Value of the LLM


Felodese
It seems to me that the LLM's value to a person's career really depends on how their CV looks beforehand. Firms also seem to place little emphasis on the LLM, evidenced by their reluctance to fund places - so would there still not be much difference in a firm's eyes between persons with the same quality of LLB degree and university despite one perhaps possessing an LLM?

Obviously, employers are more likely to fund/hire people who have a first from Oxbridge or a redbrick than from a second division university. So my second question is this; hypothetically, would someone who had a first from a second division like Queen Mary who had an LLM at say, Harvard/Yale/Cambridge be able to compete successfully against someone who had a first from Oxbridge? Or a Russell group? All other things being equal.

Thanks very much for your help.
It seems to me that the LLM's value to a person's career really depends on how their CV looks beforehand. Firms also seem to place little emphasis on the LLM, evidenced by their reluctance to fund places - so would there still not be much difference in a firm's eyes between persons with the same quality of LLB degree and university despite one perhaps possessing an LLM?

Obviously, employers are more likely to fund/hire people who have a first from Oxbridge or a redbrick than from a second division university. So my second question is this; hypothetically, would someone who had a first from a second division like Queen Mary who had an LLM at say, Harvard/Yale/Cambridge be able to compete successfully against someone who had a first from Oxbridge? Or a Russell group? All other things being equal.

Thanks very much for your help.
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The LLM is an absolute non-necessity. A person with a 2:1 from Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/King's/Durham/Nottingham etc. gets a city firm job. The Oxford BCL/Cambridge LLM is seen as a ticket to the bar. The LLM is also useful to those planning a career in the academia(a ticket to a good doctoral program).
The LLM is an absolute non-necessity. A person with a 2:1 from Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/King's/Durham/Nottingham etc. gets a city firm job. The Oxford BCL/Cambridge LLM is seen as a ticket to the bar. The LLM is also useful to those planning a career in the academia(a ticket to a good doctoral program).
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If one has LLB first class from Queen Mary London, I would think that he or she would get a firm job(and funding for lpc).
If one has LLB first class from Queen Mary London, I would think that he or she would get a firm job(and funding for lpc).
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pedrinus
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Felodese
And that's the main issue. Whether the LLM can put someone on par with, or beyond, someone from a better, (or more well-known) university. Competition is so incredibly fierce in the magic circle and top chambers, it is hardly worth pointing out. I study at UCL so, although it may not apply so strongly to me, I would consider an LLM to improve my career prospects and for another year of intellectual stimulation.

Thanks to Sir William - I agree with your points - and pedrinus for posting.
And that's the main issue. Whether the LLM can put someone on par with, or beyond, someone from a better, (or more well-known) university. Competition is so incredibly fierce in the magic circle and top chambers, it is hardly worth pointing out. I study at UCL so, although it may not apply so strongly to me, I would consider an LLM to improve my career prospects and for another year of intellectual stimulation.

Thanks to Sir William - I agree with your points - and pedrinus for posting.
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pedrinus
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Muppet
If you have a 2:1 - it doesn't even have to be a high 2:1 - from a Top 10 uni, your place as a corporate gimp is almost guaranteed. As far as masters are concerned, most law firms will tell you that an LLM adds nothing at all to your CV here in the UK.

The only two reasons I personally am doing a masters are a) I want to delay the start of working life for another year and b) where I come from, no-one has heard of UCL, whereas people have at least heard of Oxbridge, so, should I wish to return home, I may have slightly better academic credentials with an Oxbridge LLM/BCL. Emphasis on 'may'.
If you have a 2:1 - it doesn't even have to be a high 2:1 - from a Top 10 uni, your place as a corporate gimp is almost guaranteed. As far as masters are concerned, most law firms will tell you that an LLM adds nothing at all to your CV here in the UK.

