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Alumni profile - Sarah McKain

Mon 1 June 2020

Sarah mckain

Sarah McKain, LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law, 2018

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Edinburgh originally but moved away when I was quite young. I came back here to do the masters and it has been a great way to reconnect with my home city. I previously studied law as my undergraduate and then took a gap year from education to earn some money and get some experience. I then decided that I wanted to do a masters.

What made you choose to study law at Edinburgh? And specifically the LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law?

I chose to study the Global Environment and Climate Change Law LL.M at Edinburgh University because the quality of the programme and the staff seemed exceptional when compared to other environmental courses. Not many universities offered the LL.M option which I also found attractive.

I chose the LL.M in Global Environment and Climate Change Law specifically because I had done law as my undergraduate and didn’t really enjoy the course. I have a huge passion for the environment and climate change issues, so I thought why not further my legal knowledge in an area that I love. I found international law far more complex, challenging and interesting. Plus, it is a field that is rapidly developing so it stays interesting and there is always more to learn.

What are your enduring memories of your time here?

Aside from the course itself, the people. I chose to do my masters over two years. So I was lucky enough to experience two sets of like-minded students. I had a great time and I have made some amazing friends.

I also feel like the staff really inspired me in a way that I didn’t get with my undergraduate. Their passion and expertise makes a huge difference in the quality of the teaching and the experience as a student.

How did your time at the Edinburgh Law School prepare you for your career?

Being around like-minded people from all over the world really inspired me to move away from Edinburgh to gain some practical experience. I moved to Germany to complete two internships which set me up with some great experience, knowledge and contacts in the industry.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I love that I am getting to work with international environmental law directly. I am currently working on a legislation project for the United Nations Environment Programme. Although it is currently only a short-term project I am excited to see what is going to come along next! Studying environmental and climate change law is a versitile interdisciplinary subject and can be applied to many different career paths.

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