Why You Should do an LL.M. in London

Brexit has made the courses cheaper for international students, and London remains a multicultural metropolis

Unrivalled access to leading global law firms, courts and government. Top academics and influential guest speakers. Practical learning opportunities that make a tangible impact on society. Excellent nightlife, cultural attractions and food markets. London has much to offer prospective LL.M. students. 

And there is a plethora of world-class law schools to choose from in the UK capital: four of them are ranked in the top-35 of the 2018 QS World University Rankings. 

One of the biggest debates for prospective law students considering London for their LL.M. is the cost. Indeed, tuition fees can be high. But you’ll also need to consider rental prices, which are the highest in the country, as well as transportation, food, entertainment et al. 

[See all LL.M. programs in London]

And the UK capital soared up the Mercer ranking of the most expensive global cities to live in, from 29 last year to 19 in 2018. Yet the fall in the value of the pound against other major currencies has made UK tuition fees cheaper for international students, who enjoy good exchange rates, so their money goes further. 

“Currency fluctuations may mean that the courses are even more attractive, and our international student numbers have remained strong since the [Brexit] referendum vote in 2016,” says James Lee, a reader in English law and soon-to-be vice dean for education at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London. 

London: home to major law firms and other important organizations

One of the world’s foremost global cities, London attracts students and companies from all across the globe. Its status as a world city means you’ll study alongside diverse classmates and enjoy unrivalled access to many of the most reputable global law firms. Universities’ careers teams provide tailored support to help with students’ and graduates’ career goals. 

Professor Carol Tan, head of the SOAS School of Law, says: “Our alumni work across the world, but many remain in London and take up a position in a major law firm, including Magic Circle firms such as Freshfields, Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance, and Jones Day. Others work with Amnesty International and the UN.” 

Matt Rowley, law department manager at the London School of Economics (LSE), agrees. He says London is one of the “most cosmopolitan cities in the world” and the LSE is “only a short distance from Europe’s legal and financial centers: government, parliament, the business and financial institutions of the City, the Law Courts, and media”. 

London is also attractive for top academics and influential guest speakers, who are lured to the city’s law schools to participate in teaching and pursue research, and sometimes lend their expertise to the wealth of professional and governmental organizations in the city. 

In 2018, for example, King’s hosted the Bar Council’s Pupillage Fair, which brings together (collectively) hundreds of chambers, barristers and students, in its Bush House facilities, the former home of the BBC. KCL’s law school also ranked first on the main measure in the last UK Research Excellence Framework, in 2014. 

“Research informs and enhances our [teaching], as students are taught by active researchers in their field,” says Lee. He adds: “London law schools have an international outlook: at King’s we have the Transnational Law Institute, and Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law, both of which regularly host events with leading speakers from across the globe.” 

London offers practical learning experiences for LL.M. students

But you won’t just be a bookworm: the close proximity to institutions in London means many law schools offer students in the city practical learning opportunities that can make a positive impact on people’s lives. The SOAS Detention Law Clinic, for instance, provides students with training to help immigration detainees in the UK access justice. 

“SOAS students have been able to make a real difference to the lives of countless detainees by helping with complex procedures and, in some cases, securing the release of immigrants from detention centres,” says Prof Tan. 

You’ll be spoilt for choice of entertainment in the city, too. There are major lifestyle benefits to doing an LL.M. in London, not least nightlife, cultural attractions and food markets. “Our students are very active in helping to build a community of law students at SOAS,” Prof Tan says. “Each year a number of student societies organize careers and social events as well as mooting competitions and a peer mentoring scheme.” 

But what about Brexit?

The big question UK law students and schools are asking themselves is: what will be the impact of Brexit? Surveys show that universities are finding it harder to hire international faculty and to attract foreign students, while there are concerns about access to visas and professional jobs being moved out of the city, as other European capitals including Paris compete for cross-border dispute resolution work post-Brexit. 

Law schools say they and London remain multicultural centers that are open for all. “The university remains committed to supporting staff and students through any uncertainty during the Brexit negotiations,” says Lee at King’s. “We value our students and colleagues from outside the UK. London is a welcoming and inclusive city.” 

He advises that prospective students consider law schools based not just on location, but on reputation, subject specialisms, professional links and calibre of faculty. 

Comments


Related Law Schools

London, United Kingdom 767 Followers 923 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 790 Followers 932 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 590 Followers 910 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 893 Followers 884 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 90 Followers 176 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 22 Followers 16 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 188 Followers 162 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 87 Followers 151 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 69 Followers 75 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 13 Followers 7 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 33 Followers 33 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 31 Followers 19 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 21 Followers 16 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 11 Followers 3 Discussions
London, United Kingdom 15 Followers 1 Discussion
London, United Kingdom 10 Followers 16 Discussions

LLM News

Twelve Law Schools to Hold a Virtual LL.M. Application Event

Feb 15, 2022

More LLM News

More LLM Articles

LL.M. Demand Bounces Back from Covid Dip

Jun 21, 2022

There’s resurgent demand for graduate law school education in different formats as economies exit the coronavirus pandemic and academic institutions loosen admissions requirements

How to Turn Your LL.M. Internship Into a Full-time Job

Jun 14, 2022

Internships are one of the main routes back into the legal profession, but getting hired is not easy

Post-LL.M. Career Paths Diversify

May 25, 2022

There’s been a great expansion of evermore lucrative career paths for graduates of LL.M. programs, particularly in corporate law, ESG practice areas and legal technology

More Articles

Related Top 10 Lists

More Top 10 Lists