Hello everyone, I am a lawyer from Colombia, South America (Civil Law) interested in enrolling in an LLM in the 2019-2020 term.

Some background:

- After obtaining my bachelor's degree in law, I obtained a graduate degree in civil liablity and insurance; both of them in Colombia.

- I have taught some private law courses in undergraduate and graduate programs at my University.

- I am starting to learn about national arbitration and plan to become an arbitrator in the near future.

- Since 2014 I have been working at a boutique law firm, advising and litigating in general contract law, civil liability and insurance law.

- After the LLM, I plan to return to Colombia and probably start my own firm (advising and litigating), start teaching private law courses at my University and start my career as an arbitrator. The practice I probably enjoy the most is dispute resolution.

I have been looking at different universities and programs and have a lot of doubts about what would be the best choices for me. I would really appreciate your thoughts, feedback, own experiences and decision criteria for all or any of the following matters regarding LLMs:

1. UK (Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, QMUL) Vs. USA (Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Berkley, Chicago, Stanford).

2. Specialization Vs. Generalization. Should I aim for concentrated programs and courses in a certain area of law or in different areas which appeal to me.

3. Known Vs. Unknown. Should I stay on the same track of the subjects I already know about or should I expand my knowledge trying subjects I do not have prior experience or knowledge on but seem appealing.

4. Law Exclusive Vs. Interdisciplinary. Should I aim for programs and courses which focus exclusively on law or should I complement my legal education with other related disciplines that might give me an interdisciplinary advantage. I am particularly interested in some programs that mix law with finances or business administration, which I feel are nice complements to any lawyer practicing private law, but they seem to be way too oriented towards corporate transactions and I do not have previous knowledge or experience in that topic.

5. National Vs. Cross National. Should I aim for programs and courses specific to the US/UK legislation to acquire a good comparative perspective or should I aim for programs and courses that focus on more general principles that might be easier to directly apply in my home country.

6. Theory Vs. Skills. Should I aim for programs and courses that focus on theoretical knowledge or rather for programs and courses that focus on the skills needed to apply that knowledge. I am particularly interested in dispute resolution programs, but not all of the prospective universities have those, and I am not sure if the skills are better learnt by your own practice rather than by attending lectures.

7. Bonus question for those who have read “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” by Richard Susskind: How has that book shaped your own decisions on your legal studies?

My gut feeling leans me toward some programs on dispute resolutions and finance/business administration mixes (e.g. QMUL’s dispute resolution program and Oxfords MSc in Law and Finance) but in the light of the above criteria the decision is not fully clear.

I know some of the questions are -purposely- way too vague, so feel free to reformulate them if you feel like it. Also, feel free to add your own LLM dilemmas to enrich the discussion. Do not feel compelled to give your opinion in all questions, but rather feel free to put your 2 cents on any of the choices.

Thank you!

[Edited by mmoren10 on Jul 30, 2018]