Continental campuses: study law in Paris, Madrid or Helsinki?

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Not all with an eye-popping price tag (until Brexit anyway)

They say that the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.

A growing number of universities on the continent teach law degree courses in English because their own national students want to be able to work internationally and international students from Asia demand it.

Legal Cheek went on a hunt to find out if there are any cool campuses out there in inspiring cities to further your studies. You’ll have to get a move on, however, as Brexit may make fees more expensive.

Sorbonne Law school and Insead

Image via Sorbonne-Assas Law School
Image via Sorbonne-Assas Law School

The Sorbonne is Paris’ most prestigious and glamorous university. Its relatively new International Law School has a campus in the heart of the city (as well as in Singapore and Mauritius).

It also runs courses jointly with the world-renowned Insead (up there with Harvard business school) so you can get a certificate which covers key management issues such as finance, accounting, organisational behaviour, strategy and economics. The only downer is the fees which are €17,000 (£14,600). And the Insead element is extra.

University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Law
The University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law

In sharp contrast to this glitzy institution, you can sample your own Danish noir with a masters at the University of Copenhagen. You can also spend a lot of your time enjoying Denmark’s 7,000 kilometre of coastline.

Fees for EU and EEA nationals are €0. Yes you read that correctly: €0. But once Brexit goes through, the fees will go up to €10,000 (£8,600) (unless the government lands some sort of special deal on universities).

University of Antwerp

University of Antwerp campus
University of Antwerp campus

Located in the city at the heart of the world’s diamond business, this university runs an LLM which teaches ‘law in context’ with modules ranging from sustainable development and human rights to business.

They want you to think critically on the “contemporary relevance of law to global societal challenges” (otherwise known as: “can lawyers help save the world?”). Fees are level-headed at €500 (£430) for the two-year programme.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki University's main library
Helsinki University’s main library

Finland sounds far away but its law faculty is interested in welfare and the rule of law as well as law and technology. Tuition fees are negligible — again, only for as long as we are in the EU or EEA — but the cost of living is not; rent is around €400 (£340) per month and living expenses double that.

IE University

IE University's Segovia campus
IE University’s Segovia campus

This private university with campuses in Madrid or Segovia offers business-oriented LLBs or LLMs and it features alongside the most established law schools globally in the Financial Times‘ annual Innovative Law Schools listing.

But one might think that at around €30,000 (£26,000) for the course it is no surprise the school can afford to be innovative.

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If you REALLY want an LLM (relevant only if you want to be an academic otherwise useless in itself anyway) go to either Cambridge / Harvard, or do a BCL at Oxford (an LLM equivalent, just much harder).

Otherwise an LLM is a waste of your time and money. It will not help security a TC. Fact.



Unless you want to work in a niche firm where studying an LLM in that particular niche may help.

Plus some people have an interest in pursuing the subject at a higher level before going into work – it’s not necessarily a waste of time for those people. Plus those that get significant bursaries for studying one may also benefit from it not being a waste of money.

But agreed that in the vast majority of cases an LLM won’t help you secure a TC.



I would be wary of someone who regards any aspect of education as “useless” unless it leads directly to a job.

In any event, I did an LLM on continental Europe and while I’m sure it didn’t directly help me with getting a training contract, I made friends for life, got work experience in that country and managed to have my thesis published – the latter two benefits certainly indirectly helped me get a TC.

And now I’m just about to go on secondment to that country again – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to secure that without having links to the country from my LLM.



Since you people seem more experienced than me, I would be grateful if you could give any advice to a recent high 2:1 law grad from a top London uni that is struggling to get a TC and wants a way to strengthen their applications and fill up their time. Will employment make one more employable than an LLM? Does it have to be paralegal experience (which is not easy to find without the LPC) or would a diverse role at a start-up also help?



I wouldn’t do an LLM solely to get a TC. If you can get an LLM which adds value in some way – like work experience, published work, etc then that might be an option, but a bare LLM probably won’t help you get a TC at a general law firm. As a poster above says however, if you’re aiming for a niche practice area then it might help, but if you are aiming for a niche practice area when applying for a TC you’re going to dramatically limit your chances of getting one.

I would get yourself in front of recruiters – go to law fairs, open days, discussion events and introduce yourself to people. Make it so that you are a person rather than a name on a CV in a pile a metre high.

I wouldn’t worry if you can’t get paralegal experience – I’m not sure how helpful that actually is. I think your start-up experience sounds like it could be more relevant – commercial law firms are interested in people who understand commercial operations so if you can demonstrate that then it could help.



Lol yet another LC keyboard LLM expert.

Jog on mate, there’s more top firm TC applications you should be writing…



A bit chippy aren’t we mate?


Amused Political Scientist

An LLM is vital if you want to work at the ICC or in a whole realm of international law jobs (including anything UN related).



It’s not really necessary in order to be an academic either. Unless the area of research you want to do is very specialised, you can go straight into your PhD or at least do a specialist research masters first rather than a conventional LLM.

Like anything else though, there is more to a degree than the credential at the end. The right LLM can assist in developing your skills and providing new experiences and opportunities like those listed by others below. It certainly wouldn’t be a waste of time.



Where did you get the €500 figure for Antwerp?

It’s €245.30 PER CREDIT not per year. The LLM is 120 credits (ECTS scale. The scale in the U.K. is different which is why our LLMs are 180 credits).

That makes the tuition fees in Antwerp €29400



You can dislike my post above all you want, but the fact is that the Antwerp fee of €29,400 is nonsense.



‘Finland sounds far away but its law faculty is interested in welfare’

I don’t understand the link between perceived distance and welfare…

Also, not



One of the Dutch Universities should also have been mentioned (Amsterdam, Leiden, Maastricht etc).


Student currently being tortured by the French-style uni education

The Paris bit is confusing.

You have two solid law schools, Pantheon-Sorbonne and Pantheon-Assas.

Why do you refer to Sorbonne then show a photo of Sorbonne-Assas which does not even exist? Double-check your facts please…


Student currently being tortured by the French-style uni education

Oh wow, I am absolutely wrong, sorry…

It seems Assas just used “Sorbonne” to its name because it’s more famous abroad, without actually having anything to do with it…


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