Europe is an important center for global law, as it is home to some of the world’s most significant institutions, such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.
The continent is also home to many of the world’s best law schools offering English-language LL.M.s. They draw on their close proximity to NGOs, Big Law firms, businesses and other organizations by inviting senior practitioners to teach on their courses, which are highly practical.
Europe has a rich traditional of legal education and many of its universities have among the oldest law faculties in the world. And indeed, a number of these top law schools on the continent offer a range of LL.M. programs aimed at international students.
The list below includes ten of the best law schools in Europe offering general LL.M. programs (or a large range of LL.M offerings, covering many different topics.)
A number of top law schools in Europe also offer smaller, special focus programs in specialized subject areas, from finance to European Union Law; we’ve listed the Top 10 Special Focus LL.M. Programs in Europe here.
But for now, here are the law schools offering the top 20 LL.M. programs in Europe.
This law school runs a raft of LL.M. programs in a myriad of subjects ranging from criminology to airspace law, and from human rights to business law. Leiden is the oldest university in the Netherlands, having been founded in 1575. Its brand attracts some of the best and brightest students, and corporate recruiters from some of the best law firms and other organizations around the world. Of all the Netherlands-based schools, Leiden is currently ranked as the best for the subject of law, according to the World University Rankings from Times Higher Education.View School Profile
The Amsterdam Law School at Universiteit van Amsterdam has a sterling reputation in Europe and beyond. It has been offering relatively affordable LL.M. programs in English for a long time, which draw students from around the world, enriching the learning experience for everyone. They go on to work at NGOs, Big Law firms, global businesses and for governments.View School Profile
This law school offers a truly global experience that few others can match. The historic French university has been on an ambitious international expansion over the past few years: it has opened campuses in Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius. The result is an LL.M. degree in international business law that can include exchanges to any number of these global campuses. That provides the international perspective that is so crucial to practising law in today’s hyper-globalized business world.View School Profile
Founded in 1981, Maastricht University’s Faculty of Law hosts some 2,500 students across its bachelor’s and master’s programs. It’s English-language master’s programs are diverse, and include a highly-regarded LL.M.in European Law, as well as an LL.M. in International and European Tax Law, another in International Law, and one in Globalisation and Law, among others. The school also offers an Advanced Master in Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management, along with a few Dutch-language LL.M.s as well.View School Profile
Each year, some 1,500 international students descend on Utrecht University to take one of the school’s well-regarded LL.M. programs. Like the students who pursue them, these LL.M.s are quite diverse: the school offers degrees in European Law, Public International Law, and Law and Economics, along with some law-related MSc and MA programs.View School Profile
Tilburg Law School was founded in 1963 and currently offers some 10 master’s-level programs, including six English-language programs. These LL.M.s range in topics from International Business Law to Law and Technology; the school also offers Dutch-language programs as well. Tilburg Law School is also ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.View School Profile
Another Dutch school listed for law in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings is the University of Groningen. It offers LL.M. programs in a number of topics, from Energy and Climate Law to Global Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law, among others. For the past four years, the school has been top rated in terms of International Law LL.M. programs in the Netherlands by the Dutch publication Keuzegids.View School Profile
The Erasmus School of Law, another law school in the Netherlands, also offers a range of LL.M. programs at its Rotterdam location. Students in the school’s LL.M. in Commercial and Company Law can choose from several different specializations, including international trade law and maritime & transport law. The school also offers LL.M. programs in International Arbitration and Business Law, International Trade Law, and International and European Trade Law, among others. The school is ranked for law in the World University Rankings from Times Higher Education.View School Profile
Stockholm University runs three excellent LL.M. programs in European Economic Law; International Commercial Arbitration; and European Intellectual Property Law. Stockholm University houses the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, so students have access to a huge network of experts and practitioners. It also provides opportunities for a lot of experiential learning, or learning by doing, for example through activities such as a mock arbitration.View School Profile