The only two reasons I personally am doing a masters are a) I want to delay the start of working life for another year and b) where I come from, no-one has heard of UCL, whereas people have at least heard of Oxbridge, so, should I wish to return home, I may have slightly better academic credentials with an Oxbridge LLM/BCL. Emphasis on 'may'.
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pedrinus

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first, I disagree that an llm adds nothing to your cv. Even ageneral studies llm, If it is frm a top school, adds prrestiege and will open doors, without question. second, if it you specialize, it adds that much more to your cv and will certainly increase your marketability in that area. third, im not sure whether the posters above have actually tried woeking in major commercial law firms, but i can tell you, having myself done so for a couple of years, that it is a tremenously exhausting profession. some like, but most, as is evident from the attrition rates, don't. The numbers don't lie; nearly two thirds of big firm lawyers leave within a few years. and therein lies an additional benefit to the llm; if, after three years of working at one of these sweat shops you find yourself miserable, you'll be incredibly happy to have the llm on your cv as that will open doors to academia, nonprofits, policy, etc.
first, I disagree that an llm adds nothing to your cv. Even ageneral studies llm, If it is frm a top school, adds prrestiege and will open doors, without question. second, if it you specialize, it adds that much more to your cv and will certainly increase your marketability in that area. third, im not sure whether the posters above have actually tried woeking in major commercial law firms, but i can tell you, having myself done so for a couple of years, that it is a tremenously exhausting profession. some like, but most, as is evident from the attrition rates, don't. The numbers don't lie; nearly two thirds of big firm lawyers leave within a few years. and therein lies an additional benefit to the llm; if, after three years of working at one of these sweat shops you find yourself miserable, you'll be incredibly happy to have the llm on your cv as that will open doors to academia, nonprofits, policy, etc.
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Muppet
That's correct. It's useful if you want to leave corporate law or if you want to leave England altogether. WTO/World Bank/UN etc. won't even look at you unless you have a post-grad degree. However, doing a masters in order to get a training contract after having failed to secure one during your first degree may not be the brightest idea. I remember someone asking a magic circle recruitment person whether an llm would enhance their chances of getting a tc, and she said, quite succintly, 'no'. She went on to say that you should do a masters if you really want to (perhaps in consideration of a carreer post law) but that it would not make you more attractive to City firms. Make of that what you will.
That's correct. It's useful if you want to leave corporate law or if you want to leave England altogether. WTO/World Bank/UN etc. won't even look at you unless you have a post-grad degree. However, doing a masters in order to get a training contract after having failed to secure one during your first degree may not be the brightest idea. I remember someone asking a magic circle recruitment person whether an llm would enhance their chances of getting a tc, and she said, quite succintly, 'no'. She went on to say that you should do a masters if you really want to (perhaps in consideration of a carreer post law) but that it would not make you more attractive to City firms. Make of that what you will.
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pedrinus
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Villy J.D.
The topic raised here is very important.

I think it all depends on where are you planning to practice.

For example: in my home country the big multinational companies require for their senior jobs "an LLM from a recognized US or UK law school". On the other hand, law firms do not require LLM since, in their opinion, they value more a person who has spent a long time doing career in the firm than someone younger whos had more education.

Regarding working on the public sector, ironically, it can sometimes be a disadvantage. Since the LLM raises your "qualifications", some public entities assume that you are too "qualified" too "expensive" and thus, being on a limited budget, they wont hire you!

So, as you can see, in my home country, an LLM is not a necessary investment. I am currently working as associate a top US law firm (with offices in my country). Im doing well, and at no time have I heard anyone say "you must do an LLM in order to succeed in this firm". But then again, I want to work abroad! And the only way to do that is through an LLM which will give me exposure, international recognition, networks and an international education (which is a must if you want to practice abroad).

So my suggestion is, (i) if you are doing the LLM just because you want to improve your job possibilities, make an assessment of the country and sector in which you want to work and then decide if the LLM is right for you; (ii) if you are doing the LLM just because you are passionate on a certain subject and because it will provide you with an opportunity to travel and meet people, then: just do it!

Best of lucks!
The topic raised here is very important.

I think it all depends on where are you planning to practice.

For example: in my home country the big multinational companies require for their senior jobs "an LLM from a recognized US or UK law school". On the other hand, law firms do not require LLM since, in their opinion, they value more a person who has spent a long time doing career in the firm than someone younger who’s had more education.

Regarding working on the public sector, ironically, it can sometimes be a disadvantage. Since the LLM raises your "qualifications", some public entities assume that you are too "qualified" too "expensive" and thus, being on a limited budget, they won’t hire you!

