Intellectual life in the Cambridge Law Faculty
The Cambridge Law Faculty is one of the leading centres for studying law in the UK and internationally. The Faculty is an integral part of one of the world's great universities. Law has been taught in Cambridge since the fourteenth century. Giants of the common law have all taught at Cambridge University: Maitland, Winfield, Glanville Williams, de Smith, Milsom and many others. Cambridge has long been a pre-eminent centre for the study of civil and comparative law, as well as international law. Bowett, Jennings, Jolowicz, Lauterpacht, Lipstein, amongst others, have influenced generations of students from around the world.
The Cambridge Law Faculty achieved the top rating for its research in UK Government evaluations in 2001 and 2008. It was rated 5* in the 2001 RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) and in the top cohort for the 2008 RAE, placing it among the best law faculties in the UK. It consistently receives 'excellent' in its teaching reviews.
The Cambridge Law Faculty has over 80 teaching members representing almost every area of legal interest, from public international law to civil liberties, European Union law to criminology, corporate, commercial and environmental law to legal history and philosophy, and more besides. Our faculty, many of them Cambridge graduates themselves, are at the forefront of academic debate in their respective fields.
The Cambridge LLM provides the opportunity to be taught by the authors of the leading textbooks in a wide range of subjects. Depending on your choice of courses, these might include Professor Catherine Barnard (The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms), Professor Richard Fentiman (International Commercial Litigation), Professor Graham Virgo (The Principles of the Law of Restitution), or Professor Sarah Worthington (Equity and Gower and Davies’ Principles of Modern Company Law).
In addition to our permanent staff, the Faculty also has a good number of visitors, including both scholars and practitioners of international distinction. Some visit for only short periods, although each year the Faculty hosts an eminent individual for a year as the Faculty’s Goodhart Professor. Recent holders have included David Dyzenhaus, Sir John Laws, Harold Koh and Rochelle Dreyfuss. The Goodhart Professors commonly participate in the teaching of the LLM programme, either by joining an existing course or by offering a specialised course.
Cambridge Faculty Research Centres
The Faculty hosts a range of internationally recognised research centres which attract scholars and students from all over the world:
- Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL);
- Centre for European Legal Studies (CELS);
- Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL);
- Centre for Public Law (CPL);
- Centre for Tax Law (CTL);
- Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law (3CL);
- Cambridge Private Law Centre (CPLC);
- Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences (LML);
- Centre for English Legal History (CELH);
- Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice (CCCJ);
- Cambridge Family Law Centre (CFL).
The Faculty's research centres organise a variety of lectures and seminars which LLM students are welcome to attend. For example, CELS and LCIL offer weekly lunchtime seminars on a wide range of topics throughout the first and second terms of each academic year. The Centres also host annual lectures which attract speakers of the highest calibre. Professor Paul Craig gave the most recent Mackenzie Stuart Lecture, Lady Hale gave the 2019-20 Sir David Williams lecturer, and The Honourable Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma recently gave the annual Allen & Overy Lecture.
The Faculty publishes a number of law journals, including the internationally respected Cambridge Law Journal. The Faculty’s research centres also produce a number of publications, including the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, the British Yearbook of International Law and the International Law Reports. Faculty members are on the editorial boards of a large number of other well-respected journals, including the Industrial Law Journal, the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, and the Journal of Legal History. Cambridge LLM students have in the past successfully published in some of these journals. They are also encouraged to contribute to the student law review, the Cambridge International Law Journal.
The Cambridge LLM attracts students from approximately 50 countries around the world, with about one third coming from the top British universities. Students come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds and from different jurisdictions, both common law and civil, developed and developing. This diversity and internationalism makes for a lively and enriching peer group from which students form life-long friendships. Students leave Cambridge with an LLM recognised the world over.
Each year the Cambridge LLM class also includes a small number of Juris Doctor students from Harvard Law School, admitted through the Harvard-Cambridge Link. These selected students are able to earn both a Harvard JD and the Cambridge LLM in 3½ years on a fast-track programme.
The exceptional quality of all those admitted to the Cambridge LLM is recognised by funding bodies in the applicants' home countries as well as by international organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the British Council's Chevening Scholarship programme and the University's Cambridge Trust, which provide funding at various levels to a good number of Cambridge LLM students every year.