Hello friends,

I am currently a lawyer called to the Bar of Ontario and Saskatchewan. I have been working for the past three years in northern Saskatchewan as a criminal defence staff lawyer with legal aid (more commonly referred to as a public defender in the United States). I conduct circuit court with aboriginal clients by flying and driving to remote northern locations. I also spent seven months in Cambodia with the United Nations at the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal as part of UNAKRT prior to my current position.

I am looking to take a leave from my current job and apply for an LL.M. sometime in the next year or so. I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2007 with my LL.B. While I did OK, I only graduated with a 3.0 or B average. Its a tad low for entry into graduate studies, but I effectively graduated middle of the pack among my class. I also have bachelor and masters degrees in criminology prior to my entry into law school.

I am interested in areas such as litigation, national/global security, armed conflict, humanitarian/international development law, international criminal law and international law in general. I would be happy to study any of these areas as means of gaining personal knowledge.

I really don't need such a degree for career advancement as I already have a career and some pretty good experience to date. Although, an LL.M. would be viewed favourably if I ever wanted to become a judge or obtain further international experience.

I am seeking any opinions on where I could apply and be considered a competitive candidate given my law school average? I am looking both at programs within Canada and abroad (mostly UK or Ireland).

Most U.S. programs seem geared towards eligibility for bar exams in their respective states. I am not interested in that and would only consider a U.S. LL.M. if it was a specialized program.

I don't expect an Ivy League school but I would like to attend a university that is not obscure or completely unknown. I was thinking that my alma mater, the University of Ottawa, could be one possibility. The possibility of attending a university with a lot of history would also be appealing.

Thank you for viewing my post. All opinions are welcome.