Law in a European and Global Context LLM


I am thinking of applying to the Law in a European and Global context LLM offered at Catolica Global School of Law in Lisbon, Portugal. I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on this programme, especially former students. Would like to know how international it is (is it mainly Portuguese students?); the quality of the program?; etc.
Any information would be helpful in making my decision!

Thank you!
I am thinking of applying to the Law in a European and Global context LLM offered at Catolica Global School of Law in Lisbon, Portugal. I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on this programme, especially former students. Would like to know how international it is (is it mainly Portuguese students?); the quality of the program?; etc.
Any information would be helpful in making my decision!

Thank you!
quote
I am a former student (completed the programme last year) and I would be happy to give you any information you need.

The programme is pretty international. Last year we were about 20 students permanently attending this programme. About half of them were Portuguese. Among other nationalities there were American (8 students, though 6 of them - were attending as exchange students - Catolica has partnerships with a handful of very good American universities, e.g. Cornell, Duke, etc.), Austrian, Turkish, Italian, Czech, Brazilian, Kosovar, Macanese, Belgian & Romanian. So, there was a lot of national diversity.

The faculty is also very international as very few professors are Portuguese. Also there are quite a lot of very heavy names among the Professors. For instance, Joseph Weiler (New York University), Miguel Maduro (former ECJ Adv. General) - these two are the programme directors, Armin von Bogdandy (Max Planck Institute), Mattias Kumm (NYU), David Halberstam (Univ. of Michigan), Don Regan (also from Michigan), Petros Mavroidis (Columbia Univ.) and many others.

All in all, I would say that the programme is of extraordinary high quality - given the stellar faculty. I know Catolica Global School of Law is not that famous yet, but their two programmes were listed by Financial Times among a handful of best LL.M.s in the world for three years in a row - Global Legal Education Report, 2012, Innovative Law Schools Report, 2011, 2012. They are certainly getting a lot of attention. Also they are a founding member of Law Schools Global League - among othere member I'll mention NYU and National Univ. of Singapore.

Also, the staff is very very supportive. Everybody loves them.

Therefore, I highly recommend this programme. Should you need any other info I would be very happy to respond to any further questions - and I'm sure my former class mates would as well.
I am a former student (completed the programme last year) and I would be happy to give you any information you need.

The programme is pretty international. Last year we were about 20 students permanently attending this programme. About half of them were Portuguese. Among other nationalities there were American (8 students, though 6 of them - were attending as exchange students - Catolica has partnerships with a handful of very good American universities, e.g. Cornell, Duke, etc.), Austrian, Turkish, Italian, Czech, Brazilian, Kosovar, Macanese, Belgian & Romanian. So, there was a lot of national diversity.

The faculty is also very international as very few professors are Portuguese. Also there are quite a lot of very heavy names among the Professors. For instance, Joseph Weiler (New York University), Miguel Maduro (former ECJ Adv. General) - these two are the programme directors, Armin von Bogdandy (Max Planck Institute), Mattias Kumm (NYU), David Halberstam (Univ. of Michigan), Don Regan (also from Michigan), Petros Mavroidis (Columbia Univ.) and many others.

All in all, I would say that the programme is of extraordinary high quality - given the stellar faculty. I know Catolica Global School of Law is not that famous yet, but their two programmes were listed by Financial Times among a handful of best LL.M.s in the world for three years in a row - Global Legal Education Report, 2012, Innovative Law Schools Report, 2011, 2012. They are certainly getting a lot of attention. Also they are a founding member of Law Schools Global League - among othere member I'll mention NYU and National Univ. of Singapore.

Also, the staff is very very supportive. Everybody loves them.

Therefore, I highly recommend this programme. Should you need any other info I would be very happy to respond to any further questions - and I'm sure my former class mates would as well.
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Thank you for your reply, Andrei!

What caught my attention was definitely the great faculty.
I didn't know the program was that small. Was hoping it would be a little more international, however.

What would you say about the workload of the LLM? Also, is the master thesis completed during the year or is it an additional semester?

Thanks again!
Thank you for your reply, Andrei!

What caught my attention was definitely the great faculty.
I didn't know the program was that small. Was hoping it would be a little more international, however.

