LLM Comparative and European Private Law

What our students say

What does the LLM in Comparative and European Private Law have to offer you? Well who better to tell you about the Edinburgh experience than those who have taken the programme themselves. Read the profile below to hear from one of our recent graduates.

Nathalie Neumayer

Nationality: Austrian
Year of Graduation: 2013

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your current career
After my first degree and after working as a law clerk at court in Vienna, I decided to go back to university. During the masters course in Edinburgh I discovered my passion for academic work, so it was an easy decision to join academia as a teaching and research assistant, upon returning to Vienna. Firstly in the Institute of Civil and Business Law at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna, and then currently at the University of Vienna, in the department of Roman Law and Antique Legal History.

Why did you choose to attend the University of Edinburgh and the programme from which you graduated?
Choosing the city was a no-brainer. I had already fallen head over heels in love with Edinburgh as a 16-year-old exchange student, when I attended James Gillespie’s High School for a semester. Of course it helped that the University of Edinburgh, especially the School of Law, has an outstanding reputation, particularly in the degree I wanted to take, Comparative and European Private Law.

"...the University of Edinburgh, especially the School of Law, has an outstanding reputation, particularly in the degree I wanted to take, Comparative and European Private Law."

What did you enjoy most about your subject?
If I had to summarise what I enjoyed most in one word, it would be open-mindedness. The lecturers were excellent, the courses thought-provoking. Additionally, I felt proud to be part of a community of incredibly intelligent, original, international and fun fellow students.

"I felt proud to be part of a community of incredibly intelligent, original, international and fun fellow students."

What specific skills did you develop whilst attending the University of Edinburgh?
I learned how to find my way around foreign legal systems and foreign (legal) ways of thinking. I learned how to produce essays in a limited amount of time. I learned to question grand narratives. I got to know my strengths and weaknesses - academic, personal and social. I learned how sometimes adding a drop of water makes all the difference. I learned that no matter where people came from, we all ended up on Arthurs Seat at some point.

To what extent do you use your legal skills, knowledge and experience from your studies in your area of work?
It has been said that comparative law is the younger and more attractive sibling of Roman law, so the legal skills I acquired during the LL.M. are of immediate use to me every day. Like with comparative law, working with Roman law requires an ability to think about law in different socio-economic and historical contexts.

"...the legal skills I acquired during the LL.M. are of immediate use to me every day."

Why would you recommend your subject to other students?
I do not know one fellow student who did not fully enjoy studying at Edinburgh. There is so much to learn, do, experience, and see. A masters degree in Edinburgh is particularly interesting to prospective students interested in comparative law because being a so-called “mixed legal system”, Scotland has a tradition of “understanding both sides”. Finally, the exceptional intellectual climate paired with a complete lack of pretentiousness, is – to my knowledge – unparalleled.

"...the exceptional intellectual climate paired with a complete lack of pretentiousness, is – to my knowledge – unparalleled."

"Having a degree from the University of Edinburgh definitely was an advantage when applying for positions."

 

Did you get any professional opportunities through the programme or through the networks you gained through the programme?
A number of my fellow students went on to join academia, so the time in Edinburgh helped build a European network. Back in Vienna, I founded an alumni group together with another 2013 alumna in order to stay in touch with the university. That may not be strictly work-related, but it definitely enriches my life back home.

How did your experience at Edinburgh help you get where you are today?
Having a degree from the University of Edinburgh definitely was an advantage when applying for positions. Studying in a foreign language and living abroad for a year also boosted my confidence, which proved very useful when teaching private law to first-year students.