By LLM85 on Sep 25, 2009
So I have just started my LLM at Kings College London and to be quite honest I'm scared witless. We have three weeks to pick from a veritable buffet of modules and it's all a bit much. I had an idea of the modules I had wanted to pick but induction week only made me doubt my choices.
Moreover enrollment was quite possibly the most draining piece of administrative beaurocracy I have ever had to endure. Add to that the fact that I still don't have a timetable and it all amounts to minor panic on my part. But i guess this is all part of the process.
But it's not all bad, one of the Professors who talked to us at induction was very entertaining, I'm hoping that bodes well for the rest of the teaching faculty. And i suppose once i get into the flow of things everything will slot into place...hopefully.
And so it begins...
By LLM85 on Sep 28, 2009
The first lecture is out of the way and the excitement is finally starting to set in. I sat and followed and was actually interested for a whole 2 hour lecture without exception. I suppose that is the true difference with a masters, you begin to go in depth with someone who is not only interested in the subject but also wants you to have a full flowing discourse with them about the subject. Thumbs up !!!!
BUT (insert unhappy face here), i still feel that for the amount of money i am paying, i should be getting better administrative support. The way you figure out your timetable is just inefficient and confusing. There are some modules that have a timetabled slot but have been cancelled and some that I have been told by lecturers are running this year but are not on the timetable.
Then I get to my class and the sign says it has been relocated, but it hasn't as the lecturer arrives 10 mins late to inform us. We enter the room to find that there are only enough chairs for about 1/3 of the class.
I know this may sound like i am nit-picking as these are all minor things that are part of life. HOWEVER at least a few of these problems could hae been sorted out with just a little more attention to detail by the Law School which is what one would expect from an institution with the reputation that Kings has. But who am i to complain eh?
None the less, i am still a happy LLM student (if only with a slightly critical chip on her shoulder).
By LLM85 on Oct 24, 2009
Ok guys, sorry I have been so MIA, but that is simply due to the workload that is starting to pile up at my door. Yes sir, my LLM is well and truely underway and I have to say I am still enjoying all of my modules. But that may just be becuase I chose the right modules for me because I have heard plenty of moaning from other people that they are not enjoying their course as much as they thought they would. Oh well, luckly me I guess...
One thing I would say to anyone who is considering doing a LLM, it is something you have to be prepared to committ a lot of time to in order to do it well. I thought that once I got into the swing of things with my academics, I would be able to get a part-time job to save for that scary time otherwise known as 'looking for a job after you graduate'. But I have had to rethink that slightly as I just don't have the time. I'm not saying it can't be done but I really do think that if you can possibly afford not to work and study you should.
I am having a few sleepless nights about my future job prospects as the deadlines for internships and work placements are fast approaching. The faint echoes of whether this LLM is really going to be worth it have been bouncing around in my head. Some people keep telling me that there is no way a person who gets a decent LLM from a place like Kings could ever not get a job afterwards. But people used to say that Lehman Bros would never go bankrupt and well we all know how that ended...
But anyway, I suppose these are questions that depend on me and how much advantage I can take of the opportunities I have been given.
Well on that note, I had better get back to the books.
By LLM85 on Nov 05, 2009
Ok so I guess now that I dealt with the admin stuff, i should go into the actual substance of the course and I will start with International Commercial Arbitration merely because it is my favourite module.
The structure of this module is all over the place, we range from having 1 lecturer in a 2 hour lecture to having 3 with an assistant as well. All three of them seem to have different views of the topic and they disagree all the time...its fantastic.
Have you ever been in a lecture where the lecturer is saying the exact same thing that you read in the text book written by him/her (which also just happens to be the recommended text for the course, what a coincidence ?), all you ever get is one view of the subject. This helps no one and just doesn't mirror the reality of the legal scene. Not this module.
Anyway this module is just so interesting and it really sounds like something I would love to do as a career but and there always seems to be a 'but' with law, this is a profession that seems very hard to get into and i keep hearing what seems to be turning into everybody's mantra 'it's really competitive'.
