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University of Helsinki: Shaping the future of global Law

Image courtesy of the University of Helsinki

In an interconnected world, Global Law is a subject that flourishes with each new development. More recently, the UK’s decision on Brexit has triggered huge waves of transformation concerning global law and legislature, seeping into every aspect of the region’s laws, trademarks, taxes, patents, and trade deals.

Today’s prospective law students are riding these waves of change, with many choosing institutions that boast vast research and experiential know-how to gain the tools that allow them to adapt and apply law practices in a fluctuating world. Professor Kit Field claims such applied teaching is necessary for a practical understanding in education: “Teaching…involves creative thinking and experimentation. Individuals and professional groups need to know what works and why.”

Hugh Verrier, Chairman of White & Case, further supports this statement, claiming that the successful law firms of the future will “need to employ proven business strategies and practices to become more efficient, client-focused and socially engaged.” Inevitably, to meet this demand for empirical education, law students will need to consider law courses with strong research networks, and the University of Helsinki is a sound choice for applied legal study.

Image courtesy of the University of Helsinki

As the most prominent academic facility in Finland, the University of Helsinki has over 30,000 students and around 4,000 researcher staff, consistently landing in the top 100 of international university rankings. The institution’s location in a vibrant, green and student-friendly city in one of the safest and most developed countries on Earth, has made it an increasingly popular choice as an international study destination.

Spread across four campuses and global sites, the University of Helsinki is a centre of worldwide research and study. Standing as the only Finnish University to be admitted to the League of European Research Universities (LERU),  the institution shares LERU’s educational ethos that states “research plays an essential role in the innovation process and significantly contributes to the progress of society”.

With over 300 Bachelor degree Courses and around 400 Master’s degree options, the University of Helsinki offers an incredibly diverse range of programme options, including the Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws (directed at Finnish/Swedish-speaking students), Master of International and Comparative Law (an international Business Law program), plus the Licentiate of Laws and the Doctor of Laws, specifically-designed to provide the ideal work-life balance.

Helsinki’s generous course offerings span all 11 faculties, and includes courses taught in English, as well as Finnish and Swedish.

In 2016, over 10,000 publications of peer-reviewed and academic papers were produced across all faculties, demonstrating the University’s active contributions to its reputed study fields. The Faculty of Law boasts a strong background in research-based education, evident in its mission to “train qualified, ethically responsible legal professionals for Finnish and international markets through high quality international research and research-based teaching”.

The Faculty of Law believes its students should have a wide and comprehensive array of study, and divides the Study of Law into 22 different disciplines, with research study focuses, such as theoretical, social and cultural foundations, law in a European and global environment, welfare law, legal applications in Economy, Technology, property rights, and justice.

 

The International Law discipline is especially popular as its applications expand from politics and trade into more humanitarian subjects like human rights and migration. Course content is also known to challenge and constantly evolve, as the Faculty states: “International law has a strong tradition in Finland. The teaching and research carried out at the University of Helsinki is known for its critical and interdisciplinary orientation that goes beyond conventional interpretation and systematization of international legal rules.”

These specialised study routes ensure the Faculty’s teachings remain at the forefront of industry standards via commissioned research from outside organisations (with an average of 400 published contributions a year), and competitive involvement in the European Law Moot Court.

On top of this, students have access to invaluable facilities like the Helsinki Law Clinic (HLC), an unparalleled legal services program, where Helsinki law students help clients who cannot afford to fund a lawyer, providing legal guidance and advice in powerful real-world contexts. Here, students also have access to the Legal Tech Lab, an interdisciplinary non-profit project that explores and experiments on legal tech and the digitization of contemporary legal practice.

The University upholds thorough research guidelines for its research projects, holding research integrity in high regard to ensure students and staff have access to the cutting-edge of correct and cited learning sources. This has led to many companies and public organisations requesting access to University resources, including the Tuhat database for research infrastructures, to experiment and analyse results.

This co-operative and international approach to learning feeds back into the law student base, as just like the globally-expanding nature of law study, students’ study mobility is growing, with many of Helsinki’s law students selecting exchanges and study abroad programmes to gain the international applied understanding needed in global law fields.

Image courtesy of the University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki’s passion for investigative learning is also inspired in students as early as Orientation and Welcome Week, with interest-focused assignments, tutor meetings and workshops that help them produce their Personal Study Plans or study check points. Orientation is held during welcome week to smoothly transition students into the work-lifestyle needed to succeed in their subject of study.

Law Students at the University of Helsinki are encouraged to utilise unique forms of explorative learning, updated practices, and have access to some of the world’s best educational research in order to shape their future careers as global policymakers and legislators.

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