The LLM, or Master of Laws (from the Latin Legum Magister) is the equivalent of an MA to a BA, or an MSc to a BSc. It’s the postgraduate qualification for a law degree and is a more academically focused course, relying on theory more than practice, in regards to the legal sector.
Some people question the value of LLMs, but what they allow for is a specialisation of your legal knowledge, setting you up with the academic background to be fully immersed in the theoretics of a particular area of law.
There’s a variety of opportunities available within the LLM, and it appeals to those whose passion for a particular nuance of the legal world was ignited by their undergraduate degree or GDL and they want to consolidate that knowledge. It can also be seen as a way of ‘improving’ an undergraduate degree that perhaps was not as high a mark as was desired, or done simply because some people love to have a full theoretical knowledge of their subject before putting into practice.
To qualify, you’ll usually need an undergraduate LLB, although some institutions do allow candidates who have completed a non-law degree followed by the GDL, to join their LLM program. When looking around for what kind of LLM you would like, you’ll need to take into account that not all Universities or providers will offer LLMs in every specialism, so it might be an idea to determine exactly what it is you want to study at a higher level before having a look around where you want to be doing it, to avoid disappointment.
Whilst an LLM is pretty much never a requisite qualification for a career in the legal sector, there’s never any harm in learning more about your subject and being able to pull out theoretical knowledge in a real life situation. Whether the LLM is right or not is an extremely personal decision, and only one that you can make. Check out the options below to see if any of them are up your street, and who knows where your LLM might take you!