I would like to preface this article by saying that I am not studying law with a language but it is something that I put a lot of thought into – I did consider studying law with German. In this blog I advocate that both future and current students should think about studying law with a language.
The main benefits to studying law with a language that I have identified have been set out below.
- First, if you study law with a language, it can sometimes mean that you can practise in other countries post-graduation. Many courses include one year abroad, which will cover all the necessary elements of your chosen jurisdiction. This is beneficial because it offers more opportunities as now you can potentially work oversees without having to completely change your chosen industry.
- Law with a language almost always incorporates a year abroad. This year is often the highlight of many students’ degrees due to how memorable and different the experience can be. Experiencing new cultures and being exposed to new ways of thinking can result in making people more well-rounded. Having a change of settings and shaking things up will inevitably strengthen your soft skills which will serve you well later in life.
- Studying law with a language gives you the best professional soft skill – another language. The globalised workplace requires that employees interact with other professionals all around the globe. Therefore, your bilingual skills are likely to set you apart from other candidates and increase your professional value. In addition, your knowledge of another legal system will increase the likelihood that you are considered for cross jurisdictional work.
- The fourth benefit is that it allows you to try something different at university. Rather than spending all your time burning out on law, your degree is switched up by language classes, and then these new language skills are being used to learn about a different country’s legal system. As a result, the degree means that you will have fewer law exams, readings and assignments, which is always a blessing!
- Finally, if you are worried about the commitment that basing your whole degree around another language might entail, there is a solution in the form of interdisciplinary modules – an option that is offered by most universities. Interdisciplinary modules allow you to take optional modern foreign language modules instead of optional law modules. This means you can still benefit from some of the points I have listed above, without making your language of choice a significant part of your degree. Further, taking interdisciplinary modules is something that you can do throughout your time as a law student, meaning that current students can start doing this now without needing to completely reapply to university.