As part of the school’s LL.M. in International and European Law, participants can choose to specialize in either International and European Business Law or International and European Public Law. Only 20 minutes by train from Brussels, students who do their LL.M. programs at KU Leuven are in close proximity to some of Europe’s most significant political and legal institutions, which makes networking easy.View School Profile
Proximity to Brussels is also a selling point for Ghent University, which offers LL.M.s in International Business Law, European and International Law, and European Union Law. These LL.M.s aren’t just about classroom learning; students also have opportunities to participate in moot courts, a human rights-based legal clinic, and a summer internship. Jointly with eight other universities, Ghent University also offers the European Master in Law and Economics (EMLE) degree, a unique program that combines topics in both law and economics.View School Profile
Although the school focuses predominately on French-language LL.M. programs, it also now offers an English-language Business Law Certificate for Foreign Lawyers, which is especially interesting for international students who want to study law in Paris. Additionally, the school also offers an LL.M. in Business Law, the Arab World, and the Middle East, which is delivered mainly in French but with some classes in English.View School Profile
Founded as a theological seminary and law school in 1559 by John Calvin, the University of Geneva has a long and storied history. Today, the school is involved in the operation of several LL.M. programs popular with international students, including the LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution (MIDS); and an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, which the school runs in partnership with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. The University of Geneva also offers a range of one-year masters programs in law in the French language.View School Profile
As part of the University of Zurich’s LL.M. in International Business Law, students can pursue one of three very different specializations: International Banking, Finance and Insurance Law; International Sports Law; and Asian Business Law. Due to the international focus of the program, study trips—including one to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, along with optional excursions to the US and China—are also on offer.View School Profile
Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna is reportedly the oldest university in the German-speaking world; the school has a long tradition of focusing on legal theory and legal philosophy. This tradition has infused the English-language LL.M. programs on offer at the school, including the LL.M. in International Legal Studies (offered through the Faculty of Law), as well as the LL.M. in European and International Business Studies, which is put on through the university’s Postgraduate Center.View School Profile
Of all the law schools in Denmark, the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law is perhaps the most outward-facing, offering an LL.M. program that’s entirely in English. International students in the LL.M. enjoy Copenhagen’s uniquely urban ecosystem, with streets humming with bicycles, not to mention a bustling arts and nightlife scene. Beyond the full-time LL.M. program, the University of Copenhagen also offers a part-time LL.M. in North Sea Energy Law, operated in partnership with the Universities of Groningen, Aberdeen, and Oslo.View School Profile
The University of Oslo, in Norway, runs full-time LL.M. programs: in Public International Law, Information and Communication Technology Law; and a part-time LL.M. in North Sea Energy Law. The latter is offered jointly with the universities of Aberdeen, Groningen and Copenhagen, with students spending two weeks at each school’s campus, providing broader exposure and additional networks than if they were on just one campus. The Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest, established back in 1811. It’s one of Scandinavia’s leading legal education and research institutes.View School Profile
For international students who want to study in Sweden, the University of Lund is often in high demand. The school’s Faculty of Law was founded in 1668, and, since Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, the Faculty’s profile has grown in international stature. The University of Lund currently offers two English-language LL.M.s: one in European Business Law, and the other in International Human Rights Law.View School Profile
For those who are interested in studying law from a European perspective, the University of Luxembourg—which is close to institutions such as the European Union’s Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank—is a great choice. And indeed, the school’s master’s-level law offerings—which include a LL.M. in EU Law, a Master in European and International Tax Law, and an LL.M. in European Private Law, among others—are often Europe-focused. All of the school’s LL.M.s are offered in both French and English.View School Profile
Established in 1809, HU Berlin is the oldest of Berlin’s universities, and a popular destination for international students looking to study in Germany. Beyond the school’s English-language LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution, HU Berlin also features programs in German, including an LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law and Media Law. Also, as part of the European Law School Network, HU Berlin participates in a program where students in the German-language European and Comparative Law LL.M. can study at King’s College London for one year.View School Profile
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