LLM / CPE - best course to do in one year...


Hi all

I'm graduating this year with a high 2-1 or 1st in German and Politics from Leeds University. I am planning to apply for law firms now, with a view to using the two years in between for further training...
I would like to do an LLM in International Business Law at Amsterdam University, where I will also be able to improve my Dutch significantly (it's similar to German and English and I speak basic Dutch). They ask that I first do a "transitionary year", which must have certain basic courses...

General Introduction to Law (15 EC)
Constitutional Law (10 EC)
International Public Law (10 EC)
European Law (10 EC)
Civil Law/ Human Rights (5 EC)
either Criminal Law or Administrative Law (10 EC)

I think this has some leeway though, particularly in regards to European Law. They also have additional courses in that and International Public Law right at the start to refresh the knowledge of those who are lacking.

Alternatively, under "academic background in law", they will accept:
* An academic level comparable with a Dutch Bachelor of laws diploma.
* For the Master's programme International and European Law (any specialisation) a basic knowledge of European law is required. If you do not possess this basic knowledge you may be admitted provided that you enrol in the introductory course European Law. This course is provided by the Law School in September. Credits earned in this courses are not included in the required 60 ECTS credits.

The question is, what makes the best thing to do with the year of law study before I head off? I have seen that I can get onto some LLM courses, e.g. at Newcastle, because I did Politics to start off with... But I am wondering, is an LLM without a LLB valid for a career in law in the UK?

Then, there is the CPE option... If I am going to do it this way, which presently looks the most likely, will it make that much of a difference where I go, considering I am planning to do the LLM at Amsterdam anyway? I am thinking of Leeds Metropolitan University for this. I have enough money to cover the further study from a small inheritance, but don't want to spend the whole lot just on education... A house, mortgage etc would be good too!

What do you guys think?

Hi all

I'm graduating this year with a high 2-1 or 1st in German and Politics from Leeds University. I am planning to apply for law firms now, with a view to using the two years in between for further training...
I would like to do an LLM in International Business Law at Amsterdam University, where I will also be able to improve my Dutch significantly (it's similar to German and English and I speak basic Dutch). They ask that I first do a "transitionary year", which must have certain basic courses...

General Introduction to Law (15 EC)
Constitutional Law (10 EC)
International Public Law (10 EC)
European Law (10 EC)
Civil Law/ Human Rights (5 EC)
either Criminal Law or Administrative Law (10 EC)

I think this has some leeway though, particularly in regards to European Law. They also have additional courses in that and International Public Law right at the start to refresh the knowledge of those who are lacking.

Alternatively, under "academic background in law", they will accept:
* An academic level comparable with a Dutch Bachelor of laws diploma.
* For the Master's programme International and European Law (any specialisation) a basic knowledge of European law is required. If you do not possess this basic knowledge you may be admitted provided that you enrol in the introductory course European Law. This course is provided by the Law School in September. Credits earned in this courses are not included in the required 60 ECTS credits.

The question is, what makes the best thing to do with the year of law study before I head off? I have seen that I can get onto some LLM courses, e.g. at Newcastle, because I did Politics to start off with... But I am wondering, is an LLM without a LLB valid for a career in law in the UK?

Then, there is the CPE option... If I am going to do it this way, which presently looks the most likely, will it make that much of a difference where I go, considering I am planning to do the LLM at Amsterdam anyway? I am thinking of Leeds Metropolitan University for this. I have enough money to cover the further study from a small inheritance, but don't want to spend the whole lot just on education... A house, mortgage etc would be good too!

What do you guys think?
quote
S_Dimelow

If, when you finish, you want to practice in the UK then the CPE/GDL is a must and I don't think the transitionary studies in Amsterdam will mean you can avoid that. Upon that, an LLM will be a valid option (although worth noting, solicitors firms don't fully appreciate LLMs as the work is less about academic prowess).

With regard to where to do it, of the top of my head I think you have a few options if you want to stay in and around Leeds. Personally, I'd avoid Leeds Met and look perhaps at BPP Leeds GDL course. Further afield, there is a College of Law in York which would also be a good option.