So, as you can see, in my home country, an LLM is not a “necessary” investment. I am currently working as associate a top US law firm (with offices in my country). I’m doing well, and at no time have I heard anyone say "you must do an LLM in order to succeed in this firm". But then again, I want to work abroad! And the only way to do that is through an LLM which will give me exposure, international recognition, networks and an international education (which is a must if you want to practice abroad).

So my suggestion is, (i) if you are doing the LLM just because you want to improve your job possibilities, make an assessment of the country and sector in which you want to work and then decide if the LLM is right for you; (ii) if you are doing the LLM just because you are passionate on a certain subject and because it will provide you with an opportunity to travel and meet people, then: just do it!

Best of lucks!
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What are your objectives? Within the profession academic credentials are only of interest at the entry level or for cocktail party boasting. Once you're employed only talent & hardwork count. There are two main routes to securing a quality position at the junior level - strong academics or meaningful experience & responsibility as a fully qualified practitioner in a small or second-tier firm.Once you're in practice LLB, LLM or PhD - it makes no difference.In practice being street smart, understanding how business works & being an excellent judge of people are essential. The reality is that someone from Brighton Poly will kick the arse of someone with Harvard PhD - it makes no odds. Sitting law exams has little relationship to legal practice. You will never know your level of talent (if any) as a lawyer until you have spent sometime in practice. To be a top practitioner you have to wiley, savvy & untrusting of fellow practitioners.Small firm experience where you cover every possible discipline from litigation to conveyancing is particularly helpful in making you the consumate legal all-rounder. Plenty of Magic Circle partners are nothing more than one-trick dogs;glorified clerks in a narrowly specialised field. I've come across a number of total turkey's who are partner's in the biggest firms in the City of London. It's a pity to see people waste their lives in a profession for which they patently have no natural talent or interest. Reality starts where the textbook ends. An LLM might get you to the starting line a little sooner - but it won't help you win the race.
What are your objectives? Within the profession academic credentials are only of interest at the entry level or for cocktail party boasting. Once you're employed only talent & hardwork count. There are two main routes to securing a quality position at the junior level - strong academics or meaningful experience & responsibility as a fully qualified practitioner in a small or second-tier firm.Once you're in practice LLB, LLM or PhD - it makes no difference.In practice being street smart, understanding how business works & being an excellent judge of people are essential. The reality is that someone from Brighton Poly will kick the arse of someone with Harvard PhD - it makes no odds. Sitting law exams has little relationship to legal practice. You will never know your level of talent (if any) as a lawyer until you have spent sometime in practice. To be a top practitioner you have to wiley, savvy & untrusting of fellow practitioners.Small firm experience where you cover every possible discipline from litigation to conveyancing is particularly helpful in making you the consumate legal all-rounder. Plenty of Magic Circle partners are nothing more than one-trick dogs;glorified clerks in a narrowly specialised field. I've come across a number of total turkey's who are partner's in the biggest firms in the City of London. It's a pity to see people waste their lives in a profession for which they patently have no natural talent or interest. Reality starts where the textbook ends. An LLM might get you to the starting line a little sooner - but it won't help you win the race.
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Vincenzo
mostly agree with everything said above.
in particular an llm does not increase ur chances of getting a mc job for a simple reason: the more u know the law, the worse, and the easier u get tired of those miserable jobs.
of course u can earn good money, but life has more than that to offer, and there're other ways of earning good money.
a friend who works for clifford c. once told me that in order to do ur job in an appropriate way u probably don't even need an llb!!! this is an exaggeration but it gives the idea.

i trained with a small firm, where all the bollocks u study at italian universities finally come to have a sense. and that's the best training u can get, a small firm where every day they give u different tasks, where theory and practice finally meet.

however doing an llm had always been something deep down i wanted to do and that was a fantastic year, far away from the misery of working life. and it inspired me on what to do next in life as well...
mostly agree with everything said above.
in particular an llm does not increase ur chances of getting a mc job for a simple reason: the more u know the law, the worse, and the easier u get tired of those miserable jobs.
of course u can earn good money, but life has more than that to offer, and there're other ways of earning good money.
a friend who works for clifford c. once told me that in order to do ur job in an appropriate way u probably don't even need an llb!!! this is an exaggeration but it gives the idea.

