How do you stand out in the increasingly competitive legal profession?
Standards are getting higher, the biggest firms are recruiting fewer trainees, client budgets are getting leaner – it’s truly the survival of the fittest for legal professionals today. Add to that the transformational role of technology through Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it’s clear that a law degree today doesn’t have the same mileage it did a decade ago.
These tectonic shifts require today’s lawyers to be faster, better and more specialised. At Fribourg Law School, you can be one of them with the help of a world-class, international postgraduate programme.
The University of Fribourg ranks among the top 250 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.
It’s well-known for its distinguished faculty, prime location in Europe and state-of-the-art facilities – important criteria that ensure each student here reaches their full intellectual potential. But more importantly in this high-stakes world, it’s the job-oriented curriculum that makes Fribourg Law School LLMs stand out.
Each programme is designed to boost the employability of students. Intellectual prowess alone will no longer cut it, which is why Fribourg Law School gives equal emphasis on the practical. To receive their degree, students must complete either a Master’s thesis or internship. In addition to this, modules are designed so that students play a hands-on role in developing crucial skills.
Every year, hundreds of students of different ages, national origins and professional backgrounds graduate from Fribourg ready to excel in their careers. An education here has placed students in a diverse range of roles, from pursuing their doctorates to landing prestigious jobs at big consulting firms or multinationals in Europe.
Michelle Fernandes de Lacerda Messere, who graduated in 2018 with an LLM in International Contracts and Arbitration, can attest to the success of this career-oriented approach: “Concerning the merits, the whole programme is very well-structured and provides the students with both a theoretical and practical basis.”
The LLM in International Contracts and Arbitration is specifically designed to prepare students to thrive in the increasing high degree specialisation of international contract practices. To complement coursework, experienced legal practitioners also work with students to develop their drafting, negotiation, pleading and presentation skills through practical exercises in graduate seminars and training clinics.
Michelle, who is now working in a well-known consulting firm in Basel, highlighted this aspect of her time at Fribourg Law School, especially International Sports Law and Arbitration, which particularly “impressed and interested” her.
“We did a lot of practical exercises, we’re able to perform oral pleads and obtain extensive knowledge from well-prepared professors,” said Michelle.
“Pursuing a unique programme at the Master level has contributed immensely to my professional career in Switzerland.”
Another Master’s offered by Fribourg Law School includes the LLM in Commodity Trading Law. This programme equips students with the specialist knowledge and skills to deal with the substantial increase in cross-border commodity trading. Skip the traditional route of acquiring this knowledge slowly on the job. Instead, this one-year LLM, assisted by key market players – including one of the leading global commodity law firms, HFW – will give you the specialised know-how commodity trading companies and law firms seek when hiring new talent.
For aspiring compliance experts, the LLM in Compliance is a unique programme designed to provide students with the capabilities to navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Whether in practice or in multinational companies, the Master’s will arm students with a solid theoretical background complemented by practical insight.
Meanwhile, the LLM in International Business Law is the ideal springboard from classroom to legal practice. With a curriculum designed in collaboration with major Swiss companies and international law firms, it will prepare students with the practical knowledge and hands-on skills that companies and law firms truly seek when hiring new talent. Another perk of this close partnership with industry is the numerous opportunities for legal internships it brings, where students can gain valuable practical experience by putting their learning to work.
And where better than the city of Fribourg, the centre of an important financial and business hub in Europe. Located an hour and a half from both Geneva and Zurich, this is where thousands of large multinational companies, as well as international organisations and sports associations, have their headquarters. From networking opportunities to field trips, from conferences to career events with some of the most respected businesses and law firms, this is where the action happens.
Just ask Bosnian alumni, Anja Saradžić, who graduated in 2018 with top grades in the LLM for International Contracts and Arbitration. Anja, who is now practicing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, remembers the grand time she had socialising with colleagues who came from all over the globe, the many gatherings organised by the programme director and the unforgettable charm of Fribourg city and its residents. She said: “If I started listing [all of] my best memories of my LLM studies in Switzerland, it would take a while.”
Whichever specialisation you choose, Fribourg Law School graduates stand out from the rest. To hire a Fribourg LLM graduate is to add value to a law firm or company’s value as in the next three years, specialisation will continue to be one of the top three criteria clients will use to evaluate firms, according to the Future Ready Lawyer Survey from Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory.
With curricula designed in collaboration with industry and multiple opportunities for practical learning in an unbeatable European location, Fribourg Law School LLM programmes instil the edge required by aspiring legal experts.