UEF Law School: Providing a base of knowledge for tomorrow’s most powerful leaders

UEF Law School: Providing a base of knowledge for tomorrow’s most powerful leaders
Image courtesy of UEF

“My favourite thing is that our law school sometimes invited foreign scholars and Professors to come to UEF to hold seminars, or even give us lectures. I can always learn a lot from this kind of activity.” – Yang Liu, Master of Law student at UEF Law School, originally from China

With Time and The Independent listing Legal Professions among the highest-paying roles for 2016, it’s clear that law undoubtedly remains one of the most lucrative graduate fields. From Trial Lawyers to Tax Attorneys, Judges to Chief Legal Officers, Law Firm Administrators to Law School Professors; these roles can provide a lifetime of progression and a comfortable wage where figures can soar to a healthy six digits. And the truth of the matter is, gaining international law expertise can bring a fortune to your nation’s economy when you bring your experience back home.

But of course, in order to reach a prestigious professional level, you’ll need to invest in an elite law education that instils the breadth and depth of legal knowledge. Enter the UEF Law School, a respected Faculty of the University of Eastern Finland, an institution that has ranked within the world’s Top 50 Universities under 50 in both the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings, since 2012. UEF Law School offers diverse opportunities within Bachelor, Licentiate and Doctoral-level study covering highly relevant and selective areas, such as International and Finnish Environmental Law; International, EU and Finnish Climate Change Law; and International, EU and Finnish Energy Law. The School is known to provide world-class academics and an unending system of support, helping students realise the scale of their potential from their application submission, to the completion of their course.

Yang Liu, image courtesy of UEF

“I would say that UEF Law School’s initial attraction for me was its application mechanism, which is rare and really brilliant,” says Yang Liu, an international Master of International Economic and Resource Law student at UEF, originally from China. “The usual postgraduate application requires a motivational letter and one or two recommendation letters. Some universities also require an interview,” he explains.

“UEF Law School not only requires an interview, but also a short essay, the topic usually being a case analysis based on initial judgements from the European Court of Justice (ECJ),” he adds. “I think such a rigorous screening mechanism ensures the quality of applicants and also attracts those who are genuinely passionate about this School. This, paired with the fact that it’s located in Joensuu, a beautiful university town with a really peaceful lifestyle, is exactly why I chose to study at UEF Law School.”

Founded in 1998, there are currently around 900 students in pursuit of a Master’s qualification at UEF Law School, with around a further 50 students undertaking postgraduate studies. The School also plays host to approximately 70 respected professors, researchers and administrative personnel, with a large number of lawyers, specialists and visiting experts consistently enriching students through comprehensive lectures.

“My favourite thing is that our Law School sometimes invited foreign scholars and professors to deliver our seminars, or even give us lectures,” adds Yang. “I can always learn a lot from this kind of activity…One time we had Professor Charles Szymanski, an American scholar who was invited to teach EU employment law. He compared EU and U.S. employment law and explained the differences from the perspective of legal culture and customary law – that was really impressive!”

High grades are achieved through a blend of coursework projects and examinations, but for some courses – such as Good Administration – there’s the option to complete via written essays instead of exams. These are thorough and deliberative texts, prepared through relevant books, journals, articles and legal sources, but also through well-structured and coherent expression of the author’s own thoughts and ideas.

“The ability to self-learn might be the most unique ability I learned at UEF,” highlights Yang. “The School’s teaching methods can very much be described as a ‘heuristic education’, encouraging students to read freely and expand their knowledge reserves, from the jurisprudence book written by Greek philosophers, to the latest case judgements found on the ECJ website.

“You are supposed to establish your own model of self-learning to ensure you can explore different ways of thinking and go through difficult jurisprudence concepts on your own,” he explains. “Although it’s quite difficult at the beginning, you can benefit a lot after successfully honing this habit. And this is definitely the best ability I’ve gained at UEF Law School.”

Yang notes that there are generally two separate paths to employment for qualified graduates of law: to venture down the professional route, or otherwise pursue the academic. The professional route, for example, would lead graduates to recognised lawyer status, allowing them to aide, advise and provide legal services to paying clients. Yang points out that while this requires detailed knowledge of law, it also requires negotiation and marketing expertise in order to succeed. On the other hand, the academic route urges graduates to become distinguished scholars or researchers, and tends to focus more on theoretical knowledge than specific clause.

Image courtesy of the UEF

“It sounds like you have to make a choice,” he adds, “but at UEF Law School, the curriculum design achieves the perfect balance needed for both directions. You can find a number of theoretical courses here, even a philosophy course,” Yang notes. “Meanwhile, there are also more practical courses, like contract negotiations, client consultation, etc. This training can greatly enhance your competitiveness, and bring more choice and opportunities towards your future career.

“I would advise any prospective international student considering submitting their application to UEF Law School to have resolute determination,” the student concludes. “At UEF, you can make like-minded friends and obtain excellent professional training at the same time. So, if you decide you’d like to apply for UEF, don’t think ‘I’ll just give it a try’,” he says, “put in some serious preparation.”

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