LLM in UK before US JD?


So I am going to have my Master's Degree in Political Science in about 9 months and I am considering applying for an LLM from Oxford before I go on to get my JD here in the US. How much prior knowledge does one need for an LLM course of study in the UK? Additionally, since Oxford seems to want a Law Degree prior to admission for an LLM, and a Law Degree in the UK is essentially an undergraduate degree, with they accept an undergraduate and graduate degree combination in leiu of a US JD or a UK Law Degree?
So I am going to have my Master's Degree in Political Science in about 9 months and I am considering applying for an LLM from Oxford before I go on to get my JD here in the US. How much prior knowledge does one need for an LLM course of study in the UK? Additionally, since Oxford seems to want a Law Degree prior to admission for an LLM, and a Law Degree in the UK is essentially an undergraduate degree, with they accept an undergraduate and graduate degree combination in leiu of a US JD or a UK Law Degree?
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beicon
Just one thing to say before anything else, Oxford doesnt have actually an LLM. They prefer to call it Mjur or BCL, depending on your law background (civil law for the Mjur, and common law for the BCL). Its pretty much the same thing as the LLM, but theyve decided to name it something else

Although Ill be applying to Oxfords Mjur commencing 2010, considering that Ive got a law degree back in my home country, Im not sure about their requirements in terms of whether theyd accept someone coming from a background other than law. So, I cant really help you with any of your questions sorry!

The reason why Im writing is actually to question you why you want to get an LLM before the US JD? There are some states in the US that accept the LLM as a qualifying law degree for the purposes of the Bar exam (NY and California, for instance, if Im not mistaken). So, unless youre thinking about going somewhere else in the US, why dont you apply for an LLM there, instead of going all the way to the UK? Or just go for the JD once and for all.

I dont mean to sound cocky or anything, ok? Im just trying to help you save some money (and time)! Now, if you tell me that you want the LLM for your own personal reasons, then Id say go for it even if you arent accepted into Oxford, there are many other universities worth applying to, like UCL, LSE, KCL, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham and Im sure that many of these universities accept people with a background in something else other than law in their LLM programmes.

I hope I was able to help at some level!

Best,
Just one thing to say before anything else, Oxford doesn’t have actually an LLM. They prefer to call it Mjur or BCL, depending on your law background (civil law for the Mjur, and common law for the BCL). It’s pretty much the same thing as the LLM, but they’ve decided to name it something else…

Although I’ll be applying to Oxford’s Mjur commencing 2010, considering that I’ve got a law degree back in my home country, I’m not sure about their requirements in terms of whether they’d accept someone coming from a background other than law. So, I can’t really help you with any of your questions… sorry!

The reason why I’m writing is actually to question you why you want to get an LLM before the US JD? There are some states in the US that accept the LLM as a qualifying law degree for the purposes of the Bar exam (NY and California, for instance, if I’m not mistaken). So, unless you’re thinking about going somewhere else in the US, why don’t you apply for an LLM there, instead of going all the way to the UK? Or just go for the JD once and for all.

I don’t mean to sound cocky or anything, ok? I’m just trying to help you save some money (and time)! Now, if you tell me that you want the LLM for your own personal reasons, then I’d say go for it… even if you aren’t accepted into Oxford, there are many other universities worth applying to, like UCL, LSE, KCL, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham… and I’m sure that many of these universities accept people with a background in something else other than law in their LLM programmes.

I hope I was able to help at some level!

Best,
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Banking
I can help you with one part of the question: Oxbridge accepts people without a prior law degree BUT you have to study an area of law that relates to your previous undegrade and masters and they would want you to study at least some law-related modules. For example, in finance that would be regulations of financial markets, corporate finance regulations, M @ A rules, creation of funds etc. These type of modules are a good preparation for corporate finance or corporate governance modules in Oxbridge. Since you studied politics it has to be something related WTO laws, international law etc. Yiu have to mention this in your application form otherwise you are not gettinng in...
I can help you with one part of the question: Oxbridge accepts people without a prior law degree BUT you have to study an area of law that relates to your previous undegrade and masters and they would want you to study at least some law-related modules. For example, in finance that would be regulations of financial markets, corporate finance regulations, M @ A rules, creation of funds etc. These type of modules are a good preparation for corporate finance or corporate governance modules in Oxbridge. Since you studied politics it has to be something related WTO laws, international law etc. Yiu have to mention this in your application form otherwise you are not gettinng in...
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Drozd
Sorry, but I know of no-one who has ever done a BCL/MJur without already having a law degree. It would be academic suicide, for one thing: the BCL/MJur is not a beginners course or a fun way to spend a year doing a fascinating humanities-style masters. For another, Oxford would not let you in:
"Only those with outstanding first law degrees are admitted."
The reason they say this is because you need 3 or 4 yrs of law education in order to understand what the profs are saying from day 1.

