Oxford BCL: Not an LLM? An enigmatic label?


Boheme

It has been said, even by those on the inside.

MPhil (research degree) possibly closer to an LLM, but still not one.

What is the point, then, other than the "prestige" and "label" to which Oxonians seem to give so much weight?

Many people (I know, I know, those people aren't "in the know") are fairly quick to dismiss the program.

It has been said, even by those on the inside.

MPhil (research degree) possibly closer to an LLM, but still not one.

What is the point, then, other than the "prestige" and "label" to which Oxonians seem to give so much weight?

Many people (I know, I know, those people aren't "in the know") are fairly quick to dismiss the program.
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QSWE

One can't dispute the standing of BCL. No one dismisses its relevance/worth, etc. unless you want to prod an employer in medicine, surgery, finance, etc. to appreciate the value of a BCL, which he/she can't of course do.

One has to remember that Oxon terminologies are the oldest in time. Popular connotations have been taken from the Cantab system which grew as a revolt to the Oxon system. Now, just because one term is the usual manner of describing a course doesn't mean that others lose their relevance.

Remember, not even the Yale and Harvard LLMs are so intellectually demanding as the BCL, hence, what with everyone's perceptions about the ambiguous nature of BCL, it is an indisputed Lord of the Ring, difficult to get in and difficult to get out.

People have at other places described how they had to put explanatory lines beneath BCL on their CVs just for the sake of the ignorant.

One can't dispute the standing of BCL. No one dismisses its relevance/worth, etc. unless you want to prod an employer in medicine, surgery, finance, etc. to appreciate the value of a BCL, which he/she can't of course do.

One has to remember that Oxon terminologies are the oldest in time. Popular connotations have been taken from the Cantab system which grew as a revolt to the Oxon system. Now, just because one term is the usual manner of describing a course doesn't mean that others lose their relevance.

Remember, not even the Yale and Harvard LLMs are so intellectually demanding as the BCL, hence, what with everyone's perceptions about the ambiguous nature of BCL, it is an indisputed Lord of the Ring, difficult to get in and difficult to get out.

People have at other places described how they had to put explanatory lines beneath BCL on their CVs just for the sake of the ignorant.
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Boheme

I suppose it is difficult to judge just how intellectually demanding the BCL is, having not experienced an LLM. As far as I can tell, most of a BCL student's time is spent, insofar as the course is concerned, on non-intellectual matters.

Thank you, however, for your insightful reply.

I suppose it is difficult to judge just how intellectually demanding the BCL is, having not experienced an LLM. As far as I can tell, most of a BCL student's time is spent, insofar as the course is concerned, on non-intellectual matters.

Thank you, however, for your insightful reply.
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QSWE

What would be the non-intellectual matters that you refer to?

What would be the non-intellectual matters that you refer to?

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Boheme

Printing materials (cases and journal articles), and forcefully adapting one's thinking in order to please tutors. Sad and cynical, but true. The question remains: Not an LLM?

Printing materials (cases and journal articles), and forcefully adapting one's thinking in order to please tutors. Sad and cynical, but true. The question remains: Not an LLM?
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QSWE

Adapting one's thinking in sync with the tutors' would be the most challenging academic pursuit in the offing.!!

Adapting one's thinking in sync with the tutors' would be the most challenging academic pursuit in the offing.!!
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Boheme

With respect, and in admission that I misconstrued what I was attempting to convey: knowing that the tutor (or professor or lecturer) wants a certain approach and/or response (notwithstanding the possibility of numerous valid alternatives), is something I imagine most people learn much earlier in their "academic" lives.

