LLM in the UK, which universities?


Baziel

Hi all.

I'm currently a second year LLB student from Hasselt University, Belgium.
You probably won't know the university or the programme. That's because it's brand new. It's joinly organised by the KULeuven, Hasselt University and Maastricht University, the latter being a Dutch university, the other two are Belgian.

I'm very interested in pursuing an LLM degree in the UK after I graduate in Belgium, and I would like to ask your opinions about which programmes could be suitable for me.

Here's a short version of my resume:

- Finished my first and (very likely) my second year magna cum laude ( > 77.5%).

- For this summer I've been admitted to LSE Summer School. (course on International law)

- Last year I was delegation leader for the Harvard World Model United Nations in The Hague.

- I'm a member of the board in a Ltd Company.

- I was a founding member and member of the board in a "student corporation" (don't really know an English term for it) that organises debates and lectures and invites various politicians, businessmen, etc.. to our university to speak about contemporary subjects.

- I did an internship in law firm last summer.

As things are now, I'll be pursuing an LLM Degree in general International and European law or International and European business/trade law.

Since I'm not very familiar with the workings and the criteria which UK universities use, I would like to ask you all: which programmes would be good for me and, evenly important, are realistic options for me.

Thanks in advance !

Hi all.

I'm currently a second year LLB student from Hasselt University, Belgium.
You probably won't know the university or the programme. That's because it's brand new. It's joinly organised by the KULeuven, Hasselt University and Maastricht University, the latter being a Dutch university, the other two are Belgian.

I'm very interested in pursuing an LLM degree in the UK after I graduate in Belgium, and I would like to ask your opinions about which programmes could be suitable for me.

Here's a short version of my resume:

- Finished my first and (very likely) my second year magna cum laude ( > 77.5%).

- For this summer I've been admitted to LSE Summer School. (course on International law)

- Last year I was delegation leader for the Harvard World Model United Nations in The Hague.

- I'm a member of the board in a Ltd Company.

- I was a founding member and member of the board in a "student corporation" (don't really know an English term for it) that organises debates and lectures and invites various politicians, businessmen, etc.. to our university to speak about contemporary subjects.

- I did an internship in law firm last summer.

As things are now, I'll be pursuing an LLM Degree in general International and European law or International and European business/trade law.

Since I'm not very familiar with the workings and the criteria which UK universities use, I would like to ask you all: which programmes would be good for me and, evenly important, are realistic options for me.

Thanks in advance !
quote
P_Martini

LL.M. programs are quite diverse both in terms of their offerings and their students, even in the U.K., and you should be sure to do your research on them. You're in a good position to apply, as you are doing well in your LL.B. I don't think the relative obscurity of your current program will be a hindrance to you, especially in light of the other important aspects of your qualifications (and, I hope, your application) which you have listed.

Make sure to get organized now, to submit your application early with a good explanation not just of your qualifications but, importantly, of why you want to do an LL.M. (and, at that, that particular LL.M. program), and, last, make sure to apply to a diverse list of programs you would be happy attending.

Certainly, take a wide view of programs and their locations, and you will surely find a great program to attend. Hopefully this will not be the case for you, but, in my experience, the reference letters were the most important part of the application, though getting them written was also the most frustrating part of it. Again, make sure to start early. As for the programs which would be a good fit for you, it's a bit difficult to say. Take a shot at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL and others. Those are difficult for any applicant, but it seems that you might have the marks to be successful if you put together a good application. Applying can't hurt. Make sure to look at so-called "lower-ranked" programs as well, as everyone must. Again, from my own experience, by the time September ended, I had developed a list of 4 or 5 programs which I felt were pretty likely "admits" for me. They were not my top choices, but I would have attended and would likely have had a great year. While I never applied because I was admitted to another program, ILF Institute for Law and Finance in Frankfurt was on my list, and, given the recession, may have actually worked out better for me because a mandatory part of that program is an internship, which proved difficult to get back home. Of course, I could have hated it, too. That's also possible, but, at the time, it was a really exciting opportunity, and I'm sure I would have made the most of it, as I ultimately did in London.

The programs are really diverse, as I say. And, while it's difficult to give an opinion with any accuracy about how admissions teams will view your particular application, hopefully it is still helpful to say that your LL.B. program, even if brand new, will not be an enormous problem for you and that you should be able to research a list of great programs that will give you a really good chance of success.