i trained with a small firm, where all the bollocks u study at italian universities finally come to have a sense. and that's the best training u can get, a small firm where every day they give u different tasks, where theory and practice finally meet.

however doing an llm had always been something deep down i wanted to do and that was a fantastic year, far away from the misery of working life. and it inspired me on what to do next in life as well...
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What are your objectives? Within the profession academic credentials are only of interest at the entry level or for cocktail party boasting. Once you're employed only talent & hardwork count. There are two main routes to securing a quality position at the junior level - strong academics or meaningful experience & responsibility as a fully qualified practitioner in a small or second-tier firm.Once you're in practice LLB, LLM or PhD - it makes no difference.In practice being street smart, understanding how business works & being an excellent judge of people are essential. The reality is that someone from Brighton Poly will kick the arse of someone with Harvard PhD - it makes no odds. Sitting law exams has little relationship to legal practice. You will never know your level of talent (if any) as a lawyer until you have spent sometime in practice. To be a top practitioner you have to wiley, savvy & untrusting of fellow practitioners.Small firm experience where you cover every possible discipline from litigation to conveyancing is particularly helpful in making you the consumate legal all-rounder. Plenty of Magic Circle partners are nothing more than one-trick dogs;glorified clerks in a narrowly specialised field. I've come across a number of total turkey's who are partner's in the biggest firms in the City of London. It's a pity to see people waste their lives in a profession for which they patently have no natural talent or interest. Reality starts where the textbook ends. An LLM might get you to the starting line a little sooner - but it won't help you win the race.


This is very true - although unfortunately in Britain - the top universities will always open the doors for people whether they are actually capable or not. Anyone who thinks an LLM is a passport to a City career will be sorely disappointed, but as someone says above an LLM will open other doors - especially for certain specialisations. Pursuing a specialised LLM or doctorate (and I don't mean some generic international/European business degree) this can make a person very marketable.
<blockquote>What are your objectives? Within the profession academic credentials are only of interest at the entry level or for cocktail party boasting. Once you're employed only talent & hardwork count. There are two main routes to securing a quality position at the junior level - strong academics or meaningful experience & responsibility as a fully qualified practitioner in a small or second-tier firm.Once you're in practice LLB, LLM or PhD - it makes no difference.In practice being street smart, understanding how business works & being an excellent judge of people are essential. The reality is that someone from Brighton Poly will kick the arse of someone with Harvard PhD - it makes no odds. Sitting law exams has little relationship to legal practice. You will never know your level of talent (if any) as a lawyer until you have spent sometime in practice. To be a top practitioner you have to wiley, savvy & untrusting of fellow practitioners.Small firm experience where you cover every possible discipline from litigation to conveyancing is particularly helpful in making you the consumate legal all-rounder. Plenty of Magic Circle partners are nothing more than one-trick dogs;glorified clerks in a narrowly specialised field. I've come across a number of total turkey's who are partner's in the biggest firms in the City of London. It's a pity to see people waste their lives in a profession for which they patently have no natural talent or interest. Reality starts where the textbook ends. An LLM might get you to the starting line a little sooner - but it won't help you win the race.</blockquote>

This is very true - although unfortunately in Britain - the top universities will always open the doors for people whether they are actually capable or not. Anyone who thinks an LLM is a passport to a City career will be sorely disappointed, but as someone says above an LLM will open other doors - especially for certain specialisations. Pursuing a specialised LLM or doctorate (and I don't mean some generic international/European business degree) this can make a person very marketable.
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would doing a masters in IP be good if you want to specialise in this area of law?
would doing a masters in IP be good if you want to specialise in this area of law?
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theshark
Who ever says an LLM will `not` guarantee you a city job is GREATLY mistaken from here to the moon...

Furthermore an LLM is a must in many countries around the world: - Switzerland, France, Spain, etc (that is why the study of law is so long)

An LLM is a clear sign of maturity and desire in the pursuit of legal knowledge.

Firstly an LLM gives you the status of - Joe Bloggs LLM overshadowing Joe Bloggs LLB... an LLM gives the lawyer in making the chance to specialize on an area in law that he wishes to be a `specialist` in.