What would you say about the workload of the LLM? Also, is the master thesis completed during the year or is it an additional semester?

Thanks again!
quote
Sorry for the late reply!
Yes, the programme is small, but that's a good thing. Small classes allow for a lot of interactivity. Some of the classes are as small as 8-10 people. One thing is for sure , you won't get bored. And the format of the class is so as to engage the students a lot -most professors go for the socratic method of teaching, so the seminars are pretty much taught in the American style.

Also, you have to take intonaccount that they run 2 programmes at Catolica - the one you inquired about and another one in international business law. You will certainly interact with some of the people enrolled in the other programme as students are allowed to take some classes from both LLMs. Besides, they have a lot of foreign students doing masters in business and economics. You will get to meet some of those as well.

As for the workload, the programme is certainly not a walk in the park. You have to read in advance fot every week. Sometimes it's 100 pages, sometimes it's 500. In the end it really depends on your working pace and on how much you want to get out of the programme.

The master's thesis is not completed during the year.

Should you have any further question I'm happy to respond.
Sorry for the late reply!
Yes, the programme is small, but that's a good thing. Small classes allow for a lot of interactivity. Some of the classes are as small as 8-10 people. One thing is for sure , you won't get bored. And the format of the class is so as to engage the students a lot -most professors go for the socratic method of teaching, so the seminars are pretty much taught in the American style.

Also, you have to take intonaccount that they run 2 programmes at Catolica - the one you inquired about and another one in international business law. You will certainly interact with some of the people enrolled in the other programme as students are allowed to take some classes from both LLMs. Besides, they have a lot of foreign students doing masters in business and economics. You will get to meet some of those as well.

As for the workload, the programme is certainly not a walk in the park. You have to read in advance fot every week. Sometimes it's 100 pages, sometimes it's 500. In the end it really depends on your working pace and on how much you want to get out of the programme.

The master's thesis is not completed during the year.

Should you have any further question I'm happy to respond.
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Eagle 1
I attended the inaugural LL.M. (European law) and I believe Andrei Suses testimony speaks for most of its attendants. The program is innovative, intellectual challenging and offers an opportunity to explore new fields of law in a very appealing location.

Pros:
- The faculty and the possibility to interact with professors in an informal way, even outside class.
- Small classes encourage interactive education and a greater learning environment.
- Courses are taught in a non-dogmatic explanatory way. Teaching material is up to date and in general the classes concern interesting topics related to international law.
- The possibility to stay one year in sunny Lisboa is for most of us a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Cons:
- The university is almost unheard of outside the Portuguese speaking world. This is probably the biggest drawback and may be a reason to pick a school with a stronger reputation.
- Despite the premises and the gardens; the campus feels more like a conference centre than a university and lacks academic spirit.
- In comparison with eg College of Europe, this Masters program offers too few courses in order to specialize. A degree in European law or International business law is for most employers too broad and insipid. Add to this that you must spend an additional semester if you wish to write a thesis.


To sum up: If you wish to become a business lawyer in a top-tier firm go for London or New York. If you wish to pursue an academic career go for Oxbridge. But if you wish to broaden your horizon and learn more about European law in general and are up for an adventure of its kind, then this Master might be something for you.
I attended the inaugural LL.M. (European law) and I believe Andrei Suse’s testimony speaks for most of its attendants. The program is innovative, intellectual challenging and offers an opportunity to explore new fields of law in a very appealing location.

Pro’s:
- The faculty and the possibility to interact with professors in an informal way, even outside class.
- Small classes encourage interactive education and a greater learning environment.
- Courses are taught in a non-dogmatic explanatory way. Teaching material is up to date and in general the classes concern interesting topics related to international law.
- The possibility to stay one year in sunny Lisboa is for most of us a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Con’s:
- The university is almost unheard of outside the Portuguese speaking world. This is probably the biggest drawback and may be a reason to pick a school with a stronger reputation.
- Despite the premises and the gardens; the campus feels more like a conference centre than a university and lacks academic spirit.
- In comparison with eg College of Europe, this Master’s program offers too few courses in order to specialize. A degree in “European law” or “International business law” is for most employers too broad and insipid. Add to this that you must spend an additional semester if you wish to write a thesis.


