I am a current MJur student. I like my programme, its great. However, to be fair I have to clarify some things here:
1. the MLF is perceived as the elite programme here. It is widespread knowledge here that it is more selective. But dont take my word for it, just check out the statistics published by the Law Faculty. I personally did apply but didnt get in!
2. It is administered by the Law School, not the Business School. Still I know that they mostly hang out at the Business School, if you ever come to Oxford, you will find out why.
3. They share the same exact courses with us, in which we sit together. The difference is that they do less law courses and instead have finance classes at the Business School. As far as I know they share the same electives with the Master in Finance and MBA.
3. It has great prestige among employers. I know for a fact from my friends who take the MLF, that from this years cohort for example at least 3 made it to major investment banks in London (im talking Goldman, Lazard etc). Others will start at magic circle firms in London. I know from 2 who have offers from Clifford. One guy has an offer from a hedge fund, others go into consulting.
In fact that is the most impressive part about the programme. Many of them did not have a finance background before they came here, or are only qualified in different jurisdictions. And yet they get offers from major investment banks and law firms in London. I want to see ANY other programme that can claim that!!
Also, just for illustration, Freshfields organizes a weekend recruitment event later this year. Applications open to Oxbridge and London Law Schools. Those guys are the only ones I know of who dont have to apply but can just sign up!! This programme is exceptionally well regarded by employers!!
I can personally guarantee who ever says anything else either doent know what he is talking about or is just angry for getting rejected. I understand, I was disappointed too. But I take it with honor and fairness!! "jsd" (who is member of llm-guide since 2009, what are you actually doing with your life mate, re-applying to llm's for 6 years know???) might want to do the same.
4. Lastly, everyone I talked to from the programme is totally happy with it!! I heared nothing bad about it ever.
In fact thats the reason why I signed up to llm guide just now. I saw this rediculous ill-informed comment and wanted to correct it first hand.
In summary: If you want to stay in law and work for magic circle in London, MLF is the way. If you want to move out of law into finance or consulting, MLF is the way. If you are just interested in finance and quantitative stuff, MLF is the way.
ps: everyone agrees that "MLF" is not so nice, too close to MiLF. I made fun with my friend about it. He said thats why they carry "MSc". However, most people here dont really feel its necessary to run around carrying that title like: look I went to Oxford. Thats kind of lame my friend.
I'm a current BCL (hello there! :D), and I agree with most of what you're saying. As far as I can tell, the MLF is a very respectable programme.
1. I'm surprised to hear that the MLF is more competitive than the BCL/ MJur; I was always under the impression that the BCL/ MJur are seen as the Law Faculty's flagship postgrad programmes (but to be fair, the MLF is relatively new) I imagine they might look at slightly different things - I've been told the Finance stuff is pretty Maths heavy, so someone with a pure Law background might be better suited for the BCL/ MJur.
2. Well, Said and the Law Faculty are on the opposite ends of town, so I guess it depends on where they have classes more often? :P
3. Yep - they have 2 Law courses and 3 Finance courses, BCL/ MJur have 4 law courses. There are some restrictions on the law courses that MLFers can do though - they can't do courses like Restitution or Commercial Remedies or International Commercial Arbitration. This might be worth checking out for prospective applicants who wish to study specific subjects.
My personal view is that a BCL/ MJur would possibly be advantageous for the bar, but I suspect that the MLF is seen as on par or possibly even better (eg finance-specific jobs) by the other employers.