LLM Public International Law


Hi;
I am torn between studying LLM straight after my LLB or taking a gap year and obtain work experience.
I have been accepted to UCLA, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, University of Edinburgh and University of Amsterdam and rejected by Leiden University, Tilburg University and London School of Economics. Due to sanctions imposed on my country Iran, I was unable to apply to Columbia University and NYU which were my actual goals.
I definitely will study PIL and I want to either work in the ICJ, ICC or the UN - really make a change. and was wondering whether it's a better choice to study my part-time LLM in PIL at University of Amsterdam all the while taking an internship at the ICC, IRMCT or ICJ, writing a paper and eventually work in ICJ or ICC, or take a gap year and do an internship and write a paper and take my chances with studying LLM at NYU or Columbia or even Leiden, and get a better looking LLM on my CV.
My CV in short: 5 moot courts (2 Jessups and 1 ICCMCC and 2 Henry Dunant IHL moot court), TOEFL 110, IELTS 8.0 and a whole lot of courses on international law. as you can see, I lack work experience and a paper in my CV.
Help me make a decision, please.

Hi;
I am torn between studying LLM straight after my LLB or taking a gap year and obtain work experience.
I have been accepted to UCLA, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, University of Edinburgh and University of Amsterdam and rejected by Leiden University, Tilburg University and London School of Economics. Due to sanctions imposed on my country Iran, I was unable to apply to Columbia University and NYU which were my actual goals.
I definitely will study PIL and I want to either work in the ICJ, ICC or the UN - really make a change. and was wondering whether it's a better choice to study my part-time LLM in PIL at University of Amsterdam all the while taking an internship at the ICC, IRMCT or ICJ, writing a paper and eventually work in ICJ or ICC, or take a gap year and do an internship and write a paper and take my chances with studying LLM at NYU or Columbia or even Leiden, and get a better looking LLM on my CV.
My CV in short: 5 moot courts (2 Jessups and 1 ICCMCC and 2 Henry Dunant IHL moot court), TOEFL 110, IELTS 8.0 and a whole lot of courses on international law. as you can see, I lack work experience and a paper in my CV.
Help me make a decision, please.
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lawdev

Do you think there’s such a big difference between Amsterdam and Leiden in terms of prestige? Granted, it is said that Leiden has the better institution reputation but both institutions have excellent law schools, especially for PIL. 
Amsterdam has a lot more options/flexibility in terms electives and clinics than Leiden. Amsterdam also has a new law faculty building. Plus Amsterdam has a lot more to offer socially being a capital city. 
Not sure it’s worth you taking a year out in order to go to Leiden. I could more readily  understand you taking a year out in order to ensure your studies aren’t disrupted or diluted by COVID.

Do you think there’s such a big difference between Amsterdam and Leiden in terms of prestige? Granted, it is said that Leiden has the better institution reputation but both institutions have excellent law schools, especially for PIL.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Amsterdam has a lot more options/flexibility in terms electives and clinics than Leiden. Amsterdam also has a new law faculty building. Plus Amsterdam has a lot more to offer socially being a capital city.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Not sure it’s worth you taking a year out in order to go to Leiden. I could more readily &nbsp;understand you taking a year out in order to ensure your studies aren’t disrupted or diluted by COVID.</div><div><br></div>
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Thank you so much for tour reply.Would you say the same about Columbia University or NYU?

Thank you so much for tour reply.<div>Would you say the same about Columbia University or NYU?</div>
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lawdev

No I think that NYU and Columbia are worth waiting a year for. They are on a different level reputation-wise to Leiden and Amsterdam. I did LSE LLB for my first degree so I’m not so fussed about going to a place with a standout reputation now - especially as I don’t have the funds to shell out on the tuition. But Leiden and Amsterdam’s good reputation for PIL aside - an Ivy/Oxbridge/NYU/Berkeley/LSE is a good name to have. IHEID also a very good name to have for accessing UN institutions. 
Not relevant to you but Geneva Academy and Sciences app are stellar names for IHRL and IHR.
Outside of that UCL and King’s are solid generally for their LLMs. Although yes, I have heard that Edinburgh has a good reputation for International Law. But I would choose all the places mentioned in the previous paragraph before these places.

