program. You can find out more about English proficiency testing for LLM programs here.

An LLM in Private Law Advances Careers In...

Human rights organisations

Private Law Firms

Non-Profit Organisations

National Human Rights Commission

Government institutions

5 Fascinating Facts About Private Law

1. Private Law vs. Public law – if your neighbour files a lawsuit against you because you play very loud music, you may be violating the private law because you infringed on your neighbour’s right to a peaceful and serene environment. If you, however, saw a man run from a drug store with a few stolen items hidden in a bag, he is in violation of the public law because he committed a crime of theft – which affects everyone.

2. The law treats marriage as a 50/50 economic partnership and when it ends, the value of the property acquired when married and increase in value in what you brought into the marriage should be divided equally.

3. A common law relationship is where two partners live together without being married.

4. The number of divorce cases filed in the US and the UK is at an all-time high.

5. A Masters of Laws in Private Practice does not confine your career to working in a private law firm; you will have relevant academic experience and knowledge to work in nearly all professional settings relations that involve human interactions.

Recommended Reading

Private International Law by Cheshire, North and Fawcett

Foundations of Private Law: Property, Tort, Contract, Unjust Enrichment by James Gordley

From Promise to Contract: Towards a Liberal Theory of Contract by Dori Kimel

Contract as Promise: A Theory of Contractual Obligation by C Fried


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