Is Oxford BCL better than Cambridge LLM?


Dear friends,the impression that I have got recently is that Oxford's BCL is superior to Cambridge's LLM. How true is that?
Dear friends,the impression that I have got recently is that Oxford's BCL is superior to Cambridge's LLM. How true is that?
quote
irm84
I think it really depends on who you speak to, and also what you want to go on to do afterwards.

I discussed precisely this quandary, prior to applying, with an emminent QC, who was of the opinion that, if your desire is to practise at the Bar, the BCL at Oxford is the *only* Masters course in Law worth pursuing. But such opinions may differ...
I think it really depends on who you speak to, and also what you want to go on to do afterwards.

I discussed precisely this quandary, prior to applying, with an emminent QC, who was of the opinion that, if your desire is to practise at the Bar, the BCL at Oxford is the *only* Masters course in Law worth pursuing. But such opinions may differ...
quote
Thanks for your reply.

Why does BCL have an edge over Cambridge LLM?

I do not think Cambridge lags behind Oxford in any way or it would not be paired with Oxford as Oxbridge!
Thanks for your reply.

Why does BCL have an edge over Cambridge LLM?

I do not think Cambridge lags behind Oxford in any way or it would not be paired with Oxford as Oxbridge!
quote
irm84
I don't think it comes down to Oxford versus Cambridge - it's likely more a case of the BCL versus the LLM. As you say, there's not much to choose between the two universities - and doesn't Cambridge out-perform Oxford, at least according to the league tables? But I was merely passing on what I was told. I imagine it may differ between practitioners, but a persual of various Chambers - particularly Commercial Sets - does seem to throw up the phrase "BCL (Oxon)" again and again.
I don't think it comes down to Oxford versus Cambridge - it's likely more a case of the BCL versus the LLM. As you say, there's not much to choose between the two universities - and doesn't Cambridge out-perform Oxford, at least according to the league tables? But I was merely passing on what I was told. I imagine it may differ between practitioners, but a persual of various Chambers - particularly Commercial Sets - does seem to throw up the phrase "BCL (Oxon)" again and again.

quote
Eppendorf
Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.

Why also the BCL?

Because the BCL is viewed as the equivalent of the MJur for students with a common law background. The reasoning, hence, is: If the LL.M. is better than the MJur it must also be better than the MJur's common law equivalent, the BCL.

This of course is not quite true. However, it is what pretty much everyone in Germany thinks.

Why?

Because Germany is a civil law country. Lawyers with a common law background simply do not exist.

Hence, all that ever comes onto the hiring partner's desk are MJurs and LL.M.s. And between those two the hiring partner will always choose the LL.M.

Unfair, but fact.
Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.

Why also the BCL?

Because the BCL is viewed as the equivalent of the MJur for students with a common law background. The reasoning, hence, is: If the LL.M. is better than the MJur it must also be better than the MJur's common law equivalent, the BCL.

This of course is not quite true. However, it is what pretty much everyone in Germany thinks.

Why?

Because Germany is a civil law country. Lawyers with a common law background simply do not exist.

Hence, all that ever comes onto the hiring partner's desk are MJurs and LL.M.s. And between those two the hiring partner will always choose the LL.M.

Unfair, but fact.
quote
Eppendorf
Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.

Why also the BCL?

Because the BCL is viewed as the equivalent of the MJur for students with a common law background. The reasoning, hence, is this: If the LL.M. is better than the MJur it must also be better than the MJur's common law equivalent, the BCL.

This of course is not quite true. However, it is what pretty much everyone in Germany thinks.

Why?

Because Germany is a civil law country. Lawyers with a common law background simply do not exist.

Hence, all that ever comes onto the hiring partner's desk are MJurs and LL.M.s. And between those two the hiring partner will always choose the LL.M.

Unfair, but fact.
<blockquote>Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.

Why also the BCL?

Because the BCL is viewed as the equivalent of the MJur for students with a common law background. The reasoning, hence, is this: If the LL.M. is better than the MJur it must also be better than the MJur's common law equivalent, the BCL.

This of course is not quite true. However, it is what pretty much everyone in Germany thinks.

Why?

Because Germany is a civil law country. Lawyers with a common law background simply do not exist.

Hence, all that ever comes onto the hiring partner's desk are MJurs and LL.M.s. And between those two the hiring partner will always choose the LL.M.

Unfair, but fact.</blockquote>
quote
llmguider
Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.


Or it might be like this because Oxford cares about the applicant and makes more weighted decisions, not just based on the marks.
<blockquote>Let me add a little flavor to this this topic from a German perspective.

It is common knowledge among German jurists and law firms that for German applicants the Oxford MJur is open only to students with grades of at least 9 points in their First State Exam. This GPA is achieved by about 10 % percent of the class.

The Cambridge LL.M. by comparison is open to students with at least 11.5 points in their First State Exam. 11.5 points are achieved by only just about 2 % of the class.

It is for this reason that German jurists and law firms consider the Cambridge LL.M. to be "better" than both the Oxford MJur and the Oxford BCL.</blockquote>

Or it might be like this because Oxford cares about the applicant and makes more weighted decisions, not just based on the marks.
quote
eosphoros
I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.
I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.
quote
I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.

Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?
<blockquote>I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.</blockquote>
Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?
quote
mishieru07
I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.


Absolutely this. Oxford and Cambridge each have their strengths, so it's really hard to say that one is definitively "better" than the other.