If, when you finish, you want to practice in the UK then the CPE/GDL is a must and I don't think the transitionary studies in Amsterdam will mean you can avoid that. Upon that, an LLM will be a valid option (although worth noting, solicitors firms don't fully appreciate LLMs as the work is less about academic prowess).

With regard to where to do it, of the top of my head I think you have a few options if you want to stay in and around Leeds. Personally, I'd avoid Leeds Met and look perhaps at BPP Leeds GDL course. Further afield, there is a College of Law in York which would also be a good option.
quote

Thanks for your thoughts...

So in your opinion, it is worth forking out the extra 2,500 in course fees to go to BPP rather than the Met? It's a hell of a lot of extra cash.... Do you reckon it's worth it?

Do you know how this works with training contracts granted to graduates of another discipline? Sometimes they say they will pay your fees and a bursary to do a GDL. How do I get that sort of arrangement? When would I do the GDL if that was agreed?

Also, do you agree that the LLM in Amsterdam would be a good idea? Amsterdam appears to be rated quite highly, and I think could be good for my translation as there are a lot of translation agencies based there.

Many thanks

Thanks for your thoughts...

So in your opinion, it is worth forking out the extra 2,500 in course fees to go to BPP rather than the Met? It's a hell of a lot of extra cash.... Do you reckon it's worth it?

Do you know how this works with training contracts granted to graduates of another discipline? Sometimes they say they will pay your fees and a bursary to do a GDL. How do I get that sort of arrangement? When would I do the GDL if that was agreed?

Also, do you agree that the LLM in Amsterdam would be a good idea? Amsterdam appears to be rated quite highly, and I think could be good for my translation as there are a lot of translation agencies based there.

Many thanks
quote
S_Dimelow

It's difficult to say really. While £2500 is a substantial difference, you're looking at a poor university (at least, law school wise) which sits at the base of the league tables against a specialist law training college which sends a lot of graduates onto top commercial firms. I'm not saying that you couldn't make it into those firms with a CPE from Leeds Met, but it is one of those things that MAY work against you. It might be worth contacting some of the firms that you would be interested in applying to and asking if they have a preference, as many do. Hopefully, that can help you work out whether it is worth it.

To get sponsorship, you need to apply for training contracts and get offered sponsorship by the firm in question. A lot offer sponsorship for LPC fees, some offer it for GDL, you'll just have to do some research and send some applications. If it was agreed, you might get it wrapped up in time for Sep 09 but you'll have to get your skates on I think.

Amsterdam has a good rep so I think it's a good idea. Language skills are certainly valued and it would be a great experience. The only problem you will have, if you want GDL scholarship, links to my above comment about the lack of a need for LLMs in solicitors firms. Because they don't really add anything to your ability to be a solicitor, they wont (I don't think) give you funding for that and, if you had GDL sponsorship for 2009, you probably wont have the time to do it: GDL 09/10, LPC 10/11, TC, 11 +.

It's difficult to say really. While £2500 is a substantial difference, you're looking at a poor university (at least, law school wise) which sits at the base of the league tables against a specialist law training college which sends a lot of graduates onto top commercial firms. I'm not saying that you couldn't make it into those firms with a CPE from Leeds Met, but it is one of those things that MAY work against you. It might be worth contacting some of the firms that you would be interested in applying to and asking if they have a preference, as many do. Hopefully, that can help you work out whether it is worth it.

To get sponsorship, you need to apply for training contracts and get offered sponsorship by the firm in question. A lot offer sponsorship for LPC fees, some offer it for GDL, you'll just have to do some research and send some applications. If it was agreed, you might get it wrapped up in time for Sep 09 but you'll have to get your skates on I think.

Amsterdam has a good rep so I think it's a good idea. Language skills are certainly valued and it would be a great experience. The only problem you will have, if you want GDL scholarship, links to my above comment about the lack of a need for LLMs in solicitors firms. Because they don't really add anything to your ability to be a solicitor, they wont (I don't think) give you funding for that and, if you had GDL sponsorship for 2009, you probably wont have the time to do it: GDL 09/10, LPC 10/11, TC, 11 +.
quote

Thanks again... great advice...

So that is why they have this 2 year gap, then? so there is time for people to do the additional training? that makes a bit more sense...