Last, about "student corporation": I'm American (and the U.K. may be different), but I think it would be "student government" here. I mention it because it's obviously something you would want to include on your applications.

Good luck!

P. Martini

LL.M. programs are quite diverse both in terms of their offerings and their students, even in the U.K., and you should be sure to do your research on them. You're in a good position to apply, as you are doing well in your LL.B. I don't think the relative obscurity of your current program will be a hindrance to you, especially in light of the other important aspects of your qualifications (and, I hope, your application) which you have listed.

Make sure to get organized now, to submit your application early with a good explanation not just of your qualifications but, importantly, of why you want to do an LL.M. (and, at that, that particular LL.M. program), and, last, make sure to apply to a diverse list of programs you would be happy attending.

Certainly, take a wide view of programs and their locations, and you will surely find a great program to attend. Hopefully this will not be the case for you, but, in my experience, the reference letters were the most important part of the application, though getting them written was also the most frustrating part of it. Again, make sure to start early. As for the programs which would be a good fit for you, it's a bit difficult to say. Take a shot at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL and others. Those are difficult for any applicant, but it seems that you might have the marks to be successful if you put together a good application. Applying can't hurt. Make sure to look at so-called "lower-ranked" programs as well, as everyone must. Again, from my own experience, by the time September ended, I had developed a list of 4 or 5 programs which I felt were pretty likely "admits" for me. They were not my top choices, but I would have attended and would likely have had a great year. While I never applied because I was admitted to another program, ILF Institute for Law and Finance in Frankfurt was on my list, and, given the recession, may have actually worked out better for me because a mandatory part of that program is an internship, which proved difficult to get back home. Of course, I could have hated it, too. That's also possible, but, at the time, it was a really exciting opportunity, and I'm sure I would have made the most of it, as I ultimately did in London.

The programs are really diverse, as I say. And, while it's difficult to give an opinion with any accuracy about how admissions teams will view your particular application, hopefully it is still helpful to say that your LL.B. program, even if brand new, will not be an enormous problem for you and that you should be able to research a list of great programs that will give you a really good chance of success.

Last, about "student corporation": I'm American (and the U.K. may be different), but I think it would be "student government" here. I mention it because it's obviously something you would want to include on your applications.

Good luck!

P. Martini
quote
Baziel

Thanks for the comment !

Oxbridge really would be my dream (especially Cambridge), but I was wondering in how far they accept people with "just" an LLB, since it seems that (at least here in Belgium) the few people who go to Oxbridge/Harvard/Yale/etc... do it when they already have obtained a Belgian master's degree and even then they spend the year there mostly to work on their Ph.D.

But I don't really want to wait for either of those two.
I hope that won't ruin my chances of succes..

Thanks for the comment !

Oxbridge really would be my dream (especially Cambridge), but I was wondering in how far they accept people with "just" an LLB, since it seems that (at least here in Belgium) the few people who go to Oxbridge/Harvard/Yale/etc... do it when they already have obtained a Belgian master's degree and even then they spend the year there mostly to work on their Ph.D.

But I don't really want to wait for either of those two.
I hope that won't ruin my chances of succes..
quote
P_Martini

Oxbridge really would be my dream (especially Cambridge), but I was wondering in how far they accept people with "just" an LLB, since it seems that (at least here in Belgium) the few people who go to Oxbridge/Harvard/Yale/etc... do it when they already have obtained a Belgian master's degree and even then they spend the year there mostly to work on their Ph.D.


That may be. You should be able to find a listing of country-specific admissions requirements on each law department's website. Whether certain universities (because of their prestige and the competition for admissions) have de facto requirements such as a prior advanced degree, I have no idea. It could be.

You know . . . . take your shot at it. Write a great application. You've got the beginnings of one already. I'm not one to say that your success with admissions is determined solely by how well you research programs and how much preparation you do. It can't hurt your chances. I'll admit that. But, that said, I'm too cynical to really believe it wholeheartedly. I tend to think that what makes the most difference is the quantitative argument you can make for yourself based on prior academic performance. After that, really, to my mind, if you meet the minimum requirements for prior academic performance and you can add a glowing reference or two, then you'll get in everywhere you're "supposed" to and maybe even a couple places where the competition is pretty stiff.

Anyway, as I say, to my mind, it's largely metric-based, and you can't make something out of nothing, however much you research and prepare and however thoughtful you are in your personal statement. That's true for me, as it is for you, as it is for just about everyone to varying degrees. I do think, though, that how well you research can have a significant influence on how happy you are with your list of LL.M. programs and how satisfied you are about your year (wherever it is), and that's important.