You may be able to find a degree that tangentially involves some element of law, but without a JD/LLB/equivalent, the BCL/MJur isnt the course for you. Do a fun humanities/poli sci masters that lets you enjoy the English countryside instead. Your logic is kinda hard to figure...

Cambridge may have lower standards in this regard but I would be stunned if they let people do an LLM without a JD/LLB/equivalent.

Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states.
Sorry, but I know of no-one who has ever done a BCL/MJur without already having a law degree. It would be academic suicide, for one thing: the BCL/MJur is not a beginners course or a fun way to spend a year doing a fascinating humanities-style masters. For another, Oxford would not let you in:
"Only those with outstanding first law degrees are admitted."
The reason they say this is because you need 3 or 4 yrs of law education in order to understand what the profs are saying from day 1.

You may be able to find a degree that tangentially involves some element of law, but without a JD/LLB/equivalent, the BCL/MJur isnt the course for you. Do a fun humanities/poli sci masters that lets you enjoy the English countryside instead. Your logic is kinda hard to figure...

Cambridge may have lower standards in this regard but I would be stunned if they let people do an LLM without a JD/LLB/equivalent.

Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states.
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Banking
There is a person-me! Do not have a law degree but BA and MSc in Finance. Applied to top 5 schools and got accepted. Starting in October
There is a person-me! Do not have a law degree but BA and MSc in Finance. Applied to top 5 schools and got accepted. Starting in October
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Banking
Top kaw schools actually prefer people to have a specialist background in the area of law they are planning to study, whether they sday it or not. For this very reason Oxford is starting its MSc in Law and Finance. The advantage over LLB students is that specialist students know how and where law should be applied.
Basically, a finance student would know how to draft a basic contract and what should be included while a law student will not be able to value a company.
By the way, LSE is also introducing Law and Accounting, also QM and other
Top kaw schools actually prefer people to have a specialist background in the area of law they are planning to study, whether they sday it or not. For this very reason Oxford is starting its MSc in Law and Finance. The advantage over LLB students is that specialist students know how and where law should be applied.
Basically, a finance student would know how to draft a basic contract and what should be included while a law student will not be able to value a company.
By the way, LSE is also introducing Law and Accounting, also QM and other
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Banking
Oxford is actually very clever to understand that people like myself do not want to become lawyers, we need advanced legal knowledge in our work areas to advance further and to deal with lawyers... It is very annoying to keep re-drafting parts of agreements prepared by lawyers when they completely missed the business aspect oif a transaction...also advanced legal knowledge helps to appreciate dd findings
Oxford is actually very clever to understand that people like myself do not want to become lawyers, we need advanced legal knowledge in our work areas to advance further and to deal with lawyers... It is very annoying to keep re-drafting parts of agreements prepared by lawyers when they completely missed the business aspect oif a transaction...also advanced legal knowledge helps to appreciate dd findings
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Drozd
Well, good luck, Banking!

I know that non-lawyers often need legal training, but I'm amazed that Oxford lets you do that on the BCL (as opposed to the MSc in L&F, etc). While much will depend on which subjects you're doing (whether they're case-law heavy, etc), doing the BCL without a law degree seems very...'courageous'. It's not a degree that focuses much on drafting contracts.

And a helpful hint: I would also be careful saying things around Oxford like:
"The advantage over LLB students is that specialist students know how and where law should be applied."
...bear in mind that most of your fellow BCL students will have worked as solicitors or barristers (or equivalent) for a number of years before doing the BCL. Solicitors and barristers tend to have, y'know, a vague idea of "how and where law should be applied."

And do you mean should in a normative sense?

Have a fun year!
Well, good luck, Banking!

I know that non-lawyers often need legal training, but I'm amazed that Oxford lets you do that on the BCL (as opposed to the MSc in L&F, etc). While much will depend on which subjects you're doing (whether they're case-law heavy, etc), doing the BCL without a law degree seems very...'courageous'. It's not a degree that focuses much on drafting contracts.

And a helpful hint: I would also be careful saying things around Oxford like:
"The advantage over LLB students is that specialist students know how and where law should be applied."
...bear in mind that most of your fellow BCL students will have worked as solicitors or barristers (or equivalent) for a number of years before doing the BCL. Solicitors and barristers tend to have, y'know, a vague idea of "how and where law should be applied."

And do you mean should in a normative sense?

Have a fun year!




