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Study a graduate program in commercial law

What will I study in a graduate commercial law program?

A commercial law program will teach you about the specific niche of law dealing with transactions between different parties. Commercial lawyers work on all aspects of transactions, from project development agreements and outsourcing to day-to-day manufacture and advertising.

A commercial law program will teach you about the law behind drafting and negotiating contracts for finance, mergers and acquisitions and smaller deals.

An LLM in commercial law will normally be offered either part time or full time, with a course list focused around the detailed legislation knowledge you’ll need to break into the industry. Most courses will encourage you to seek placements and trainee programs with professional law firms.  

Length of program

The length of a commercial law graduate program depends on where you study. As a guide, you can expect Masters programs to last the following duration in each country:

  • UK – One year full time/two year part time
  • US – 1-3 years
  • China – 2-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for a commercial law program vary widely from country to country and even between individual universities. You will be expected to have some basic knowledge of legal practices in the country you are studying, so if you want to work abroad you may have to take an undergraduate course in the country first.

To study law at postgraduate level, in most cases, you will require to have an undergraduate law degree and proven your skills in the field. However, there are conversion courses in international law available from many universities around the world.

Career development

Most commercial lawyers start out as trainees with law firms, with tasks such as research, sense checking, drafting legal documents and briefings, as well as assisting at client meetings and completions.

As you progress through your career, you will find your workload increasing. Commercial lawyers then to have a more consistent level of work than those in Mergers and Acquisitions, with hours generally being between 9am and 7pm, although – as with all law careers – you will be expected to put in longer shifts and weekend work when required.

Commercial law is constantly changing and will have different legal interpretations between different countries, so it’s vital that you keep up to date with the latest legal requirements, laws and statutes of the country you are practising in.

Fees and funding

The cost of commerical law graduate programs varies widely from country to country and university to university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:

  • UK - £3,400 - £25,000
  • USA - $35,000 - $60,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 22,000-34,000 (Application fee of RMB 400-800)

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in commercial law, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.