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Is it a good idea to a masters in conflict resolution as a lawyer? Watch

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    I think the addition of an LLM from a good university will strengthen an already good application, but I don't think it would be enough to drag a terrible one out of the gutter. So I guess it depends on how good the rest of your profile is. If you only want to do it to enhance an application rather than any genuine interest in the subject that would be a pretty poor waste of so much money though
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    1) it isn't a disadvantage but it is not going to be an advantage either. Too many people who qualify abroad think it's easy to get a qualified role in the UK.

    It isn't - a lot of firms discount 2-3 years experience from non-UK qualified lawyers, mainly because the UK system requires a 2 year training contract before someone qualifies.

    Your experience then has to be comparable to that of the U.K. to be in a good position. By that I mean you have to have worked with the same type of clients and the same type of complexity of cases/deals. Unless you have worked in a major financial centre like New York/Hong Kong you are far less likely to have comparable experience.

    The other major difference is that you are not a UK qualified lawyer - you technically can't work in the UK as a lawyer on English law matters without it being signed off by an English qualified lawyer. Being dual qualified via the QLTS would eliminate that issue but would still not give you practical English law experience.

    2) it would look impressive on your CV. However it's unlikely to help you get work in the US (you usually need a JD). It's not going to help with the above issues if you wanted to work in the UK either.

    3) I can only say it from a law firm perspective rather than from chambers, but yes they do take non-EU trainees or NQs. Given what you have said about your experience, a training contract seems the best route for you rather than a qualified role and there are enough firms who will sponsor a tier 2 visa for you for that. But your issue is those firms are about to recruit for their 2019/2020 trainee intakes, plus there is going to be a big question on your application about your motivation for 1) being in the UK and 2) commercial law firm over chambers given you choose the BPTC.


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    Thank you for such a detailed response.
    How can one become a uk qualified lawyer? Isn't a uk undergrad degree in law and a bptc enough to qualify you as a uk lawyer?
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Thank you for such a detailed response.
    How can one become a uk qualified lawyer? Isn't a uk undergrad degree in law and a bptc enough to qualify you as a uk lawyer?
    No.

    You will either need to complete a training contract. To do this you will need to convert your BPTC to the LPC (not sure what exemptions you get, if any). You will then need to complete a 2-year training contract. You are then qualified.

    The only alternative is if you are eligible, you can take the QLTS (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme). You would need to check your own eligibility for this though. The challenge you would have if you took this route is potentially you are qualified but under experienced compared to UK qualified lawyers.




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    (Original post by infairverona)
    I think the addition of an LLM from a good university will strengthen an already good application, but I don't think it would be enough to drag a terrible one out of the gutter. So I guess it depends on how good the rest of your profile is. If you only want to do it to enhance an application rather than any genuine interest in the subject that would be a pretty poor waste of so much money though
    Well it's twofold - I want to be able to enhance my cv/application (to rule out the negative effects of my first university) and second I am genuinely interested in dispute resolution as a field. That's what I deal with almost daily at work right now.

    But what I wanted to figure out was whether work experience will be more valued than a masters?
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Well it's twofold - I want to be able to enhance my cv/application (to rule out the negative effects of my first university) and second I am genuinely interested in dispute resolution as a field. That's what I deal with almost daily at work right now.

    But what I wanted to figure out was whether work experience will be more valued than a masters?
    There are no negative effects of your first university. You've got to get rid of that idea.


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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Well it's twofold - I want to be able to enhance my cv/application (to rule out the negative effects of my first university) and second I am genuinely interested in dispute resolution as a field. That's what I deal with almost daily at work right now.

    But what I wanted to figure out was whether work experience will be more valued than a masters?
    In my opinion (and I've worked in recruitment etc) work experience will always be more valuable than a masters. The double whammy is when you've got a masters AND work experience - like doing a master's part time. This is what I'm doing now and it's worked out extremely well for me. I don't think a good masters university will wipe out having a poor university on your CV to be honest, lots more people do masters degrees now and in general they are easier to get onto than undergrad because they're so financially beneficial for the universities*
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    No.

    You will either need to complete a training contract. To do this you will need to convert your BPTC to the LPC (not sure what exemptions you get, if any). You will then need to complete a 2-year training contract. You are then qualified.

    The only alternative is if you are eligible, you can take the QLTS (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme). You would need to check your own eligibility for this though. The challenge you would have if you took this route is potentially you are qualified but under experienced compared to UK qualified lawyers.




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    I just checked the QLTS website - i would be considered as being part of recognised jurisdiction. Is that a good thing?

    If I do take the QLTS - what would I need to do next?
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    I just checked the QLTS website - i would be considered as being part of recognised jurisdiction. Is that a good thing?

