Oxford v Cambridge v Harvard


Kazaf
quote
MSK
I am in a similar position like you except that the US school I am debating about is Columbia..

I am leaning towards Columbia because, I think that the UK LLM is more academic and if one already has a LLB from UK it wont add much value because to suceed in an international law firm. your educational qualifications just give you an entry ticket and then you are on your own.. this I am speaking with personal experience...

Secondly an LLM from a different jurisdiction will add value to the way you will look at any international transaction...

Thirdly a US LLM will make you marketable as a lawyer in almost every country in the world

and most importantly the course in Harvard is structured to suit the needs of a foreign corporate lawyer and is better than BCL and Cambridge..

I have many lawyers in my firm from Oxbridge with an LLM and frankly I dont see much difference.. however while dealing with Indian lawyers who have corporate law specialisations from a good US school I have seen the edge in a few of them.. I dont know if it is because of the concerned individual or it is the course.
I am in a similar position like you except that the US school I am debating about is Columbia..

I am leaning towards Columbia because, I think that the UK LLM is more academic and if one already has a LLB from UK it wont add much value because to suceed in an international law firm. your educational qualifications just give you an entry ticket and then you are on your own.. this I am speaking with personal experience...

Secondly an LLM from a different jurisdiction will add value to the way you will look at any international transaction...

Thirdly a US LLM will make you marketable as a lawyer in almost every country in the world

and most importantly the course in Harvard is structured to suit the needs of a foreign corporate lawyer and is better than BCL and Cambridge..

I have many lawyers in my firm from Oxbridge with an LLM and frankly I dont see much difference.. however while dealing with Indian lawyers who have corporate law specialisations from a good US school I have seen the edge in a few of them.. I dont know if it is because of the concerned individual or it is the course.
quote
Joseph1
Kazaf, some thoughts:

I have both been in a similar position - choosing between top US schools and Oxbridge. Zelda, who pops up here a lot, has also faced this dilemma. Both of us have almost certainly decided to go to Oxford.

One difference is that we didn't have any funding to the US whereas you do.

From my perspective, both are outstanding although, purely from a fin services perspective, I would say that Oxford has the edge.

However, in Asia, I think you will find that Harvard's reputation is gradually starting to eclipse Oxford's, especially amongst those "in the know" (senior academics/public servants).

I agree with you about the BCL having the edge on the Cambridge LLM, especially for private law.

However, going to Harvard would allow you to do some commercial subjects as well as some broader subjects that you could carry with you for life with much broader applications than just commercial practice. The fact that you are limited to 3 or 4 subjects at Oxford does not permit such diversity.

Also, although the BCL is a bit of a ticket to the bar, in the commercial world of international B&FS, Harvard probably has more cred. Furthermore, even at the London bar, there are increasingly a few people at the very top sets who have an LLM from Harvard rather than a BCL.

The point you make about already having a 1st from a top English Uni is a good one and another thing you have over Zelda and I.

I think it is a very hard choice but in the end I think I have one piece of advice that you might really find helpful:

As you say, this is going to be your last year in higher education. Do you want to be comfortable, tick boxes, work hard, learn a lot of difficult and advanced law and come out with a prestigious degree or do you want to really challenge yourself socially and intellectually? Not just by working hard but by really having to learn to think about problems in new ways? I think that the real advantage Harvard will give you over Oxford is that it will be a bigger challenge for you. Not just socially (having to move and adapt to another new culture - although that experience will no doubt be invaluable) but intellectually, especially given the rigour with which American lawyers test their theories against economic and social theories as well as traditional jurisprudence.

Kazaf, I enjoy your posts and you are a valuable member of this board. I truly hope to see you at Oxford in October. However, from the sounds of your ambitions in life, I suspect that Harvard, although a greater challenge, will reap greater rewards. People like you are not satisfied by taking the easy road because you know that the more challenging path reaps greater rewards through its steeper learning curve.

Best of luck, though, and let me know what you decide.
Kazaf, some thoughts:

I have both been in a similar position - choosing between top US schools and Oxbridge. Zelda, who pops up here a lot, has also faced this dilemma. Both of us have almost certainly decided to go to Oxford.

One difference is that we didn't have any funding to the US whereas you do.

From my perspective, both are outstanding although, purely from a fin services perspective, I would say that Oxford has the edge.

However, in Asia, I think you will find that Harvard's reputation is gradually starting to eclipse Oxford's, especially amongst those "in the know" (senior academics/public servants).

I agree with you about the BCL having the edge on the Cambridge LLM, especially for private law.

However, going to Harvard would allow you to do some commercial subjects as well as some broader subjects that you could carry with you for life with much broader applications than just commercial practice. The fact that you are limited to 3 or 4 subjects at Oxford does not permit such diversity.

Also, although the BCL is a bit of a ticket to the bar, in the commercial world of international B&FS, Harvard probably has more cred. Furthermore, even at the London bar, there are increasingly a few people at the very top sets who have an LLM from Harvard rather than a BCL.

The point you make about already having a 1st from a top English Uni is a good one and another thing you have over Zelda and I.

