Doing a GDL to learn common law as a civil law graduated

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gekkolaw
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Hey guys, I'm about to finish my LLB in a civil law jurisdiction and my main purpose is to get acquainted with common law system, as it is not my interest neither to become a Solicitor nor land a job in UK, Would you recommend me to study a GDL? Has anybody enrolled in a distance learning GDL? or I'd be better off doing an LLM? I've assessed this former option but I see no point in doing an expensive LLM which mostly do no cover the core topics of Common Law, my main purpose learning Common Law System is to get a job in my country envolving international transactions of commodities or Shipping of Goods, and I heard that Common Law rules governs most of those contracts, further, I haven't found any programme so far that offers a broad teach of common law but just LLM's in specifics topics that wouldn't give me a broad knowledge, hope you could guide me, thanks!!
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bagger288
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Why do you want to become acquainted with a common law system? That's the bigger question.

And to answer your question: no, not every "common law country" has the same laws, and some will be more similar than others.
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gekkolaw
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(Original post by bagger288)
Why do you want to become acquainted with a common law system? That's the bigger question.

And to answer your question: no, not every "common law country" has the same laws, and some will be more similar than others.
I want to work here in my country in international matters such as commodities trade at the London Metal Exchange (our main income source as country is the sell of copper) or Maritime Law which is governed under English Law, and I believe that being familiar with the common law principles would be an advantage over my colleagues, plus I have read that LLM is a waste of money, would you recommend me to do it? I've heard about the LLB Senior as well, but that'd be utterly out of my budget, considering international students pays double than brits, GDL tuition fees, as far as I know, remain the same for both international and national students, that's why it came to my attention, is it worth it?
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by gekkolaw)
Hey guys, I'm about to finish my LLB in a civil law jurisdiction and my main purpose is to get acquainted with common law system (is pretty much the same rules but different jurisprudency in each common law country? is the black letter the same in every country?), as it is not my interest neither to become a Solicitor nor land a job in UK, Would you recommend me to study a GDL? Has anybody enrolled in a distance learning GDL? or I'd be better off doing an LLM? I've assessed this former option but I see no point in doing an expensive LLM which mostly do no cover the core topics of Common Law, am I wrong? hope you could guide me, thanks!!
You don't need a degree.

Go online and find a reputable looking book on whatever area of law is most relevant to your industry, and read it.

The GDL does not cover the areas of law you're interested in.
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gekkolaw
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
You don't need a degree.

Go online and find a reputable looking book on whatever area of law is most relevant to your industry, and read it.

The GDL does not cover the areas of law you're interested in.

Yeah it would be a good option, though I would like to have a Diploma to demonstrate my knowledge as here things works old fashioned way, so basically if you do not hold a damned diploma you are nobody, however, i'm not completely sure about whether the GDL gives you a degree or it is just a course set in order to fulfill the requirement of the SRA. Anyway and following your advice to start learning by myself, What are the really basic aspects to study common law? Does the GDL cover the really basic aspects of common law? In civil laws jurisdictions, for instance, the most basic aspects that a lawyer must know is, obviously, Civil Law, which entails topics such as Contracts, Liability, Goods, among other. The rest topics depends on the country and its programmes, conversely of what people usually say about differences between civil codes, the true is that everything was based upon the roman laws (Corpus Iuris Civilis) and the Napoleonic Code Civil, so basically if you are familiarized with that, you can work in any other country provided you have passed the Bar in that country.

Thanks for your reply
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by gekkolaw)
Yeah it would be a good option, though I would like to have a Diploma to demonstrate my knowledge as here things works old fashioned way, so basically if you do not hold a damned diploma you are nobody, however, i'm not completely sure about whether the GDL gives you a degree or it is just a course set in order to fulfill the requirement of the SRA. Anyway and following your advice to start learning by myself, What are the really basic aspects to study common law? Does the GDL cover the really basic aspects of common law? In civil laws jurisdictions, for instance, the most basic aspects that a lawyer must know is, obviously, Civil Law, which entails topics such as Contracts, Liability, Goods, among other. The rest topics depends on the country and its programmes, conversely of what people usually say about differences between civil codes, the true is that everything was based upon the roman laws (Corpus Iuris Civilis) and the Napoleonic Code Civil, so basically if you are familiarized with that, you can work in any other country provided you have passed the Bar in that country.