    If I do take the QLTS - what would I need to do next?
    You just have to be eligible for the QLTS. If you are not, you can't take the series of tests to qualify to work as a lawyer in England and Wales. It sounds like you are eligible.

    This is where it gets tricky. I wouldn't just recommend people dive into the QLTS without working out whether they have the rest of their CV up to scratch. You really need advice from senior lawyers or recruiters working in the areas of law you are interested in to see if they think your experiences/academics are up to the level they would expect. Completing the QLTS is not some form of magic bullet that means you will automatically be considered for jobs, you need the rest of it to back it up.

    The QLTS is not easy either. It has a significant fail rate, so it isn't an easy process to complete it - although if you have studied English law at undergraduate level, you will have an advantage.


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    (Original post by J-SP)
    You just have to be eligible for the QLTS. If you are not, you can't take the series of tests to qualify to work as a lawyer in England and Wales. It sounds like you are eligible.

    This is where it gets tricky. I wouldn't just recommend people dive into the QLTS without working out whether they have the rest of their CV up to scratch. You really need advice from senior lawyers or recruiters working in the areas of law you are interested in to see if they think your experiences/academics are up to the level they would expect. Completing the QLTS is not some form of magic bullet that means you will automatically be considered for jobs, you need the rest of it to back it up.

    The QLTS is not easy either. It has a significant fail rate, so it isn't an easy process to complete it - although if you have studied English law at undergraduate level, you will have an advantage.


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    Right I agree.
    I guess in a nutshell what you're saying is that I should first find work and then if eligible I should apply via either a grinding contract (if eligible) or the QLTS.
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    In my opinion (and I've worked in recruitment etc) work experience will always be more valuable than a masters. The double whammy is when you've got a masters AND work experience - like doing a master's part time. This is what I'm doing now and it's worked out extremely well for me. I don't think a good masters university will wipe out having a poor university on your CV to be honest, lots more people do masters degrees now and in general they are easier to get onto than undergrad because they're so financially beneficial for the universities*
    If you don't mind me asking whether universities have you attended (postgrad and undergrad?)
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    If you don't mind me asking whether universities have you attended (postgrad and undergrad?)
    Southampton (not Solent) for my LLB and I'm at King's College London for my MA
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Right I agree.
    I guess in a nutshell what you're saying is that I should first find work and then if eligible I should apply via either a grinding contract (if eligible) or the QLTS.
    No that's not what I am saying.

    My advice is not to find work, it's to get specialist advice on this from lawyers/recruiters in the specific field you are looking at. Find out what route they would recommend to you given your circumstances. I suspect that if you take the QLTS route and seek qualified lawyer work you will be "over qualified but under experienced" but you need someone to review the details of your CV and then extent of your experience to give you clarity on this.

    You are eligible for a training contract - you'd just need to complete the majority of the LPC.

    Do not seek work until you get more advice on what is the best route for you. Until today you didn't even know what qualifications you would need so you are severely under researched and therefore under prepared/knowledgable. You need to look into this further before delving into either route.






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    (Original post by J-SP)
    No that's not what I am saying.

    My advice is not to find work, it's to get specialist advice on this from lawyers/recruiters in the specific field you are looking at. Find out what route they would recommend to you given your circumstances. I suspect that if you take the QLTS route and seek qualified lawyer work you will be "over qualified but under experienced" but you need someone to review the details of your CV and then extent of your experience to give you clarity on this.

    You are eligible for a training contract - you'd just need to complete the majority of the LPC.

    Do not seek work until you get more advice on what is the best route for you. Until today you didn't even know what qualifications you would need so you are severely under researched and therefore under prepared/knowledgable. You need to look into this further before delving into either route.






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    Thank you for guiding me. This makes sense. My dad knows some people in freshfields UAE - they might be able to advise on my position.

    Thanks again!!!
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    Southampton (not Solent) for my LLB and I'm at King's College London for my MA
    That's great. Well done!!
    What are you doing your MA in? Law?
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Thank you for guiding me. This makes sense. My dad knows some people in freshfields UAE - they might be able to advise on my position.

    Thanks again!!!
    They might - but they might only be able to advise on the UAE market.

    Try and find people who are qualified in your current jurisdiction but are now working in the locations you are willing to consider and look at their route/background. Ask them for advice. Don't just use your existing networks, create new ones.


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    (Original post by J-SP)
    They might - but they might only be able to advise on the UAE market.

    Try and find people who are qualified in your current jurisdiction but are now working in the locations you are willing to consider and look at their route/background. Ask them for advice. Don't just use your existing networks, create new ones.


