Apr 11, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

An internationally recognized postgraduate law degree, the LLM (Master of Laws) imparts expertise in specialized fields of the Law. Many legal firm employers value candidates with LLM degrees, which are viewed as proof of both advanced legal training, as well as familiarity with multinational legal environments.  While advanced online studies were once seen largely as the domain of business degrees, it is now possible for to study online for a Master’s in Law. This benefits students around the world, and it’s particularly welcome news for students in Africa, where the demand for university places far outnumbers supply.

Here’s a closer look at why LLM degrees are an ideal fit for aspiring legal professionals in Africa, and how one particular Master’s program is helping students make the most of this new and exciting path to a successful law career. 

Flexibility

One of the major reasons online studies appeal to so many students? Flexibility. Says Lara Haladjian, Quality Assurance Director at pan-African, independent Unicaf University, “We are aware that most of our prospective students have a busy schedule, often working full time, while also caring for their families. An online degree enables them to keep their jobs and salaries and care for their families throughout their studies.”

Not only does Unicaf University acknowledge the need for flexibility, through its extensive online options, it further meets the needs of today’s diverse students by offering not one but two pathways to this sought-after degree: an LLM in partnership with the University of South Wales and the multicampus, online/blended UNICAF LLM.

So, whether your goal is to establish your professional credibility in a specific legal area, after completing your Bachelor law degree, or to switch to law from another discipline you have previously studied, or even to pursue an academic career, an online LLM can be an invaluable stepping stone.

Virtual Learning Opportunities

It’s not news that university places are very limited across Africa, with sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, lagging behind most of the rest of the world. Online degree programs have tremendous potential to bridge this gap by making previously inaccessible study opportunities a reality for tens of thousands of people. This holds true across all educational levels, including law studies.

Enter the UNICAF Master’s degrees in Law, designed to enhance the legal knowledge of students who live far away from big education hubs. Continues Haladjian,” [The UNICAF Master’s degrees in Law] open up exciting educational opportunities for individuals living in areas which traditional institutions fail to serve, for a variety of reasons, thus reversing the alienation of students, who live away from urban centers and university campuses.”

One of the differentiating factors? Students have 24/7 access to the continent’s largest digital platform, the UNICAF Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Not only can students study, complete and submit assignments, and message instructors through the VLE, but they can also engage and interact with classmates from 156 countries across the globe.

Speaking of access, UNICAF also facilitates legal studies at the Master’s level in another, very important way: by offering scholarships covering up to 50 percent of tuition fees.

A Career Boost

By completing an online LLM through UNICAF, students gain an advantage in reaching their career goals in different legal sectors. Says Haladjian, “Depending on the particular interests of each individual graduate, they may enter many different specialized fields, such as the insurance, IT, finance and banking sectors, as well as government departments and legal departments of large corporations.”

Furthermore, UNICAF graduates may be eligible to work as legal professionals, depending on the laws of each country, and taking into consideration the fact that many countries also require a recognized first degree in Law (LLB) to allow you to practice law.

Adds Haladjian, “Similarly, our LLM graduates can practice law in other countries, provided that they pass the professional examinations and that they satisfy all other requirements of the Legal Authorities of the country they wish to work in. However, as local requirements vary from country to country, it is highly advisable for students, wishing to practice law in a specific country, to check with the relevant national authorities regarding the specific requirements they must satisfy to be able to work in the said country.”

The resume for African students aspiring to take their legal knowledge to the next level? Thanks to innovative online programs, like UNICAF’s LLM degrees, there are today more opportunities than ever before to gain access to the education, experience, and qualifications they need to succeed.

 

 

 

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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