username5705961
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Hi,
Sussex university has an LLM in intellectual property and information law. On the other hand, the university of Leeds also has an LLM in intellectual property. I have acceptance from both programs. However, I do not know which one I choose would be more advantageous. I want to stay in the UK after studying LLM. Normally I would choose Leeds without thinking, but it confuses me that sussex offers IT law alongside its intellectual property program. Which one is more advantageous in recruitment? After which program will I be more likely to get a job? I would be glad if you help. Thank you
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EU Yakov
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i don't think that either will help tbh, postgraduate study isn't that highly valued in the legal sector as a whole, at least compared to some other sectors. practical work experience is 100% the way to go
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username5705961
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
i don't think that either will help tbh, postgraduate study isn't that highly valued in the legal sector as a whole, at least compared to some other sectors. practical work experience is 100% the way to go
Yes exactly, only master's degree does not make a difference. However Im wondering that If we don't consider the job opportunities, would it make sense to choose the Sussex LLM program instead of Leeds, as it also includes IP law as well as IT law?
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by olivia.reor)
Hi,
Sussex university has an LLM in intellectual property and information law. On the other hand, the university of Leeds also has an LLM in intellectual property. I have acceptance from both programs. However, I do not know which one I choose would be more advantageous. I want to stay in the UK after studying LLM. Normally I would choose Leeds without thinking, but it confuses me that sussex offers IT law alongside its intellectual property program. Which one is more advantageous in recruitment? After which program will I be more likely to get a job? I would be glad if you help. Thank you
What do you want to get a job in? Are you just applying for TCs? Have you considered doing something else during your LLM year? There are great reasons to do an LLM, and there are not-great reasons to do one, and I fear that you're focusing on employability too much, which a not-great reason.

Without wanting to sound like a downer, I very much doubt that someone who is hiring for an entry level role will be especially impressed by either university (they won't be unimpressed either; it's just that neither is special), or focus on the exact modules you chose. Those are very minor considerations in the grand scheme of things, especially when you consider that non-law students will be getting in without having studied anything IP or IT related.

For what it's worth, I don't use any of the knowledge I gained in my LLM in my day to day work as a trainee. The LPC was far more relevant.
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username5705961
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
What do you want to get a job in? Are you just applying for TCs? Have you considered doing something else during your LLM year? There are great reasons to do an LLM, and there are not-great reasons to do one, and I fear that you're focusing on employability too much, which a not-great reason.

Without wanting to sound like a downer, I very much doubt that someone who is hiring for an entry level role will be especially impressed by either university (they won't be unimpressed either; it's just that neither is special), or focus on the exact modules you chose. Those are very minor considerations in the grand scheme of things, especially when you consider that non-law students will be getting in without having studied anything IP or IT related.

For what it's worth, I don't use any of the knowledge I gained in my LLM in my day to day work as a trainee. The LPC was far more relevant.
Thank you for the answer. The reason why I want to do LLM is both my desire to specialize in this field and my desire to work as a paralegal for a while. I am an international student. I studied law in Spain and I am planning to do an LLM in the UK this September. I want to work as a paralegal for one year after LLM. So I hope to both save some money for GDL and gain working experience. Of course, after GDL, I want to prepare for the SQE exam and become a solicitor. The reason I did LLM before GDL is a bit personal. Do you think there is something wrong with my plan? I would like to get your advice.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by olivia.reor)
Thank you for the answer. I am an international student. I studied law in Spain and I am planning to do an LLM in the UK this September. I want to work as a paralegal for one year after LLM. So I hope to both save some money for GDL and gain working experience. Of course, after GDL, I want to prepare for the SQE exam and become a solider. The reason I did LLM before GDL is a bit personal. Do you think there is something wrong with my plan? I would like to get your advice.
I think that this information should have gone in the OP...

You might want to check whether you're going to have working rights after you finish your LLM. It's basically impossible to get a paralegal job without an existing visa/right to stay and work in the country. Most law firms and recruiters will outright not consider you if this is the case. I have heard stories of exceptions to this (e.g. where the candidate had a contact or a lot of paralegalling experience or a language skill that was in demand for the project they would be working on) but these stories are pretty much the exception that proves the rule.

