International Law- where to study?

(31 Posts)
Wallywobbles Tue 06-Mar-18 22:07:26

Hope someone can help. We live in France. DD1 wants to study international law. Interested in protecting children. She has one year left at Collège so we need to start choosing a Lycee.

If she wanted to study law at a uk uni what would they be looking for in an applicant? And what Unis would be a good choice.

Will an IBac be enough or does she need to do A'levels at the same time? Does she need to do any particular kind of Bac or show extra curricular achievements? She speaks French, English, Spanish and German.

Really any pointers would be helpful.


OP’s posts: |
ButteredScone Tue 06-Mar-18 22:09:16

Train in Law first. Most courses will have an international law option. She can do a masters in international law after.

titchy Tue 06-Mar-18 22:12:45

IB is fine, no need for A level as well.

Where does she want to study - London? Or elsewhere? Agree the time to specialise in International is post-grad.

latedecember1963 Tue 06-Mar-18 22:25:04

Our DS2 is studying International Law and Globalisation at Birmingham University. He's enjoying the challenge of the course and seems happy and settled with his friends and accommodation.

User267 Tue 06-Mar-18 22:29:10

As the others have said, the best thing to do is straight law first and then she can take an international law option in her UG course and continue to PG is that is still what she wants to do. That does mean that she will have to learn English contract and land law etc. Does she want to do that? Also, does she mean international law or does she mean applying law in cross-border situations? E.g. you mention child protection, a lot of that will be e.g. applying domestic criminal law in child trafficking cases or using domestic child protection system to try to stop children being taken abroad to be subject to child marriage etc. She might discover that when she gets into the subject she doesn't actually mean international law at all. For someone with her language skills one interesting option would be to do Law with French Law (or other country) where she gets an English law degree but also has a year to study the law of another jurisdiction and in another language.

IB absolutely fine. No need for A-levels. Probably looking at 38+ depending on where she applies. A number of the very good law schools ask students to do the LNAT (but also a lot don't). That is one exam that goes to all of the relevant law schools so it is a good idea to apply to a mix of LNAT and non-LNAT places so that if you bomb the exam you still have a good chance elsewhere.

Feel free to PM.

User267 Tue 06-Mar-18 22:34:37

I should say that my comment on the above is on the basis that she aims to practice as a lawyer in the field, in so far as anyone can possibly know that in advance of studying the subject!

BubblesBuddy Wed 07-Mar-18 16:11:39

if she wants to work as a barrister specialising in children’s law (family law) then the best university she can get to is the way forward. People don’t seem to work in France and the Uk. If she wants to work in the uk, then a suitable degree and qualification here is probably the better route. Children Work is considered family, not international. Criminal is where there is a criminal case in the criminal courts. Family is heard in the family courts. By doing a degree or a GDL, most young people work out the exact route and specialism they want and how to go about it.


shockthemonkey Wed 07-Mar-18 16:14:40

There are some good courses out there that combine English law with French law in undergrad.

Can your DD study the Option Internationale du Bac? It's the full French Bac (S, ES or L) with two A-level equivalents thrown in: history and English literature. Joint examined by CIE and the Education Nationale.

If she's in collège then transitioning to OIB will be easier than transitioning to IB.

shockthemonkey Wed 07-Mar-18 16:18:27

As for which unis, you'd need to give us some idea of how academic your DD is. What did she get in her Brevet?

The OIB is highly respected and as a bilingual, bi-cultural school-leaving qualification it gives students a truly international profile.

She can also get in with a good Bac plus a good English language qualification such as IELTS or Cambridge Advanced.

I'm not a huge fan of the IB personally but of course that is very respected and will serve her well for entry into any UK uni.

flyingplum Wed 07-Mar-18 19:00:14

Good UK law schools look for strong academic profile, and an interest in law as an academic subject and having read around the subject, not just as a means to an end (though a specific applied reason also helps a personal statement). Some kind of engagement with the profession also useful - work experience of some kind, or involvement with the 'type' of work and area she's interested in (though many students come to us with nothing more than a bit of experience shadowing/making tea in the local solicitor's office).

I assume that when you say 'protecting children' you mean perhaps in an int'l humanitarian or refugee law? International law, as has been pointed out, doesn't really exist as an undergraduate degree (and I wouldn't particularly recommend it even if it did), but if she is interested in practising in the future, I would suggest she take an LLB. Given her linguistic ability, she might want to look into a 'Law with X language' programme (which after often undersubscribed). There are also a few institutions which do a cross-qualification - so a qualifying law degree in the UK, and a (for example, the most common format) a French qualification too.

