LSE/Cambridge


Hi all :)

I was hoping for some advice from you kind folks. I have been lucky enough to receive offers from LSE (including a graduate merit award) and Cambridge for 2006/2007. I did not apply to Oxford's BCL.

I have a BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) from the ANU (Australian National University). For the last two years, I have been working as a Judge's associate at an intermediate appellate court. At the conclusion of my LLM, I hope to return to Australia and undertake the bar readers' course.

My interests include criminal law, human rights law, international law (especially refugee law and int. crim law), and legal theory. I'm particularly attracted to studying the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 (UK), as Victoria (a state of Australia) is soon to enact similar legislation.

While I understand the prestige of an Oxbridge postgraduate degree, I am leaning towards LSE. In particular, I am attracted to the following about LSE:

* The fact that it offers a specialist course on refugee law, in which I hope to practice. In addition, the half-unit on terrorism and the rule of law looks great.
* The opportunity to study one or two units from another masters degree (I am interested in political philosophy, and would like to teach in this area in the future).
* The philosophy of LSE, with its focus on the social sciences and the social context of law.
* Living in the heart of London rather than a uni town, which I think would be a blast.

Any feedback or advice would be most appreciated.
Thanks!

Hi all :)

I was hoping for some advice from you kind folks. I have been lucky enough to receive offers from LSE (including a graduate merit award) and Cambridge for 2006/2007. I did not apply to Oxford's BCL.

I have a BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) from the ANU (Australian National University). For the last two years, I have been working as a Judge's associate at an intermediate appellate court. At the conclusion of my LLM, I hope to return to Australia and undertake the bar readers' course.

My interests include criminal law, human rights law, international law (especially refugee law and int. crim law), and legal theory. I'm particularly attracted to studying the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 (UK), as Victoria (a state of Australia) is soon to enact similar legislation.

While I understand the prestige of an Oxbridge postgraduate degree, I am leaning towards LSE. In particular, I am attracted to the following about LSE:

* The fact that it offers a specialist course on refugee law, in which I hope to practice. In addition, the half-unit on terrorism and the rule of law looks great.
* The opportunity to study one or two units from another masters degree (I am interested in political philosophy, and would like to teach in this area in the future).
* The philosophy of LSE, with its focus on the social sciences and the social context of law.
* Living in the heart of London rather than a uni town, which I think would be a blast.

Any feedback or advice would be most appreciated.
Thanks!

quote

I'm from Australia as well.
First, my view, from speaking to academics and practitioners in Australia, is that Cambridge is still regarded as the better degree (particularly in human rights and international law) by a significant margin. I think the snob factor still plays a pretty big role here. That may change in the next few years - for instance, last year at least one of the Menzies winners chose a college of London rather than Oxbridge.
Second, how big is your graduate merit award? The cost of living in London v Cambridge may mean that in the end there isn't a huge difference between the cost of the two.
Finally, it seems as though you've already thought about the pros and cons and made a decision. If so, I doubt any answer to your post will change your mind, which is the way it should be - no one else can know what is best for you. Good luck!

I'm from Australia as well.
First, my view, from speaking to academics and practitioners in Australia, is that Cambridge is still regarded as the better degree (particularly in human rights and international law) by a significant margin. I think the snob factor still plays a pretty big role here. That may change in the next few years - for instance, last year at least one of the Menzies winners chose a college of London rather than Oxbridge.
Second, how big is your graduate merit award? The cost of living in London v Cambridge may mean that in the end there isn't a huge difference between the cost of the two.
Finally, it seems as though you've already thought about the pros and cons and made a decision. If so, I doubt any answer to your post will change your mind, which is the way it should be - no one else can know what is best for you. Good luck!
quote
Rainmaker

Monster, congrats!

When did you apply to Cambridge?

Monster, congrats!

When did you apply to Cambridge?
quote

Anotherstudent - thanks for the advice :)

Nabucco - In the flurry of scholarships applications etc, I can't exactly remember when I applied... late Oct/ early Nov I think.

Any more comments or advice out there?

Anotherstudent - thanks for the advice :)

Nabucco - In the flurry of scholarships applications etc, I can't exactly remember when I applied... late Oct/ early Nov I think.

Any more comments or advice out there?

quote
SR

Hi Monster,

I am also an Australian (with a very similar background to you - a first from a G8 uni, Court of Appeal associateship etc) and have offers from Cam and LSE. Unfortunately, unlike you, I wasn't offered a Grad Merit Award from LSE. Accordingly, I'm leaning towards Cam for financial reasons: LSE's fees are significantly greater, and the costs of living in London to me outweigh the social opportunities: no point having great restaurants and bars at your doorstep if you cant afford to go there!

Also, the lingering cache of an Oxbridge education is still pretty hard to ignore...

Hi Monster,

I am also an Australian (with a very similar background to you - a first from a G8 uni, Court of Appeal associateship etc) and have offers from Cam and LSE. Unfortunately, unlike you, I wasn't offered a Grad Merit Award from LSE. Accordingly, I'm leaning towards Cam for financial reasons: LSE's fees are significantly greater, and the costs of living in London to me outweigh the social opportunities: no point having great restaurants and bars at your doorstep if you cant afford to go there!

