The Kent LLM at the University of Kent

The Kent LLM at the University of Kent

August 24, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


My name is Toni Williams and I’m
currently the Head of Kent Law School. I think it’s interesting to think about
how the Kent LLM is structured. We have a very distinctive structure and we’re
very proud of it. I guess the best way to think of our structure is in terms of
flexible specialisation as an option and openness to who you are as a student and what you want to achieve. I was attracted to the LLM at Kent because as an undergraduate here
I knew the environment was great. I liked working here, I liked the academics who
are here and also I liked the vast range of modules and pathways that you could
take at Kent. I find it refreshing that I can move from one different subject to
another. I hope to be involved fully in the near future in the government of
my country and and in the workings of international organisations so the Kent LLM with specialisation in international law and international
relations gives me the opportunity and makes it easier for me to fit in into
the environment I have to be in the near future. Now, some students want to
take a specialisation, some students want to take two specialisations. Some don’t
want to specialise at all. And here at Kent Law School, with the LLM we can
accommodate all of those preferences, all of those choices. I would recommend many things about the Kent LLM, the flexibility, also the location and the
facilities here. Well, teaching on the Well, teaching on the Kent LLM I think offers a very
distinctive approach and it’s the approach that we pride ourselves on
having here at Kent Law School. We style ourselves, we call ourselves, a critical
law school and we think we’re one of the world’s foremost critical law schools. And
what that means essentially I think and at its essence is that we insist that
it’s important to study law and its social and economic and political
context, to ask questions about why law is the way it is, and to relate it to
other important aspects of society like who holds power, how is power wielded, why are
certain stories told about law, why are certain stories told about the way that
the world works. I have been working as a lawyer for
six years in Romania and the difference between studying
intellectual property in a wonderful campus such as the one here at Kent Law
School and working as a lawyer is very big. First of all, when you are a lawyer you are interested in solving the problem.
Now, thanks to the very interesting approach that our module convenors have I’m also trying to challenge the law, critically discuss it, think about the
pros and cons and also discuss whether the law is fair or not because you don’t
get the chance to do that while you are working and practising the law. If you come from a critical background, you can actually make useful comments about the
laws, you can actually make useful suggestions about laws because you have known the history, you have known the politics, you have known how it works so
it’s about how can we make the law better. In these days of instant
access to any kind of information, lawyers have much less of a role to play
as exclusive holders of information about
law. But we do have an important role to play as creators of law and
challengers of law and creators of new possibilities with law. And that’s what a
critical approach enables you to do because it develops your skills of
imagination. How do we think through what this law is, what it means and what it
could be, how else could it be? So I think that’s its real benefit. The LLM
community at Kent I think is such an important part of this law school and
contributes so much to this law school the LLM community is large, we have about
a hundred students, it’s vibrant, it’s really diverse. Students come from all
over the world. We have students from about 80 or 90 countries. By coming here,
they develop in effect a kind of international professional network that
they take with them well after they’ve left the law school in terms of
professional contacts all over the world. This is very important. If I
was to describe the Kent LLM in three words I would say it is challenging,
enjoyable and flexible. The LLM programme has given me the competence and
the credibility I need to succeed anywhere in the world.