I would also agree that for common law lawyers, the BCL is very well respected - I have heard some people claim that the BCL is the better Masters (although I can accept that this is contentious). It's also true that barristers at the top sets tend to have BCLs rather than Cambridge LLMs.

Also, I would point out that admissions standards are not the only criteria for evaluating a course. For instance, for the Law BA, Oxford asks for AAA only. On the other hand, Queen Mary (LLB) asks for A*AA, but I don't think that many people will rank QMUL ahead of Oxford. Similarly, even though Cambridge asks for A*AA, people tend to rank them as on par with Oxford for undergrad Law, rather than ahead.

Finally, just because people like to use Oxbridge as a portmanteau doesn't necessarily means that the two universities are equal in all aspects. For instance, I think the prevailing consensus is that Cambridge is superior for Mathematics, at least at the undergrad level.
<blockquote>I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.</blockquote>

Absolutely this. Oxford and Cambridge each have their strengths, so it's really hard to say that one is definitively "better" than the other.

I would also agree that for common law lawyers, the BCL is very well respected - I have heard some people claim that the BCL is the better Masters (although I can accept that this is contentious). It's also true that barristers at the top sets tend to have BCLs rather than Cambridge LLMs.

Also, I would point out that admissions standards are not the only criteria for evaluating a course. For instance, for the Law BA, Oxford asks for AAA only. On the other hand, Queen Mary (LLB) asks for A*AA, but I don't think that many people will rank QMUL ahead of Oxford. Similarly, even though Cambridge asks for A*AA, people tend to rank them as on par with Oxford for undergrad Law, rather than ahead.

Finally, just because people like to use Oxbridge as a portmanteau doesn't necessarily means that the two universities are equal in all aspects. For instance, I think the prevailing consensus is that Cambridge is superior for Mathematics, at least at the undergrad level.
quote
eosphoros

Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?


I have no idea as I have almost no interest in the US. You will have to rely on your own research to answer this question, unless of course someone else here is able to provide their views.
<blockquote>
Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?</blockquote>

I have no idea as I have almost no interest in the US. You will have to rely on your own research to answer this question, unless of course someone else here is able to provide their views.
quote
llmguider

Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?


If in general, not related to law, the answer is here:
http://oxfordstudent.com/2013/07/22/oxford-graduates-enjoy-key-role-in-obama-administration/
<blockquote>
Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?</blockquote>

If in general, not related to law, the answer is here:
http://oxfordstudent.com/2013/07/22/oxford-graduates-enjoy-key-role-in-obama-administration/
quote
law01
I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.

Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?


It depends on different things: (1) are you asking in terms of employability or in terms of further education?
(2) if in terms of employability, do you only care about law firms?

If you are asking in regards to further education then I would say neither....US universities look at the whole package rather than the name of the University; hence I doubt they will distinguish between Oxford and Cambridge...you should keep in mind though that if you have in mind doing the BCL or the Cambridge LLM and then applying for a US LLM then it is unlikely you will be accepted; as they make clear they rarely accept graduates who already have an LLM...Unless you manage to demonstrate that you need that LLM for a specific purpose.

In regards to jobs; even though the BCL is seen as the most prestigious in the UK (especially for the Bar) I doubt this will be the case in the US, both will be treated equally...BUT have in mind that (1) employability prospects in the US, are not as good as you might think; (2) neither the BCL nor the LLM entitles you to sit the Bar exams.
<blockquote><blockquote>I thought I should throw in my two cents.

The question of "which is better" simpliciter is, in my opinion, the wrong question to ask. The question you should be asking is which degree is better for *you* in the light of your interests. Cambridge is where I would go if I were interested in international law. Oxford is where I would go if I were interested in jurisprudence and private law remedies. (Obviously I have omitted many topics, but you get the idea. Do the research.)

If, however, you are motivated by brand image and hiring prospects, then you might instead ask "which degree commands more respect *in my jurisdiction*". Certainly, I accept what Eppendorf said in respect of Germany. I suspect the same position is so in all European civil law jurisdictions. However, the opposite is true if you are from the UK or Australia (and, of course, some other common law jurisdictions other than the US), where the BCL is seen as finishing school for top barristers. You might also want to consider the fact that, to some, BCL will need explanation: why is it called a Bachelor? Why is it in Civil Law? The same problem will not exist for the LLM.

That being said, you are, at the end of the day, trying to compare two of the best law master programs in the world. Whilst you may have a preference for one over the other (though it seems like you do not), you will not go wrong with either one.</blockquote>
Thank you for your reply.
Which of these 2 commands more respect in the US?</blockquote>

It depends on different things: (1) are you asking in terms of employability or in terms of further education?
(2) if in terms of employability, do you only care about law firms?

If you are asking in regards to further education then I would say neither....US universities look at the whole package rather than the name of the University; hence I doubt they will distinguish between Oxford and Cambridge...you should keep in mind though that if you have in mind doing the BCL or the Cambridge LLM and then applying for a US LLM then it is unlikely you will be accepted; as they make clear they rarely accept graduates who already have an LLM...Unless you manage to demonstrate that you need that LLM for a specific purpose.

In regards to jobs; even though the BCL is seen as the most prestigious in the UK (especially for the Bar) I doubt this will be the case in the US, both will be treated equally...BUT have in mind that (1) employability prospects in the US, are not as good as you might think; (2) neither the BCL nor the LLM entitles you to sit the Bar exams.
quote
Dear friend,

Many thanks for your valuable advice.
Dear friend,

Many thanks for your valuable advice.
quote

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