Since Munich Intellectual Property Law Center’s foundation in 2003, more than 400 students have completed the LL.M. program. But what is it actually like to be an LL.M. student at MIPLC?
The Centre’s fully-accredited LL.M. program, Intellectual Property and Competition Law, is a challenge without a doubt, but students quickly grow together through discussion, group study, celebrations and cultural exchange.
At MIPLC, students benefit from small class sizes and a very international student body. A typical LL.M. class comprises some 38 students from around 20 nations in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.
“For me, what made MIPLC so special was the new family you belong to,” says Cristina Hernández-Martí, Spain, Class of 2012/13. “You share all your days during one whole year with 28 people, 17 different nationalities…We started being just classmates, but then we became friends and family. All of us had different backgrounds, different cultures, different approaches, but all this diversity enriched the program.”
Not only are the students who flourish at MIPLC diverse in cultural backgrounds, but also in their previous careers and education. MIPLC students have backgrounds ranging from law and business to engineering and the sciences.
The diversity of students’ careers means that class discussions are especially enriching, bringing together the approaches of, for example, an engineer and a lawyer to a certain question. This allows both to learn from each other’s experience, improving their skills as IP experts.
MIPLC ensures the LL.M. is continuously improving in quality due to the institution’s rigorous course evaluation. At the end of every course, students are encouraged to complete an anonymous survey and provide specific comments on how to improve it, which provides invaluable insight into students’ needs and priorities.
Since the first year of the survey, results have shown students to rate MIPLC very highly, particularly agreeing with the statement that, “The LL.M. IP program has given me an excellent knowledge of Intellectual Property and Competition Law.”Students also agree that, “The LL.M. IP degree opens up very attractive career perspectives”, and were content with the assistance given by the MIPLC team and the educational support provided by tutors.
In terms of where you‘ll study, Munich is known as Europe’s IP capital, home to the European Patent Office, the German Patent and Trademark Office and the German Federal Patent Court. On top of the many intellectual property law firms this cluster of IP offices has attracted to Munich, the city hosts an enormous variety of companies in industries heavily dependent on intellectual property, such as Siemens and BMW. Munich is also a European hot spot for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
For independent study, all students are given individual desks in spacious shared offices with high-speed internet and access to a wide variety of legal databases. This daily close interaction of students from different national and academic backgrounds creates an atmosphere of intellectual challenge and constructive competition. Often, your office mates will become your second family.
“I enjoyed being with my officemates a lot,” says Chen Yangyue, China, Class of 2009/10. “We came from different countries but became brothers and sisters during the MIPLC life, as well as after it. We learned about each country’s culture, discussed cases and questions, shared candy and drinks, and celebrated holidays and birthdays. We cared for each other, helped each other, and enjoyed a happy time together.”
Outside of the classroom, LL.M. students also have the chance to attend the MIPLC Lecture Series, which invites renowned scholars and practitioners from all over the world to give presentations on current issues of intellectual property law.
Last year, topics included Artificial Intelligence and Data Markets – from Contracts to Public Policy and Algorithmic Transparency for Governments. This is an excellent opportunity for motivated and interested students to both broaden their knowledge of specific issues in IP law, not to mention network with notable figures in the field.
Speaking of networking, the MIPLC’s own Alumni Network is a close-knit, international circle of IP professionals working around the world. The Network helps alumni to stay in touch with the MIPLC, interact with current students and share their expertise. Every year, the MIPLC Alumni Conference draws some 150 former MIPLC students back to their alma mater for a day of presentations, discussions, networking and camaraderie. Current MIPLC students participate in the MIPLC Alumni Conference, too, and are thus introduced to alumni and their firms or companies.
For the duration of the academic year, each student has the support of an assigned personal tutor who will provide additional assistance in regular sessions presenting the opportunity to discuss course content, clarify open issues and prepare for exams. Most of the tutors are MIPLC graduates turned Ph.D. candidates or researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, or even qualified young IP attorneys.
There’s no better way to summarize what students will experience at MIPLC than the words of Beatriz Martins Pessoa, a student from Brasil, MIPLC Class of 2019/20: “The MIPLC for me was a great surprise of life. I must confess that initially (and much before my real research on the IP LL.M.s out there started) the MIPLC was not my first option”, she said. “Nor was Germany. But as soon as I read different course descriptions and the curriculum and talked to people, I realized that the MIPLC is different and special. Thus, I couldn’t avoid having MIPLC as my first and only option.
Here I am now and the MIPLC exceeded my expectations, and so did Munich. I am convinced that this is the best program and the right place to be. I am in love with the MIPLC personnel and infrastructure. In no other place will you find such a caring staff, and I assure you this makes a great difference in your experience and in the quality of the program itself.”
If you choose MIPLC, you will be studying right in the centre of Munich – a city regularly ranked among Europe’s most liveable. It’s the Bavarian capital, home to historic buildings and numerous museums.
During your studies you might even have time to squeeze in a few beers at the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration and in its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589, or to try some classic German Bratwurst.
For an unforgettable, rewarding experience, choose MIPLC.
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