I don't see how the LLM will add any value to your application... it's not a necessary step towards qualifying, and you're going to prove commitment to the UK by funding the GDL and SQE here. I get European culture and I get how many countries expect their young to go out and do an LLM abroad before they qualify, but this really isn't something you need to be doing if you are planning on working in the UK as opposed to Spain.

I think that you need to find out more about TCs and pupillage, the time frames for those, and perhaps speak to a few graduate recruitment teams at the firms you'd be aiming to work for to ask for their advice. It's not uncommon for candidates to be hired directly from foreign universities by English firms, but the firms that tend to do the hiring tend to be 'top' City firms, and the candidates are usually exceptional academically. It's very rare to find an international practising law in the UK at a non 'top' law firm or chambers. They either can't get work experience or they aren't worth the money and hassle of sorting out a visa for.
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username5705961
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
I think that this information should have gone in the OP...

You might want to check whether you're going to have working rights after you finish your LLM. It's basically impossible to get a paralegal job without an existing visa/right to stay and work in the country. Most law firms and recruiters will outright not consider you if this is the case. I have heard stories of exceptions to this (e.g. where the candidate had a contact or a lot of paralegalling experience or a language skill that was in demand for the project they would be working on) but these stories are pretty much the exception that proves the rule.

I don't see how the LLM will add any value to your application... it's not a necessary step towards qualifying, and you're going to prove commitment to the UK by funding the GDL and SQE here. I get European culture and I get how many countries expect their young to go out and do an LLM abroad before they qualify, but this really isn't something you need to be doing if you are planning on working in the UK as opposed to Spain.

I think that you need to find out more about TCs and pupillage, the time frames for those, and perhaps speak to a few graduate recruitment teams at the firms you'd be aiming to work for to ask for their advice. It's not uncommon for candidates to be hired directly from foreign universities by English firms, but the firms that tend to do the hiring tend to be 'top' City firms, and the candidates are usually exceptional academically. It's very rare to find an international practising law in the UK at a non 'top' law firm or chambers. They either can't get work experience or they aren't worth the money and hassle of sorting out a visa for.
If I do LLM, I will have a work permit for 2 years. This is an opportunity that comes with LLM. Actually, this is the reason why I didn't get on the GDL and SQE path first.

Those who are recruited from foreign universities you mentioned are academically exceptional people who don't follow the GDL route, right?

I will consider your suggestions. I will specifically search TCs. Thank you very much.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by olivia.reor)
If I do LLM, I will have a work permit for 2 years. This is an opportunity that comes with LLM. Actually, this is the reason why I didn't get on the GDL and SQE path first.

Those who are recruited from foreign universities you mentioned are academically exceptional people who don't follow the GDL route, right?

I will consider your suggestions. I will specifically search TCs. Thank you very much.
That's great. But would doing the GDL (perhaps with an LLM attached) give rise to the same working permit?

The internationals I know/knew all had to do the GDL and LPC under the old system. There's no exception to that, no matter how amazing you are. The difficulty tends to lie in getting the training contract or pupillage to begin with.

I would definitely advise reading up on training contracts and pupillage now. Both are fairly lengthy processes (both when it comes to applying and starting) and you have to apply for them at least a year before your start date (for TCs, it's usually 2). For example, those who apply for training contracts this summer will be applying for a job that starts in 2023.

You should take the following as a rough timeline for training contracts:
2021-2022: do LLM, apply for training contracts that start in 2024
2022-2023 - do PGDL
2023-2024 - do SQE course
2024 - hopefully start training contract

If you can't get a training contract that starts in 2024, you will have to apply for training contracts that start in 2025 and find something to do to fill up a year (e.g. paralegal).

This is all very optimistic, obviously, and assumes that you will get a TC on the first attempt (which is not something that many achieve). It is very possible that you will need to paralegal or do something else for at least one year to buy yourself more time to apply.

Finally, as you can tell, getting a legal job in the UK will be extremely competitive and will cost you 2-3 more years of education + all the associated expenses. You might want to reconsider the endeavour as a whole, before you commit to it. I know enough EU-based students who set out to get a TC in the UK, failed, and ended up going back to their home countries without a job to try to pursue something else, having spent tens of thousands on tuition, cost of living, etc. What would you do if you found yourself in that position? Do you have a Plan B, C, etc?
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username5705961
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
That's great. But would doing the GDL (perhaps with an LLM attached) give rise to the same working permit?

