Choosing to study a Master of Laws (LLM) is a decision many law students and alumni contend with. We spoke to University of Waikato Dean of Law Associate Professor Wayne Rumbles to uncover the benefits of diversifying with a Master of Laws.
- Job opportunities
An LLM helps graduates stand out among other job applicants and provides opportunities for more specialisation within the field. Today’s law graduates enter an extremely challenging and rapidly evolving public and private legal marketplace, in which specialised knowledge and well-honed research and presentation skills play an increasingly important role. The University of Waikato offers a range of LLM courses, with staff who have strengths in cyberlaw, Māori and indigenous governance, and environmental, resources, and energy law to help graduates achieve specialised employment opportunities. These advanced courses are taught in small groups using engaging methods of teaching.
- Refocusing your career
The LLM provides the opportunity to pursue a new legal career path. For practicing lawyers looking to change career direction, a LLM can assist refocusing their career and give them expertise in a new or emerging area of law. This year the University of Waikato is offering a selection of papers at the forefront of legal research, including legal issues in cyber security, advanced issues in charity law, contemporary international indigenous issues, international environmental law, national and international human rights law, international sales and finance law.
- Academic opportunities
An LLM can be a pathway qualification to PhD study, international scholarships and is the minimum requirement for teaching in most university law faculties. For anyone with academic ambitions, the University of Waikato’s LLM provides an excellent pathway to further study via our Waikato Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Juridical Science and PhD programmes in law.
- Contribute to the legal field
The University of Waikato allows students to complete an LLM by thesis only. Students who have already demonstrated strength in independent research may be permitted to complete the degree by thesis only, an alternative which comprises an advanced investigation under the guidance of a supervisor. This is appropriate for qualified students who wish to carry out intensive research in specific areas and build skills necessary to contribute original ideas to legal thinking. The University of Waikato offers many dissertation and thesis options, from climate change to cyber law, to commercial law to therapeutic jurisprudence.
- Recognition of expertise
An LLM from the University of Waikato allows practicing lawyers to gain professional recognition of their expertise and a broader knowledge in a field of law – and they don’t have to drop everything to do so. Students can study with great flexibility, allowing them to combine small, class-taught papers and an individual research thesis. The 120-point masters can be achieved by taught papers alone or replacing one or more papers with a 30-120 point thesis. Papers can be taken over a minimum of two full-time semesters, or a maximum of eight consecutive semesters of part-time study.
These are just some of the many reasons to diversify your law degree with a Master of Laws at the University of Waikato.