The inspiration behind this blog post has just recently come about, however throughout the last year or so I have heard a lot of unjustified criticism regarding the LLM therefore I thought I would attempt to settle the debate once and for all and prove why the LLM is not a waste of time. It shocks me to see how many “haters” there are in regards to the LLM, regularly on Twitter I see a lot of negative views about such a qualification, negative in the sense that most of the reasons criticising the LLM are certainly not true. The approach I am going to take is a personal one; I am going to list and explore some of the reason why I personally believe studying for an LLM is a positive thing and something perhaps more students should consider.
Benefit 1 – It is an extra qualification:
This benefit is common sense; an LLM is a recognised postgraduate qualification that can be undertaken at various universities.
Benefit 2 – Develop your interest:
During an LLM course you have the opportunity to explore matters that you are interested in. Consequently, the difference between an LLM and perhaps an LLB is that during the LLM you elect every single module that you wish to undertake; therefore you are in control of your qualification.
Benefit 3 – Develop your specialism:
You have the opportunity on the LLM to study an area/areas of the law that you are interested in and if you wish to eventually practice as a solicitor or barrister surely studying for an LLM will benefit you, as you have the opportunity to develop your interest in a subject as well as the chance to explore the difficulties that the law possesses, at a practical and at an academic level. Consequently, you virtually become an expert in an area of the law; you will have the opportunity to critically evaluate the law. The LLM course gets you thinking about a particular subject in a highly critical way, you develop your analysis skills and you develop your persuasive skills, as you have the opportunity whether it would be in class or through a coursework or dissertation to argue why you think an area of the law is good or bad, these deep thinking skills are surely essential as a practising lawyer right?
Benefit 4 – Find your niche:
I study as part of my LLM course Sports Law. Many people, certainly undergraduates are unaware that there is even a thing such as “Sports Law” there is even a debate at an academic level whether there is such a thing as sports law or whether there is just “sports and the law”. However, I am highly passionate about sports and as it is an aspiration of mine to practice at the Bar, I have mixed my interests into one, I personally believe from studying this module that the law in regards to sports is rapidly growing. Consequently when I do become a barrister (hopefully) I will have the knowledge and expertise to enable me to get involved in sports law at a practical level. Furthermore, in regards to sports law it should be addressed that this area of the law is a highly specialist area, there are not many universities that offer this course and this is perhaps one of the reasons why I was attracted to study this module at a postgraduate level. Sports law however is not the only niche area of the law; there are plenty of niche areas for example Environmental Law just to name one of a few. Consequently, if you find yourself interested in an area of the law which is growing, why not develop your interest by studying this at an LLM level and give yourself the opportunity to interact with specialist academics that have a great reputation in the particular area of the law.
Benefit 5 – Meet new people:
This benefit applies to me highly, during my LLM course I have become friends with a variety of individuals, from all walks of life, from all ages and from a variety of different countries. During classes you gain a real understanding about what the law is like in somebody else’s country, this comparative analysis really does help you analyse the current law in a critical way and this is something that I have personally enjoyed.
Benefit 6 – Increase your time.
By this benefit, I mean that usually LLM courses are not as vigorous as the LLB in regards to the timetable. Therefore, you have plenty of time to explore your opportunities and get involved in a variety activities that can not only boost your CV but also help you generate income and also to enable you to have more time to finally decide and come a decision about what you want to do in the future. Personally, for me I have had the opportunity to get involved in a lot of positions this year that arguably enhances my CV, however because I am studying the BPTC next year it was an aim of mine during my LLM to work to help pay the BPTC fees and this is something that I am achieving.
Benefit 7 – Boost your CV?
Studying an LLM solely to boost my CV is not my motive, but a friend asked me the other day “if you was an employer faced with two graduates, one with a standard 2.1 and the other with a standard 2.1 but with an LLM in a relevant area of the law who would you employ?” Now I think the answer to this question, based solely on the information given persuades me to choose the individual with the LLM, as this is only the differentiating factor.
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