American Student wanting to study Law in the UK/Europe Watch

dulce.sara
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Hi, so I am a high school student in the US but I really want to study law in college, especially at a university in another country. I want to study international law and work throughout many countries, but I want to first get an undergrad degree in my home country to prepare me for law school. I am torn between studying law in Scotland/UK or in countries like Spain or France. Which would be better for US students and be more useful for work in international law. I really loved the University of Edinburgh when I visited there but I don't know if their law school would be good for a student like me or teach the courses I need for my career path. I know Scotland has a different law system than England, but I am not sure if I should study both English and Scottish law to become more internationally recognized or study another country's law system. Please let me know if you have any information or are a lawyer from the US studying/practicing in Europe!
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annabellADG
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Hi I am not a Lawyer but I am a English student who has applied to Law courses and I am going to university this September. If you are looking for international recognition then you want the LLB law that will qualify you to work in England, you can also have a Law LLB with international law etc. In Scotland a few universities do a Scottish qualification to practice law in Scotland as well as one to practice law in England but I don't think you can do both. I don't think Edinburgh does a English law course and they specialise in Scottish law so it may not be so international. However if you like Scotland then University of Dundee is a reputable university that does an English qualifying llb. It may not be as easy to apply to French or Spanish Law courses as you would need to know the languages fluently. But I definetly recommend English universities, I visited 9 before I applied and so many of them were great!
Hope this helps!
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dulce.sara
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(Original post by annabellADG)
Hi I am not a Lawyer but I am a English student who has applied to Law courses and I am going to university this September. If you are looking for international recognition then you want the LLB law that will qualify you to work in England, you can also have a Law LLB with international law etc. In Scotland a few universities do a Scottish qualification to practice law in Scotland as well as one to practice law in England but I don't think you can do both. I don't think Edinburgh does a English law course and they specialise in Scottish law so it may not be so international. However if you like Scotland then University of Dundee is a reputable university that does an English qualifying llb. It may not be as easy to apply to French or Spanish Law courses as you would need to know the languages fluently. But I definetly recommend English universities, I visited 9 before I applied and so many of them were great!
Hope this helps!
Thank you for your advice! Since you said that you recommend English universities more, which universities do you think would be best for a student like me? I have heard the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and other prestigious ones have good law programs, but I am not sure if there are others that may suit better for international students. Thank you again for your reply!
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annabellADG
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University of Oxford and Cambridge are definitely the most prestigious, like Harvard and Yale in the US, however they are very traditional and would not have as much variety in their courses. They are also extremely hard to get into, however if you have the grades it may be worth a try. The London universities are also great, such as University College London and King's College London and are also prestigious, and it is beneficial to be in London as you then have more access to international law firms. However other Universities are also great, to get an idea of the best ones you should look at a group called Russel group universities, which are seen as the most 'prestigious' (although this is open to debate) perhaps a similar concept to the Ivy league. Russel group= https://russellgroup.ac.uk/about/our-universities/
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J Papi
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(Original post by dulce.sara)
Hi, so I am a high school student in the US but I really want to study law in college, especially at a university in another country. I want to study international law and work throughout many countries, but I want to first get an undergrad degree in my home country to prepare me for law school. I am torn between studying law in Scotland/UK or in countries like Spain or France. Which would be better for US students and be more useful for work in international law. I really loved the University of Edinburgh when I visited there but I don't know if their law school would be good for a student like me or teach the courses I need for my career path. I know Scotland has a different law system than England, but I am not sure if I should study both English and Scottish law to become more internationally recognized or study another country's law system. Please let me know if you have any information or are a lawyer from the US studying/practicing in Europe!
  • In general, you can't 'work through many countries' as an international lawyer'. Your best shot is to qualify in England & Wales and then try cross-qualifying in another common law jurisdiction (US/AUS) later. Note that the latter isn't particularly common and it often doesn't make any business sense for a firm to allow you to do it.
  • Very few practice areas will allow you to change jurisdiction/country/office without re-qualifying. International arbitration, some niches in capital markets, and perhaps projects are the ones I've been told are the most mobile. But, should you wish to move around, it won't matter where you've studied as an undergrad - the firm you're with and the mandates/experience you'll have accumulated are vastly more important. Do look into this!
  • The only unis that offer both Scottish & English law in one degree are ****e. There's no such thing as 'international recognition'. Your degree is only recognised in the jurisdiction in which it was earned, and then only after you go through the additional steps required to qualify as a lawyer. Qualifying into Scotland alone is a bad idea because the local market for commercial & international stuff is small (and the well-reputed Scottish firms tend to be instructed as local counsel by the bigger firms that you should actually be working for).


