LLM Employability Initiatives and Results
Employability has always been on the top of the agenda of the Shipping and Trade Law Department, School of Law at Swansea, aiming at preparing our LLM students for their professional life after graduation. To that end, every year, the Department of Shipping and Trade Law organises a number of initiatives for enhancing our LLM students’ employability. These include:
- Tailor-made employability advice by our dedicated Employability Officers, who run talks to develop the skills of our postgraduate students and inform their career plans.
- A series of guest lectures delivered by distinguished visiting scholars and practitioners who share their expertise with our LLM students and give them an insight of the practice.
- The unique opportunity to get involved in mooting, which aims at developing our LLM students’ transferable skills vital to a career as a legal practitioner.
- Close links with the legal practice and various elements of the shipping and business sectors. Several of our lecturers (Mr Andrew Beale, OBE, Dr George Leloudas and Professor Richard Williams) work or have worked closely with international law firms. Also Members of the postgraduate teaching team are delivering professional development training seminars and lectures for a consortium of city law firms, BIMCO, BP and IATA.
- The annual LLM Careers Fair, which gives the opportunity to our students to meet and discuss their future aspirations with representatives from an array of local and international law firms, specialising in the fields of shipping, trade, commercial, intellectual property, business, finance and insurance.
- Networking events and visits to leading enterprises within the City of London with a view to enhancing our students’ practical understanding of shipping and insurance practice.
Our Employability initiatives bear fruit and Swansea LLM graduates are sought after in the job market and often secure positions at international law firms, insurance companies, shipping, trade and banking sectors. Visit 'LLM Students' Destinations' section for more information.
Please see below the testimonials of some of our LLM students who undertook internships in the course of their LLM degree:
Standard P&I Club Internship
Félix Cahagne (France-LLM in International Maritime Law)
The internship at the Standard P&I Club, which is one of the Employability initiatives undertaken by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law, has been an outstanding experience for Félix in many respects. In only one week, this opportunity made him appreciate what working in a P&I Club entails. The internship involved a wide range of activities, such as attendance to a number of presentations on different P&I matters, workshops with our lecturers, as well as shadowing underwriters and claims managers. Félix particularly enjoyed the time spent at Standard P&I Club as he gained first-hand experience on the day-to-day underwriting and claims work. Moreover, being an intern at Standard was a great opportunity not only because of the standing of this club but also because of the really nice atmosphere within the club. Félix had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people and chat with them about the shipping and insurance market over lunches organized for that purpose.
Theodora Kostara (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)
Theodora was offered an internship at the Standard P&I Club as part of the employability initiatives organised by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law. She found this internship opportunity an extremely valuable experience. The intern week was very well organized by the Standard P & I Club to ensure that the interns had a hands-on experience of how a P & I Club (and Marine Insurance in general) operates in practice. To that end, Theodora attended presentations from all the Departments of the Club (Claims Handling, Underwriting, Syndicates), mentoring sessions, as well as the tour of the Lloyd’s Building and participated in interesting workshops. Moreover, on the last day of the internship, she was invited to make a presentation on a P&I related topic. This opportunity worked as both a motivation for her and as a way for the P & I club to assess how she has progressed through the internship. Theodora noted that her experience in the internship made her more appreciative of how studying an LLM in a reputable University like Swansea builds up your professional career. Theodora is now looking forward to her next internship at Norton Rose in Athens.
Benthe Menzfeld (Germany-LLM in International Maritime Law)
Benthe attended an internship with Standard P&I Club/Charles Taylor in the Club's offices in London. The internship, which was organised by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law, gave Benthe a practical insight into the P&I business through several presentations on different aspects of the P&I work, workshops and mentoring hours with employees from the Underwriting and Claims Departments. Benthe made very good use of the modules she studied during her LLM degree, i.e. marine insurance, admiralty law and carriage of goods. Furthermore, the excellent working environment and the opportunity offered to her to make her own presentation made the internship a highly challenging, but especially valuable experience. This opportunity has certainly helped her appreciate the complexities of the P&I work and understand what lies ahead.
Min Shen (China-LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)
Min undertook an internship which was organised by the Department, at the Standard P&I club in London, which proved to be very informative. During this internship, she enhanced her understanding of P&I Clubs and how they engage with the legal world. The internship included a number of activities such as lectures and workshops which furthered the existing knowledge that Min has gathered throughout the LLM course on a wide range of topics relating to underwriting, claims and so on. All sessions were very practical and useful. In addition, the P&I Club organised a number of social events with employees from different syndicates; who were all happy to share their experiences and give advice on my future career. Also, Min attended mentoring sessions with mentors from different syndicates. In these sessions, she gained an invaluable insight into the daily work of each department.
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Internships
Mr Qi with the Secretary General of the IMO Mr Kitack Lim
Two of our Maritime Law LLM students, Jiancuo Qi from China and Capt Philip Corsano from the United States of America, were accepted as interns by the IMO after a rigorous selection process, and spent several weeks at the organisation's headquarters in London. Both students got the opportunity to observe the meetings of the 7th session of the Maritime Environment Protection Committee and the 67th session of the Technical Cooperation Committee. Commenting on his experience at the IMO, Mr Qi said:“ Undertaking an internship at IMO has been a very good experience and has benefitted me in many aspects, including some ways that I did not foresee. I am really grateful for the help, encouragement and kind support the staff have provided me during my studies at Swansea University.”
Captain Corsano continued in a similar fashion: “I attended the technical sessions of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) plenum, and was struck by the deep levels of industry expertise within IMO and its consultants. I was particularly impressed with the head of the MSC, Mrs Sandra Allnutt, who is one of the few women in the industry to achieve senior status.”