Student and Graduate Publishing

Studying an LLM Abroad

Friday, 11 July 2014 14:48

By Qudrat Khan

 - An LLM is a renowned and distinguished legal qualification. Its translation into English means ‘Master of Laws’, as it enables one to gain expertise and to become a specialist in one field of law, such as international or criminal law. It is not a requirement to hold an LLM, although it is a desirable qualification for employers.

Studying it in one’s domestic country might be suitable, but the advantages of studying it abroad are almost unparalleled. In countries such as Germany and the United States, those undertaking the LLM are taught in a way to allow students to potentially relocate and practice in another country. Additionally, studying for an LLM in another country is an invaluable way of acquiring knowledge regarding that host country, as well as your native one. The substantially differing legal systems present around the world means that studying abroad for an LLM will help one to significantly better compare said systems more so than if an LLM was studied domestically. This advantage has been universally recognised, to the extent that host countries are happy to accommodate for international LLM students to study at their institution, with German programmes accustoming British students and American programmes French students.

Studying an LLM in the United States will give one an insight into American education. Most Universities are quite Socratic regarding the teaching methods, meaning that students are free to develop an answer until, guided by their professors, they reach the correct conclusions. In addition to this, American Law Schools use the ‘case method’ of teaching, meaning that they will often reference real-life cases and thus court decisions to determine law. Obtaining an LLM from the American Bar Association approved Law Schools allows one to apply for admission to the bar in states such as New York, California and Texas. Extra coursework is necessary in order to take the bar exam in more states such as Alaska, Massachusetts and Tennessee. It is imperative to note that edibility is dependent on the common/civil law nature of one’s native country. Being from the former means that lawyers do not need to study at an ABA-approved Law Schools, whereas those hailing from a civil law country are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours at a United States Law School.

To study an LLM in the United Kingdom, it is required that one obtains an undergraduate degree and/or has substantial evidence in a related field. There are many prestigious courses to be taken in the United Kingdom, with a prominent example being at The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London where two programmes, the LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies and the LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law is offered. The former is notorious for being one of the most innovative in the common law world, due to its emphasis on legislative communication. The unique aspect about studying an LLM in the United Kingdom is that it accepts a wide variety of undergraduates, not all of whom being law practitioners. Queen’s University allows its students to specialise in issues such as devolution and human rights.

There is a great demand for all students to studying an LLM in Australia. Some of its Universities allow non-law graduates to undertake the degree, meaning that its net is casted almost just as wide as the United Kingdom’s. At Bond University, one has the opportunity to complete a generalist degree or specialise in one of the following credits: Cooperate and Commercial Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Trade Law and Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce. Such topics will allow an international student to grasp the laws of another state in order to practice in their host country or elsewhere.

If you are UK and student who wishes to study an LLM in your own country you can find out more at Grad Mag.

Click for more information and guidance on why you should study law abroad.