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Banking
Just send you a message. I picked Cam because of its reputation of the PE world and of course I would not stray too far away from corp finance. Will stick to what I know...
Belive me I have not met that many really impressive lawyers. Sorry wrong, they were good lawyers but did not know how to apply their knowledge in such a way that it was straightforward for us, the business people.
You would be surprised that it is quite common for in-house legal council or deal team (if there is no in house council) to redraft documents, advise lawyers on DD... Obviously you would not do that with really good lawyers. If you a brand new grad, my advice_take a very good corp finance course and asset management course as well as financial statements analysis, will make you fantastic lawyer wil clients begging you to take them on
Just send you a message. I picked Cam because of its reputation of the PE world and of course I would not stray too far away from corp finance. Will stick to what I know...
Belive me I have not met that many really impressive lawyers. Sorry wrong, they were good lawyers but did not know how to apply their knowledge in such a way that it was straightforward for us, the business people.
You would be surprised that it is quite common for in-house legal council or deal team (if there is no in house council) to redraft documents, advise lawyers on DD... Obviously you would not do that with really good lawyers. If you a brand new grad, my advice_take a very good corp finance course and asset management course as well as financial statements analysis, will make you fantastic lawyer wil clients begging you to take them on
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Drozd
Belive me I have not met that many really impressive lawyers.


Another phrase I wouldn't drop too freely at Oxbridge.

You may wish to consider that lawyers judge whether another lawyer is "impressive" in a different way, and using different standards, to those used by a businessperson. Doesn't make either right or wrong, but would be a shame to go into a law faculty course with business blinkers on.
<blockquote>Belive me I have not met that many really impressive lawyers. </blockquote>

Another phrase I wouldn't drop too freely at Oxbridge.

You may wish to consider that lawyers judge whether another lawyer is "impressive" in a different way, and using different standards, to those used by a businessperson. Doesn't make either right or wrong, but would be a shame to go into a law faculty course with business blinkers on.
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Banking
Point taken Drozd, agreed...for us poor business people a good lawyer is the one who wins our cases/points/arguments in fron of deal partners/courts, deals with matters in a cost effective way, explains things clearly without too much legal jargon and minimses our time on deal negotiations. Also thinks of all possible danger areas beforehand...
As soos as we need to get involved in double checking the lawyer (rereadinf contracts and making amendments) something is not right..
Point taken Drozd, agreed...for us poor business people a good lawyer is the one who wins our cases/points/arguments in fron of deal partners/courts, deals with matters in a cost effective way, explains things clearly without too much legal jargon and minimses our time on deal negotiations. Also thinks of all possible danger areas beforehand...
As soos as we need to get involved in double checking the lawyer (rereadinf contracts and making amendments) something is not right..
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Drozd
a good lawyer is the one who wins our cases/points/arguments in fron of deal partners/courts


We, of course, have things other than winning to worry about. Things like a duty to the court and professionalism.

But the good news is that you clearly like lawyers a lot, and you're about to spend a year surrounded by them. They are sure to enjoy hearing your thoughts on how their profession does a bad job.
<blockquote>a good lawyer is the one who wins our cases/points/arguments in fron of deal partners/courts</blockquote>

We, of course, have things other than winning to worry about. Things like a duty to the court and professionalism.

But the good news is that you clearly like lawyers a lot, and you're about to spend a year surrounded by them. They are sure to enjoy hearing your thoughts on how their profession does a bad job.
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Banking
Did not say this, Drozd :-) and I do like lawyers (before you send your bills) You are nicer guys...I did met some fantastic lawyers who saved me on several transactions spotting the danger areas... Unfortunately not appropriate to name them but I did learn a great deal...
Anyway, best of luck to you, enjoyed talking to you...You must be one of the good lawyers :-)
Buy seriously, each profession has its good and bad, there are more bad bankers and there are bad lawyersan that's for sure...and we are more arrogant...
Did not say this, Drozd :-) and I do like lawyers (before you send your bills) You are nicer guys...I did met some fantastic lawyers who saved me on several transactions spotting the danger areas... Unfortunately not appropriate to name them but I did learn a great deal...
Anyway, best of luck to you, enjoyed talking to you...You must be one of the good lawyers :-)
Buy seriously, each profession has its good and bad, there are more bad bankers and there are bad lawyersan that's for sure...and we are more arrogant...
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Ryker
Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states.

