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4 law schools championing sustainability

Source: UCC School of Law. Photo: Joleen Cronin

From poverty to the climate crisis, from rising inequality to the vulnerability of food supplies, it is evident that we must build a more sustainable future. It’s time to embrace the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a bold but structured plan the United Nations embarked on in 2016 to change the world. 

To achieve these goals, sustainability has to become the future of many sectors, including law. As such, it is now not enough for aspiring lawyers to pursue a traditional legal education, they must also develop into sustainability-minded lawyers who can lead positive change on a grand scale. They should not only become legal professionals who support change but be the change too. 

These top law schools are more than aware of this — and they are already developing their students to become legal professionals who can build a better tomorrow:

University College Cork: School of Law

University College Cork

University College Cork students gain an unparalleled, student-focused experience within a well-established and vibrant community. Source: University College Cork

Vibrant. Dynamic. Friendly. Leading international experts across a range of exciting areas. Ranked in the top 75 law schools in the world. Part of the top university in Ireland for research impact. These are reasons why the University College Cork (UCC) School of Law is an elite law school, boasting the country’s most successful graduate research programme in law and internationally renowned programmes for their expertise, reputation, and research impact. 

The school offers seven LLM programmes: Business Law, Intellectual Property and E-Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Marine and Maritime Law, Children’s Rights and Family Law, LLM in Law and International Human Rights Law and Public Policy. These world-class programmes foster the development of transferable skills valued by employers, such as research, advocacy, communication, critical analysis, accuracy and attention to detail. 

Such success is built on the expertise and reputation of UCC’s researchers. Students gain an unparalleled, student-focused experience within a vibrant community of research masters, doctoral, postdoctoral scholars. Experienced supervisors, who are internationally recognised experts in their fields, plus a suite of tailored services, facilities and activities, provide extra support and enrichment. Click here to discover how you can be a part of the globally-recognised law school that produces graduates in the judiciary, the civil service, non-governmental organisations, industry and international institutions including the EU and the UN.  

University of Dundee: Dundee Law School

University of Dundee

Legal and transferable skills are what University of Dundee students will gain to prepare for a future career in law. Source: University of Dundee

The city of Dundee is Scotland’s fourth-largest city with a population of 150,000 — there is one student for every seven people. The  University of Dundee’s city centre campus is located in the vibrant West End, with plenty of shops, cafés, and restaurants nearby — making it perfect for student life.

Home to 18,000 students from over 100 countries the University of Dundee, is one of the UK’s leading research institutions.  It is recognised as a “global centre of excellence for Life Sciences and Medicine”, given a 5-Star rating by QS Quacquarelli Symonds (international higher education specialists), ranked number one in StudentCrowd’s 5 best Scottish universities in 2022, first in Scotland for graduate prospects and one of the top 200 universities in the world for graduate employment rate. The Dundee Law School is just as renowned and is in the top 20 for Law in the UK in numerous rankings. 

As such, it’s little wonder that aspiring lawyers and legal experts choose the University of Dundee. The school provides undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Scots and English law, permitting students to qualify into all three United Kingdom legal jurisdictions. All of Dundee Law School’s programmes are highly flexible and help students develop legal and transferable skills to prepare for a future career in law. Law (General) LLM students can choose from a range of modules to make their own bespoke master’s programme. For those passionate about the environment, its Environmental Law LLM is for you. It equips students with a broad range of knowledge, covering everything they need to know, both domestically and internationally. They gain an understanding of the main legal issues related to environmental protection and sustainable development. Law students can apply for a global internship with Pagoda Projects to become career-ready too.

Study the subjects you need to proceed towards practising Law in all common law jurisdictions globally in an inclusive and friendly environment. Learn more about Dundee Law School and its suite of specialised LLM programmes here.

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool

Liverpool Law School is a champion in social justice and human rights. Source: University of Liverpool

Established in 1892, Liverpool Law School is one of the oldest law departments in the UK. Today, it’s known as an institution with world-class teaching, a strong international student community and an institution-wide commitment to widening participation.

What sets this school apart is how its championing social justice and human rights — as evident in its strong 10th-place ranking in the Research Assessment Framework Exercise 2021 for its social justice research impact. 

Here, law students learn to address key societal issues, such as domestic abuse, how to support charitable sectors, children’s rights and health inequalities, among others. The school’s LLB (Hons) programme embeds social justice into its module at all levels — in Year 1, students explore how the English legal system, theory and process support social justice; in Year 2, they work on research projects with academic staff; and in Year 3, they work with the school’s multi-award-winning Law Clinic or external organisations on real-world problems like immigration and asylum cases. Students join human rights research seminars as well as take part in paid internships at NGOs and ECHR, international mooting opportunities and other activities led by the International Law and Human Rights Unit and the European Children’s Rights Unit. They also engage directly with human rights judges and lawyers. Such in-depth and practical learning is possible here. 

The Liverpool Law School has more to offer after the completion of your LLB. Whether you’re looking to pursue a general-focused LLM, an LLM in International Human Rights Law or an LLM in Law, Medicine and Healthcare, the school has it all. All of these programmes, including the LLB, are taught by highly-qualified experts in their fields. LLM students learn in a supportive environment and take on a 12-week legal research training forum. By the end of their programme, they become highly sought-after and with opportunities for placements, thanks to the school’s civic engagement with the city

The Liverpool Law School builds sustainability into everything it does too. By 2025, the school aims to reduce its waste by 50%. Learn more about how Liverpool Law School is making a difference here.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University

Study at Cardiff University in Europe’s youngest capital city, where a warm Welsh experience awaits. Source: Cardiff University/Facebook

Zoom in on the southeast coast of Wales — a country in the UK with amazing sights — and you’ll discover Europe’s youngest capital city: Cardiff, where a warm Welsh experience awaits. As one of the friendliest cities in the UK, the Welsh are wild, legendary, cultured, active, food lovers, fun and trendsetters. These, among many reasons, are why law students from all over the world set their sights on Cardiff University, an ambitious and innovative university driven by creativity and curiosity. 

Here, students joining from across the globe are exposed to a challenging, rigorous and rewarding academic life at the School of Law and Politics which offers the full range of academic and vocational courses in the field of law. This means that your education in law — from an LLB to bar training courses for entry into the legal profession — can be completed at Cardiff University. 

Cardiff University is the only Russell Group University to offer an LLM in bar training. Its one-year full-time Bar Training Course (LLM) is an intensive, postgraduate level programme ideal for those who wish to qualify as a barrister but wish to undertake research at Master’s level as well. Students conduct a research project or a reflective portfolio to develop their legal research skills. They also acquire the skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence to meet the Bar Standards Board (BSB) criteria and be called to the Bar of England and Wales. They become fully-fledged lawyers ready for the working world. 

Such a wide range of programmes means students enable careers in a wide range of fields. Many law graduates pursue law-related careers and are now paralegals, family support workers, negotiators, licensed conveyancers and trainee lawyers. The university’s law programmes are versatile too, and as a result, law graduates have used their employability skills to develop careers in sectors such as banking, insurance, healthcare, teaching, hospitality and the police service. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International