Harvard vs Cambridge


TJ2008
Which one? What do u think?? My field is public intl law, and I applied to England 'cause I would love to live there or in any other European country after my master, and I imagine that a master there will give me more chances of working in some prestigious NGO or intl body after the LLM. On the other hand, Harvard has a wonderful program (very specific classes and well-known professors) in intl public law and human rights, in which I am very interested.

So, does Cambridge necessarily open more doors for me to work in England or Europe in general (in the public and intl fields, not at law firms necessarily) than Harvard?

Which one would be in your opinion the best choice for a doctorate? What are the differences I should take into account while considering a doctorate from these universities?

Thank you.

Which one? What do u think?? My field is public intl law, and I applied to England 'cause I would love to live there or in any other European country after my master, and I imagine that a master there will give me more chances of working in some prestigious NGO or intl body after the LLM. On the other hand, Harvard has a wonderful program (very specific classes and well-known professors) in intl public law and human rights, in which I am very interested.

So, does Cambridge necessarily open more doors for me to work in England or Europe in general (in the public and intl fields, not at law firms necessarily) than Harvard?

Which one would be in your opinion the best choice for a doctorate? What are the differences I should take into account while considering a doctorate from these universities?

Thank you.
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vogelfrei
this is theoretical (I have not applied in any of the two and have not finished finalizing any concrete LLM plans in the future)...but just for the sake of sharing your dream... let's debate the pros and cons and see what other people has to say.

First, by way of history, Harvard was built by people who went to Cambridge. If there's a historical value for that, I'm not sure but the fact is there. Cambridge, MA was named after, well, Cambridge.

True, Harvard is well known internationally. Somehow, you cannot go wrong with Harvard. But for your reasons, especially the living in Europe/England thing... Cambridge has the edge. Also, for public international law, Cambridge has the Lauterpacht Center. If you want to read international law, they have resources, facilities and they host seminars and many other things--not to mention, they have one of the fastest and one of the most well-funded press. (I'm biased here, I just love Cambridge Univ. Press).

And since you want to work and live in Europe anyway, start early by studying there. Acclimatize yourself. Live and bask in the culture and the environment. Sooner or later, you will find contacts to help you get your much desired job while you're at it.

Also, for your doctorate, you may have to consider that Harvard offers a J.S.D. while Cambridge has a Ph.D. track (if you choose to take the research programme path via the M.Litt., not the LLM). I'm not sure though how you can do a doctorate in Cambridge through their LLD programme. I hear it's like an honoris causa award. In Harvard though, an excellent LLM work can be a path towards a J.S.D.

My two cents worth. Hope they help you.
this is theoretical (I have not applied in any of the two and have not finished finalizing any concrete LLM plans in the future)...but just for the sake of sharing your dream... let's debate the pros and cons and see what other people has to say.

First, by way of history, Harvard was built by people who went to Cambridge. If there's a historical value for that, I'm not sure but the fact is there. Cambridge, MA was named after, well, Cambridge.

True, Harvard is well known internationally. Somehow, you cannot go wrong with Harvard. But for your reasons, especially the living in Europe/England thing... Cambridge has the edge. Also, for public international law, Cambridge has the Lauterpacht Center. If you want to read international law, they have resources, facilities and they host seminars and many other things--not to mention, they have one of the fastest and one of the most well-funded press. (I'm biased here, I just love Cambridge Univ. Press).

And since you want to work and live in Europe anyway, start early by studying there. Acclimatize yourself. Live and bask in the culture and the environment. Sooner or later, you will find contacts to help you get your much desired job while you're at it.

Also, for your doctorate, you may have to consider that Harvard offers a J.S.D. while Cambridge has a Ph.D. track (if you choose to take the research programme path via the M.Litt., not the LLM). I'm not sure though how you can do a doctorate in Cambridge through their LLD programme. I hear it's like an honoris causa award. In Harvard though, an excellent LLM work can be a path towards a J.S.D.

My two cents worth. Hope they help you.

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DanE
I'm currently doing an accelerated second degree at Cambridge, and am starting the Harvard LLM this year, and know people on both programmes so (hopefully) can give a reasonably informed opinion.

As i see it, the only conceivable reasons as to why you might choose the Cambridge LLM is architectural (some of the colleges are stunning), or if you have a particular field in which some professor is highly regarded (though outside of English/European specific topics it's hard to believe Harvard wouldn't be able to compete). Even within the UK the BCL at Oxford is more highly regarded than the LLM, which is, at least by the dozen or so people i know who have done it, generally seen as a bit of a joke-year. Perhaps the best evidence is of approximately 20 people who had the option i don't know of anyone who has rejected Harvard (or indeed many other US schools or the BCL) for Cambridge (cue the thousands who did!).
I'm currently doing an accelerated second degree at Cambridge, and am starting the Harvard LLM this year, and know people on both programmes so (hopefully) can give a reasonably informed opinion.