Hey Drozd, could you tell me more about this 2-year thing you're talking about? I've namely finished undergraduate studies in Slovenia, and was meaning to pursue an LL.M., but would like to know more on how it's possible to do an LL.B. equivalent in only two, and not three or four years.
<blockquote>Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states. </blockquote>
Hey Drozd, could you tell me more about this 2-year thing you're talking about? I've namely finished undergraduate studies in Slovenia, and was meaning to pursue an LL.M., but would like to know more on how it's possible to do an LL.B. equivalent in only two, and not three or four years.
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Beck
I am sorry to interrupt but I think in most of the law schools in the UK students without law background may take one year Diploma Course (or pre-master`s) in Law, during which they learn basic law courses, and continue for LLM in their second year.
I am sorry to interrupt but I think in most of the law schools in the UK students without law background may take one year Diploma Course (or pre-master`s) in Law, during which they learn basic law courses, and continue for LLM in their second year.
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SirOvpo
Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states.

Hey Drozd, could you tell me more about this 2-year thing you're talking about? .


I don't know exactly what all the options are, but I was interested so I looked into what Drozd was talking about, and it seems to be this: at Oxford you can do a full, regular English law degree (they call it a BA in Jurisprudence but it's equivalent to an LLB) in 2 years. If, and only if, you already have another non-law degree and you meet their other requirements.
http://denning.law.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/senior.shtml

In fairness I should note that the Oxford site says:
"The Senior Status BA is a tough programme with little room for manoeuvre and only a limited number of colleges will admit students to it. With all this in mind, postgraduate applicants for Oxford's BA programmes should consider very carefully whether they wish to apply for Senior Status or rather join the regular undergraduate programme."

Bek's option may be much more realistic/sensible/logical if you are happy going somewhere other than Oxford.
<blockquote><blockquote>Instead of the BCL/MJur your other option is to do the Oxford equivalent of a JD/LLB, which you can do in 2 yrs if you have a degree already. But then you'd have no need to do a JD in the states. </blockquote>
Hey Drozd, could you tell me more about this 2-year thing you're talking about? .</blockquote>

I don't know exactly what all the options are, but I was interested so I looked into what Drozd was talking about, and it seems to be this: at Oxford you can do a full, regular English law degree (they call it a BA in Jurisprudence but it's equivalent to an LLB) in 2 years. If, and only if, you already have another non-law degree and you meet their other requirements.
http://denning.law.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/senior.shtml

In fairness I should note that the Oxford site says:
"The Senior Status BA is a tough programme with little room for manoeuvre and only a limited number of colleges will admit students to it. With all this in mind, postgraduate applicants for Oxford's BA programmes should consider very carefully whether they wish to apply for Senior Status or rather join the regular undergraduate programme."

Bek's option may be much more realistic/sensible/logical if you are happy going somewhere other than Oxford.
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WOW! thanks for the reply folks! so if i am hearing correctly, there is a chance that i may get in to the LLM in Law and Finance since i do have a background in law (degree is polysci pre-law and years of legal work with various businesses) and a smaller background in business/finance since starting a few of my own businesses. Conversely if i cannot get into the LLM i may stand a better chance doing the 2yr LLB Senior Status program since i'll have more than fulfilled their BA requirements and trying to go from an LLB/BA to the LLM program leapfrogging as it were... The reason i am seriously considering this is that i understand Oxford is incredibly difficult to get into but an advanced degree from one of the top Universities in the World is a hard opportunity to pass up a chance at. Additionally, i truly have a passion for higher education that kind of spurs me towards crazy ideas... I'm not too amped to get out into the "real world"... I like academia... its nice here... Ive also considered KCL and a few other law schools in the UK... Again thanks for everyone's input i really appreciate your candor!
WOW! thanks for the reply folks! so if i am hearing correctly, there is a chance that i may get in to the LLM in Law and Finance since i do have a background in law (degree is polysci pre-law and years of legal work with various businesses) and a smaller background in business/finance since starting a few of my own businesses. Conversely if i cannot get into the LLM i may stand a better chance doing the 2yr LLB Senior Status program since i'll have more than fulfilled their BA requirements and trying to go from an LLB/BA to the LLM program leapfrogging as it were... The reason i am seriously considering this is that i understand Oxford is incredibly difficult to get into but an advanced degree from one of the top Universities in the World is a hard opportunity to pass up a chance at. Additionally, i truly have a passion for higher education that kind of spurs me towards crazy ideas... I'm not too amped to get out into the "real world"... I like academia... its nice here... Ive also considered KCL and a few other law schools in the UK... Again thanks for everyone's input i really appreciate your candor!
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Just one thing to say before anything else, Oxford doesnt have actually an LLM. They prefer to call it Mjur or BCL, depending on your law background (civil law for the Mjur, and common law for the BCL). Its pretty much the same thing as the LLM, but theyve decided to name it something else

Although Ill be applying to Oxfords Mjur commencing 2010, considering that Ive got a law degree back in my home country, Im not sure about their requirements in terms of whether theyd accept someone coming from a background other than law. So, I cant really help you with any of your questions sorry!