(Original post by annabellADG)
Hi I am not a Lawyer but I am a English student who has applied to Law courses and I am going to university this September. If you are looking for international recognition then you want the LLB law that will qualify you to work in England, you can also have a Law LLB with international law etc. In Scotland a few universities do a Scottish qualification to practice law in Scotland as well as one to practice law in England but I don't think you can do both. I don't think Edinburgh does a English law course and they specialise in Scottish law so it may not be so international. However if you like Scotland then University of Dundee is a reputable university that does an English qualifying llb. It may not be as easy to apply to French or Spanish Law courses as you would need to know the languages fluently. But I definetly recommend English universities, I visited 9 before I applied and so many of them were great!
Hope this helps!
  • 'International law' isn't an area of practice in this context - it's a mishmash of private international law, public international law, human rights, etc. Studying some aspect of it as an undergraduate module doesn't qualify you for anything better outside legal academia.
  • Dundee isn't reputable. It is a university that has one specialism it's half-decent at (oil & energy) and it uses that as leverage to attract people to its LLM programmes. Its undergrad is completely undistinguished.
  • Law with a year abroad courses don't bring you any closer to qualifying in that country. They're basically a holiday for people who want an extra year to go out/live in their home country/get easy high marks/learn the language/bang fitter girls than what they'd find in the UK.
  • The point about visiting only becomes relevant when the OP has offers. There's no point in visiting if they're not sure as to which country they'd like to qualify in (it may be the US for all we know).


(Original post by dulce.sara)
Thank you for your advice! Since you said that you recommend English universities more, which universities do you think would be best for a student like me? I have heard the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and other prestigious ones have good law programs, but I am not sure if there are others that may suit better for international students. Thank you again for your reply!
Oxbridge, LSE/UCL/KCL, Durham, Bristol, Notts. Again, there's no point in abstractly comparing universities if you don't have offers from at least two of them.

(Original post by annabellADG)
University of Oxford and Cambridge are definitely the most prestigious, like Harvard and Yale in the US, however they are very traditional and would not have as much variety in their courses. They are also extremely hard to get into, however if you have the grades it may be worth a try. The London universities are also great, such as University College London and King's College London and are also prestigious, and it is beneficial to be in London as you then have more access to international law firms. However other Universities are also great, to get an idea of the best ones you should look at a group called Russel group universities, which are seen as the most 'prestigious' (although this is open to debate) perhaps a similar concept to the Ivy league. Russel group= https://russellgroup.ac.uk/about/our-universities/
  • London's only really beneficial for those who study at universities that don't get large recruitment presence on campus. UCL and the like do. The benefit of London usually comes down to minor stuff like working part-time (e.g. in a startup in central London) while working or not having to travel large distances for interviews & open days (unlike the US, only Slaughters, Travers and a handful of other firms will bother interviewing on campus).
  • The reputable universities for law are reputable on their own merits (they don't need to rely on their membership of a lobbying group). The ones that aren't are probably a) not worth paying international fees for, and b) no better than many of their non-RG counterparts. There is no point in bringing the RG-vs-non-RG distinction into any discussion about law - no one in real life (whether it's law students, legal researchers, graduate recruiters, etc.) uses it.
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dulce.sara
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This thread is just... bad.