The internationals I know/knew all had to do the GDL and LPC under the old system. There's no exception to that, no matter how amazing you are. The difficulty tends to lie in getting the training contract or pupillage to begin with.

I would definitely advise reading up on training contracts and pupillage now. Both are fairly lengthy processes (both when it comes to applying and starting) and you have to apply for them at least a year before your start date (for TCs, it's usually 2). For example, those who apply for training contracts this summer will be applying for a job that starts in 2023.

You should take the following as a rough timeline for training contracts:
2021-2022: do LLM, apply for training contracts that start in 2024
2022-2023 - do PGDL
2023-2024 - do SQE course
2024 - hopefully start training contract

If you can't get a training contract that starts in 2024, you will have to apply for training contracts that start in 2025 and find something to do to fill up a year (e.g. paralegal).

This is all very optimistic, obviously, and assumes that you will get a TC on the first attempt (which is not something that many achieve). It is very possible that you will need to paralegal or do something else for at least one year to buy yourself more time to apply.

Finally, as you can tell, getting a legal job in the UK will be extremely competitive and will cost you 2-3 more years of education + all the associated expenses. You might want to reconsider the endeavour as a whole, before you commit to it. I know enough EU-based students who set out to get a TC in the UK, failed, and ended up going back to their home countries without a job to try to pursue something else, having spent tens of thousands on tuition, cost of living, etc. What would you do if you found yourself in that position? Do you have a Plan B, C, etc?
Honestly I don't have a plan B. It might not make sense, but that's all I really aim for in my life. I think I will work as hard as I can on this path, as I add a lot of meaning to it. However, of course, what you write is quite realistic. Do you have any suggestions for making a training contract? As you said, I have to follow the timing. Could working as paralegal (eg 2 years) work? What are the things that people who have to return to their country do not do but actually need to be done? Also, is there anything you can recommend as plan B?
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by olivia.reor)
Honestly I don't have a plan B. It might not make sense, but that's all I really aim for in my life. I think I will work as hard as I can on this path, as I add a lot of meaning to it. However, of course, what you write is quite realistic. Do you have any suggestions for making a training contract? As you said, I have to follow the timing. Could working as paralegal (eg 2 years) work? What are the things that people who have to return to their country do not do but actually need to be done? Also, is there anything you can recommend as plan B?
If those are the questions you're asking right now, you have a LOT more research to do before you commit to legal studies in the UK.
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(Original post by username5705961)
Honestly I don't have a plan B. It might not make sense, but that's all I really aim for in my life. I think I will work as hard as I can on this path, as I add a lot of meaning to it. However, of course, what you write is quite realistic. Do you have any suggestions for making a training contract? As you said, I have to follow the timing. Could working as paralegal (eg 2 years) work? What are the things that people who have to return to their country do not do but actually need to be done? Also, is there anything you can recommend as plan B?
Plan B is paralegalling, Plan C is presumably finding a job in Spain. I think that you're really underestimating how difficult it is to get a training contract for someone who hasn't gone through the UK educational system, and how rare internationals who haven't studied their undergraduate degree in the UK are, even in commercial law firms in the City (which sponsor visas and are fairly diverse). Why aren't you trying to qualify as a lawyer in Spain?

I would strongly advise you to do some research into how training contracts work and what competencies/attributes you need to show for them. Some starting points:
https://www.thelawyerportal.com/
https://targetjobs.co.uk/law
https://www.allaboutlaw.co.uk/
https://www.thecorporatelawacademy.com/forum/

Your written English may also be a problem - the more this thread has gone on, the more mistakes you've made. Recruitment tends to be fairly strict about typos, let alone grammatical and other mistakes, so that's definitely an area that needs work.

In terms of other faults, it comes down to not showing a commitment to the UK, not having legal work experience or UK work experience, making mistakes in their written or spoken English, having weak or inconsistent grades, not having a good understanding of what a legal career entails, that sort of thing.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by username5705961)
Yes exactly, only master's degree does not make a difference. However Im wondering that If we don't consider the job opportunities, would it make sense to choose the Sussex LLM program instead of Leeds, as it also includes IP law as well as IT law?
my point was simply that it doesn't matter what modules you do
you have people who did history and english language at undergraduate getting training contracts for chrissakes
all of this obsession over modules distracts you from real issues like whether there's actually a point in doing an LLM in the uk or at all
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