Oxford/Cambridge and U.S. Academia


Does anyone have any thoughts on the benefits of a BCL/LLM from Oxford/Cambridge for someone trying to become a law professor in the U.S.? I have currently applied to the top tier LLMs in the U.S. plus Oxford and Cambridge. I would honestly prefer to go overseas, but I am going to accept the offer that would put me in the best position to teach in the States.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the benefits of a BCL/LLM from Oxford/Cambridge for someone trying to become a law professor in the U.S.? I have currently applied to the top tier LLMs in the U.S. plus Oxford and Cambridge. I would honestly prefer to go overseas, but I am going to accept the offer that would put me in the best position to teach in the States.
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hjscotland

Hi,

I'm in a similar position. I would also welcome replies to this question.

Hi,

I'm in a similar position. I would also welcome replies to this question.
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equity's d...

Obviously generalizations are suspect, but, that said, I would make the following ones:

If you excell in any top 5 program from either US or UK you're in a good position. An incredible result from, say, Georgetown is better than an average one from Oxford, notwithstanding the probably better academic reputaion of the latter.

However, assuming you'll try your hardest at any place and of course can't know how you'll perform until you're there, I would say that:

Yale is probably the very best place in the US for aspiring academics. Oxford is probably the very best place in the UK for aspiring academics. Between these two the differerence is marginal and probably turns mnore on your specific focus and profs you may want to work under.
Ive hear harvard is terrific for business and connections; not really the place for academics, at least among the very best schools mentioned. The reason is that the supervision is weak and the grades inflated. I don't have personal experience; but that's what Ive heard...

Obviously generalizations are suspect, but, that said, I would make the following ones:

If you excell in any top 5 program from either US or UK you're in a good position. An incredible result from, say, Georgetown is better than an average one from Oxford, notwithstanding the probably better academic reputaion of the latter.

However, assuming you'll try your hardest at any place and of course can't know how you'll perform until you're there, I would say that:

Yale is probably the very best place in the US for aspiring academics. Oxford is probably the very best place in the UK for aspiring academics. Between these two the differerence is marginal and probably turns mnore on your specific focus and profs you may want to work under.
Ive hear harvard is terrific for business and connections; not really the place for academics, at least among the very best schools mentioned. The reason is that the supervision is weak and the grades inflated. I don't have personal experience; but that's what Ive heard...
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ricey

I would agree that Yale is the best for aspiring academics as its reputation shows. But I don't think you can say Harvard is terrible in that area because from personal experience, there is lots of institutional support for academe-bound students, and faculty support is very good as well. I am personally very happy with the sort of mentoring I'm getting. HLS is big so that would mean more varied interests among law students whereas Yale has an unusually high concentration of aspiring academics.

I don't know about the grades part though. Just my two cents.

I would agree that Yale is the best for aspiring academics as its reputation shows. But I don't think you can say Harvard is terrible in that area because from personal experience, there is lots of institutional support for academe-bound students, and faculty support is very good as well. I am personally very happy with the sort of mentoring I'm getting. HLS is big so that would mean more varied interests among law students whereas Yale has an unusually high concentration of aspiring academics.

I don't know about the grades part though. Just my two cents.
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Pty K

I agree with Ricey... I never really thought of being a full time US academic, but the level of support and activities geared at people interested in academia did make me have second thoughts. This year the visiting researchers had symposiums to present their work, the SJDs always seem to be speaking, writing or presenting their work... In Harvard as in Yale, if you work at it, you'll get it, personally it seems that it'd be easier to get recognition and opportunities an 'aspiring academic' in a place where that's not the only type of LLM student, vs. competing with all the other LLMs for the 'aspiring academic' title.

I agree with Ricey... I never really thought of being a full time US academic, but the level of support and activities geared at people interested in academia did make me have second thoughts. This year the visiting researchers had symposiums to present their work, the SJDs always seem to be speaking, writing or presenting their work... In Harvard as in Yale, if you work at it, you'll get it, personally it seems that it'd be easier to get recognition and opportunities an 'aspiring academic' in a place where that's not the only type of LLM student, vs. competing with all the other LLMs for the 'aspiring academic' title.
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I completely disagree with the statement that Yale is the best school for aspiring academics. I am a current LL.M. student at Harvard and I can safely say that this school has exceptional opportunities for students interested in pursuing scholarly work.