No I think that NYU and Columbia are worth waiting a year for. They are on a different level reputation-wise to Leiden and Amsterdam. I did LSE LLB for my first degree so I’m not so fussed about going to a place with a standout reputation now - especially as I don’t have the funds to shell out on the tuition. But Leiden and Amsterdam’s good reputation for PIL aside - an Ivy/Oxbridge/NYU/Berkeley/LSE is a good name to have. IHEID also a very good name to have for accessing UN institutions.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Not relevant to you but Geneva Academy and Sciences app are stellar names for IHRL and IHR.<div><br></div><div>Outside of that UCL and King’s are solid generally for their LLMs. Although yes, I have heard that Edinburgh has a good reputation for International Law. But I would choose all the places mentioned in the previous paragraph before these places.</div></div>
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lawdev

*Sciences Po

*Sciences Po
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lawdev

What is your class % in Iran?I would think that you would need to in the top 20% (at least!) to have a realistic shot at NYU and Columbia. Plus for LSE I know several people in my year of the LLB with 2.1s who were rejected. The only people I know from my year who stayed on for LLM had 1sts for LLB. It’s more competitive for masters than it is for bachelors - although it’s competitive for both.

What is your class % in Iran?<div>I would think that you would need to in the top 20% (at least!) to have a realistic shot at NYU and Columbia. Plus for LSE I know several people in my year of the LLB with 2.1s who were rejected. The only people I know from my year who stayed on for LLM had 1sts for LLB. It’s more competitive for masters than it is for bachelors - although it’s competitive for both.</div>
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I would agree with lawdev in that Leiden is not worth waiting for. There, it also depends whether you are doing the advanced PIL course or the regular one. The former is a lot more reputable. Amsterdam has indeed more options and more clinics while I get the sense from colleagues of mine who studied in Leiden, that the university very much relies on its reputation, and that they had mixed experiences. The LLMs in the US I think make more sense if you have work experience and doing them after a first master in Europe is not a disadvantage (it's all a financing question of course). The UK universities you got admitted to are great though for international law, especially dispute resolution. Congrats!!P.S.: when it comes to working at the ICJ, it is very selective and only a few universities in the world sponsor trainees. You should look into that..most trainees either have subtiantial work experience in arbitration or something similar or are in the midst of doing a PhD.

[Edited by intl_law_nerd24 on Apr 30, 2020]

I would agree with lawdev in that Leiden is not worth waiting for. There, it also depends whether you are doing the advanced PIL course or the regular one. The former is a lot more reputable. Amsterdam has indeed more options and more clinics while I get the sense from colleagues of mine who studied in Leiden, that the university very much relies on its reputation, and that they had mixed experiences. The LLMs in the US I think make more sense if you have work experience and doing them after a first master in Europe is not a disadvantage (it's all a financing question of course). The UK universities you got admitted to are great though for international law, especially dispute resolution. Congrats!!<div>P.S.: when it comes to working at the ICJ, it is very selective and only a few universities in the world sponsor trainees. You should look into that..most trainees either have subtiantial work experience in arbitration or something similar or are in the midst of doing a PhD.</div>
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I don't mean to be difficult, but I think the notion that working for the UN, ICJ or ICC is the best way to "really make a change" is very misguided. I would recommend reading (or alternatively youtubing) the work of Martii Koskenniemi on such issues, particularly "Between Impunity and Show-Trials" on the ICC and the rest of his work on the UN, human rights etc. He makes it fairly clear that working for such institutions is not the best way to really make a change. Again, I don't mean to be a pessimist. I would just say that I'd recommend other professional routes if you really want to make a change. The institutions you spoke of largely operate to prevent the positive change that you seek. 

I don't mean to be difficult, but I think the notion that working for the UN, ICJ or ICC is the best way to "really make a change" is very misguided. I would recommend reading (or alternatively youtubing) the work of Martii Koskenniemi on such issues, particularly "Between Impunity and Show-Trials" on the ICC and the rest of his work on the UN, human rights etc. He makes it fairly clear that working for such institutions is not the best way to really make a change. Again, I don't mean to be a pessimist. I would just say that I'd recommend other professional routes if you really want to make a change. The institutions you spoke of largely operate to prevent the positive change that you seek.&nbsp;<br><br>
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