Want to get serious about higher learning? A measly 12 hours won’t cut it, but a master’s degree will. Criminal law star Marie Henein, who took over presidency of The Advocates’ Society this June, got her LL.M. at Columbia University and co-chairs Osgoode Hall Law School’s Master of Laws program. We asked her why she still loves the classroom.
What was your master’s thesis about?
Theories of evidence.
Why go to the U.S. for your LL.M.?
I always wanted to do my graduate degree with a view to potentially teaching. The U.S. was an opportunity to study abroad.
What did a master’s give you that your job could not?
A master’s degree is a bit of a luxury to write and research in an area for a significant percentage of time.
Should all lawyers who want to be at the top of their game pursue a master’s?
No. Lots of lawyers who are leaders in their field don’t have a master’s.
How do Canadian programs compare to the Ivy League?
They’re excellent — and cater specifically to LL.M. students in their course design. American universities are plugged into their general programs and don’t focus on defining programs for LL.M. students. Studying there also gives you access to very significant thinkers and leaders, and an opportunity to do field work stateside.
What’s one piece of advice you have for younger lawyers?
Love what you do. And commit to it 100 percent.