An LLB covers the law core modules to a certain extent and an LLM covers whatever core module you chose in great depth giving you the skills and knowledge needed to understand a type of law as a professional.

However regardless of an LLM, LLB, GDL, etc... the person is the navigator of his own boat of legal accomplishments...his effort and attitude will define the value of his success.

An LLM is also a lawyer in making's opportunity to get into a top law school and get an LLM - this will make up for his LLB or GDL being for a low ranked uni (especially if he wants to get into a very good law firm and aim high)

Ask yourselves the question will an LLB or GDL student know more or be in a position to know more about Tax Law than a student who has graduated with an LLM in Tax Law...

Res ipsa Loquitur.
Who ever says an LLM will `not` guarantee you a city job is GREATLY mistaken from here to the moon...

Furthermore an LLM is a must in many countries around the world: - Switzerland, France, Spain, etc (that is why the study of law is so long)

An LLM is a clear sign of maturity and desire in the pursuit of legal knowledge.

Firstly an LLM gives you the status of - Joe Bloggs LLM overshadowing Joe Bloggs LLB... an LLM gives the lawyer in making the chance to specialize on an area in law that he wishes to be a `specialist` in.

An LLB covers the law core modules to a certain extent and an LLM covers whatever core module you chose in great depth giving you the skills and knowledge needed to understand a type of law as a professional.

However regardless of an LLM, LLB, GDL, etc... the person is the navigator of his own boat of legal accomplishments...his effort and attitude will define the value of his success.

An LLM is also a lawyer in making's opportunity to get into a top law school and get an LLM - this will make up for his LLB or GDL being for a low ranked uni (especially if he wants to get into a very good law firm and aim high)

Ask yourselves the question will an LLB or GDL student know more or be in a position to know more about Tax Law than a student who has graduated with an LLM in Tax Law...

Res ipsa Loquitur.

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Interalia

Who ever says an LLM will `not` guarantee you a city job is GREATLY mistaken from here to the moon...

Ask yourselves the question will an LLB or GDL student know more or be in a position to know more about Tax Law than a student who has graduated with an LLM in Tax Law...


I'll bite! :)

I have a question actually. What does knowing more have to do with legal practice? The work in practice is routine and mundane and frankly doesn't require much thinking. The chances of really needing advanced legal knowledge in any field of law in most firms is remote, especially as a junior lawyer. Sure you might get the odd case or two where you do appellate work and need to do some cutting edge stuff where your so called LLM knowledge might come in handy but any person who has spent 5 mins in practice will tell you this does not happen very often.

Honestly, what really determines whether you are sought after as a lawyer is your "rain-making" skills. I have seen many many incompetent lawyers who are senior partners, for the simple reason that they are good "sellers". They relate well with clients and have managed to be able to establish a rapport, so that clients keep coming back to them. This has nothing to do with legal skills whatsoever. The fact of life is it's really much easier to find a person competent to do the job and in practice that's what firms really need. They don't require an expert. It's much harder to get people who bring in clients. Having said that, do you think it's easier to make connections and meet potential clients in practice or buried under a pile of books in the LLM?
<blockquote>
Who ever says an LLM will `not` guarantee you a city job is GREATLY mistaken from here to the moon...

Ask yourselves the question will an LLB or GDL student know more or be in a position to know more about Tax Law than a student who has graduated with an LLM in Tax Law...
</blockquote>

I'll bite! :)

I have a question actually. What does knowing more have to do with legal practice? The work in practice is routine and mundane and frankly doesn't require much thinking. The chances of really needing advanced legal knowledge in any field of law in most firms is remote, especially as a junior lawyer. Sure you might get the odd case or two where you do appellate work and need to do some cutting edge stuff where your so called LLM knowledge might come in handy but any person who has spent 5 mins in practice will tell you this does not happen very often.

Honestly, what really determines whether you are sought after as a lawyer is your "rain-making" skills. I have seen many many incompetent lawyers who are senior partners, for the simple reason that they are good "sellers". They relate well with clients and have managed to be able to establish a rapport, so that clients keep coming back to them. This has nothing to do with legal skills whatsoever. The fact of life is it's really much easier to find a person competent to do the job and in practice that's what firms really need. They don't require an expert. It's much harder to get people who bring in clients. Having said that, do you think it's easier to make connections and meet potential clients in practice or buried under a pile of books in the LLM?
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Churchill
This is actually a very important thread for me. I am looking to do an LLM at either Durham, Nottingham, Warwick or Birmingham. The reason for me wanting to complete a Masters is because I got my 2:1 from a new University. I also did not do any A-Levels, and consequently I am finding it difficult finding a training contract.

