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Some of the world’s best lawyers are from Australasia. Just ask any partner in Sydney, London or New York and they’ll tell you about dozens of hard working Aussie and Kiwi lawyers that have the talent to go far in this demanding career. However, one thing many of these lawyers may not have is the postgraduate credentials that are becoming increasingly necessary to shine in this profession. To address this issue, many Australian and New Zealand lawyers are now looking to advance their legal careers by pursuing their Master of Law (LLM) overseas, particularly in world-leading institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The UK and the US are both renowned for their prestigious law schools. The UK is home to some of the oldest and most respected universities in the world, such as Oxford and Cambridge, which offer Masters programs that are highly regarded by law firms in Australia and the UK. The US also has a vast number of top-tier law schools, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, that are widely recognized for their academic excellence. As both of these countries have similar legal systems to Australia and New Zealand, ANZ students have found the learnings from these universities can easily translate into tangible skills for back home. 

A postgraduate degree from a top tier overseas university can provide ANZ lawyers with a competitive edge in the job market. Many employers, especially those in the corporate and international law sectors, prefer candidates who have a global outlook and experience in different legal systems. An LLM degree from a prestigious institution can make a candidate stand out from other applicants and increase their chances of being hired. 

Of course, studying overseas means that ANZ lawyers are not able to access the HECS system on offer when studying at a domestic university. This means studying overseas can be a costly endeavour. However, this is only part of the equation. Prospective students should also consider the potential uplift in salary they would achieve after studying abroad. Although difficult to accurately quantify, some researchers believe that an overseas LLM can provide a return of investment of AUD$1million over the course of a lawyer’s career.

In addition to the financial and career benefits of pursuing overseas studies, there is also the personal benefit of the LLM. Studying overseas can be one of life’s great joys. Living in a different country, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures can be a rewarding and enriching experience.

ANZ lawyers who are looking to enhance their legal knowledge and career prospects should consider pursuing a LLM degree in the UK or USA. With their top-ranked law schools, renowned professors, exposure to different legal systems, and competitive job markets, studying abroad can be a wise investment in the future. If you’d like to learn more about the experience and how to finance your studies, please reach out to Spark.

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