Imagine one of your clients is a Canadian jewelry company, and it decides to import steel from China to manufacture a new line of watches. Everything goes swimmingly until a dispute arises around shipping logistics; this leads to a delay, which causes the jewelry company to breach contracts and miss its sales targets. Suddenly, both parties need lawyers who understand the relevant contract laws in both jurisdictions — and you’d better be prepared to help them.
No matter what type of law you practise, it’s becoming increasingly likely that you’ll run into a similar international dispute. But not all Canadian lawyers are ready to help in such a scenario. If you’d like to keep attracting new clients and deliver high-quality advice in a globalized world, you need to keep up with the legal world outside your border.
One of the best ways to hone your international skillset is to enroll in the Master of Laws (LLM) in International Commercial Law at Bond University. “International transactions are the backbone of trade and commerce in our hyperconnected, fast-moving world,” says Louise Parsons, the associate dean of student affairs at Bond, and the program coordinator of this LLM program. “Lawyers can no longer be effective if they only know and understand their own domestic legal systems. Modern times demand more from lawyers, including international commercial dispute resolution knowledge and skills.”
The eight-month program is flexible and designed for working lawyers. Though Bond University is based in Australia, the program is online, which lets professionals from around the world keep working while they study. They’re expected to devote four hours a week to online classwork, plus about 12 hours a week of personal study time per subject.
The curriculum has a strong focus on practical training. Participants often pair up to brainstorm solutions to real-world problems that clients might face. If presented with the case of the Canadian jewelry company, for instance, participants in the program might be asked to advise their client on whether and how to commence arbitration — and how to structure dispute resolution agreements — all while operating within the relevant international laws.
One benefit of the program, which launched in 2014, is that no more than 20 students are accepted per cohort. The small class size makes the program more adaptable to the individual needs of each participant, and weekly discussions can be set at mutually convenient times.
The students that you’ll meet in your cohort are an added bonus. The international commercial law program at Bond attracts lawyers from around the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Turkey and South Africa. Each class has a dedicated discussion forum where students gather online to chat, ask questions and talk via webcam. Online learning is anything but cold and distant, as students can form deep connections during their discussions. “We cater to ambitious lawyers of the future who are keen to engage in a career in international commercial law,” says Parsons. “Knowing the legal intricacies of international commerce is a significant advantage.”
Bond University’s Master of Laws in International Commercial Law is a flexible online program that delivers cutting-edge education in international commercial law. Learn more about the program today.