With respect, and in admission that I misconstrued what I was attempting to convey: knowing that the tutor (or professor or lecturer) wants a certain approach and/or response (notwithstanding the possibility of numerous valid alternatives), is something I imagine most people learn much earlier in their "academic" lives.
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Why the focus on taxonomy? Don't the really important questions revolve around substantive content and methodology (and each applicant's personal preferences respecting the same). As an LLM grad and Ox DPhil student, I think I can say with some confidence that the BCL is substantively and methodologically different from the prototypical LLM. The basic requirements are more structured (and arguably demanding) for the BCL in terms of both classroom time (lectures, seminars and tutes), participation and readings. By comparison, most LLMs seem to be structured so as to allow candidates to explore areas of the law which interest them. Each of these models will naturally appeal to different candidates. As such, the notion that the BCL may not be worthwhile simply because it does not look like an LLM displays a certain false logic.

Paddy

N.B. The whole thing about adapting one's thinking to that of the tutors, though prevalent in Ox lore, has clearly been perpetuated by students who missed the point of the BCL. Tutors challenge their students with competing perspectives (which may or may not be their own) for the purposes of honing their skills of argumentation and, hopefully, instilling in them the notion that there are a multitude of ways of looking at the law and legal problems.

Why the focus on taxonomy? Don't the really important questions revolve around substantive content and methodology (and each applicant's personal preferences respecting the same). As an LLM grad and Ox DPhil student, I think I can say with some confidence that the BCL is substantively and methodologically different from the prototypical LLM. The basic requirements are more structured (and arguably demanding) for the BCL in terms of both classroom time (lectures, seminars and tutes), participation and readings. By comparison, most LLMs seem to be structured so as to allow candidates to explore areas of the law which interest them. Each of these models will naturally appeal to different candidates. As such, the notion that the BCL may not be worthwhile simply because it does not look like an LLM displays a certain false logic.

Paddy

N.B. The whole thing about adapting one's thinking to that of the tutors, though prevalent in Ox lore, has clearly been perpetuated by students who missed the point of the BCL. Tutors challenge their students with competing perspectives (which may or may not be their own) for the purposes of honing their skills of argumentation and, hopefully, instilling in them the notion that there are a multitude of ways of looking at the law and legal problems.
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QSWE

With respect, and in admission that I misconstrued what I was attempting to convey: knowing that the tutor (or professor or lecturer) wants a certain approach and/or response (notwithstanding the possibility of numerous valid alternatives), is something I imagine most people learn much earlier in their "academic" lives.


To say or imply that most academicians want their pupils to follow a certain mind-set would be an anethma to the whole process of development of legal thought. In the short and ordinary academic run which the author of this post has had (leading upto a Bachelor's degree in law and a couple of years' work as an intern/paralegal), not even once has he encountered a stubborn jurist (whether in academia or in profession) who has tried to vex the former's thought process with ideas of his own. Ingenuity and creativity are the two corner-stones that have allowed this noble profession of ours to hold its sway in being the sole ray of hope for the distressed.

I guess British culture as a whole (with Oxbridge standing as focal points) has been centred around allowance for individual thought with the ultimate aim at creation of a better world through the constant process of creation.

The above underlying philosophy of all academic work would be negated and belied if old doctrines were to be kept intact and propagated by a dark clique of tutors and pupil.

<blockquote>With respect, and in admission that I misconstrued what I was attempting to convey: knowing that the tutor (or professor or lecturer) wants a certain approach and/or response (notwithstanding the possibility of numerous valid alternatives), is something I imagine most people learn much earlier in their "academic" lives.</blockquote>

To say or imply that most academicians want their pupils to follow a certain mind-set would be an anethma to the whole process of development of legal thought. In the short and ordinary academic run which the author of this post has had (leading upto a Bachelor's degree in law and a couple of years' work as an intern/paralegal), not even once has he encountered a stubborn jurist (whether in academia or in profession) who has tried to vex the former's thought process with ideas of his own. Ingenuity and creativity are the two corner-stones that have allowed this noble profession of ours to hold its sway in being the sole ray of hope for the distressed.

I guess British culture as a whole (with Oxbridge standing as focal points) has been centred around allowance for individual thought with the ultimate aim at creation of a better world through the constant process of creation.