Outside of Oxbridge and London, she might be interested in Bristol and Nottingham, which have excellent reputations for int'l law of various colours at a research level, and offer modules for undergrads (as do most institutions, but if you can be taught by field leaders...why not?).

BubblesBuddy Thu 08-Mar-18 10:20:29

Do barristers and solicitors actually work in the French system and the English system at the same time? Can anyone say that they do? I struggle to see how this is possible. Are they able to do the equivalent of the LLP or Barristers qualification in both countries? I genuinely do not know the answer.

All the lawyers you hear about who practice in humanitarian or human rights seem to be based here. It’s also fearsomely difficult to get into this work. Everyone wants to do it!

flyingplum Thu 08-Mar-18 10:26:12

The people I knew who did it when I was an undergrad have ended up qualifying here, but working for international firms and very much using their civil law knowledge. I think most of them did it originally just because it seemed like a string to their bow.

flyingplum Thu 08-Mar-18 10:28:43

In terms of career, being a high flying IHL/IHRL lawyer - the next Amal clooney - is obviously v challenging. But other routes - NGO work, UN (especially possible with the languages) and so on. Not as straightforward a path as LPC, magic circle training contract, but not impossible.

User267 Thu 08-Mar-18 10:31:43

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the OPs daughter seeks a degree covering Law and e.g. French Law in order to practice in both jurisdictions. Instead the suggestion is that she looks at degrees that give her a qualifying UK degree with the opportunity to spend a year abroad studying the law of a different jurisdiction. Lots of degrees offer an option such as this e.g. Warwick UCL or Oxford Often students do this partly to improve language skills and to experience life in another country, that aspect may not be as important to the OPs daughter if she is already in France though she might apply elsewhere. The other reason is that it challenges your understanding of a legal system if you gain a greater understanding of how a civil jurisdiction works in contrast to the common law approach. That is beneficial in itself and also can be useful if working in international law as you have a greater understanding of why civil lawyers approach some problems differently to common lawyers. So the idea is that suggestion is that this might be an attractive option for UG study not that she seeks to qualify in both jurisdictions.

TheresaHay Thu 08-Mar-18 11:48:57

DS is going LLB and Maitrise en Droit with a year at Uni in France, could that be an option?

shockthemonkey Thu 08-Mar-18 14:33:53

BubblesBuddy: Do barristers and solicitors actually work in the French system and the English system at the same time? Can anyone say that they do?

Yes I know of one but it's very difficult to do, of limited use, and I don't get the impression that this is what the OP's DD is aiming for. The combined law degree is often interesting for students of the OP's DD's profile, and useful for the reasons pointed out by User267.

Still, until we hear more from the OP re our various questions we are only guessing.

Wallywobbles Thu 08-Mar-18 22:07:37

Gosh. Thank you all. She is at the top performing collège in west France and is probably in the top 1/3 of her year. The school get 85% minimum of its students through the Brevet with a "mention". So academically she's ok.

My concern is with the law courses at Uni in France. Drop out rate is very very high. 70% + and the students who do better are all coming from Bac S. This is where her problem lies in that Bac S requires a high grade in maths and it's her weakest subject.

So we are now at the point where we need to choose the right lycée and to do that we need to know what her options are after the Bac and to make sure we aren't shutting any doors. And with a view that she might thrive better at a UK Uni. So taking a Bac that would get her where she wants to go.

Your posts have given me an idea of what we need to read up on. If it's ok with you all I'll read up, talk to her and come back with more questions and answers.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 09-Mar-18 15:19:10

I would look at the better Law schools here and see what Int Bac points score is required. One would assume 38 plus. The advantage of A levels is that you can do 3 you are good at and drop Maths if you need to! Few students drop out at top universities here.

The universities mentioned above are the best places to start and are valued by recruiters. Oxbridge still opens very many doors. Other than that, consider Durham too. The vast majority of Barristers are from a very narrow group of universities! Other employers are less choosy but some will not offer much of a salary either.

I did think the op’s DD wanted to practice abroad, after reference to language skills, as well as here so that’s why I wondered if it was possible. I know that universities offer a year abroad to study Law elsewhere. It was the value of this, career wise, I was wondering about.

