My name is Adrian Dörr and I read for the Magister Juris (MJur) at the University of Oxford in the academic year 2015-2016. Originally from Germany, I chose to do the MJur at Oxford for a variety of reasons.
First of all, the MJur is the equivalent to the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), the probably most renowned and prestigious law degree in the English-speaking world, only open to students from common law jurisdictions. Against this background, the MJur is special in that it enables students from civil law backgrounds to share the same experience as we join the regular BCL courses and benefit from the same teaching. The degree’s reputation and quality of teaching were the primary reasons for my decision.
Secondly, I wanted to do a general postgraduate degree as opposed to specialising in a certain area of law right from the outset. On the MJur, there is a plethora of subjects, from which you need to choose four, thus offering ample opportunity to accommodate your interests without having to pursue a certain path. Furthermore, due to the fact that there is such a great choice, the courses will be comparatively small as the students spread across the forty-odd modules on offer. I appreciated the familiar atmosphere in class and the fact that you would know everyone on your course.
Thirdly, I was intrigued by the tutorial system that is characteristic of Oxford. Whilst this is part of any Oxford undergraduate degree, many postgraduate courses will not provide the same amount of tutorials, if any. In contrast, on the MJur, you will sit together with typically two or three other students in your Professor’s office to discuss the essay you have written in preparation for the tutorial. Although this can be a daunting experience, especially at the beginning, it will be that part of your time at Oxford you will certainly not forget. There is nothing quite like an intense discussion on a controversial subject matter with one of the leading scholars in the field.
Finally, the Law Faculty and the University in general are well-equipped and probably have the best facilities you could possibly imagine. Of course, lawyers tend not to spend their time in laboratories but online access to almost every journal and the fact that every book published in the UK is literally available at your finger tips are priceless. This is besides the excitement of studying in a historic place, in fact the oldest University in the English-speaking world that has brought up so many Nobel Prize winners, famous scholars, and collective wisdom like only few others have.
One last striking feature of the MJur is the title you are being awarded upon completion. While Master’s Degrees at other universities will confer the Master of Laws (LL.M.) on you, the MJur will be a special suffix to your name, one that will stand out and remind you of how great a time and special experience reading for the MJur was.