yyeee
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Hi all,

I'm a second year LLB law student and want to go straight to postgrad to eventually get a PhD. My main interest is criminal law. I'm trying to figure out the best way to obtain masters and then a PhD after I finish undergrad and was wondering if any of you could help.

(1) Is the LLM a typical route for someone interested in criminal law?
I've been seeing that a lot of LLM's are based around areas of civil law, which is not really my cup of tea, so its made me wonder if a different route is taken for criminal academics.
(I've seen that a few unis offer an LLM with a criminal specialism, but there does not seem to be many )

(2) Would a taught masters in criminology be a good substitute to the LLM?
(Would it help me go for a PhD in law after or would it not be as good as a LLM or MPhil law)
Any experiences/advice about criminology masters would be greatly appreciated!

(3) Is an MPhil in law the more typical option for someone interested in criminal law?


Sorry this is a bit lengthy!
Thank you!

Edit: FYI I don't intend to go into practice, so that doesn't really factor in to my decision.
Last edited by yyeee; 6 months ago
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legalhelp
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I’d say that in your position, the masters you do will be more of a means to an end, so you can get to the PhD/DPhil stage and be able to focus on the particular area that interests you. For that reason, an LLM which gives you as much latitude as possible to select criminal and public law modules is probably your best bet (LSE?). Personally I would not recommend a criminology-type masters - it’s fundamentally a different specialism.

One thing I would add. There are obviously plenty of criminal law academics out there. But many will have spent time getting some form of practical experience, even if it isn’t at the bar/as a solicitor. For example, lots will do judicial shadowing, or work for the Law Commission, etc. I suspect the reason for that is that crime is an area of law where you really benefit from a bit of hands-on experience in the criminal justice system, or at least being around people who have, even if only for a short while. I expect it is quite challenging to make any meaningful contribution to criminal law academia if you’ve never set foot inside a courtroom or watched a criminal trial from start to finish. So although you have ruled out practising as a lawyer (which is of course completely fine), do bear that in mind.
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yyeee
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(Original post by legalhelp)
I’d say that in your position, the masters you do will be more of a means to an end, so you can get to the PhD/DPhil stage and be able to focus on the particular area that interests you. For that reason, an LLM which gives you as much latitude as possible to select criminal and public law modules is probably your best bet (LSE?). Personally I would not recommend a criminology-type masters - it’s fundamentally a different specialism.

One thing I would add. There are obviously plenty of criminal law academics out there. But many will have spent time getting some form of practical experience, even if it isn’t at the bar/as a solicitor. For example, lots will do judicial shadowing, or work for the Law Commission, etc. I suspect the reason for that is that crime is an area of law where you really benefit from a bit of hands-on experience in the criminal justice system, or at least being around people who have, even if only for a short while. I expect it is quite challenging to make any meaningful contribution to criminal law academia if you’ve never set foot inside a courtroom or watched a criminal trial from start to finish. So although you have ruled out practising as a lawyer (which is of course completely fine), do bear that in mind.
Okay, thank you so much for your help!! I really appreciate it
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