The reason why Im writing is actually to question you why you want to get an LLM before the US JD? There are some states in the US that accept the LLM as a qualifying law degree for the purposes of the Bar exam (NY and California, for instance, if Im not mistaken). So, unless youre thinking about going somewhere else in the US, why dont you apply for an LLM there, instead of going all the way to the UK? Or just go for the JD once and for all.

I dont mean to sound cocky or anything, ok? Im just trying to help you save some money (and time)! Now, if you tell me that you want the LLM for your own personal reasons, then Id say go for it even if you arent accepted into Oxford, there are many other universities worth applying to, like UCL, LSE, KCL, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham and Im sure that many of these universities accept people with a background in something else other than law in their LLM programmes.

I hope I was able to help at some level!

Best,


Im not really looking to replace a JD with an LLM equivalent or prepare for legal practice in the UK... In truth i am going to be practicing law within the US military directly after i graduate from law school. So the $ and time thing is secondary to my qualifications and understanding of other legal traditions... Additionally the prospect of spending a year studying English common law and finance at one of the pre-emminant law schools in the world is fairly tantalizing... so its a combination of opportunity, benefit, and a little adventurousness that are driving this inquiry...
<blockquote>Just one thing to say before anything else, Oxford doesn’t have actually an LLM. They prefer to call it Mjur or BCL, depending on your law background (civil law for the Mjur, and common law for the BCL). It’s pretty much the same thing as the LLM, but they’ve decided to name it something else…

Although I’ll be applying to Oxford’s Mjur commencing 2010, considering that I’ve got a law degree back in my home country, I’m not sure about their requirements in terms of whether they’d accept someone coming from a background other than law. So, I can’t really help you with any of your questions… sorry!

The reason why I’m writing is actually to question you why you want to get an LLM before the US JD? There are some states in the US that accept the LLM as a qualifying law degree for the purposes of the Bar exam (NY and California, for instance, if I’m not mistaken). So, unless you’re thinking about going somewhere else in the US, why don’t you apply for an LLM there, instead of going all the way to the UK? Or just go for the JD once and for all.

I don’t mean to sound cocky or anything, ok? I’m just trying to help you save some money (and time)! Now, if you tell me that you want the LLM for your own personal reasons, then I’d say go for it… even if you aren’t accepted into Oxford, there are many other universities worth applying to, like UCL, LSE, KCL, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham… and I’m sure that many of these universities accept people with a background in something else other than law in their LLM programmes.

I hope I was able to help at some level!

Best,</blockquote>

Im not really looking to replace a JD with an LLM equivalent or prepare for legal practice in the UK... In truth i am going to be practicing law within the US military directly after i graduate from law school. So the $ and time thing is secondary to my qualifications and understanding of other legal traditions... Additionally the prospect of spending a year studying English common law and finance at one of the pre-emminant law schools in the world is fairly tantalizing... so its a combination of opportunity, benefit, and a little adventurousness that are driving this inquiry...
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beicon
Oh, ok! If thats your plan I think that you do it! In the worst case scenario youll go back home with a priceless life experience. If you have the money and the time, just go for it! Good luck!
Oh, ok! If that’s your plan I think that you do it! In the worst case scenario you’ll go back home with a priceless life experience. If you have the money and the time, just go for it! Good luck!
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Banking
Asheikenberg, after receiving new info from you I might have to dissapoint you re Oxbridge. When I said "finance" I meant studying finance in one of the top schools (say BA or MSc in Finance from Columbia or MIT or similar) + experience in a major company where you applied your knowledge by being involved in various deal structuring agreements necesarry in corp finance law. You experience in setting up and working for yourself is unlikely to be of interest because it is unlikely that you were involved on this kind of documentations. Oxbridge is not interested how successful your business was ( It is a prerogative of MBA schools), thwy are interested what you did their law-wise. You pre-law classes might be very important but not sufficient in themselves
Asheikenberg, after receiving new info from you I might have to dissapoint you re Oxbridge. When I said "finance" I meant studying finance in one of the top schools (say BA or MSc in Finance from Columbia or MIT or similar) + experience in a major company where you applied your knowledge by being involved in various deal structuring agreements necesarry in corp finance law. You experience in setting up and working for yourself is unlikely to be of interest because it is unlikely that you were involved on this kind of documentations. Oxbridge is not interested how successful your business was ( It is a prerogative of MBA schools), thwy are interested what you did their law-wise. You pre-law classes might be very important but not sufficient in themselves
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