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School of Law Planning a Legal Career: Strategy for German Law Students Professor Dr Gordon R Walker, Germany, May 2013 [email protected] www.professorwalker.com.au

Planning a Legal Career: Strategy for German Law Students

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  • School of Law

    Planning a Legal Career: Strategy for German Law Students

    Professor Dr Gordon R Walker, Germany, May [email protected]

  • Introduction

    > Part of this presentation is adapted from two short articles I wrote for New Zealand and Australian law students planning an overseas legal career.

    They are:> Planning an overseas legal career [2005] NZLJ 401 and Overseas legal

    career destinations [2006] NZLJ 36.> The first of these articles suggests that the best way to plan a legal career is

    to develop a CAREER STRATEGY.


    > Strategy is a subject taught in business schools (B schools).> In a corporate strategy class (usually in an MBA program) there are three

    elements to the formulation of a strategy: > Strategic analysis; > strategic choice and > strategic implementation

  • First Step: Strategic Analysis

    You seek to understand your strategic position> One tool is SWOT (strengths; weaknesses; opportunities and threats).

    This operates on three levels:> Individual (looks inwards)> Micro level (Germany)> Macro level (the global market for legal services)

  • Second Step: Strategic Choice

    > Here, we evaluate and choose between possible courses of action> The aim is to achieve advantage via effective positioningExample: Do I practise law in Germany or elsewhere?> Matching your individual capabilities with the operating environment is

    called strategic fit.Example: because you can speak Mandarin, you work for a German firm in


  • Third Step: Strategic Implementation

    > The individual plans how the choice of strategy can be put into effect and manages the changes required.

    > Implementation is critical.> Better a second rate strategy and first-rate implementation than the


  • Strategic analysis second take: What business am I in?

    > What business am I in? This is NOT an easy question.> Gerry Garcia of the rock band, the Grateful Dead said, We are not in the

    music business; we are in the transportation business.> You study law and hope to be a lawyer but are you in the law business?Example: I am a lawyer because I want to earn enough money to buy the P 1

    Club in Prinzregentenstrasse. Here, the mission is capital accumulation not law and to this extent you are not in the law business. Capital accumulation is required to realize the personal vision of bar ownership. To realize the vision, you need a strategy.

  • Individual SWOT Analysis (looking inwards)

    > Strengths (good grades; languages; FFA)> Weaknesses (average grades; lack of knowledge about the market)> Opportunities (arbitrage opportunities; overseas studies)> Threats (health; personal situation)

  • Micro SWOT Analysis (looking outwards)

    > The operating environment in Germany now and looking forward> Strong economy; weakness elsewhere in Europe> The market for legal services in Germany very competitive, but

  • Macro SWOT Analysis (looking outwards)

    > Law is a service industry and the market for legal services is GLOBAL> Legal recruitment is global. Various examples (Baker Mac; Freshfields).> To open up global possibilities (but also to get a position in practice or with

    the government in Germany), some German law students do an LLM in a common law country.

  • > Evaluate the options and choose the one that best suits your personal circumstances.

    > For the purposes of this presentation, lets assume you choose to do an LLM overseas in a common law country like Australia. The ultimate aim is to get a job in Germany (the re-entry strategy) or overseas.

    > Choices: an LLM in the UK, the USA, Australia, Asia or New Zealand.

    Strategic Choice

  • Choices and Tuition Costs

    > Consider tuition costs in the various destinations bearing in mind that back in Germany choice of school is NOT critical.

    Examples:> Asia: HKU Law School (good name; good price; gateway to mainland PRC);> USA (tuition costs high but consider special situations)> UK (tuition costs low to medium)> New Zealand (tuition costs medium)> Australia (tuition costs vary from medium to high; AUD stronger than USD)

  • Strategic Implementation

    > You have made a choice. Issues now arising are > Using an agent;> Timing; copies of all documents; > Language> Reverse engineering your subjects: look at the firm websites and see the

    areas they are hiring in. If you want to go to Frankfurt, target International Financial Law for example.

    > Consider your re-entry strategy.

  • Why do an LLM in a Common Law country?

    > To get a law job in Germany.> To get paid more in first year with a law firm in Germany.> Reasoning: Getting an entry level position in the legal sector in Germany is

    highly competitive. An LLM from a common law country helps you get the job. German law firms appear to take a functional approach as to where you do your LLM (you dont have to go to Harvard). An LLM from a common law country means you (a) may get the job and (b) if you do, the law firm will pay you a loading for one year. The loading may not offset the cost of an LLM, but it will help.

  • Key Messages for German Law Students who have done FFA or equivalent and want to do an LLM at La Trobe University School of Law in Australia

    > If you are a German law student who has done FFA or equivalent, La Trobe Law will grant you two units advanced standing in our LLM program. We also credit the class we teach at Muenster.

    > Two units credit has the effect of lowering LLM tuition fees by 25 per cent.> Tuition fees for the LLM at La Trobe Law in 2013 are AUD25, 000 approx. > With a 25 per cent reduction, the fee is AUD19, 000 approx. > This is the most competitive tuition fee for an LLM degree in Australia and New

    Zealand. There is NO BETTER PRICE.> If you enrol for our LLM in Global Business Law, you can reduce the time required

    to complete an LLM degree in Australia.