To sum up: If you wish to become a business lawyer in a top-tier firm – go for London or New York. If you wish to pursue an academic career – go for Oxbridge. But if you wish to broaden your horizon and learn more about European law in general and are up for an adventure of its kind, then this Master might be something for you.
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Stoyanov
I am accepted in Queen Marry University of London and waiting for my telephone interview from Catolica next week. I am in the middle of great dilemma, because I really do not know which is the better option. To go to a safe bet ( top school in England- not the best but say OK) or to go in a unknown school that is REALLY promising but could be a great mistake...
I am accepted in Queen Marry University of London and waiting for my telephone interview from Catolica next week. I am in the middle of great dilemma, because I really do not know which is the better option. To go to a safe bet ( top school in England- not the best but say OK) or to go in a unknown school that is REALLY promising but could be a great mistake...
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Wheretogo_
Queen Mary is a good school but I would not consider it a top school.

Católica does offer one of the strongest faculties I have seen and they also offer a double degree with Kings? I think you should seriously consider. To do an LLM in London there are better places to do it such as UCL, LSE and Kings. Those should be your top choices!
Queen Mary is a good school but I would not consider it a top school.

Católica does offer one of the strongest faculties I have seen and they also offer a double degree with Kings? I think you should seriously consider. To do an LLM in London there are better places to do it such as UCL, LSE and Kings. Those should be your top choices!
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Stoyanov
Queen Mary is a good school but I would not consider it a top school.

Católica does offer one of the strongest faculties I have seen and they also offer a double degree with Kings? I think you should seriously consider. To do an LLM in London there are better places to do it such as UCL, LSE and Kings. Those should be your top choices!


Unfortunately my application to Kings was declined on Tuesday (maybe my application was a bit late and my degree is exactly at the minimum required for Kings) so I don't think I'll go anywhere above QMUL :) . I am almost sure that the overall experience at Portugal will be better, but at the end L.L.M in London looks better in your CV than L.L.M in Portugal. I know it's a bit cynical to say that. And what is this double degree whit Kings, could you be so kind to share this information with me ?
<blockquote>Queen Mary is a good school but I would not consider it a top school.

Católica does offer one of the strongest faculties I have seen and they also offer a double degree with Kings? I think you should seriously consider. To do an LLM in London there are better places to do it such as UCL, LSE and Kings. Those should be your top choices!</blockquote>

Unfortunately my application to Kings was declined on Tuesday (maybe my application was a bit late and my degree is exactly at the minimum required for Kings) so I don't think I'll go anywhere above QMUL :) . I am almost sure that the overall experience at Portugal will be better, but at the end L.L.M in London looks better in your CV than L.L.M in Portugal. I know it's a bit cynical to say that. And what is this double degree whit Kings, could you be so kind to share this information with me ?
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Wheretogo_
Of course here you go:

http://www.fd.lisboa.ucp.pt/site/custom/template/ucptplfac.asp?sspageID=3315&lang=2

I would apply to this degree, it takes two years but so much worth it the experience, plus you can get scholarships!

But yes if you can't get in to the others in London, Queen Mary is a strong school and yes it does look better than Lisboa!
Of course here you go:

http://www.fd.lisboa.ucp.pt/site/custom/template/ucptplfac.asp?sspageID=3315&lang=2

I would apply to this degree, it takes two years but so much worth it the experience, plus you can get scholarships!

But yes if you can't get in to the others in London, Queen Mary is a strong school and yes it does look better than Lisboa!
quote
Stoyanov
Of course here you go:

http://www.fd.lisboa.ucp.pt/site/custom/template/ucptplfac.asp?sspageID=3315&lang=2

I would apply to this degree, it takes two years but so much worth it the experience, plus you can get scholarships!

But yes if you can't get in to the others in London, Queen Mary is a strong school and yes it does look better than Lisboa!


Hmmmm I've applied to European Law in Global Perspective. I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to change my application. I also don't know if I'll have around 50 k euro for both programmes :) I was really disappointed because of the decline from Kings and this programme looks a bit surreal at the moment
<blockquote>Of course here you go:

http://www.fd.lisboa.ucp.pt/site/custom/template/ucptplfac.asp?sspageID=3315&lang=2

I would apply to this degree, it takes two years but so much worth it the experience, plus you can get scholarships!