There is just too much to choose from: fellowships, research assistance opportunities, countless seminars and roundtables. Plus, this truly outstanding academic environment is opened to any student through conferences, debates or paper presentations. Whichever is you academic interest, Harvard is very likely to have its leading scholars as faculty. Now, imagine having them as supervisors for your paper or assisting them in their research and getting credit for it. If this is not enough, Langdell is the world's largest library, holding more books and resources in whatever your language is than you home university.

Another great academic opportunity for LL.M students at HLS, is the S.J.D program. This is a 3 year program designed for aspiring legal academics who wish to pursue independent study, research and writing. S.J.D candidates are primarily drawn from among HLS' top LL.M. students and as far as I know a lot of them get fellowships for this.

I don't know much about the LL.M. program at Yale but I do believe that there is a very serious misconception about being the ideal program for academics. I think that the real story is that Yale is not a good place for non-academics or students interested in practicing law - but that doesn't mean that Yale is the best place for aspiring academics. The truth is that some of the world's most exciting and innovative academic work is being done at Harvard.

But don't take my word for it. I encourage you to do the research. Don't trust everything you read in these forums. Go online and you'll see the vast amount of academic resources that HLS has to offer.

I completely disagree with the statement that Yale is the best school for aspiring academics. I am a current LL.M. student at Harvard and I can safely say that this school has exceptional opportunities for students interested in pursuing scholarly work.

There is just too much to choose from: fellowships, research assistance opportunities, countless seminars and roundtables. Plus, this truly outstanding academic environment is opened to any student through conferences, debates or paper presentations. Whichever is you academic interest, Harvard is very likely to have its leading scholars as faculty. Now, imagine having them as supervisors for your paper or assisting them in their research and getting credit for it. If this is not enough, Langdell is the world's largest library, holding more books and resources in whatever your language is than you home university.

Another great academic opportunity for LL.M students at HLS, is the S.J.D program. This is a 3 year program designed for aspiring legal academics who wish to pursue independent study, research and writing. S.J.D candidates are primarily drawn from among HLS' top LL.M. students and as far as I know a lot of them get fellowships for this.

I don't know much about the LL.M. program at Yale but I do believe that there is a very serious misconception about being the ideal program for academics. I think that the real story is that Yale is not a good place for non-academics or students interested in practicing law - but that doesn't mean that Yale is the best place for aspiring academics. The truth is that some of the world's most exciting and innovative academic work is being done at Harvard.

But don't take my word for it. I encourage you to do the research. Don't trust everything you read in these forums. Go online and you'll see the vast amount of academic resources that HLS has to offer.
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Thanks for the spirited responses.

Beyond the above discussions - I am curious if an Oxford BCL or a Cambridge LLM (on top of a US JD) is really beneficial to someone who wants to teach law in the US.

Thanks for the spirited responses.

Beyond the above discussions - I am curious if an Oxford BCL or a Cambridge LLM (on top of a US JD) is really beneficial to someone who wants to teach law in the US.
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JCLEDB

Hi

When i was doing the BCL, I had a number of American students in my class. The ones I spoke to about this issue said that they wanted to practice in the UK or Europe, where the BCL is renowned. They said that, if they wanted to practice in the US, they would, without a doubt, have done a US LLM as the BCL/Cambridge LLM don't have the same status in the US. I think, however, that this would be different if one wished to go into academia as opposed to practice. Looks good to have two good cross-Atlantic univeristies on one's CV as opposed to only those from one jurisdiction; and the BCL has some status in US academic circles (from what I have heard).

Hi

When i was doing the BCL, I had a number of American students in my class. The ones I spoke to about this issue said that they wanted to practice in the UK or Europe, where the BCL is renowned. They said that, if they wanted to practice in the US, they would, without a doubt, have done a US LLM as the BCL/Cambridge LLM don't have the same status in the US. I think, however, that this would be different if one wished to go into academia as opposed to practice. Looks good to have two good cross-Atlantic univeristies on one's CV as opposed to only those from one jurisdiction; and the BCL has some status in US academic circles (from what I have heard).
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