Needmoresleep Fri 09-Mar-18 19:42:32

Bubbles is there a reason why you have not included the LSE. Given their international outlook and strength in social policy it would seem as an obvious option.

shockthemonkey Sun 25-Mar-18 10:42:59

I would strongly suggest the Bac ES.

Unis in the UK do not require the Bac S for law applicants, and the maths will bring her marks right down.

The maths in Bac ES is much easier and much more relateable for students -- they can see the point of it. So my son, who was struggling in maths through Seconde, rose to close to the top of his class after going the ES route... and scored 19/20 in his final Bac for maths. I reiterate, he is no maths genius and would have scored poorly in maths had he gone the S route, which as you know would have had dire consequences for his moyenne générale.

Bubbles, the French Bac is marked out of 20. You're citing IB scores there. For a very good law school in the UK, a prediction of 16 to 17 would be good. Here are some data from this cycle just gone, re admissions criteria for French Bac students:

UCL Law with French Law -- 15.75 MG with key subject scores of 17, 15 and 15 plus a good LNAT

King's London English Law and French Law -- 16 MG plus LNAT

Oxford Law with Law Studies in Europe -- 16 MG plus an excellent LNAT score (30 minimum in the multiple choice section)

LSE Law -- 17 MG but no LNAT

Warwick Law with French Law -- 16 MG, no LNAT

Bristol Law with Study in Cont Eur -- 16-17 MG plus LNAT

Kent English Law and French Law -- 14 MG no LNAT

Exeter English Law and French Law -- 14 MG no LNAT

Nottingham Law with European Law -- 14 MG plus LNAT

Note the competitiveness of some of these courses -- as high as 15 applications per place on one of them. This means that a prediction just a little higher than their standard offers will help impress (but above all, a very strong LNAT will be what gets you past the first "tri").

TimbuktuTimbuktu Sun 25-Mar-18 10:50:13

Ucl law with French law would be a good bet. It includes a year at the Sorbonne. I think if I was seriously considering practicing internationally that would be what I would pick. Otherwise look at:

Exeter. Etc

user1494050295 Sun 25-Mar-18 11:02:54

I vouch for LSE. Pm me if you like

shockthemonkey Sun 25-Mar-18 11:55:35

OP is looking for law with an international dimension. LSE is great for law but does not offer International Law or combinations such as English and French law. But I put it on my list as it does not require LNAT and may be a good hedge for a very strong student who does not have LNAT support at home.

Durham also does not offer a combination of English and European or French law.

If you're careful with the PS though, you can make it work for both types of degree -- English law with French law AND straight (English) law degrees

Needmoresleep Mon 26-Mar-18 09:16:55

Shock surely it depends on what she wants to do.

OP, who seems to have disappeared, simply says her daughter wants to protect children. If say, she was hoping to get a job with UNHCR, UNICEF or an international charity working with children and young people, LSE is a good place to have on your CV, with scope to take some interesting options, and law is a useful subject. If she wants to qualify as a lawyer in two jurisdictions then your alternatives might be better.

Long ago I spent time working at the UN in New York and was astonished how many LSE graduates I met, from Iceland to the PRC. Ditto when I had a job which involved regular contact with UNHCR people working in the field (with quite a lot of unaccompanied minors), had often passed through the LSE and quite a lot seemed to have law somewhere in their background.

One thing perhaps to guard against is that London has a large French population and so little incentive for French students to mix more widely. Though this may depend on degree. At UG level the French on DCs course (economics so lots of would-be Parisian banquiers) seemed to stick together, perhaps more than any other group. At Masters level, with a much higher proportion of Europeans, this is less the case. Again it depends, on whether a student would feel happier being able to remain in an essentially French milieu, or to be forced to mix more widely.

shockthemonkey Mon 26-Mar-18 10:34:44

As much as I try to gently steer my students away from London, sleep, they can't get enough of LSE -- for good reason as you point out (but also for a less logical reason: LSE has a special "ring" to the French ear, due to having "School" in its name -- reminding them of Grande Ecole and so lending extra cachet.)

I get many saying "I must study in London -- find me five unis in London please -- for Economics or Business, I don't care". I tell them "ça c'est pas un projet d'études, c'est un projet de voyage".

Although I doubt that OP's DD wants to qualify in two jurisdictions, I still think the dual degree will suit and interest her, because of her profile and also for reasons pointed out by user267.

OP is having a think about all this and may well be back in due course.

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