But that does not detract from the actual substance of the module, to be fair there is a lot and i mean A LOT of reading that you have to do by yourself and we never finish covering what we are supposed to in class but hey this is masters right, just suck it up and move on. I do have to make a special mention though, Toby Landau who sort of heads the course this semester is awesome, he really makes you analyse what he is teaching you both theoretically and practically.
Which brings me to one final point that i have about the LLM course at King's in general, as much as i moan and whinge about it one thing that i appreciate above all is that all the lecturers approach the modules from a practical realistic angle. So they will teach you all the heavy theory but then they will qualify it by saying something like you do need to know the theory but in modern practice nobody really refers to this anymore. As far as i am concerned anything that makes my course more relevant works for me.
By LLM85 on Dec 14, 2009
I havn't put up a post for ages!!!! My apologies as the workload just cranked up and I really don't want to get left behind. But everything is shutting down for the Christmas break so i have a little bit more free time on my hands.
Firstly i'll deal with the non-teaching aspect of the course. King's recently hosted its annual law fair over two days which i feel was very well attended by the law firms with a good selection of firms being represented. But to be honest King's has such a wealth of big firms vying to do events with them that the law fair was really just the tip of the iceberg.
I don't know if this is just me, but law fairs are not of very much help to me these days or maybe I am just bored of hearing the same thing from these Graduate Recruiters all the time. And when I do ask them a question that I really want or need the answer to, chances are they don't know the answer and they ask me to send an e-mail which is 50/50 as to whether they will reply.
Back to the admin, I thought those little gliches would be sorted out by now but still there are problems. Trying to select our research essay titles and dissertations was a nightmare and one of my friends has had one of her half-modules cancelled (this only happened a week and a half ago!). As much as I am growing to love this uni, this kind of confusion and disappointing admin has got to be sorted. Some people are paying over £10 000 to do an LLM at King's and for that kind of money you expect a higher standard (this is not directed at the teaching which is OUTSTANDING!!!!)
I will say this though, if you want to do your LLM to have a better chance of securing a training contract with an international firm, it is very much to your advantage to be already qualified in your own country esp if that country is China, India, Brazil, USA... well actually it depends on the firm, as some firms a looking for a lot of Eastern European qualified lawyers as well. This is not to say that this will not change as soon as some other country comes into commercial fashion but that is what it sounds like to me at the moment.
Also if you are a UK law undergrad and you want to do an LLM, seriously think about the timing of the degree as law firms will be recruiting 2 years in advance so chances are you are going to have a lot of time to kill after doing your LPC. But thats no biggie really.
The teaching is still great and I am looking forward to learning from a whole host of new lecturers next semester as well. Things are going well on the education front, and I think that next semester will continue in the same vein.
Merry Christmas all xxx
By LLM85 on Feb 24, 2010
It feels like this semester just started but somehow I find myself a month or so away from the end of teaching, how on earth did that happen? I have my doubts as to whether we will be able to cover all the material in our syllabus for some of my modules though. I almost feel as though we have not done enough...strange but true.
It is however a time when I start to think seriously about doing an LLM and where it has gotten me. I truly do feel that this LLM brought me closer to what I want to do and the areas of law that actually interest me. HOWEVER (you know there has to be one because I am a law student after all), I find myself in a strange twilight-zone in relation to the job market. Now that I have gotten to such a high level in my study of law in such a specific area I feel like there are certain jobs I will do and others where I would just feel over-qualified. Does that make sense, or is that just me over-thinking and over-reaching as to just how much more qualified I am?
The timing of an LLM is also a weirdly vital issue. I will not get my results until sometime in November it seems and this is unhelpful for deadlines and pursuing further study. As happy as I am with my choice to do an LLM and especially the modules I picked, I feel strangely unsatisfied and unsettled, as if this course has left me in a more precarious situation than when I started????
Anyway, if I have time to over think everything this much, I have time to study more and hopefully ace these deceptively fast-approaching exams. Not to mention that I have to relearn French and possibly a whole other language to boost my self-esteem. I met someone who spoke 4 languages the other day, 4! Just English as a language doesn't cut the mustard anymore!
Oh and I should probably mention that London Fashion Week is going on right next door to King's Strand Campus, can you say distraction?
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