But yes if you can't get in to the others in London, Queen Mary is a strong school and yes it does look better than Lisboa!</blockquote>

Hmmmm I've applied to European Law in Global Perspective. I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to change my application. I also don't know if I'll have around 50 k euro for both programmes :) I was really disappointed because of the decline from Kings and this programme looks a bit surreal at the moment
quote
Wheretogo_
I think you can raise that during interview with Catolica and also don't forget you can benefit from a scholarship!

I understand your position and still Queen Mary is a good school. You can still attend Kings if you really want and Catolica at the same time! :)

Good luck!
I think you can raise that during interview with Catolica and also don't forget you can benefit from a scholarship!

I understand your position and still Queen Mary is a good school. You can still attend Kings if you really want and Catolica at the same time! :)

Good luck!
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I was also accepted to Queen Mary, but if I get into Católica I think I will accept it. Although it is true that QM is known, I do think that Católica's faculty is really great and in terms of academic experience seems to be superior. It is not as known because it is fairly new, and for whoever does have the possibility to do their program plus the double degree programme at King's College, it would be amazing in regards to CV...
Wouldnt you recommend the Double Degree Catolica and KCL over Queen Mary?
I think the downside really is that it is two years. But you do leave with two LLM's...
I was also accepted to Queen Mary, but if I get into Católica I think I will accept it. Although it is true that QM is known, I do think that Católica's faculty is really great and in terms of academic experience seems to be superior. It is not as known because it is fairly new, and for whoever does have the possibility to do their program plus the double degree programme at King's College, it would be amazing in regards to CV...
Wouldnt you recommend the Double Degree Catolica and KCL over Queen Mary?
I think the downside really is that it is two years. But you do leave with two LLM's...
quote
Wheretogo_
Yeah pretty much I think! The only downside is the 2 years but still it is acceptable.

I would prefer the 2 year programme at Católica over Queen Mary as do to an LLM in London there are good schools to do it other than QM.
Yeah pretty much I think! The only downside is the 2 years but still it is acceptable.

I would prefer the 2 year programme at Católica over Queen Mary as do to an LLM in London there are good schools to do it other than QM.
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Stoyanov
My parents will not be happy to pay for my second and third master degree so that's for the double L.L.M : D Also I think that scholarships shall be given to exceptional students ( and such I am not). I will consider ( I think that I will be accepted in Catolica because I am sure I will be the first student from my country and I have heard that they aim for an international environment above all :) ) both offers ( waiting for Frankfurt but I don't think that my proficiency in both English and German will help me get accepted ) and see what to do.
My parents will not be happy to pay for my second and third master degree so that's for the double L.L.M : D Also I think that scholarships shall be given to exceptional students ( and such I am not). I will consider ( I think that I will be accepted in Catolica because I am sure I will be the first student from my country and I have heard that they aim for an international environment above all :) ) both offers ( waiting for Frankfurt but I don't think that my proficiency in both English and German will help me get accepted ) and see what to do.
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Eagle 1
According to my view, there is no reason to pursue a double degree. Three LL.M's would only look weird and as an employer I would suspect that you are studying because you are de facto unemployed. Generally, relevant working experience is in almost all cases regarded higher than education.

That said: consider what you really want to do and try to find an LL.M that suits your best interests. Instead of spending too many years in law school you should go for internships.

Good luck!
According to my view, there is no reason to pursue a double degree. Three LL.M's would only look weird and as an employer I would suspect that you are studying because you are de facto unemployed. Generally, relevant working experience is in almost all cases regarded higher than education.

That said: consider what you really want to do and try to find an LL.M that suits your best interests. Instead of spending too many years in law school you should go for internships.

Good luck!
quote
Stoyanov
According to my view, there is no reason to pursue a double degree. Three LL.M's would only look weird and as an employer I would suspect that you are studying because you are de facto unemployed. Generally, relevant working experience is in almost all cases regarded higher than education.

That said: consider what you really want to do and try to find an LL.M that suits your best interests. Instead of spending too many years in law school you should go for internships.

