International Law or GDL

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firozah93
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I have completed a degree in Social Work with a 2.2 degree; I have been working for the past year within the Immigration field. As a result I want to pursue a career in either international law or practice immigration law. I am unsure whether to do a GDL in Law and to then do a LLM or MA in international law. What route has better career prospects for me?
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999tigger
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(Original post by firozah93)
I have completed a degree in Social Work with a 2.2 degree; I have been working for the past year within the Immigration field. As a result I want to pursue a career in either international law or practice immigration law. I am unsure whether to do a GDL in Law and to then do a LLM or MA in international law. What route has better career prospects for me?
1. The GDL is the course that nearly all non law graduates use as a bridge to get the path of becoming a lawyer. It consists of core legal subjects.
This is the one to do if you intend to become a lawyer.
2. An LLM may or may not require you to have a law degree already, it is normally more academic and deals with wider specialist legal subjects than the GDL. Most people on it will already have law degrees. They are offered by Law school unis.
3. Because of postgraduate loans the likes of BPP, UoL and some of the GDL providers have created an artificial LLM, which is really just the LP (the course after), but you might find some are offering the GDL disguised as an LLM. They call it an LLM because it allows access to postgrad loans which other courses do not have.
4. You could do an LLM or a BA with special focus on immigration and or human rights. You would still need to do the GDL and the LPC if you wanted to be a solicitor or whatever the replacement exam system SQE will be called.
5. Do some research and understand what is involved with time money and effort. The academic LLM will increase your academic knowledge on your chosen specialism, but wont help with core legal knowledge.
The GDL imo seems wiser as it gives you the needed core subjects for the next stage.
6. You need to think that if you complete the GDL, then the next stage would be the LPC or SQE. This is where you need to think seriously as with a 2:2 there is no guarantee you will make it as law is very competitive. Not many people practice international law as a subject, its mostly because they have international clients. You need to do more research on potential legal specialisms. A 2:2 is unlikely to cut it for international law firms.
In contrast immigration in most cases is less glamorous, but in most cases pays poorly although you might get a job. Do weigh up how far your 2:2 will make things difficult for you as well as whether the 2 areas you selected are really the best to pursue. Get some experience and you will learn more.

Ask the lawyers you are working with and if you arent doing legal work then start applying for some with immigration specialists.
Last edited by 999tigger; 2 years ago
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