I am not worried about getting a sponsorship for the Amsterdam year, the LLM only costs 1,500 euro and there are good work opportunities in Amsterdam...

Is it worth delaying the process by a year to get that LLM and additional language? That is a toughie.... Because it would be difficult to do it later in life, but I don't want to end up older than everyone... I am going to be 23 by September 09 anyway because I did a 4 year course and took an extra year in Germany... so I would be 25 after doing the GDL and LPC, plus one, 26 before I actually start....

Now I am confused again... With the training programme, where you do different seats, is that part of the two years of GDL / LPC? I assume not? I assume that this is just your initial years, hence they say about how your salary starts at, say for one firm I like the look of, 41k, but then 1k per additional completed seat?

I think Law seems very much an investment... If you have the brain it is probably worth investing the cash, because after just a year of working once qualified you are going to be paid back what you put in...!

Thanks again... great advice...

So that is why they have this 2 year gap, then? so there is time for people to do the additional training? that makes a bit more sense...

I am not worried about getting a sponsorship for the Amsterdam year, the LLM only costs 1,500 euro and there are good work opportunities in Amsterdam...

Is it worth delaying the process by a year to get that LLM and additional language? That is a toughie.... Because it would be difficult to do it later in life, but I don't want to end up older than everyone... I am going to be 23 by September 09 anyway because I did a 4 year course and took an extra year in Germany... so I would be 25 after doing the GDL and LPC, plus one, 26 before I actually start....

Now I am confused again... With the training programme, where you do different seats, is that part of the two years of GDL / LPC? I assume not? I assume that this is just your initial years, hence they say about how your salary starts at, say for one firm I like the look of, 41k, but then 1k per additional completed seat?

I think Law seems very much an investment... If you have the brain it is probably worth investing the cash, because after just a year of working once qualified you are going to be paid back what you put in...!
quote
S_Dimelow

Are you bothered about sponsorship for the GDL? Or are you happy to fund the GDL, LLM and then maybe get LPC sponsorship? If you can fund the first two then maybe you should use the time to go on vacation placements/work experience and then you can be a more realistic candidate for a TC and will be more educated in what you want from a firm/what they expect.

I wouldn't worry about the age thing. Personally, I think its a career more suited to someone starting in their late 20s anyway but it wont be held against you- unless, of course, you stress how many children you want to have and they deem you likely to disppear within a short time!

The GDL is a one year course where you do the compulsory units of an LLB degree. The LPC is a one year course which you do as vocational training to become a solicitor. The TC (Training Contract) is the thing you do at a firm which is like an apprenticeship and lasts two years. It features a number of seats in different areas (depending on the firms work) and allows you to decide on a sector within which you would like to work.

It is certainly an investment. The solicitor route is probably worth the risk, but those who invest in the BVC and Bar route soon find that an above average intellect is nowhere near the long list of attributes one needs and so find the outlay something of a waste!

Are you bothered about sponsorship for the GDL? Or are you happy to fund the GDL, LLM and then maybe get LPC sponsorship? If you can fund the first two then maybe you should use the time to go on vacation placements/work experience and then you can be a more realistic candidate for a TC and will be more educated in what you want from a firm/what they expect.

I wouldn't worry about the age thing. Personally, I think its a career more suited to someone starting in their late 20s anyway but it wont be held against you- unless, of course, you stress how many children you want to have and they deem you likely to disppear within a short time!

The GDL is a one year course where you do the compulsory units of an LLB degree. The LPC is a one year course which you do as vocational training to become a solicitor. The TC (Training Contract) is the thing you do at a firm which is like an apprenticeship and lasts two years. It features a number of seats in different areas (depending on the firms work) and allows you to decide on a sector within which you would like to work.

It is certainly an investment. The solicitor route is probably worth the risk, but those who invest in the BVC and Bar route soon find that an above average intellect is nowhere near the long list of attributes one needs and so find the outlay something of a waste!
quote

Yeah, I wouldn't even attempt to become a Barrister. I don't think I have the right personality for it, or background (a mere grammar school girl). I'm middle-class and proud, certainly not upper class...!

I get what these things all are, I am a bit confused why we apply for a TC 2 years in advance though...