I think it is a very hard choice but in the end I think I have one piece of advice that you might really find helpful:

As you say, this is going to be your last year in higher education. Do you want to be comfortable, tick boxes, work hard, learn a lot of difficult and advanced law and come out with a prestigious degree or do you want to really challenge yourself socially and intellectually? Not just by working hard but by really having to learn to think about problems in new ways? I think that the real advantage Harvard will give you over Oxford is that it will be a bigger challenge for you. Not just socially (having to move and adapt to another new culture - although that experience will no doubt be invaluable) but intellectually, especially given the rigour with which American lawyers test their theories against economic and social theories as well as traditional jurisprudence.

Kazaf, I enjoy your posts and you are a valuable member of this board. I truly hope to see you at Oxford in October. However, from the sounds of your ambitions in life, I suspect that Harvard, although a greater challenge, will reap greater rewards. People like you are not satisfied by taking the easy road because you know that the more challenging path reaps greater rewards through its steeper learning curve.

Best of luck, though, and let me know what you decide.

quote
C.Miller
You will have other opportunities in the future for further study if you are practising in England even if you only do 16 hours of CPD a year:

"All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) who

* are in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, and
* work 32 hours or more per week

are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of CPD per year......
" http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/professional/continuing.law

You've already been accepted to work in the UK, furthering your English law academic experience with an UK LL.M doesn't sound entirely necessary purely from a career perspective (as your employers pointed out).

If your long term plans are to work in Hong Kong, i'd suggest doing some digging and finding out what carries more weight there, Harvard or Oxford.

If the difference is negligible, then I'd go to Harvard, at least then you'll have a whole new adventure before your employment commences.

Not an easy choice to make but I'm sure you'll be successful what ever you decide.
You will have other opportunities in the future for further study if you are practising in England even if you only do 16 hours of CPD a year:

"All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) who

* are in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, and
* work 32 hours or more per week

are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of CPD per year......
" <i>http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/professional/continuing.law</i>

You've already been accepted to work in the UK, furthering your English law academic experience with an UK LL.M doesn't sound entirely necessary purely from a career perspective (as your employers pointed out).

If your long term plans are to work in Hong Kong, i'd suggest doing some digging and finding out what carries more weight there, Harvard or Oxford.

If the difference is negligible, then I'd go to Harvard, at least then you'll have a whole new adventure before your employment commences.

Not an easy choice to make but I'm sure you'll be successful what ever you decide.
quote
MSK
I agree with Jospeh and Miller..

You should definately check how the legal market in Hong Kong reacts to these two schools.

In India, a Harvard or a Columbia definately has the edge over Oxbridge in the commercial market.
I agree with Jospeh and Miller..

You should definately check how the legal market in Hong Kong reacts to these two schools.

In India, a Harvard or a Columbia definately has the edge over Oxbridge in the commercial market.
quote
Kazaf
Thank you very much for your replies. I appreciate all your views and will think hard about them.
Thank you very much for your replies. I appreciate all your views and will think hard about them.
quote
blondie
Harvard anyday......you shouldn't even be thinking about it. Harvard has as much weight in the UK as Oxford. And in the rest of the world, harvard is far ahead. Further, Harv LLM will allow you to write the bar in NY, which the BCL does not.
Harvard anyday......you shouldn't even be thinking about it. Harvard has as much weight in the UK as Oxford. And in the rest of the world, harvard is far ahead. Further, Harv LLM will allow you to write the bar in NY, which the BCL does not.
quote
Joseph1
Kazaf has a common law degree so he doesn't need an LLM to sit for the NY Bar Exam.

I would actually dispute the suggestion that Harvard's reputation equals that of Oxford in the UK. However, Kazaf has a top-class English degree and so it is less of an issue in his case.
Kazaf has a common law degree so he doesn't need an LLM to sit for the NY Bar Exam.

I would actually dispute the suggestion that Harvard's reputation equals that of Oxford in the UK. However, Kazaf has a top-class English degree and so it is less of an issue in his case.
quote
MSK
I agree with Jospeh, I have an LLB from India and I can take the NY bar without an LLM.
I agree with Jospeh, I have an LLB from India and I can take the NY bar without an LLM.
quote
blondie
I stand corrected on the aspect of the NY bar. But I do reiterate my view that Harv would be better. Since Kazaf already has a top class English degree, an LLM from the top US school would certainly add more compared to another English degree (albeit from Oxford). An LLM from Harvard would also go a long way with American clients (it may be pointed out that the US is the largest investor across the globe by far). And it is a fact that American firms in London prefer American degrees, while English firms are equally happy with English and American graduate degrees (from top schools), especially if a candidate already has a great undergraduate degree from the UK.
I stand corrected on the aspect of the NY bar. But I do reiterate my view that Harv would be better. Since Kazaf already has a top class English degree, an LLM from the top US school would certainly add more compared to another English degree (albeit from Oxford). An LLM from Harvard would also go a long way with American clients (it may be pointed out that the US is the largest investor across the globe by far). And it is a fact that American firms in London prefer American degrees, while English firms are equally happy with English and American graduate degrees (from top schools), especially if a candidate already has a great undergraduate degree from the UK.
quote
MGC
I am sorry I cannot add much to the discussion as I am facing a similar situation. In fact, I am from Canada and I have to make a decision between Oxbridge or Harvard. So I have a question:
Does anyone know if I can defer for a year the LLM at Harvard in order to pursue the M jur or LLM at Cambridge? The reason for defering would be getting a scholarship at Oxford or Cambridge (whereas in Harvard I did not get one).
Thanks so much (my first time here):)
I am sorry I cannot add much to the discussion as I am facing a similar situation. In fact, I am from Canada and I have to make a decision between Oxbridge or Harvard. So I have a question:
Does anyone know if I can defer for a year the LLM at Harvard in order to pursue the M jur or LLM at Cambridge? The reason for defering would be getting a scholarship at Oxford or Cambridge (whereas in Harvard I did not get one).
Thanks so much (my first time here):)
quote
Busingye
its done. some people deferred HLS, are doing the BCL and are heading to MA this fall. dont know which reasons they used tho!
its done. some people deferred HLS, are doing the BCL and are heading to MA this fall. dont know which reasons they used tho!
quote
Congratulation for those prestigious admissions !