Good luck!
i've been working for 3 years in a top firm in my country. I've reciently graduated, but want to change my life a bit.
<blockquote>According to my view, there is no reason to pursue a double degree. Three LL.M's would only look weird and as an employer I would suspect that you are studying because you are de facto unemployed. Generally, relevant working experience is in almost all cases regarded higher than education.

That said: consider what you really want to do and try to find an LL.M that suits your best interests. Instead of spending too many years in law school you should go for internships.

Good luck!</blockquote>i've been working for 3 years in a top firm in my country. I've reciently graduated, but want to change my life a bit.
quote
Hello!
my name is Angelica, I am Italian and I have attended the 2011-2012 Law in a European and Global Context LLM. I am now finishing my second LLM at King's.

-on the Catolica experience: nothing I could recommend more. I ended up in Portugal for a series of coincidences, so, believe me, I DO understand your concerns about 'Portugal doesn't look as great as the UK on your CV'. However, think about it for a sec: when you go for a master in the UK, nobody will ask you 'why the UK?'. This means that, when you'll interview with top law firms as I am doing now in London, they DO will ask you 'why Portugal' and this gives you the amazing chance to explain the reason. To sum up: it looks different, it shows courage, drive and initiative. It goes without saying that you must be able to have made the most of it: in my case, I got a scholarship, I became fluent in Portuguese, I did a 7-month internship in a MC firm in Lisbon while doing my LLM, I developed a network of brilliant colleagues, academics and professionals, I got into the double degree with KCL and, most of all, I walked along the Tagus river at sunsets. Something that, alone, is probably worth the experience.

- on the double degree. The 2 academic experiences are so different: in Lisbon, you are in a small class, you get short courses on a variety of subjects and you are trained by stellar professors to critically assess what you are actually studying. The purpose is shaking the border of your legal (and often non-legal) comfort zone. This is gonna give you the finest tools to deal with your second year in London: a class of 100 people, year-long courses, big competition, limited chance to interact with professors on an individual basis. There is no doubt that the year in Catolica has been way more rewarding and exciting than the one at King's, for a number of reasons the official rankings bla bla simply don't take into account. But of course, it takes some guts.

Should you need any further info, please ask, I am very happy to help if I can.
Hello!
my name is Angelica, I am Italian and I have attended the 2011-2012 Law in a European and Global Context LLM. I am now finishing my second LLM at King's.

-on the Catolica experience: nothing I could recommend more. I ended up in Portugal for a series of coincidences, so, believe me, I DO understand your concerns about 'Portugal doesn't look as great as the UK on your CV'. However, think about it for a sec: when you go for a master in the UK, nobody will ask you 'why the UK?'. This means that, when you'll interview with top law firms as I am doing now in London, they DO will ask you 'why Portugal' and this gives you the amazing chance to explain the reason. To sum up: it looks different, it shows courage, drive and initiative. It goes without saying that you must be able to have made the most of it: in my case, I got a scholarship, I became fluent in Portuguese, I did a 7-month internship in a MC firm in Lisbon while doing my LLM, I developed a network of brilliant colleagues, academics and professionals, I got into the double degree with KCL and, most of all, I walked along the Tagus river at sunsets. Something that, alone, is probably worth the experience.

- on the double degree. The 2 academic experiences are so different: in Lisbon, you are in a small class, you get short courses on a variety of subjects and you are trained by stellar professors to critically assess what you are actually studying. The purpose is shaking the border of your legal (and often non-legal) comfort zone. This is gonna give you the finest tools to deal with your second year in London: a class of 100 people, year-long courses, big competition, limited chance to interact with professors on an individual basis. There is no doubt that the year in Catolica has been way more rewarding and exciting than the one at King's, for a number of reasons the official rankings bla bla simply don't take into account. But of course, it takes some guts.

Should you need any further info, please ask, I am very happy to help if I can.
quote
Thank you Angelica, that was really helpful, especially because I am definitely considering the double degree as my best option.
The networking argument is definitely a good one - the fact that classes are small and the faculty is great seems to be the best atmosphere to build a good network of colleagues and professionals.
Have you signed up for the master thesis of the Catolica LLM aswell? Or are you only doing the KCL one? I am a bit confused about this, as there is not much information on the website. Would this mean the double degree actually takes two years and a half to complete?
Another concern is entering the job market at 25, as opposed to others who are entering at 23 or so.