Well, sponsorship would make a huge difference. I *could* finance a GDL and LLM, but I would then be thinking of compromising on the GDL and going for the Met or something rather than BPP so I have the cash for the LLM in Amsterdam, which I feel to be a very valuable career-enhancing experience above all else, the qualification itself being almost secondary.

If at all possible I would like to get sponsorship... But do you think this would be unlikely? Honest opinion appreciated.... I interview well, and with my work experience with being self-employed, working in IT, translation and teaching, and with big companies like PWC, Deutsche Post etc... and the languages...I would hope I would be at an advantage over many other non-law grads. And I guess being a borderline first could put me in good stead, either way I will end up with a very high 2-1. Question is whether my application would be thrown out before interview, though!

I suppose, if I do not get sponsorship, I will have to think seriously about the GDL. I think however it probably is worth the investment in BPP, and I would get my money back... It just seems a hell of a long time studying before I'd be earning... And I worry about my finances.

Thanks again, you're so helpful!

Yeah, I wouldn't even attempt to become a Barrister. I don't think I have the right personality for it, or background (a mere grammar school girl). I'm middle-class and proud, certainly not upper class...!

I get what these things all are, I am a bit confused why we apply for a TC 2 years in advance though...

Well, sponsorship would make a huge difference. I *could* finance a GDL and LLM, but I would then be thinking of compromising on the GDL and going for the Met or something rather than BPP so I have the cash for the LLM in Amsterdam, which I feel to be a very valuable career-enhancing experience above all else, the qualification itself being almost secondary.

If at all possible I would like to get sponsorship... But do you think this would be unlikely? Honest opinion appreciated.... I interview well, and with my work experience with being self-employed, working in IT, translation and teaching, and with big companies like PWC, Deutsche Post etc... and the languages...I would hope I would be at an advantage over many other non-law grads. And I guess being a borderline first could put me in good stead, either way I will end up with a very high 2-1. Question is whether my application would be thrown out before interview, though!

I suppose, if I do not get sponsorship, I will have to think seriously about the GDL. I think however it probably is worth the investment in BPP, and I would get my money back... It just seems a hell of a long time studying before I'd be earning... And I worry about my finances.

Thanks again, you're so helpful!
quote
lmwoods

I think the way to understand the two year gap is that many of the big law firms do sponsor students through the training (though they may be retrenching on the level of that sort of expenditure at the moment); it may mean your have fewer choices as to where to do the courses too. I think because you are planning to spend a couple of years (at least one on GDL which you will have to do), you are still in the right time frame for getting a TC, but I would start looking into it soon, because a lot of the big firms start recruitment drives quite early, and a lot use the summer placement schemes as part of that process. Doing an LLM may have advantages in terms of profile, but it also might give you something worthwhile to do while the economy sorts itself out - though obviously this is an investment with no certain or quantifiable return. Languages and their desirability for a future employer may depend on what sort of work you are looking for - for City firms it is probably an advantage. With regard to the GDL, there are other providers out there (besides Leeds Met) and while BPP has a good reputation for the vocational course, I am not sure how good the GDL there is - it is not attached to a law school/University, so at a minimum I think you are unlikely to get research led teaching.

I think the way to understand the two year gap is that many of the big law firms do sponsor students through the training (though they may be retrenching on the level of that sort of expenditure at the moment); it may mean your have fewer choices as to where to do the courses too. I think because you are planning to spend a couple of years (at least one on GDL which you will have to do), you are still in the right time frame for getting a TC, but I would start looking into it soon, because a lot of the big firms start recruitment drives quite early, and a lot use the summer placement schemes as part of that process. Doing an LLM may have advantages in terms of profile, but it also might give you something worthwhile to do while the economy sorts itself out - though obviously this is an investment with no certain or quantifiable return. Languages and their desirability for a future employer may depend on what sort of work you are looking for - for City firms it is probably an advantage. With regard to the GDL, there are other providers out there (besides Leeds Met) and while BPP has a good reputation for the vocational course, I am not sure how good the GDL there is - it is not attached to a law school/University, so at a minimum I think you are unlikely to get research led teaching.
quote

Reply to Post

Related Law Schools

Amsterdam, Netherlands 350 Followers 181 Discussions
Leeds, United Kingdom 6 Followers 3 Discussions

Hot Discussions