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    Okay. So do I just email the law firms ( that I'm interested in) or?
    Most of the people at my law firm have similar work experience as me. Some have worked in the uk before starting work here but that was for a maximum of two years or less.

    I'm not really under researched - we were obviously made aware of the traditional routes to becoming qualified as a solicitor or barrister at law school and then further during bptc. But I never took any real action because I don't have the right to work in the uk. Everyone who has done undergrad or bar from the uk in my country has eventually come back (even people from lse, kings and Oxford) so I assumed that if they didn't get any work there - I don't stand a chance.

    I don't think it's as easy as you make it seem though. Don't get me wrong I am grateful that you have encouraged me. But still it's not that simple.

    If you don't mind me asking, are you working as a solicitor?
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Okay. So do I just email the law firms ( that I'm interested in) or?
    Most of the people at my law firm have similar work experience as me. Some have worked in the uk before starting work here but that was for a maximum of two years or less.

    I'm not really under researched - we were obviously made aware of the traditional routes to becoming qualified as a solicitor or barrister at law school and then further during bptc. But I never took any real action because I don't have the right to work in the uk. Everyone who has done undergrad or bar from the uk in my country has eventually come back (even people from lse, kings and Oxford) so I assumed that if they didn't get any work there - I don't stand a chance.

    I don't think it's as easy as you make it seem though. Don't get me wrong I am grateful that you have encouraged me. But still it's not that simple.

    If you don't mind me asking, are you working as a solicitor?
    I've never said it was easy and sorry if you got that impression. You are trying to enter a very competitive job market no matter what level you come in at. What I am trying to explain to you is that you need to educate yourself on how to become competitive.

    I meant you are under researched/knowledgable about the processes outside of your home country. The things you have said demonstrate this and this puts you many steps behind your competitors who will know what is expected inside out. You are starting this journey and asking for advice on very specific things like whether an LLM will help you, but you need to do a lot more research into the qualification processes and the requirements of different jurisdictions, depending on where you want to work.

    I'm not a solicitor. I used to recruit for major international law firms at a trainee level, but I have had this type of conversation 1000s of time with people qualified in one country but looking to work in London or even other countries. I've lost count how many LLM students from places like Oxford/LSE (and many other universities of various prestigious levels) do their LLM thinking it will get them a job in the UK or elsewhere and the reality is it doesn't. It's just another bit of evidence that shows analytical ability and potentially intelligence. And that's not enough...

    It's complicated on giving generic advice because it varies from person to person. But the common theme is that people over-estimate the quality of their work experience and therefore when they move to a major legal jurisdiction like the UK from a lesser recognised legal jurisdiction like yours, their experiences just don't match up to the quality of the domestic lawyers. A masters will not change that.




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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I've never said it was easy and sorry if you got that impression. You are trying to enter a very competitive job market no matter what level you come in at. What I am trying to explain to you is that you need to educate yourself on how to become competitive.

    I meant you are under researched/knowledgable about the processes outside of your home country. The things you have said demonstrate this and this puts you many steps behind your competitors who will know what is expected inside out. You are starting this journey and asking for advice on very specific things like whether an LLM will help you, but you need to do a lot more research into the qualification processes and the requirements of different jurisdictions, depending on where you want to work.

    I'm not a solicitor. I used to recruit for major international law firms at a trainee level, but I have had this type of conversation 1000s of time with people qualified in one country but looking to work in London or even other countries. I've lost count how many LLM students from places like Oxford/LSE (and many other universities of various prestigious levels) do their LLM thinking it will get them a job in the UK or elsewhere and the reality is it doesn't. It's just another bit of evidence that shows analytical ability and potentially intelligence. And that's not enough...

    It's complicated on giving generic advice because it varies from person to person. But the common theme is that people over-estimate the quality of their work experience and therefore when they move to a major legal jurisdiction like the UK from a lesser recognised legal jurisdiction like yours, their experiences just don't match up to the quality of the domestic lawyers. A masters will not change that.




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    Well, you have given me excellent advice and I really appreciate that! Thank you for taking the time to write them replies and responding to my queries.
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    Well, you have given me excellent advice and I really appreciate that! Thank you for taking the time to write them replies and responding to my queries.
    no problem - happy to help! It doesn't help when these LLMs are often mis-sold to students looking to enhance their careers, whether it is here or in the states.
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    (Original post by Scruffyjoe)
    That's great. Well done!!
    What are you doing your MA in? Law?
    Thanks although I've realised your undergrad was from Manchester which is a great uni?! Not a bad thing to have on your CV at all, I'm really considering Manchester for my PhD. MA is in medical law and medical ethics (which is why it's an MA and not an LLM I guess) but it's run in the law school so all in all a bit of a strange programme *
 
 
 
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