I'm an LLB graduate from the UK (top 4% of my class) and I'm hoping to get some input from different people on a few career/qualifying options that I'm considering.

I originally intended to become an academic, but have been seriously considering practicing as a lawyer. My main areas of interest are environmental/energy law, IP, biotechnology and human rights. My practical exposure has shown me how much I enjoy working on cases and interacting with people.

I have unconditional offers for LLM programmes at UCL, SOAS, Edinburgh and NYU, and have also applied for the LPC at UoL and BPP.

I'm seriously concerned by the sheer competition to get a training contract with a good firm (one of the things that made me lean towards an academic career). I'm keen on work with a strong international element and I'm probably going to move to Australia in 5 years or so.

Will an LLM enhance my career prospects at this early stage?

I'm intrigued by the idea of passing the NY bar then taking the QLTs. It's not prohibitively expensive and being qualified in two jurisdictions seems like a considerable plus.

If I do the LPC then spend a couple of years gaining experience (through paralegal work etc) before doing the bar exam and QLTs, is there a decent chance I could get a NQ role with a firm? I'm concerned that most practices will prefer to hire someone who has trained in the 'traditional' way.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.