As i see it, the only conceivable reasons as to why you might choose the Cambridge LLM is architectural (some of the colleges are stunning), or if you have a particular field in which some professor is highly regarded (though outside of English/European specific topics it's hard to believe Harvard wouldn't be able to compete). Even within the UK the BCL at Oxford is more highly regarded than the LLM, which is, at least by the dozen or so people i know who have done it, generally seen as a bit of a joke-year. Perhaps the best evidence is of approximately 20 people who had the option i don't know of anyone who has rejected Harvard (or indeed many other US schools or the BCL) for Cambridge (cue the thousands who did!).

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llmguy
i am also facing the same dilemma... can anyone help me...
i am also facing the same dilemma... can anyone help me...
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domop
Cambridge is more academic and Harvard is more practical.
Cambridge is more academic and Harvard is more practical.

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Dan E, WOLFSONIAN ????????

Anyways, Dan is right.... go HARVARD... i'm doing the LLM at Cambridge, whilst it's good, it's not challenging. For me it's a walk in the park. If you want to have a simple life, no supervision, no essays to hand in, to be on holidays more than you are at university, then Cambridge is the place to be.

If you are looking for a rigorous, intense learning experience go HARVARD...
Dan E, WOLFSONIAN ????????

Anyways, Dan is right.... go HARVARD... i'm doing the LLM at Cambridge, whilst it's good, it's not challenging. For me it's a walk in the park. If you want to have a simple life, no supervision, no essays to hand in, to be on holidays more than you are at university, then Cambridge is the place to be.

If you are looking for a rigorous, intense learning experience go HARVARD...
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The above post has increased my excitement about going to Cambridge theis fall!!
Can you elaborate? Obviously it's not as easy as you sday (you're being a little tongue in cheek) but, truly, is it pretty relaxed?
1. what subjects are you taking?
2.How many lectures, and for how long, does each subject tyrically have per week?
3. what's the reaing load like to prepare for each class (100 pages per class per week)??
4. any word on what the grades are like? Is it possible to get firsts without killing yourself (ie what percentage of each class tytpically get firsts, do you know? ie can 10 people in a cladd of 30 get firsts?--at my uni in canada in canada a typical class of 30 would give 2 "A's!
any reccomended/not recomended classes?

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
The above post has increased my excitement about going to Cambridge theis fall!!
Can you elaborate? Obviously it's not as easy as you sday (you're being a little tongue in cheek) but, truly, is it pretty relaxed?
1. what subjects are you taking?
2.How many lectures, and for how long, does each subject tyrically have per week?
3. what's the reaing load like to prepare for each class (100 pages per class per week)??
4. any word on what the grades are like? Is it possible to get firsts without killing yourself (ie what percentage of each class tytpically get firsts, do you know? ie can 10 people in a cladd of 30 get firsts?--at my uni in canada in canada a typical class of 30 would give 2 "A's!
any reccomended/not recomended classes?

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
quote
tallyscot
As a current LLM student at Cambridge (and Skeikhbaron, I think I know who you are!) it is, as you say Equity's darling, not THAT easy.

True, there are very few classes - eight hours a week for 2 separate eight week terms. The classes themselves are normally lecture based with no mandatory participation. So technically yes, you can do almost nothing and get away with it. BUT ... the standard expected in the exams is high. Good knowledge of cases, articles and policy is obviously expected and to prepare this in a matter of weeks may be possible, but a very risky game to play. It is your responsibilty to keep up to date throughout the year.

As for the grading, the mean mark is generally a 2-1. When you arrive you will be able to read "class conventions" which essentially review the exam performances of students from the previous year and in most cases around 10% of the class manage a first.

This is not to worry you, because I've had (probably too much) fun this year and had a great time! I think you'll really enjoy it
As a current LLM student at Cambridge (and Skeikhbaron, I think I know who you are!) it is, as you say Equity's darling, not THAT easy.

True, there are very few classes - eight hours a week for 2 separate eight week terms. The classes themselves are normally lecture based with no mandatory participation. So technically yes, you can do almost nothing and get away with it. BUT ... the standard expected in the exams is high. Good knowledge of cases, articles and policy is obviously expected and to prepare this in a matter of weeks may be possible, but a very risky game to play. It is your responsibilty to keep up to date throughout the year.

As for the grading, the mean mark is generally a 2-1. When you arrive you will be able to read "class conventions" which essentially review the exam performances of students from the previous year and in most cases around 10% of the class manage a first.

