LLM chances in UK


Hello everyone,


I’m considering doing an LLM in the UK in 2021/2022 (or maybe in the US depending on my chances of getting into a reputable law school).


My background is as follows:

1. Working as a first-year trainee in a local law firm in Hong Kong (focusing on corporate commercial law);

2. Ranked in the top 10 in the postgraduate certificate in laws program (a perquisite to commence a training contract/become a barrister); and

3. Obtained a 2:1 LLB from a Hong Kong law school.


I am motivated to do an LLM program to boost my chances of joining an international law firm after finishing my training contract and to gain some international experience which will be beneficial to my personal and career growth. I prefer doing an LLM focusing on corporate law as that is and will be the focus of my two-year training.


Given my LLB grades, I believe that it is very unlikely that I will be admitted by Oxbridge. Hence, I’m considering the LLM programs offered by other universities with less stringent admission requirements e.g. LSE/UCL (or maybe some T14 law school in the US).


Would anyone be able to advise me on the choices of LLM programs offered in the UK (or the US) and the chances of getting in? What can I do to increase my chances of getting into a reputable LLM program?


Thanks a lot!

[Edited by fortunejolly on Jun 16, 2020]

<p class="MsoNormal">Hello everyone,</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">I’m considering doing an LLM in the UK in 2021/2022 (or maybe in the US depending on my chances of getting into a reputable law school).</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">My background is as follows:</p><p class="MsoNormal">1. Working as a first-year trainee in a local law firm in Hong Kong (focusing on corporate commercial law);</p><p class="MsoNormal">2. Ranked in the top 10 in the postgraduate certificate in laws program (a perquisite to commence a training contract/become a barrister); and</p><p class="MsoNormal">3. Obtained a 2:1 LLB from a Hong Kong law school.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">I am motivated to do an LLM program to boost my chances of joining an international law firm after finishing my training contract and to gain some international experience which will be beneficial to my personal and career growth. I prefer doing an LLM focusing on corporate law as that is and will be the focus of my two-year training.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Given my LLB grades, I believe that it is very unlikely that I will be admitted by Oxbridge. Hence, I’m considering the LLM programs offered by other universities with less stringent admission requirements e.g. LSE/UCL (or maybe some T14 law school in the US).</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Would anyone be able to advise me on the choices of LLM programs offered in the UK (or the US) and the chances of getting in? What can I do to increase my chances of getting into a reputable LLM program?</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Thanks a lot!</p>
quote
chicken so...

It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.

To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation. 

It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.<br><br>To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation.&nbsp;
quote

It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.

To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation. 


Thanks for your reply! 

Based on a rather brief search on Google, it seems that those who did LLM and are currently working in ifirms did their LLMs mostly in Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, or some top-notch US universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown. Do you think I stand a chance at LSE/UCL or some other universities that you could think of? 

As a side note, I’m also wondering if: 
1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation; and 
2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.

Thanks again!

[Edited by fortunejolly on Jun 18, 2020]

[quote]It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.<br><br>To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Thanks for your reply!&nbsp;<br><br>Based on a rather brief search on Google, it seems that those who did LLM and are currently working in ifirms did their LLMs mostly in Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, or some top-notch US universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown. Do you think I stand a chance at LSE/UCL or some other universities that you could think of?&nbsp;<br><br>As a side note, I’m also wondering if:&nbsp;<br>1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation; and&nbsp;<br>2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.<br><br>Thanks again!
quote
Eppendorf

Given my LLB grades, I believe that it is very unlikely that I will be admitted by Oxbridge.



You are right on that one, buddy.

[quote]<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;">Given my LLB grades, I believe that it is very unlikely that I will be admitted by Oxbridge.</span></p> [/quote]<br><br>You are right on that one, buddy.
quote
csaa26

It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.

To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation. 


Thanks for your reply! 

Based on a rather brief search on Google, it seems that those who did LLM and are currently working in ifirms did their LLMs mostly in Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, or some top-notch US universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown. Do you think I stand a chance at LSE/UCL or some other universities that you could think of? 

As a side note, I’m also wondering if: 
1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation; and 
2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.

Thanks again!


You have pretty good chances at LSE and UCL.

I will apply for UCL in the next year (probably corporate law - 2021/2022) and I talked to some lawyers from top law firms here in Brazil about the chances of getting in.

I have a similar background, so this might be helpful for you (2:1 LLB from a top-notch Brazilian law school, finishing postgraduate diploma in compliance in March 2021 and extension course of corporate labor law, and corporate governance and compliance - just my work experience is different since I have 3 years of internship in top2 tier law firms and Public Labor Prosecutor's Office + 5 years working as corporate labor lawyer in a tier 1 international law firm).

Everybody with this similar background got accepted to UCL, LSE, Kings, QMUL, Columbia, University of Chicago, NYU, Northwestern, UPenn and Washington. But just those with first got into Oxbridge and Stanford. I found out one person who went to Bristol with 2:1.

Nobody tried Edinburgh, Durham, Manchester and Nottingham because these unis are not well-known in Brazil (but it is an international experience and it counts to get jobs in Brazil, e.g. one partner of my firm did her LLM at Sidney and has the same position of other who did the LLM in the Northwestern).

