Studying law abroad is a dream for many law aspirants. In fact, it is one of the most sought after programmes apart from engineering and management. And why not? Lawyers are known to draw some of the highest salaries in the world. What is interesting is that many law colleges have overhauled their curricula to accommodate a more global perspective in legal studies. Besides law schools have also diversified their law degrees from simple LLB, LLM and JDs to core specialisations in a wide range of subjects. For instance, Staffordshire University offers an LLM degree in Human resource management and employment. The programme blends legal theories with law in action from a real world perspective. Apart for that, the university also offers a distance learning programme in International Sports Law.
In an email interaction with Careers360, Mr. Matthew Sadler, lecturer at Staffordshire University’s Law School and a specialist in Business and Commercial Law, talks about education and career opportunities in legal studies.
Read the full interview below:
Careers360: What are the career opportunities in Business and Commercial Law?
Matthew Sadler: Students, who have studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Law where exposure to legal regulations of business and commercial activity is the focus, have a unique opportunity for their career development. They will gain valuable insight into the commercial world and be able to apply their skills and attributes to the real world. In short, students have the option of progressing on to a career within the legal profession or to pursue a career, for example, within the corporate business or finance sector.
Many of our alumni are highly successful individuals within entrepreneurial business enterprises. Others work within a variety of law related jobs including Courts Service, Human Resource Management, Customs and Excise, Accounting and Insolvency Practice, Company Managers, Law Enforcement and Civil Service.
Careers360: What is the mechanism for an international student to study and practice law in UK?
Matthew Sadler: The United Kingdom welcomes international students who want to succeed in their chosen career. At Staffordshire University, our dedicated international support teams assist international applicants at every stage of their journey to becoming Staffordshire University students with specialised and individual advice and guidance. Pre-arrival information and guidelines, travelling advice, immigration and visa guidance and global student peer mentoring are provided to students.
In addition, many universities, including Staffordshire University, provide a career service for students who are seeking either a placement or an internship as part of their undergraduate degree or a graduate job. Staffordshire University also runs a Legal Advice Clinic where students can become involved with from their second year of study, allowing students to develop work-ready skills which are valued by employers. Staffordshire also runs guests speaker programmes featuring trainees as well as recruiters from a variety of law firms. Every October, Staffordshire University hosts its own Law Career Fair exclusive to Staffordshire students where students can meet different employers and stakeholders and make the most of career opportunities.
Careers360: With immigration being an issue for many students, has it become tougher for international students to practice law in UK?
Matthew Sadler: When selecting a law degree, students should make sure the degree is accredited, for example by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB). Law is a popular and competitive profession, regardless of nationality.
Within the legal profession there are many opportunities for international students to attain their professional accreditations and subsequently seek sponsorship in order to qualify as legal practitioners.
Careers360: Tell us about Staffordshire University’s new law programmes. Please explain the distance learning mechanism of the university’s law school.
Matthew Sadler: Our newly designed LLM programs in Human Resource Management and Employment as well as Family Law and Society blend legal theory with law in action from a real world perspective. Both our new programmes incorporate business and commercial awareness, socio-legal application, critical analysis of current professional practice alongside intra-disciplinary approaches to legal study.
We have study options that incorporate attended sessions in the UK alongside electronic engagement that can be conducted from anywhere in the world. We offer distance learning options in LLM International Sports Law, which is not only meant for law students and practitioners but also for sports professionals so that they can gain expertise and knowledge required to better understand the complexities of international sports. Our distance learning LLM programme in International Business Law is ideal for people who are looking at gaining a better understanding of global business world.
Careers360: Do you think a distance course will hold as much credibility as that of regular course, especially in law, where practical knowledge is very important? Please share your views.
Matthew Sadler: Students are exposed to the same learning topics and content and can achieve the same degree qualifications. There is no disadvantage to distance learning as tutors are available for students whenever they need guidance. Apart from that, mentorship of our faculty members is no different than that of attended learning programs. We put the ‘Student Experience’ at the centre of everything we do. Also we welcome students to visit us should they wish to at any point within their studies.
Careers360: How is Staffordshire collaborating with Indian universities in terms of academics?
Matthew Sadler: There were some very positive collaboration meetings conducted during my time in India recently. We are currently working on various programs that will hopefully facilitate closer collaboration with Indian higher education institutions. We listened carefully to their needs and desires and our tailored approach will reflect this.
Outside of law, academics from Staffordshire University also make frequent visits to India.
Careers360: Tell us the scholarship opportunities for international students in the law school.
Matthew Sadler: We have a number of scholarship programs that are available to Indian students. We believe that rewarding academic achievement should be at the core of our scholarship opportunities. We therefore offer attractive financial support mechanisms for international applicants that also reward students’ ongoing academic performance. Our scholarships are merit-based and at undergraduate level are available for each year of undergraduate study, subject to academic performance. These scholarships include the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship of Â£1,000 scholarship for the first year of study as long as students meet the entry criteria. For each subsequent year, the undergraduate student receives a scholarship based on the end-of-year grades. Merit Postgraduate Taught Scholarships of up to Â£2,000 are awarded based on final Indian degree classification.
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