This is not to worry you, because I've had (probably too much) fun this year and had a great time! I think you'll really enjoy it
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domop
Getting an LLM degree is easy at Cambridge, but getting an LLM degree with Distinction is very difficult. However, you do need an LLM degree with Distinction to acquire a good job or be admitted to PhD or SJD degree program.

Getting an LLM degree at Harvard is also easy. I have never heard anyone failed in the LLM exams at Harvard.
Getting an LLM degree is easy at Cambridge, but getting an LLM degree with Distinction is very difficult. However, you do need an LLM degree with Distinction to acquire a good job or be admitted to PhD or SJD degree program.

Getting an LLM degree at Harvard is also easy. I have never heard anyone failed in the LLM exams at Harvard.


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domop
Current President and Vice-president of International Court of Justice are all Cambridge Law graduates.

I dont think it is a coincidence.
Current President and Vice-president of International Court of Justice are all Cambridge Law graduates.

I don’t think it is a coincidence.
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pkotiaho
Sure thing about the President and Vice-President of the ICJ - but that was, what, about 45 years ago that they went to Cambridge (laughs).
Sure thing about the President and Vice-President of the ICJ - but that was, what, about 45 years ago that they went to Cambridge (laughs).
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domop
Sure thing about 45 years ago that they went to Cambridge but Harvard Law School was established in 1817(laughs).
Sure thing about 45 years ago that they went to Cambridge – but Harvard Law School was established in 1817(laughs).
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domop
Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States (18771881), studied law at Harvard Law School 165 years ago.

Sir Kenneth James Keith is a New Zealand Judge appointed to the International Court of Justice in November 2005, but he also studied law at Harvard Law School around 45 years ago.

Do you really think you can become the president of ICJ after completing an LLM at Harvard??? (laughs again)
Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States (1877–1881), studied law at Harvard Law School 165 years ago.

Sir Kenneth James Keith is a New Zealand Judge appointed to the International Court of Justice in November 2005, but he also studied law at Harvard Law School around 45 years ago.

Do you really think you can become the president of ICJ after completing an LLM at Harvard??? (laughs again)

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specialK
Stop.

Please.
Stop.

Please.
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pkotiaho
Even better - (Admissions Q): "So why do you want to take part in the Cambridge LL.M." (Prospective Student): "Well, I've always been interested in PIL, and my future career plans include becoming an ICJ judge, preferrably president ..."
Even better - (Admissions Q): "So why do you want to take part in the Cambridge LL.M." (Prospective Student): "Well, I've always been interested in PIL, and my future career plans include becoming an ICJ judge, preferrably president ..."

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domop
WHY NOT?
WHY NOT?
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ED..... don't listen to tallyscot.... (i know who you are too) i think we even live in the same college... lol

Anyway ED, the reason why i think the Cambridge LLM is striaghtforward is because I had worked for a few years before doing the LLM. The skills i picked up allowed me to be more efficient and effective with my work, and thus I didn't find the workload difficult. Maybe you'll be in a similar situation.

Anyway, just give you a brief breakdown of what goes on:

1. You take 4 classes a week, each of 2 hours long. No tutorials, unless the professor wants to give one (which is rare). If that happens, you could be looking at a max of 2 tutorials a term.

2. If you want to prepare for a class, you can but it's not really the norm. It's more like lecture style teaching, where you do the reading after the class. (that's for my classes anyway)

3. You dont have to submit any essays or any work throughout the semester, in reality you don't have to do any work until march-may, when thesis deadline looms and exam preparations need to be made.

4. If you do a dissertation ( which i recommend ) then you can devle into an area of law which you are interested in, and, more importantly, you will only have to revise for three exams, which is a bonus, considering the weather etc... I took this route.

5. i'm mainly taking PIL subjects, and they are worth takings, especially International Criminal Law. O'keefe ( the prof) is a legend. Heavily Recommended. Again, the choice of subjects is up to you.

6. Apparenlty, last year about 30 students out of 120 were given a first class.

7. The reason i also don't say it's difficult is because the exams are very predictable.

8. As my prof keeps on saying rarley does anyone fail the LLM.

9. Having said all that, I'll probably end up doing cr4p...... I should as my scottish friend says take it a bit a more seriously.....

ok, back to books for me. if you have any more q's ED let me know.
ED..... don't listen to tallyscot.... (i know who you are too) i think we even live in the same college... lol

Anyway ED, the reason why i think the Cambridge LLM is striaghtforward is because I had worked for a few years before doing the LLM. The skills i picked up allowed me to be more efficient and effective with my work, and thus I didn't find the workload difficult. Maybe you'll be in a similar situation.

