Is an LL.M. right for me?


Anxious

Now that the UK LL.M. decisions are starting to roll out, Im starting to feel kind of anxious. I applied to a number of schools in the UK and have received one offer so far (from KCL). My first choice is to read for a B.C.L. at Oxford. I expect to hear if Ive been offered a place within the next few weeks.

Im from Canada and Ive been practicing litigation in a large firm for almost three years now. Most of my job involves assisting senior counsel and writing legal opinions. My career is a bit stalled at the moment, I do not like my job and Id like to move out of the litigation side of things into the federal government or an NGO (i.e. policy or regulatory work). Im going to be 30 next fall. I know that Ill be a bit older than many of the UK LL.M. students, but I wanted to pay off my debts, save up some money and get some experience before going back to school. I should also mention that Im single so moving overseas wont be too much of a problem.

My plans for the future are to either come back to Canada and move into government/an NGO right away or to try to get a job overseas for a few years, save up some money and then come back and move into the government/an NGO then.

Ive always wanted to do an LL.M. because I really enjoy the academic side of law, but money has always been an issue (I applied to a number of US schools a few years ago but decided not to go because the loans I would have had to take out scared me). I finally have enough saved up so Id only have to take out a modest loan that I could pay off in a year or two. But, that money could also be used for a down payment on a house or a condo. I *think* an LL.M. would help me to distinguish myself from my peers and it might possibly help me to get into the government at a more senior level, but I just dont know if its the right decision.

My question is this is an LL.M. worth it for me? Id really appreciate any advice on this. Anyone been in a similar situation before?

Now that the UK LL.M. decisions are starting to roll out, I’m starting to feel kind of anxious. I applied to a number of schools in the UK and have received one offer so far (from KCL). My first choice is to read for a B.C.L. at Oxford. I expect to hear if I’ve been offered a place within the next few weeks.

I’m from Canada and I’ve been practicing litigation in a large firm for almost three years now. Most of my job involves assisting senior counsel and writing legal opinions. My career is a bit stalled at the moment, I do not like my job and I’d like to move out of the litigation side of things into the federal government or an NGO (i.e. policy or regulatory work). I’m going to be 30 next fall. I know that I’ll be a bit older than many of the UK LL.M. students, but I wanted to pay off my debts, save up some money and get some experience before going back to school. I should also mention that I’m single so moving overseas won’t be too much of a problem.

My plans for the future are to either come back to Canada and move into government/an NGO right away or to try to get a job overseas for a few years, save up some money and then come back and move into the government/an NGO then.

I’ve always wanted to do an LL.M. because I really enjoy the academic side of law, but money has always been an issue (I applied to a number of US schools a few years ago but decided not to go because the loans I would have had to take out scared me). I finally have enough saved up so I’d only have to take out a modest loan that I could pay off in a year or two. But, that money could also be used for a down payment on a house or a condo. I *think* an LL.M. would help me to distinguish myself from my peers and it might possibly help me to get into the government at a more senior level, but I just don’t know if it’s the right decision.

My question is this – is an LL.M. worth it for me? I’d really appreciate any advice on this. Anyone been in a similar situation before?
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dralanrile...

I have two pieces of advice. First you have to work out for yourself why you want to do an LLM. Some of those reasons are personal. But one important factor for someone in your stage of career is to think long and hard about the subjects you want to study. The right subjects can certainly help develop your career. There are clearly subject areas which are developing where an LLM would help, eg my area competition law, other fields such as shipping-and in my view one of the hot ones to watch-energy law.

Second if you do an LLM grasp it with both hands and you cannot do badly out of the experience. What I mean by this is first obviously work hard at the assessments and get good marks. But also I mean a lot more than this-look at using the LLM as a career launchpad. Can I turn my assessments into published academic papers? can I arrange a summer posting with for instance an interesting NGO? Can I organise my summer dissertation on a subject which will interest my next employer?

If you grasp it with both hands then you will be able to distinguish yourself from your peers.

Good Luck

Dr. Alan Riley
LLM Director
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk

I have two pieces of advice. First you have to work out for yourself why you want to do an LLM. Some of those reasons are personal. But one important factor for someone in your stage of career is to think long and hard about the subjects you want to study. The right subjects can certainly help develop your career. There are clearly subject areas which are developing where an LLM would help, eg my area competition law, other fields such as shipping-and in my view one of the hot ones to watch-energy law.

Second if you do an LLM grasp it with both hands and you cannot do badly out of the experience. What I mean by this is first obviously work hard at the assessments and get good marks. But also I mean a lot more than this-look at using the LLM as a career launchpad. Can I turn my assessments into published academic papers? can I arrange a summer posting with for instance an interesting NGO? Can I organise my summer dissertation on a subject which will interest my next employer?

If you grasp it with both hands then you will be able to distinguish yourself from your peers.

Good Luck

Dr. Alan Riley
LLM Director
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk

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