Therefore, I thought that doing a Masters at a good University would glamorize my CV slightly more and give me a better chance of a training contract in the UK. Am I mistaken? Would I be wasting my time doing an LLM? I am aiming to obtain a training contract at a mid-sized firm, not a City firm by the way. Please help as I'm confused!
This is actually a very important thread for me. I am looking to do an LLM at either Durham, Nottingham, Warwick or Birmingham. The reason for me wanting to complete a Masters is because I got my 2:1 from a new University. I also did not do any A-Levels, and consequently I am finding it difficult finding a training contract.

Therefore, I thought that doing a Masters at a good University would glamorize my CV slightly more and give me a better chance of a training contract in the UK. Am I mistaken? Would I be wasting my time doing an LLM? I am aiming to obtain a training contract at a mid-sized firm, not a City firm by the way. Please help as I'm confused!
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theshark
I'll bite! :)

*I have a question actually. What does knowing more have to do with legal practice?

- I find it rather amusing that you assume I write this without knowing a hoot about legal practice... therefore I will tell you clearly as you ought to know that the BAR or the LPC is the "Legal Practice Course"...furthermore being a lawyer is like driving you start to really learn once you have your license and start to drive... and LLM is a great top up for an LLB...so instead of giving mixed arguments without any substance kindly object or approve - period.

*Having said that, do you think it's easier to make connections and meet potential clients in practice or buried under a pile of books in the LLM?

I have not mentioned anything to do with clients, connections, nor am i stating that those skills are less superior to the `value of an llm`... with that said lets put it clearly: you mentioned connections...what does that have to do with an LLM? obviously the person undertaking the LLM is getting work experience in law firms during the holiday...so that would be a good opportunity to make "connections"...meet potential clients in practice... that is a bit random... you obviously need to realize that one must walk before he can run.

If your peoples skills is crap you might not please the clients.
If you do not get any connections then you cannot get in practice...

Why do you mention this? that is OBVIOUS!

By the way connections are gained by proving you can master the pile of books and clients are mantained by showing you can win their case with an answer in those piles of books...

Do not be close minded, an LLM is an upgrade to your LLB... it can only give you benefits (instead of taking a gap year like many students do - use that year to get an LLM - based on the law module you enjoy the most) - it will give you cutting edge knowledge that in combination with your desire to do well - will give you the boost you need to succed.

I'll bite! :)

*I have a question actually. What does knowing more have to do with legal practice?

- I find it rather amusing that you assume I write this without knowing a hoot about legal practice... therefore I will tell you clearly as you ought to know that the BAR or the LPC is the "Legal Practice Course"...furthermore being a lawyer is like driving you start to really learn once you have your license and start to drive... and LLM is a great top up for an LLB...so instead of giving mixed arguments without any substance kindly object or approve - period.

*Having said that, do you think it's easier to make connections and meet potential clients in practice or buried under a pile of books in the LLM?</blockquote>

I have not mentioned anything to do with clients, connections, nor am i stating that those skills are less superior to the `value of an llm`... with that said lets put it clearly: you mentioned connections...what does that have to do with an LLM? obviously the person undertaking the LLM is getting work experience in law firms during the holiday...so that would be a good opportunity to make "connections"...meet potential clients in practice... that is a bit random... you obviously need to realize that one must walk before he can run.

If your peoples skills is crap you might not please the clients.
If you do not get any connections then you cannot get in practice...

Why do you mention this? that is OBVIOUS!

By the way connections are gained by proving you can master the pile of books and clients are mantained by showing you can win their case with an answer in those piles of books...

Do not be close minded, an LLM is an upgrade to your LLB... it can only give you benefits (instead of taking a gap year like many students do - use that year to get an LLM - based on the law module you enjoy the most) - it will give you cutting edge knowledge that in combination with your desire to do well - will give you the boost you need to succed.
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