Two degrees – one master’s thesis

When law student Martin Hugo Starberg completed his LLM in Maritime Law, it also counted as the fifth, and final, year of his general Master of Laws degree. He is now a trainee lawyer at Deloitte Advokatfirma, having landed this job six months before completing the program.

Photo: Deloitte Advokatfirma

An exciting maritime law program – a respected institute

“There were several reasons why I chose to apply to the program,” explains Hugo. “Firstly, I had an interest in maritime law. I had taken a course in maritime law during a student exchange and was eager to learn more about this area of the law.

“Secondly, I had heard that the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law was very well regarded internationally.

“Thirdly, the structure of the programme sounded exciting, particularly as there are relatively few students in each year’s incoming class, meaning that you benefit from closer attention from instructors.

“Last, but not least, the opportunity to study in an international environment was also an important factor.”

Straightforward to combine an LLM in Maritime Law with a general law degree

“This was something that I investigated before applying to the program. I contacted an academic adviser at the Institute and found that it was possible to apply for the LLM to count towards fulfilling the requirements for the general Master of Laws program. The Institute was very accommodating and helpful in this process.

“When I started on the LLM program, I had almost finished the general Master of Laws program. The only outstanding component was my master’s thesis. After I had completed the LLM program, I submitted a straightforward application to the Faculty of Law to have my LLM master’s thesis recognized as fulfilling the requirement for a master’s thesis for my general degree. This application was granted relatively quickly.”

Journal publication of joint master’s thesis

Hugo wrote his master’s thesis in collaboration with his fellow student Tommy Bruun. Students on both the LLM and general Master of Laws programs may write their master’s thesis in a group.

At the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, high quality master’s theses may be published in the journal MarIus. Tommy and Hugo’s thesis was assessed as worthy of publication and was published in MarIus 441.

Specialization gives added value

“My experience is absolutely that my LLM degree has given me added value in addition to my general Master of Laws degree. Graduates from the general program have a good grounding, but usually lack specialized knowledge of particular areas of the law. With an LLM, one acquires just this type of specialized knowledge, and this helps you stand out from other job candidates.”

Cultural differences, the mock trial and “class trips”

“Obviously it felt slightly unfamiliar to be reading and writing legal English, but I found this went fairly well since I had just spent a semester in an English-speaking country. The biggest challenge was getting used to the fact that many of my fellow students came from very different legal cultures and had very different approaches to the subject.

“Being part of a ‘small’ environment – and consequently becoming well acquainted with fellow students and faculty members – was one of the most positive aspects of the program.

“Other very positive features, both academically and socially, were the ‘class trips’ we made to Denmark and Sweden. One of the most useful things educationally was perhaps the opportunity to collaborate with people from such different backgrounds, as well as to participate in a mock trial.”

Specialization and work placements bring job opportunities

“I’m absolutely convinced that this degree increases one’s chances of employment after graduating, especially of course if one wants to work within maritime law. While studying for my LLM I spent a period as a Shipping Offshore Trainee at Wikborg Rein & Co. I think that my LLM studies were a strong factor in getting my current job.

“At the moment I’m in the Corporate Tax Department, working mostly on issues involving tax and company law. Because of my LLM, many of my assignments have involved the taxation of shipowning entities. In addition, there are a number of other clients with links to the maritime sector. In this connection, the knowledge I gained from the LLM program has obviously been very advantageous.”

A different study experience – apply now!

“The LLM program is an exciting, challenging, sociable and different study experience. My tip for anyone thinking of applying to the program is just to do it!”

If you have questions that are not answered on this website, please contact the Institute directly or speak to one of our alumni.


By Kirsti Aarseth, translation by Caroline Glicksman
Published Feb. 1, 2016 3:10 PM - Last modified Feb. 12, 2016 10:08 AM