Thanks for your reply
Have you taken a look to see whether there are any short-form online courses you can take online? The ones that take e.g. 6-8 weeks to complete? That can give you a certificate.

The GDL is a degree. But it's one that people outside England won't understand (or respect). As you know, it's only done by people who specifically want to practice in E&W.

The GDL only covers the basics. For example, the modules in City University's GDL course are: city.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduate/graduate-diploma-law-gdl#course-content
(LD3002): Contract law (30 credits)
(LD3003): Criminal Law (30 credits)
(LD3004): Equity and trusts (30 credits)
(LD3005): European Union law (30 credits)
(LD3006): Land law (30 credits)
(LD3001): Public law (30 credits)
(LD3007): Tort law (30 credits).

You don't need to learn the entirety of English law. You just need a book on the specific area of law you're interested in. Ideally, you should first get a textbook (search for 'maritime law' or 'shipping law' or 'commodities law' or whatever on Amazon and find the one published by Oxford University Press), and start reading. If that's not enough, you'll need to get a practitioner's book (these are longer, denser and more expensive - often £300+ - but more detailed, and can be cited in court).

If none of this works, and you already have a law degree/are in legal practice, you should apply to a specialised LLM course (e.g. an LLM in Maritime Law at Southampton)

I don't know any good 'introduction to legal reasoning' or 'introduction to English law' books, but you can probably google this.

I think that the biggest problem is with your approach. It's far too ambitious, not at all functional, will likely get derided by your employer and cost you a lot of time and money. What you should be doing is looking up the relevant rules on an ad hoc basis, using whatever sources you can access remotely (textbooks, the internet, etc.). You don't need to be taught criminal law in order to figure out what some fairly mundane procedural rule for the LME is.
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gekkolaw
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Have you taken a look to see whether there are any short-form online courses you can take online? The ones that take e.g. 6-8 weeks to complete? That can give you a certificate.

The GDL is a degree. But it's one that people outside England won't understand (or respect). As you know, it's only done by people who specifically want to practice in E&W.

The GDL only covers the basics. For example, the modules in City University's GDL course are: city.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduate/graduate-diploma-law-gdl#course-content
(LD3002): Contract law (30 credits)
(LD3003): Criminal Law (30 credits)
(LD3004): Equity and trusts (30 credits)
(LD3005): European Union law (30 credits)
(LD3006): Land law (30 credits)
(LD3001): Public law (30 credits)
(LD3007): Tort law (30 credits).

You don't need to learn the entirety of English law. You just need a book on the specific area of law you're interested in. Ideally, you should first get a textbook (search for 'maritime law' or 'shipping law' or 'commodities law' or whatever on Amazon and find the one published by Oxford University Press), and start reading. If that's not enough, you'll need to get a practitioner's book (these are longer, denser and more expensive - often £300+ - but more detailed, and can be cited in court).

If none of this works, and you already have a law degree/are in legal practice, you should apply to a specialised LLM course (e.g. an LLM in Maritime Law at Southampton)

I don't know any good 'introduction to legal reasoning' or 'introduction to English law' books, but you can probably google this.

I think that the biggest problem is with your approach. It's far too ambitious, not at all functional, will likely get derided by your employer and cost you a lot of time and money. What you should be doing is looking up the relevant rules on an ad hoc basis, using whatever sources you can access remotely (textbooks, the internet, etc.). You don't need to be taught criminal law in order to figure out what some fairly mundane procedural rule for the LME is.

Yes you are right, that could work out better rather than going through the expensive GDL and some useless modules for me regarding my target. I'll try watching videos on youtube about the core aspects of common law and complement it with books, the only thing that I will miss will be the feedback from teachers and their tips.

Thanks for having taken the time to give such a complete response, good to know there's still people out there willing to help, thanks!
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