Masters Degrees in Law focus on the advanced study of legal theory and practice. Some programs are highly specialised academic LLM degrees, allowing you to specialise in specific areas such as corporate law, financial law, or copyright and intellectual property. Others are accredited professional courses. The BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) prepares students to practice at the Bar as barristers, whilst the LPC (Legal Practice Course) is part of the training required by solicitors.
Entry requirements for postgraduate law degrees will vary. An LPC or BPTC will require an existing LLB (Bachelor of Laws) or similar qualification. Some may also require applicants to sit aptitude tests recognised by legal bodies such as the UK's Bar Standards Board. Students without an undergraduate law degree can still apply for academic programs such as the LLM, or take a Law Conversion Course such as the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) to prepare for an LPC or BPTC.
The obvious employment pathway for law postgraduates is to enter the legal profession as solicitors or barristers. Such work can be exciting and rewarding, but you will need to ensure that your course is correctly accredited and that you complete any additional training before you can practice.
Professional opportunities also exist for postgraduates who don't wish to complete the full training required of solicitors and barristers. You could work within a law firm as a legal clerk or paralegal, assisting with routine work as well as high profile cases.
An academic Masters in Law (such as the LLM) won't qualify you for legal practice on its own, but can help you specialise when combined with other qualifications - potentially leading to a professional career in a specific legal field. Alternatively, you could pursue a career in academic and theoretical law, helping inform future justice policy and analyse the effectiveness of legal systems.
Approximately 61% of people with a Masters in Law are known to be in full-time employment six months after graduation, whilst 20% are in further study. The remainder are involved in part-time employment, voluntary activities or other pursuits.
Popular careers with a Masters in Law include:
Popular specialisms for Masters Degrees in Law include: