Beyond an Undergraduate Law Degree: The LLM


So what is an LLM? An LLM is a ‘Master of Laws’ postgraduate law degree, which allows students who have studied law at undergraduate level to broaden their legal knowledge. Whereas an undergraduate degree gives a general overview of the various parts of law, an LLM allows far greater scope for specialisation within a specific area of the law. Studying full time for a year means that you can engage with your subject in a detailed and in-depth manner. Moreover, you can develop your legal research skills through your work, which will aid the transition from student to trainee.

What do I get out of it?

Students who have attained an LLM when they apply for law graduate jobs will be able to demonstrate a range of positive attributes:

  • Commitment to the law
  • Research skills
  • Specialised knowledge of a subject area
  • Academic rigour

If you don’t want to pursue a career in law, the LLM is advantageous for a number of other paths, be that further study at PhD level or HR, consultancy and finance careers. LLMs have developed so that they now encourage independent thought and detailed analysis of the law. Internationally-recognised, the LLM is prestigious qualification which is now pursued by qualified lawyers, not just students.

Where can I study?

There are a variety of LLM law schools throughout the UK, ranging from universities to law-specific colleges. Take time to research the various options and think about the environment you want to study in – different institutions will suit different people. Make sure you factor in course fees, living costs, and funding opportunities.

What can I study?

There are a huge range of LLM course available to study, with options that suit almost any interest you might have. If you can’t find a taught programme which interests you, consider taking a research-based course; this will allow you to focus specifically on the areas of law or research topics you like the most.

Choosing to do an LLM is not an easy decision, and there is a lot of work involved. However, if it is something that appeals to you, an LLM has the potential to really improve your career prospects.