McGill University, Canada

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Interview of Astrid, student at McGill University

Can you briefly present yourself and your background?

My name is Astrid Merceron. I am currently a LLM student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Before coming to McGill, I have done a bachelor of Laws followed by a master in Business law at Nanterre University in France. I spend the last year of my bachelor degree in the UK thanks to the Erasmus-sponsored exchange program. After a master 2 in Corporate tax law (master 221) at Paris Dauphine University, I passed the bar and entered the Paris school bar (EFB) in January 2014.


What were the professional reasons to choose USA/UK/Canada? Have you hesitated with other destinations? Why did you choose your school rather than another?

I only applied to McGill among Canadian universities so at the beginning it was more about going to McGill than going to Canada. I also applied to universities in the UK. I have chosen McGill because of its excellent academic reputation worldwide.

What were the personal reasons to come here? How are life and teaching different from France?

I have chosen Canada because of my previous experience in the UK, where I have studied for a year as an undergraduate student thanks to the Erasmus program. I thus wanted to experience something different and go further away from France this time. I was also very interested about McGill transsystemic and global approach to law, where I get to study both the Common law and the Civil law systems.

McGill is an Anglophone university. Therefore, teaching is different from France as students have to do weekly readings and exercises before classes where they get to discuss about them. Therefore students are expected to play an active part in class and participation is often graded.  The other main difference with France is that most of classes have a limited number of seats available so students only choose the classes that are useful for them or where they have a real interest. 

How was the application process? Could you give some advice about the application?

As for most American universities, the application deadline for most universities in Canada is set at the beginning of December. For McGill, in addition to two recommendation letters from former law professors, applicants have to write an application letter where they have to identify the area of law they want to write their thesis on.

For the application process, do not hesitate to ask for recommendation letters well in advance as the application deadline is set in December. Applicants should also be careful about the English requirements asked for international students.

Tell us about the cost of the LLM…

Because of an agreement between France and Quebec, the cost of a LLM in a Quebec university is less expensive for French students than for other universities in Canada. Otherwise the cost of a LLM in Canada is about the same as the United Kingdom. 

What are your plans after the LLM?

After the LLM I have to go back to France to do a mandatory 6 months internship in a lawfirm in France and write exams in order to finish the Paris bar school (EFB). I am also considering about taking the Quebec bar but to benefit from the equivalence between the French and the Quebec bars I need first to complete the Paris bar school.

A last word?

The application process for an LLM may seem never-ending at some stage as the requirements and deadlines are specific to each university but it is really worth it. Indeed, the LLM is a unique opportunity to study abroad among people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Thank you to Astrid for this interview !