  • Admission requirements to the LLM at La Trobe University Law School

    > Strong academic record> Typically, 6.5 in First or Second State Exam.> In individual cases: above-average marks in area of specialisation (SPB).> Language: IELTS 6.5, TOEFL, FFA or equivalent.> LLaMa test offered for no cost by Professor Thomas Lundmark at Muenster

    University School of Law.> NB: Academic excellence scholarships are available. Worth $10, 000 each.

  • Admission Requirements (continued)

    > Ordinarily, IELTS required score is 6.5 with no individual band under 6.0.> We will waive IELTS if you have FFA or equivalent.> We will look at your grades in your area of specialisation (SPB).> If you are unsure about your English language ability, contact Professor

    Thomas Lundmark at Muenster University Law School on [email protected]

    > Professor Lundmark will assess you and write a letter of recommendation for you (Gutachten): see www.llm-programm.de

    > We only have a small number of German LLM students.

  • Why is it useful (and a good career move) for a German law student or practitioner to undertake further law studies in a common law country?

    > Globalisation of the market for legal services. In the 21st century the market for legal services is global. A German lawyer who wishes to optimise his or her career path needs training in non-German law. Specifically, he or she needs training in a common law system like Australia.

    > We can divide the world into civil law or common law systems. Germany has a civil law system. Australia (like the USA and the UK) has a common law system.

    > At La Trobe Law, we train lawyers from civil law systems like Germany and France in the common law.

  • Law Programs at La Trobe Law, Melbourne, Australia

    > Masters program specially developed for foreign lawyers (law graduates and practitioners): the Master of Laws in Global Business Law. This degree are featured on the double-sided flyer distributed at the LLM Fair Europe in Muenster Fair. NOTE that the requirements for these degrees change as 1 January 2014.

  • Why do German law graduates and practitionersdo LLM degrees outside of Germany?

    > Enhance employment prospects in Germany> Germany is a civil law country. The UK, the USA and Australia are

    common law countries. German law graduates enhance their career prospects if they have studied in a common law country because they are better able to undertake legal work involving common law jurisdictions.

    Example: Florien Schwarz works for Freshfields (a leading UK and international law firm) in Frankfurt. He did his First State Exam in Germany. He then completed an LLM at La Trobe. He was hired by White & Case in London, then Freshfields in Frankfurt.

  • Which German law graduates and practitionersdo LLM degrees outside of Germany?

    > New Graduates seeking advanced qualifications in Law before entering workforce.

    > Practitioners Example: German lawyers with 2-3 years experience. They want to do a nine month LLM program in a common law country.

    They:1. are price sensitive;2. want to study business law subjects with a cross-border dimension;3. would prefer a German friendly destination.

  • LLM in Global Business Law

    >Advanced standing granted for FFA, previous LLM or PhD.

    >Can have the effect of lowering tuition fee by 25%.>Academic excellence scholarships available but you

    must apply for these when seeking admission. Up to AUD20, 000.

    >Master of Laws in Global Business Law (LLM)>IELTS 6.5.

    >120 credit points to complete (eight units at 15 credit points per unit). Advanced standing possible

    >Five day intensive classes (each 15 credit points) with take home assignments to be completed in four weeks. Start dates highly flexible. Can be completed in 6 months.

    >Classes are taught by international experts from law schools such as UCLA School of Law.

    >Tuition fee 2013: AUD25, 000 approx.

  • The LLM in Global Business Law: Features and Units

    > La Trobe Law LLM programs are listed on www.llm-guide.com. > Strong appeal to German law students and legal practitioners.> Upcoming units in 2013 described at www.latrobe.edu.au/law/gbl> Classes taught in 5 day intensive format. Exam is take home.> Upcoming units listed in next few slides.

  • LLM in Global Business Law Units offered in June-July 2012

    > Introduction to American Law > USA Consumer Law > International Business Transactions> USA Legal Writing

  • LLM in Global Business Law Units offered in November-December 2013

    > International Commercial Arbitration> USA Dispute Resolution> USA Antitrust Law > USA Contracts Law

  • LLM in Global Business Law Sample units offered Jan -Feb 2014

    > USA Torts Law> International Criminal Law> Chinese Business Law & Practice> Comparative Legal Traditions> USA Legal Research and Writing

  • Advising German Students about LLM programs

    > If a German student is only interested in Global Business Law units, then they should enrol in the LLM in Global Business Law. The majority of our German law students take this option because they can finish the degree in a shorter period of time.

    > You can substitute two units for a mini thesis.

  • Advanced Standing: Impact on Tuition fees and Living Costs

    > On what basis is advanced standing granted? Student has completed some form of additional training. Student seeks advanced standing in their application. Applications are considered on a case by case basis.

    > Impact on living costs: If the student has been granted 2 units advanced standing, tuition is lowered by 25% and the length of time required in Australia can be less.

    > All German law students who have done FFA or equivalent receive 2 units advanced standing. We also grant 1 unit advanced standing for the class we teach at Muenster Introduction to Australian Law.

  • Contacts and Application

    > For further enquiries, contact [email protected]

    > Applications to: La Trobe InternationalLa Trobe UniversityVictoria 3086AUSTRALIATel: +61 3 9479 1199Fax: +61 3 9479 3660Email: [email protected]

    > CRICOS Provider number: 00115M