Anyway, just give you a brief breakdown of what goes on:

1. You take 4 classes a week, each of 2 hours long. No tutorials, unless the professor wants to give one (which is rare). If that happens, you could be looking at a max of 2 tutorials a term.

2. If you want to prepare for a class, you can but it's not really the norm. It's more like lecture style teaching, where you do the reading after the class. (that's for my classes anyway)

3. You dont have to submit any essays or any work throughout the semester, in reality you don't have to do any work until march-may, when thesis deadline looms and exam preparations need to be made.

4. If you do a dissertation ( which i recommend ) then you can devle into an area of law which you are interested in, and, more importantly, you will only have to revise for three exams, which is a bonus, considering the weather etc... I took this route.

5. i'm mainly taking PIL subjects, and they are worth takings, especially International Criminal Law. O'keefe ( the prof) is a legend. Heavily Recommended. Again, the choice of subjects is up to you.

6. Apparenlty, last year about 30 students out of 120 were given a first class.

7. The reason i also don't say it's difficult is because the exams are very predictable.

8. As my prof keeps on saying rarley does anyone fail the LLM.

9. Having said all that, I'll probably end up doing cr4p...... I should as my scottish friend says take it a bit a more seriously.....

ok, back to books for me. if you have any more q's ED let me know.
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skeikbaron, or others,

what's the deal with housing? Do I have to arrange it myself (for my partner and I) or does the college that I'm ultimatley admitted to arrange for that?
skeikbaron, or others,

what's the deal with housing? Do I have to arrange it myself (for my partner and I) or does the college that I'm ultimatley admitted to arrange for that?

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Harvey Spe...
Let's revive this topic. I'm lucky enough to be admitted to both LL.M. programs and wonder which one is better for landing a big law job in LONDON.

It's clear that the Harvard LL.M. makes you eligible to sit for the New York Bar, which is a big plus compared to the non-qualifying Cambridge degree. Still, I am not convinced that London law firms are interested in LL.M. graduates, even if they graduated from Harvard. Do you share this concern? Does a Harvard LL.M. help you to get a training contract? Thanks.
Let's revive this topic. I'm lucky enough to be admitted to both LL.M. programs and wonder which one is better for landing a big law job in LONDON.

It's clear that the Harvard LL.M. makes you eligible to sit for the New York Bar, which is a big plus compared to the non-qualifying Cambridge degree. Still, I am not convinced that London law firms are interested in LL.M. graduates, even if they graduated from Harvard. Do you share this concern? Does a Harvard LL.M. help you to get a training contract? Thanks.
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ldncdn
Let's revive this topic. I'm lucky enough to be admitted to both LL.M. programs and wonder which one is better for landing a big law job in LONDON.

It's clear that the Harvard LL.M. makes you eligible to sit for the New York Bar, which is a big plus compared to the non-qualifying Cambridge degree. Still, I am not convinced that London law firms are interested in LL.M. graduates, even if they graduated from Harvard. Do you share this concern? Does a Harvard LL.M. help you to get a training contract? Thanks.

Magic circle law firms in London explicitly state in their HR websites and also careers events that an LL.M. will not boost your chances of obtaining a TC, so you should only pursue an LL.M. out of your own academic interests.

Then there is the visa issue. Most UK law firms are limited in work visa sponsorships for recent graduates for TC, although it is possible if they can demonstrate that you are an excellent candidate who will not "displace an EU worker".

I would recommend going to Harvard, because Harvard/Yale/Stanford have their own careers fairs in NY during the winter, and also you are guaranteed a one year extension visa after the completion of your studies (OPT F1). Meanwhile UK universities only give you like 90 days grace period to leave the country after graduation.
[quote]Let's revive this topic. I'm lucky enough to be admitted to both LL.M. programs and wonder which one is better for landing a big law job in LONDON.

It's clear that the Harvard LL.M. makes you eligible to sit for the New York Bar, which is a big plus compared to the non-qualifying Cambridge degree. Still, I am not convinced that London law firms are interested in LL.M. graduates, even if they graduated from Harvard. Do you share this concern? Does a Harvard LL.M. help you to get a training contract? Thanks.[/quote]
Magic circle law firms in London explicitly state in their HR websites and also careers events that an LL.M. will not boost your chances of obtaining a TC, so you should only pursue an LL.M. out of your own academic interests.

Then there is the visa issue. Most UK law firms are limited in work visa sponsorships for recent graduates for TC, although it is possible if they can demonstrate that you are an excellent candidate who will not "displace an EU worker".

I would recommend going to Harvard, because Harvard/Yale/Stanford have their own careers fairs in NY during the winter, and also you are guaranteed a one year extension visa after the completion of your studies (OPT F1). Meanwhile UK universities only give you like 90 days grace period to leave the country after graduation.
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