  • In general, you can't 'work through many countries' as an international lawyer'. Your best shot is to qualify in England & Wales and then try cross-qualifying in another common law jurisdiction (US/AUS) later. Note that the latter isn't particularly common and it often doesn't make any business sense for a firm to allow you to do it.
  • If you want to be mobile, international arbitration is pretty much your only bet practice-area wise (but it doesn't matter where you've studied as an undergrad - the firm you're with and the mandates/experience you'll have accumulated are vastly more important). Look into this.
  • The only unis that offer both Scottish & English law in one degree are ****e. There's no such thing as 'international recognition'. Your degree is only recognised in the jurisdiction in which it was earned, and then only after you go through the additional steps required to qualify as a lawyer. Qualifying into Scotland alone is a bad idea because the local market for commercial & international stuff is small (and the well-reputed Scottish firms tend to be instructed as local counsel by the bigger firms that you should actually be working for).




  • 'International law' isn't an area of practice in this context - it's a mishmash of private international law, public international law, human rights, etc. Studying some aspect of it as an undergraduate module doesn't qualify you for anything better outside legal academia.
  • Dundee isn't reputable. It is a university that has one specialism it's half-decent at (oil & energy) and it uses that as leverage to attract people to its LLM programmes. Its undergrad is completely undistinguished.
  • Law with a year abroad courses don't bring you any closer to qualifying in that country. They're basically a holiday for people who want an extra year to go out/live in their home country/get easy high marks/learn the language/bang fitter girls than what they'd find in the UK.
  • The point about visiting only becomes relevant when the OP has offers. There's no point in visiting if they're not sure as to which country they'd like to qualify in (it may be the US for all we know).



Oxbridge, LSE/UCL/KCL, Durham, Bristol, Notts. Again, there's no point in abstractly comparing universities if you don't have offers from at least two of them.



  • London's only really beneficial for those who study at universities that don't get large recruitment presence on campus. UCL and the like do. The benefit of London usually comes down to minor stuff like working part-time (e.g. in a startup in central London) while working or not having to travel large distances for interviews & open days (unlike the US, only Slaughters, Travers and a handful of other firms will bother interviewing on campus).
  • The reputable universities for law are reputable on their own merits (they don't need to rely on their membership of a lobbying group). The ones that aren't are probably a) not worth paying international fees for, and b) no better than many of their non-RG counterparts. There is no point in bringing the RG-vs-non-RG distinction into any discussion about law - no one in real life (whether it's law students, legal researchers, graduate recruiters, etc.) uses it.
Thank you for all your advice. I am pretty clueless right now about all these things and am just getting ready to start my schooling so thank you for helping me learn more!
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annabellADG
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(Original post by dulce.sara)
Thank you for all your advice. I am pretty clueless right now about all these things and am just getting ready to start my schooling so thank you for helping me learn more!
Sorry if I got it wrong I was just going from my experience ☺️
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dulce.sara
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(Original post by annabellADG)
Sorry if I got it wrong I was just going from my experience ☺️
No, you're good! Thank you for replying and giving your advice!
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fionawalker
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(Original post by dulce.sara)
Hi, so I am a high school student in the US but I really want to study law in college, especially at a university in another country. I want to study international law and work throughout many countries, but I want to first get an undergrad degree in my home country to prepare me for law school. I am torn between studying law in Scotland/UK or in countries like Spain or France. Which would be better for US students and be more useful for work in international law. I really loved the University of Edinburgh when I visited there but I don't know if their law school would be good for a student like me or teach the courses I need for my career path. I know Scotland has a different law system than England, but I am not sure if I should study both English and Scottish law to become more internationally recognized or study another country's law system. Please let me know if you have any information or are a lawyer from the US studying/practicing in Europe!
I'm currently studying Law at Dundee and there are a lot of Americans on my course. Dundee offers a dual qualifying degree which allows you to practice/work in both Scotland and England. You can also study language if you want to (I'm doing Law with Spanish but they offer French, German, Russian, etc). The course is 4 years but there is also a fast track option that compresses the course into one year, although that's much more work of course. Edinburgh is a great city and I prefer it to Dundee, however, the uni specialises in Scots law and there is no option for dual.
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