The legal industry has changed considerably in recent decades. The rise of online communications and the discovery of Electronically Stored Information has created new roles in litigation support, e-discovery and trial technology.
With environmentalism becoming a priority worldwide, green law initiatives are impacting the practice of law. Environmental law is a growing field and many law firms are establishing niche sub-practices in fair trade, organics, renewable energy, green building and climate change.
Meanwhile, due to the rise of mobile devices, more legal professionals are working remotely, from home or a virtual law office, changing the traditional landscape of law. Social networking is also changing how legal professionals recruit, job hunt, network, locate and discredit witnesses and, interact with clients.
These days, aspiring lawyers must embrace a new ‘T-Shaped’ skillset which combines a depth of legal expertise (the vertical bar of the T); as well as a breadth of knowledge across multiple disciplines to which law relates (the horizontal bar).
You can develop your own T-shaped skillset by taking cross-disciplinary classes, working with professionals in other disciplines while building your law experience and finding innovative learning opportunities.
We’ve selected three elite schools in Europe that will help you perfect your T-shaped skillset.
Leiden University, located in the Netherlands, has roots dating back far in the Dutch legal order. Pairing this with an international focus, the faculty has helped train many generations of legal professionals.
This prestigious and historic law school ranks number 27 in the World University Rankings (THE) by subject and number 1 in the Netherlands. The faculty’s research is not restricted to one core issue, but rather covers the full breadth of law to the highest standard at the cutting-edge of practice.
This interdisciplinary and broad outlook is crucial to developing your T-shaped skillset. At Leiden your learning will not be restricted; instead it will be far reaching and broad.
If you choose to pursue your Law studies at Leiden and The Hague, you’ll be working with other students from all over the world, as the faculty welcomes the most diverse group of international students at the university. This will heighten your cultural understanding and sensitivity.
Leiden Law School benefits from excellent links to professional practice, with many staff also being active in practice. Prestigious alumni give guest lectures, and collaboration with The Hague District Court has resulted in benefits such as symposia at Leiden Law School, an annual Masterclass for 12 students, internships, judges for Moot Court and study trips.
In this hi-tech, hyperconnected world, we’ve all experienced the fascinating concept of intellectual property (IP) in one form or another. Encompassing everything from patents to copyrights, our gadgets and devices are powered by a complex web of IP laws and rights. It’s a profession that’s in ever higher demand, whether that’s in science, technology, business, media or the arts.
Nestled in Europe’s IP capital of Munich, the MIPLC is jointly run by four prominent education and research institutions: The George Washington University, the Max Planck Society, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Augsburg.
An annual cohort of 38 students takes part in the MIPLC’s one-year, full-time LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Competition Law, a programme that seamlessly blends specialisations that underpin modern IP transactions. Around half of the students on this programme have a legal background, while the other half holds a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the sciences or engineering, fostering a rich diversity that gives this LL.M. an edge.
The faculty consists of professors of world-renowned universities, IP experts of leading law firms and representatives of international IP institutions in both Europe and the US. They impart broad yet specialised IP knowledge through an English-based curriculum that covers all aspects of IP and competition law, considering the subject from both the US and the European perspective. Lectures are complemented by case studies, internships and active participation in two international IP congresses.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki is the leading institute of legal research and education in Finland.
With a mission to educate qualified, ethically-responsible legal professionals for practice both in Finland and internationally, the faculty provides world-class research and research-based teaching.
Offering resources for rethinking law, reinforcing innovative approaches to law and enhancing interdisciplinary legal research, this faculty is the perfect place to develop your t-shaped skills.
The faculty benefits from national and international co-operation partners, alumni and donors, who all provide indispensable resources, teaching practical skills courses and giving students an insight into their future careers.
At the University of Helsinki, Law students are able to assist clients at the Helsinki Law Clinic or participate in the Legal Tech Lab – an exciting cross-curricular project which merges digitalisation, technology, law and service design.
Durham Law School at the UK’s prestigious Durham University is a world leader in legal education and research, ranking in the QS World Rankings top 50 law schools, with research ranked 3rd-best in the last national Research Excellence Framework in 2014.
If you choose to study at this historic institution, you will gain deep insights into the law and its development from national and international leaders who are shaping it from the front.
With Flexible course options for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, you’ll broaden and deepen your understanding of the law at Durham.
Powered by a vibrant, diverse group of academics, students and visiting scholars, the Faculty of Law at Durham is an inclusive and supportive environment for established scholars and new generations of thought leaders alike.
Students are integrated into the faculty’s research activities as much as possible, something in which the faculty takes great pride. Furthermore, the school is a proud member of the International Association of Law Schools and the American Society of Comparative Law.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International