The above underlying philosophy of all academic work would be negated and belied if old doctrines were to be kept intact and propagated by a dark clique of tutors and pupil.
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Bender

"The question remains: Not an LLM?"

You raise an interesting, and entirely valuable point!

Could it be true that the BCL isn't, in fact, an LLM? It's certainly arguable, in that the letters "B", "C" and "L" do seem (at first glance) somewhat different. You may be on to something here!

Upon closer inspection, (the first tool of a brilliant legal mind) a keen eye will detect that "B" and "L", the first letters in each of the two designations, are in fact not even remotely the same!

And, wait... Gasp! Further insight deepens the problem! It appears (oh no!) that the letter "C" (usually so agreeable) isn't an "L" at all! Irrefutable evidence of your claim!

I suppose there's no way around it: a "BCL" is not the same as an "LLM"! I mean, sure, they're both postgraduate degrees in law. And yes, the BCL is a course-based program with the option to do a small thesis (deceptively similar to an LLM: you were wise not to be fooled), but there's just no other conclusion, is there?

In fact, they're quite possibly the exact opposite of one another.

Well done, sir: prospective law students the world over are surely forever in your debt.

"The question remains: Not an LLM?"

You raise an interesting, and entirely valuable point!

Could it be true that the BCL isn't, in fact, an LLM? It's certainly arguable, in that the letters "B", "C" and "L" do seem (at first glance) somewhat different. You may be on to something here!

Upon closer inspection, (the first tool of a brilliant legal mind) a keen eye will detect that "B" and "L", the first letters in each of the two designations, are in fact not even remotely the same!

And, wait... Gasp! Further insight deepens the problem! It appears (oh no!) that the letter "C" (usually so agreeable) isn't an "L" at all! Irrefutable evidence of your claim!

I suppose there's no way around it: a "BCL" is not the same as an "LLM"! I mean, sure, they're both postgraduate degrees in law. And yes, the BCL is a course-based program with the option to do a small thesis (deceptively similar to an LLM: you were wise not to be fooled), but there's just no other conclusion, is there?

In fact, they're quite possibly the exact opposite of one another.

Well done, sir: prospective law students the world over are surely forever in your debt.



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crimlawyer

Bender, you sure have an acid and ironic sort of humor, but i do not dislike it. Thank god I am not the target.

Bender, you sure have an acid and ironic sort of humor, but i do not dislike it. Thank god I am not the target.
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GRM

Bender, you sure have an acid and ironic sort of humor, but i do not dislike it. Thank god I am not the target.


This troll deserved it.

<blockquote>Bender, you sure have an acid and ironic sort of humor, but i do not dislike it. Thank god I am not the target.</blockquote>

This troll deserved it.
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@ Bender

Bendy, you're always hard,man. Never tossing it away, always keeping it straight and hitting the target.

Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him.

@ Bender

Bendy, you're always hard,man. Never tossing it away, always keeping it straight and hitting the target.

Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him.
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FrewinCt

The BCL is not an LLM. The MPhil is not an LLM.

The BCL is a coursework masters, taught in small intensive seminars, with supervision provided by tutors in each course through 1-on-1 or 1-on-2-or-3 tutorials. It is commonly conceded by LLM graduates from, say, The Other Place, that the BCL is a lot more work (whether the results are better, I'll leave it for others to say).

The MPhil is a one-year thesis masters open only to BCL/MJur graduates of a sufficient grade.

The notion that BCL teachers/lecturers/tutors want students to parrot their own thinking is bizarre. With one or two notable exceptions, BCL teachers/lecturers/tutors demand creativity and demand more than simple regurgitation. The whole BCL experience is driven by you figuring out your approach to a given issue of restitution or corporations law or human rights or whatever. Maybe some bad students got annoyed by the BCL because they thought they were meant to regurgitate teachers' material and they got penalized for it - but most of the BCL lecturers I know stress and emphasize over and over that originality is what they want (and the semi-publicly available examiners comments reflect this too).