First, I should make it clear that I am not from a common law background, which may explain why I have a quite different approach to the matter. But I suppose I am allowed to give an alternative opinion...

So, everybody here seems to believe that Harvard is what you truly need...

I have noticed that you put the emphasis on the 'career perspective' offered by each of the options given to you. But in fact, I am wondering whether you are asking yourself the real question. What 'career perspective' are you talking about? A London-based international law firm has already told you that neither of the options given to you will improve your employability in the next future. Or, should I say, this is how I understand what they told you.

I promise that I have never studied psychology before, but I suspect that your primary goal is to delay your entry to working life. Indeed, you cannot really maintain that you have career concerns in mind since studying at a postgraduate level will give you nothing you do not have already.

I would have understood your position if you had been seeking to attend a German, French, Belgian, Spanish, or Dutch university degree. Indeed, such a project would have been a genuine challenge for you. But are you sure that studying in the US, which is nothing but another common law English-speaking country, is going to challenge you in any way ? I am not sure... You should probably think about it.

But other students answered that studying in the US would help you think global. Once again, I disagree. What would help you understand international transactions would be an LLM from a civil law jurisdiction (do you know that civil law principles govern 60% of the world? especially in Europe, South America and Asia?). That, rather than a US LLM, would be challenging for you. What is more, it would give you the opportunity to improve your language skills in a third language. Why are not you considering Leuven, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan or Madrid? You said you were considering specializing in baking law. So, why not Luxembourg University, which offers a unique LLM in European banking law (taught in French or in English)? Would not that be of more use than a further year studying common law?

I know that I might not understand your concerns because I am not English. But in my opinion you have forgotten to explore thousands of options. And as a result, you are missing the point. Please, just think about that. You might just be about to waste a lot of money...
Congratulation for those prestigious admissions !

First, I should make it clear that I am not from a common law background, which may explain why I have a quite different approach to the matter. But I suppose I am allowed to give an alternative opinion...

So, everybody here seems to believe that Harvard is what you truly need...

I have noticed that you put the emphasis on the 'career perspective' offered by each of the options given to you. But in fact, I am wondering whether you are asking yourself the real question. What 'career perspective' are you talking about? A London-based international law firm has already told you that neither of the options given to you will improve your employability in the next future. Or, should I say, this is how I understand what they told you.

I promise that I have never studied psychology before, but I suspect that your primary goal is to delay your entry to working life. Indeed, you cannot really maintain that you have career concerns in mind since studying at a postgraduate level will give you nothing you do not have already.

I would have understood your position if you had been seeking to attend a German, French, Belgian, Spanish, or Dutch university degree. Indeed, such a project would have been a genuine challenge for you. But are you sure that studying in the US, which is nothing but another common law English-speaking country, is going to challenge you in any way ? I am not sure... You should probably think about it.

But other students answered that studying in the US would help you think global. Once again, I disagree. What would help you understand international transactions would be an LLM from a civil law jurisdiction (do you know that civil law principles govern 60% of the world? especially in Europe, South America and Asia?). That, rather than a US LLM, would be challenging for you. What is more, it would give you the opportunity to improve your language skills in a third language. Why are not you considering Leuven, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan or Madrid? You said you were considering specializing in baking law. So, why not Luxembourg University, which offers a unique LLM in European banking law (taught in French or in English)? Would not that be of more use than a further year studying common law?

I know that I might not understand your concerns because I am not English. But in my opinion you have forgotten to explore thousands of options. And as a result, you are missing the point. Please, just think about that. You might just be about to waste a lot of money...
quote
joperry
Go to Harvard. It ranks 1st, and offers a different perpective.
Go to Harvard. It ranks 1st, and offers a different perpective.
quote
QSWE
no one seems to take note of the fact that these queries are many years' old... the persons who posted them would have probably completed thier courses and moved on....

people can at least take the pains to check out the dates when the messages were posted....
no one seems to take note of the fact that these queries are many years' old... the persons who posted them would have probably completed thier courses and moved on....

people can at least take the pains to check out the dates when the messages were posted....
quote

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