Jonathan Ames

Down the drain?

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  • As someone who very very ill throughout undergraduate study and ended up with a 2:2 I am in a difficult situation. At the time I was given the option of dropping out for a year or two and then coming back to complete my degree and get the high 2:1/1st I was predicted or battle on through and get a lower grade. I decided to battle through as I was advised this would show strength to law firms and would make up for the low grade.

    Discovering this was not true I have now begun an LLM in a very niche area with the aim of showing that my Undergraduate results were a blip. I'm on track for a distinction and hope it will help me get in at the bar. But if not at least it will open doors in the world of academia.

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  • "add little value to your CV"?

    What if you intend to teach the area? Surely it would add a great deal more value if you took a masters in your chosen area? Many of my most respected Law School lecturers are Doctors and a couple are Professors, showing how postgraduate legal study beyond the humble LLM can be the opener of many doors which may otherwise remain firmly shut, including the door of extra student respect.

    What about practice in a niche area though? As "Anonymous 6-Dec-2011" hopes and I believe (although not with the 2:2 for the Bar, sorry but you 're most likely in for a world of disappointment with that combination) an LLM in a highly specialised area would show a firm or chambers your commitment to thoroughly understanding their area of expertise. Something like EU antitrust law or maritime shipping law would probably benefit as these areas after general LLB/GDL study become very specific (and confusing when you pick up the wrong EU Law book in the library).

    I do however agree with the article that more common, less specialised LLM's would not add any value at all to an application and especially not where the A-Levels and/or (worse) the degree classification were poor. So LLM's in areas like IP and Environmental Law would be effectively cancelled out by the wide areas which exist in legal practice. I have seen LLM's in Legal Practice as well - why on Earth would you want one of them?!? Maybe so you can say you have one? I know it’s only one ro two modules tacked on the end of the LPC but seriously?!?

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  • The presupposition is that if only one had a 2.1 from a Russell Group uni, one would have been able to land a TC at a national, City, US, or Magic Circle firm with little ado.

    What a load of codswallop. There are myriad 2.1ers from Russell Group unis - like myself - who have been unable to land a TC either before or after the LPC. A 2.1 or 1st from Oxbridge? Sure. A 1st from the Russell Group? Probably. But everyone with a 2.1 or less from anywhere faces stiff competition.

    There are more than enough TCs to cater to everyone with a 1st from Oxbridge and the Russell Group, but not anywhere near enough to cater to everyone with a 2.1 from a "decent old redbrick ..." whatever you want to call it uni, let alone all those from former polys, lower tier unis, or those with 2.2s.

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