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    Costs aside would going straight towards an LL.M after bachelor's be an advantage when applying to london top firms?

    No, not usually.

    Graduate recruitment will often expressly state this when questioned on the issue. They are instructed to look for strict criteria to mark applications on. Masters degrees do not form part of this criteria, and so despite what many LLM students might suggest, you do not get extra points for this (most big law graduate recruiters mark applications on a points system - they usually do not simply think 'Oh, that's a nice application, we'll have him.')

    There are perhaps only two situations where it would be an advantage:

    a) If you did the BCL or MSc courses in Law at Oxford, or the LLM or Master of Corporate Law qualifications at Cambridge.

    b) If you did a very specialist masters degree in a field highly relevant to a firm that has a particular niche focus. Eg., an LLM in Shipping Law when applying to Ince & Co., or an LLM in Immigration Law if you were applying to PwC Legal.

    As an aside, a lot of people have the idea that if they either got a 2.2 in their degree, or a 2.1 from a lower-ranked university, that doing an LLM at a 'better' institution will bolster their application. Aside from quite small firms, this will usually not help at all. The focus is very much on your first degree, and as said above, masters degrees usually do not form part of the selection criteria.

    When I received my training contract offer, the firm did not encourage me to undertake my masters (which I did anyway for my own interest...) They much prefer a year's commercial or legal work experience.
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