<blockquote>Oxbridge really would be my dream (especially Cambridge), but I was wondering in how far they accept people with "just" an LLB, since it seems that (at least here in Belgium) the few people who go to Oxbridge/Harvard/Yale/etc... do it when they already have obtained a Belgian master's degree and even then they spend the year there mostly to work on their Ph.D.</blockquote>

That may be. You should be able to find a listing of country-specific admissions requirements on each law department's website. Whether certain universities (because of their prestige and the competition for admissions) have de facto requirements such as a prior advanced degree, I have no idea. It could be.

You know . . . . take your shot at it. Write a great application. You've got the beginnings of one already. I'm not one to say that your success with admissions is determined solely by how well you research programs and how much preparation you do. It can't hurt your chances. I'll admit that. But, that said, I'm too cynical to really believe it wholeheartedly. I tend to think that what makes the most difference is the quantitative argument you can make for yourself based on prior academic performance. After that, really, to my mind, if you meet the minimum requirements for prior academic performance and you can add a glowing reference or two, then you'll get in everywhere you're "supposed" to and maybe even a couple places where the competition is pretty stiff.

Anyway, as I say, to my mind, it's largely metric-based, and you can't make something out of nothing, however much you research and prepare and however thoughtful you are in your personal statement. That's true for me, as it is for you, as it is for just about everyone to varying degrees. I do think, though, that how well you research can have a significant influence on how happy you are with your list of LL.M. programs and how satisfied you are about your year (wherever it is), and that's important.
quote

Hi! seems like you have rather good achievements already, way to go!
At the same time, I don't quite understand why you want to study European law in a common law country? I mean, you might find courses with visiting lecturers from the Continent or english professors who teach european continental law, but by this you are not taking advantages of the curriculum that offers subjects based on common law.

Hi! seems like you have rather good achievements already, way to go!
At the same time, I don't quite understand why you want to study European law in a common law country? I mean, you might find courses with visiting lecturers from the Continent or english professors who teach european continental law, but by this you are not taking advantages of the curriculum that offers subjects based on common law.
quote
Dutchman

P_Martini's comment is one of the most accurate and true comments I've read on llm-guide so far. It absolutely hits the bull's eye: Grades are the most important factor for nearly all LL.M.-programs, especially in the UK. There are always people who try to tell you that a good statement can make up any bad marks - ignore them. It's simply not true.
That is not to say that a good personal statement etc. isn't necessary, but please be aware of the fact that for most programmes, your grade will be the first and often decisive point of your application that an admissions office will take a look at.

P_Martini's comment is one of the most accurate and true comments I've read on llm-guide so far. It absolutely hits the bull's eye: Grades are the most important factor for nearly all LL.M.-programs, especially in the UK. There are always people who try to tell you that a good statement can make up any bad marks - ignore them. It's simply not true.
That is not to say that a good personal statement etc. isn't necessary, but please be aware of the fact that for most programmes, your grade will be the first and often decisive point of your application that an admissions office will take a look at.
quote
pritt

Hello Baziel,

If you want to do a LLM in the UK, you should first get a Master degree in Belgium. All my friends (and myself too) were required to get a Master degree (5 years of studies).

You should also think about the fact that to be qualified as a lawyer in Belgian, you need to have a Master degree. I do not think that you will be admitted at the Bar after 3 years of studies. Thus you should start applying when you will be at Master 1st year.

As far as your resume is concerned, it seems to be very good :-) Magna cum laude qualifies for Oxbridge, but you must get magna cum laude almost each year.

Good luck!

Hello Baziel,

If you want to do a LLM in the UK, you should first get a Master degree in Belgium. All my friends (and myself too) were required to get a Master degree (5 years of studies).

You should also think about the fact that to be qualified as a lawyer in Belgian, you need to have a Master degree. I do not think that you will be admitted at the Bar after 3 years of studies. Thus you should start applying when you will be at Master 1st year.

As far as your resume is concerned, it seems to be very good :-) Magna cum laude qualifies for Oxbridge, but you must get magna cum laude almost each year.

Good luck!
quote
Baziel

Thanks for the comments and for pointing out that I'll still need a master's degree before I can apply.
I guess the UK will have to wait then :-)

Thanks for the comments and for pointing out that I'll still need a master's degree before I can apply.
I guess the UK will have to wait then :-)
quote

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