Did you find it doable to do the LLM at Catolica and intern at the same time? How many days per week are classes?

Also, if you don't mind me asking - how did you apply for the internship in Lisbon? Did you have previous work experience?

Thank you for all the help, everyone!
Thank you Angelica, that was really helpful, especially because I am definitely considering the double degree as my best option.
The networking argument is definitely a good one - the fact that classes are small and the faculty is great seems to be the best atmosphere to build a good network of colleagues and professionals.
Have you signed up for the master thesis of the Catolica LLM aswell? Or are you only doing the KCL one? I am a bit confused about this, as there is not much information on the website. Would this mean the double degree actually takes two years and a half to complete?
Another concern is entering the job market at 25, as opposed to others who are entering at 23 or so.

Did you find it doable to do the LLM at Catolica and intern at the same time? How many days per week are classes?

Also, if you don't mind me asking - how did you apply for the internship in Lisbon? Did you have previous work experience?

Thank you for all the help, everyone!
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Hello Globalawyer! You are welcome.

Answering your questions:
- I am only doing the thesis in London. It made sense to me as the year in Lisbon is generalist and the one in London specialist but it goes without saying that I chose a topic that allow me to build on what I learned in Lisbon too. And no, it doesn't take 2years and a half, since you have to deliver the thesis in september. Even if you don't go for the double degree, the thesis in Lisbon is not compulsory. You will need to pay an extra fee to do it and it will allow you to get the s.c. 'Bologna' degree (although I am unclear on what this qualification really means).
- On the age concern. I turned 26 last week. Law school in the UK last 3 years, in Italy 5, in Portugal 4. Secondary education in Italy last longer than in other countries. I mean, there must be something that speaks about you to your potential employer more than how old are you.
- Working and studying at the same time is hard and takes a lot of time management. It becomes especially hard when summer hits Lisbon around april and you can't go to the beach as the others. Anyway, it is perfectly doable, as long as your work does have a bad impact on your grades. Classes are either morning or afternoon. You may have some free weeks as the modules as elective. Clearly, the internship must be part-time. You may start working on getting an internship as soon as you decided to go for Catolica. There is a law fair organized by the School in november each year and that, with a bit of initiative of course, allowed me to get the job. My previous work experience was limited. To be honest, if I think about it, I think what got me the internship were exactly the same reasons that took me to Catolica (see previous comment) and not to, saying, London.
Best of luck.
Hello Globalawyer! You are welcome.

Answering your questions:
- I am only doing the thesis in London. It made sense to me as the year in Lisbon is generalist and the one in London specialist but it goes without saying that I chose a topic that allow me to build on what I learned in Lisbon too. And no, it doesn't take 2years and a half, since you have to deliver the thesis in september. Even if you don't go for the double degree, the thesis in Lisbon is not compulsory. You will need to pay an extra fee to do it and it will allow you to get the s.c. 'Bologna' degree (although I am unclear on what this qualification really means).
- On the age concern. I turned 26 last week. Law school in the UK last 3 years, in Italy 5, in Portugal 4. Secondary education in Italy last longer than in other countries. I mean, there must be something that speaks about you to your potential employer more than how old are you.
- Working and studying at the same time is hard and takes a lot of time management. It becomes especially hard when summer hits Lisbon around april and you can't go to the beach as the others. Anyway, it is perfectly doable, as long as your work does have a bad impact on your grades. Classes are either morning or afternoon. You may have some free weeks as the modules as elective. Clearly, the internship must be part-time. You may start working on getting an internship as soon as you decided to go for Catolica. There is a law fair organized by the School in november each year and that, with a bit of initiative of course, allowed me to get the job. My previous work experience was limited. To be honest, if I think about it, I think what got me the internship were exactly the same reasons that took me to Catolica (see previous comment) and not to, saying, London.
Best of luck.
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Stoyanov
I've been admitted to the European law in Global Perspective LLM, so probably I'll go in Portugal. It's a bit of a gamble but I feel the teaching method will be better for me...
I've been admitted to the European law in Global Perspective LLM, so probably I'll go in Portugal. It's a bit of a gamble but I feel the teaching method will be better for me...
quote

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