Also, the lingering cache of an Oxbridge education is still pretty hard to ignore...
quote

Hi Monster

I'm curious - why didn't you apply for the BCL?

Hi Monster

I'm curious - why didn't you apply for the BCL?
quote

hehe me too...

To be honest, I initially had my heart set on LSE. I suppose I was always attracted to the Human Rights/ Int. Law reputation of Cambridge, and a couple of my friends have studied there... and the Oxford deadline passed me by =P ... too much xmas festivity. I also felt like a bit of a jerk constantly badgering my referees with applications for admission and scholarship applications - I thought one shot at Oxbridge was optimistic enough.

From the other boards it sounds like the BCL might have been the way to go (especially with regard to jurisprudence), but I think I would have gone with Cambridge for int. law anyway if I had the luxery of choice...

I guess in all events, the most important thing is studying where feels right and where you will be the most inspired. I suppose that results speak volumes over abbreviations, especially given the excellent reputation of all three unis.

hehe me too...

To be honest, I initially had my heart set on LSE. I suppose I was always attracted to the Human Rights/ Int. Law reputation of Cambridge, and a couple of my friends have studied there... and the Oxford deadline passed me by =P ... too much xmas festivity. I also felt like a bit of a jerk constantly badgering my referees with applications for admission and scholarship applications - I thought one shot at Oxbridge was optimistic enough.

From the other boards it sounds like the BCL might have been the way to go (especially with regard to jurisprudence), but I think I would have gone with Cambridge for int. law anyway if I had the luxery of choice...

I guess in all events, the most important thing is studying where feels right and where you will be the most inspired. I suppose that results speak volumes over abbreviations, especially given the excellent reputation of all three unis.
quote

True. Although just remember the abbreviations go after your name on your business card. Your results don't. But you are right, all have excellent reputations. Our unis at home don't even crack the top 20 in the rankings!
I applied to the BCL but still have my doubts about it. Having to write two essays per week and having one-on-one tutorials sounds like an enormous work load. I am also wanting to study overseas for the experience and to be in a different country. I may as well be in Australia if I'm stuck in a library studying 24-7.

True. Although just remember the abbreviations go after your name on your business card. Your results don't. But you are right, all have excellent reputations. Our unis at home don't even crack the top 20 in the rankings!
I applied to the BCL but still have my doubts about it. Having to write two essays per week and having one-on-one tutorials sounds like an enormous work load. I am also wanting to study overseas for the experience and to be in a different country. I may as well be in Australia if I'm stuck in a library studying 24-7.
quote

Thanks for the post SR - good luck with your choice!

Thanks for the post SR - good luck with your choice!
quote
jw

SR, Monster holliday,

When did you guys apply to Cambridge? I, too, have been admitted to LSE, but am waiting on Cambridge. Unfortunately, the demands of my present employment resulted in my submitting an application at the _last_ possible minute.


SR, Monster holliday,

When did you guys apply to Cambridge? I, too, have been admitted to LSE, but am waiting on Cambridge. Unfortunately, the demands of my present employment resulted in my submitting an application at the _last_ possible minute.
quote
Joseph1

Various thoughts:

1. Lots of good Australian lawyers and judges have gone to London colleges. I think if you have a good reason for going there then people will understand. Also, the snobbery thing will kick in a lot more in commercial law than immigration/human rights etc. If you want to do commercial contracts and international commercial litigation then it would be odd if you didn't want to go to Oxford first to do Restitution and Conflicts but given your interests all of the programmes are much more on an even footing.

2. The Menzies scholar who went to London is doing a doctorate that is very philosophical, which is why he wanted to go there. It emphasises the point that there is no strict ranking that applies no matter what you want to do.

3. That being said, the BCL is given a level of recognition at Oxford that the other degrees are not given at their respective universities, which makes it an altogether different experience. Academics see the BCL as the pinnacle of taught courses whereas at other universities graduates are seen as appended cash cows, in a way. Which is not to say that you won't learn a lot, but it won't be the same.

4. The BCL workload is a nightmare. It's not quite true to say that you will be writing two essays a weak but you can expect to feel overburdened on a daily basis, especially if you do the big subjects referred to above. It's all about what you want. There is no right answer.

Various thoughts:

1. Lots of good Australian lawyers and judges have gone to London colleges. I think if you have a good reason for going there then people will understand. Also, the snobbery thing will kick in a lot more in commercial law than immigration/human rights etc. If you want to do commercial contracts and international commercial litigation then it would be odd if you didn't want to go to Oxford first to do Restitution and Conflicts but given your interests all of the programmes are much more on an even footing.

2. The Menzies scholar who went to London is doing a doctorate that is very philosophical, which is why he wanted to go there. It emphasises the point that there is no strict ranking that applies no matter what you want to do.

3. That being said, the BCL is given a level of recognition at Oxford that the other degrees are not given at their respective universities, which makes it an altogether different experience. Academics see the BCL as the pinnacle of taught courses whereas at other universities graduates are seen as appended cash cows, in a way. Which is not to say that you won't learn a lot, but it won't be the same.

4. The BCL workload is a nightmare. It's not quite true to say that you will be writing two essays a weak but you can expect to feel overburdened on a daily basis, especially if you do the big subjects referred to above. It's all about what you want. There is no right answer.
quote

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