I don't know if law firms in Hong Kong consider LLM to hire lawyers, but in Brazil we usually work as lawyers for 3 to 8 years and then we got 1-year of LLM plus 1-year working abroad. When we return to Brazil, it is easier to get a better position in the previous law firm, work with more complex cases and get higher bonuses, or move to companies in management roles.

Although law firms do not require LLM to become partner or to pay more, all Brazilian lawyers working in international law, corporate, international taxation and compliance areas hold LLM diplomas in UK (Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Kings, QMUL) or US (NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Washington, UPenn, Fordham). Hence, LLM is useful to compete with them, or to move from law firm to companies (and the other way around).

Just look at Linkedin if the lawyers of the law firms you want to work hold LLM diplomas and where. I guess UK and US is the same for this purpose.

[quote][quote]It seems like you have a good sense of the schools that would be good choices. I would say that currently, due to covid19, many law schools are a bit more open to a wider range of candidates, so applying early, even at schools you might consider to be reaches, would probably be a good idea.<br><br>To figure out which schools would be the best options, look at the law firms that you would like to work in, and then see at which schools their associates / etc. studied. This will give you a good sense of each school's relative network. My sense is that in Hong Kong firms, the London schools will probably all have good representation.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Thanks for your reply!&nbsp;<br><br>Based on a rather brief search on Google, it seems that those who did LLM and are currently working in ifirms did their LLMs mostly in Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, or some top-notch US universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Georgetown. Do you think I stand a chance at LSE/UCL or some other universities that you could think of?&nbsp;<br><br>As a side note, I’m also wondering if:&nbsp;<br>1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation; and&nbsp;<br>2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.<br><br>Thanks again! [/quote]<br><br>You have pretty good chances at LSE and UCL.<br><br>I will apply for UCL in the next year (probably corporate law - 2021/2022) and I talked to some lawyers from top law firms here in Brazil about the chances of getting in.<br><br>I have a similar background, so this might be helpful for you (2:1 LLB from a top-notch Brazilian law school, finishing postgraduate diploma in compliance in March 2021 and extension course of corporate labor law, and corporate governance and compliance - just my work experience is different since I have 3 years of internship in top2 tier law firms and Public Labor Prosecutor's Office + 5 years working as corporate labor lawyer in a tier 1 international law firm).<br><br>Everybody with this similar background got accepted to UCL, LSE, Kings, QMUL, Columbia, University of Chicago, NYU, Northwestern, UPenn and Washington. But just those with first got into Oxbridge and Stanford. I found out one person who went to Bristol with 2:1.<br><br>Nobody tried Edinburgh, Durham, Manchester and Nottingham because these unis are not well-known in Brazil (but it is an international experience and it counts to get jobs in Brazil, e.g. one partner of my firm did her LLM at Sidney and has the same position of other who did the LLM in the Northwestern).<br><br>I don't know if law firms in Hong Kong consider LLM to hire lawyers, but in Brazil we usually work as lawyers for 3 to 8 years and then we got 1-year of LLM plus 1-year working abroad. When we return to Brazil, it is easier to get a better position in the previous law firm, work with more complex cases and get higher bonuses, or move to companies in management roles.<br><br>Although law firms do not require LLM to become partner or to pay more, all Brazilian lawyers working in international law, corporate, international taxation and compliance areas hold LLM diplomas in UK (Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Kings, QMUL) or US (NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Washington, UPenn, Fordham). Hence, LLM is useful to compete with them, or to move from law firm to companies (and the other way around).<br><br>Just look at Linkedin if the lawyers of the law firms you want to work hold LLM diplomas and where. I guess UK and US is the same for this purpose.
quote
chicken so...

1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation;


It depends. I would look closely at the offerings at schools in both regions, and see which one is better suited for the kind of work you are doing. Also apply the same principle as before: which of the schools you are looking at is best represented at the law firms where you want to work? The stronger / deeper the network the better, and typically, as long as you study at a top-tier school, you can't really go wrong. 

2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.

Lawyers often use the LLM to skill-up in a particular area of law and build out their practice. That's why subjects like Tax Law and Banking Law are so popular. My feeling is if you need this kind of specialized knowledge, an LLM would make a difference, but if you have an associate's level job and are working in a practice that you like, then maybe putting in the hours would be better. 

[quote]1. it’s better to study in UK/US given my background and motivation; [/quote]<br><br>It depends. I would look closely at the offerings at schools in both regions, and see which one is better suited for the kind of work you are doing. Also apply the same principle as before: which of the schools you are looking at is best represented at the law firms where you want to work? The stronger / deeper the network the better, and typically, as long as you study at a top-tier school, you can't really go wrong.&nbsp;<br><br>[quote]2. an LLM or a year of post-qualification experience would be more valuable career-wise.[/quote]<br>Lawyers often use the LLM to skill-up in a particular area of law and build out their practice. That's why subjects like Tax Law and Banking Law are so popular. My feeling is if you need this kind of specialized knowledge, an LLM would make a difference, but if you have an associate's level job and are working in a practice that you like, then maybe putting in the hours would be better.&nbsp;
quote

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