Oh and don't judge the BCL by the MJur. While similar, the students doing each degree are often in Ox for rather different reasons.

The BCL is not an LLM. The MPhil is not an LLM.

The BCL is a coursework masters, taught in small intensive seminars, with supervision provided by tutors in each course through 1-on-1 or 1-on-2-or-3 tutorials. It is commonly conceded by LLM graduates from, say, The Other Place, that the BCL is a lot more work (whether the results are better, I'll leave it for others to say).

The MPhil is a one-year thesis masters open only to BCL/MJur graduates of a sufficient grade.

The notion that BCL teachers/lecturers/tutors want students to parrot their own thinking is bizarre. With one or two notable exceptions, BCL teachers/lecturers/tutors demand creativity and demand more than simple regurgitation. The whole BCL experience is driven by you figuring out your approach to a given issue of restitution or corporations law or human rights or whatever. Maybe some bad students got annoyed by the BCL because they thought they were meant to regurgitate teachers' material and they got penalized for it - but most of the BCL lecturers I know stress and emphasize over and over that originality is what they want (and the semi-publicly available examiners comments reflect this too).

Oh and don't judge the BCL by the MJur. While similar, the students doing each degree are often in Ox for rather different reasons.

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fajats

just my ignorant 2 cents here, but, it is funny how the Bcl (Bachelor of CIVIL law) is designed for common law background students, where as the rest of us consider ourselves from continental civil law, or french civil law or roman law derived systems. Just my 2 cents.

Btw: BENDER, your thought process is outstanding, I lol'd

just my ignorant 2 cents here, but, it is funny how the Bcl (Bachelor of CIVIL law) is designed for common law background students, where as the rest of us consider ourselves from continental civil law, or french civil law or roman law derived systems. Just my 2 cents.

Btw: BENDER, your thought process is outstanding, I lol'd
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Boheme

Having just completed the BCL alongside Bender, whom is a friend of mine (unbeknownst to each other at the time of the original posts), a more fulsome account of the experience, and elaboration and defense of the original assertions, is coming... Stay tuned.

Having just completed the BCL alongside Bender, whom is a friend of mine (unbeknownst to each other at the time of the original posts), a more fulsome account of the experience, and elaboration and defense of the original assertions, is coming... Stay tuned.
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Bender that was hilarious.

Bender that was hilarious.
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Banking

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Interalia

Hillarious or not, I did have to deal with people in the City who had not got a clue what BCL is thinking that I am planning to get a ...bachelor degree and actually recommending me to go for an LLM instead :-) It is really people at the bar and in major law firms who know that BCL=LLM, legal councils in big companies and banks are often not aware


Just curious, but do these same people reject candidates because they have a BA(jurisprudence) from oxford instead of a LLB. What is this jurisprudence degree you talk of? I'm not looking for some Arts graduate! I'm looking for lawyers or in other words people with a LLB! That would be hilarious.

Seriously, in this day and age, it takes like 10 secs to google BCL. It's incredible that people doing recruitment can't tell that it's a postgraduate degree in law. Personally, I love the fact that oxford has a BCL, makes them seem special.

<blockquote>Hillarious or not, I did have to deal with people in the City who had not got a clue what BCL is thinking that I am planning to get a ...bachelor degree and actually recommending me to go for an LLM instead :-) It is really people at the bar and in major law firms who know that BCL=LLM, legal councils in big companies and banks are often not aware</blockquote>

Just curious, but do these same people reject candidates because they have a BA(jurisprudence) from oxford instead of a LLB. What is this jurisprudence degree you talk of? I'm not looking for some Arts graduate! I'm looking for lawyers or in other words people with a LLB! That would be hilarious.

Seriously, in this day and age, it takes like 10 secs to google BCL. It's incredible that people doing recruitment can't tell that it's a postgraduate degree in law. Personally, I love the fact that oxford has a BCL, makes them seem special.
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Banking

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