The Alumnitool on LinkedIn can help you gain insight into possible careers after you finish your degree. It can also help you get in contact with an alumnus or alumna of your degree programme or other programmes. Nearly all graduates have a LinkedIn profile and can answer questions about your future career. They’re often more than happy to share their experiences with you. The video belows explains how the alumnitool works, and how you can use search criteria to find career information that is relevant to you. 

Would you like to know more about how you can use LinkedIn to expand your network and put the new information into practice straight away? Take the LinkedIn workshop from Career Services. The workshop Exploring the job market & networking is also useful if you'd like to improve your networking skills, using LinkedIn and other ways. 

After finishing this Master’s programme in Legal Research, you will be well prepared for legal practice at a national or international law firm, in the judiciary or in a government or non-governmental position. You can also find a legal research position, such as with one of the major law firms, the research departments of Supreme Courts in various parts of the world or in the Netherlands at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, Council of State or the Research and Documentation Centre (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoeks- en Documentatiecentrum) of the Ministry of Justice.

Due to the unique nature of the Legal Research Master – a combination of acquiring research skills and completing internships at district courts or courts of appeals, etc. – many LRM students find a job well in advance of their graduation. As far as we know, no graduates are unemployed. LRM graduates pursue careers in academia as PhD students, work as (corporate) lawyers, and enrol in the Academy of Legislation. The scarcity of Dutch Research Masters within the legal discipline is certainly to their advantage: Utrecht LRM students are scouted for positions at an early stage, with various job offers as a result.

The Job Market Monitor 2013 indicates that many alumni from Utrecht University School of Law programmes find jobs immediately after graduating. An average of four months post-graduation, all of them have found employment. A small percentage go on to follow a PhD programme or other study after their Master. Many students come into contact with their future employer during their Master, j.e. during their internship, at a career fair, or by carrying out (thesis) research on behalf of an organisation or business. The Utrecht University Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance has strong links with practice.

A PhD researcher

As a PhD candidate, you must demonstrate your research competence. Through your dissertation, you will demonstrate:

  • The mastery of your subject.
  • Your research insight.
  • Your respect for the discipline.
  • Your capability for independent research.
  • Your ability to communicate results and relate them to the broader discourse.

In the position of a PhD reseacher, training leads to a professional research qualification. A PhD can be a deep, specific education in a discipline, preceding a postdoctoral period of on-the-job training. It involves you doing a substantial chunk of research, writing it up and then discussing it with professional academics. You have a supervisor (or more than one) to help and advise you, but in theory, the PhD is something for which you take the initiative, and thus it is a demonstration of your ability to do proper research independently. If you wish to find out more about openings for paid PhD positions, please go to vacancies.

An assistant professor

Despite the label, the assistant professor is not an assistant. In this position, you participate in three sets of duties that come with a career in academia: teaching, research and service. All professors do more than teach classes; they also conduct scholarly work, such as presenting and publishing their work at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. The professor’s research is often most critical in earning tenure, although this varies by institution. The third set of duties (service) entails all of the administrative work that keeps a college or university running. Service includes sitting on committees, ranging from creating and evaluating curricula to overseeing workplace safety. After about six to eight years, the assistant professor is often eligible for tenure and/or promotion to the next rank: associate professor.

A lawyer

Although lawyers affect nearly every aspect of society in a range of positions and industries, your basic duties will be the same: to represent the needs of your clients in civil and/or criminal trials. However, other job duties may vary dramatically. As a lawyer, you can specialise in fields such as bankruptcy, international, elder, probate, or environmental law. The growing field of intellectual property is also seeing an increasing level of attention from lawyers.

Some lawyers spend more time in the courtroom than others, working as trial lawyers. While some lawyers work in private practice, others find employment in government, legal aid societies or corporations.

A lecturer

When you obtain an assignment as a higher education lecturer, you will teach academic and vocational subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students. You will work in a university or in a college of further education. Your teaching methods may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory demonstrations, field work and e-learning.

As a higher education lecturer, you will also pursue your own research to contribute to the wider research activities of your department and/or institution. Many colleagues aim to have their research published, either in the form of a book or scholarly article, and this can help raise the profile of their employer.

In research aspects, this programme can be excellent preparation for a subsequent PhD programme. You may become a PhD fellow with a law faculty in the Netherlands or abroad.

Are you considering starting your own business? Now is a good time to prepare. Utrecht University can offer you a number of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship.

You could, for instance, take electives from Master's degree programmes that cover entrepreneurship in their curriculums:

The Utrecht Center for Entrepreneurship (CE) also organises Spring schools, Summer schools, Winter schools, Honours classes and short seminars on entrepreneurship for non-Dutch students. All courses are offered in English except when the entire group is Dutch.

StudentsInc

Would you like to run a business while still at university? Do you want to graduate on running your own business? StudentsInc (Dutch language website) is home to a number of student businesses and offers programmes to develop your entrepreneurial skills.

UtrechtInc

Have you (nearly) graduated and do you want to start a business? UtrechtInc is the place to find financing, office space, expertise and coaching. UtrechtInc is there for

  • starting entrepreneurs and alumni, doctoral candidates, and researchers (preferably from Utrecht University, Hogeschool Utrecht, UMC Utrecht)
  • who are still in the ideas phase OR further along (less than five years) and have
  • and have a (IT) start-up focusing on health, environmental sustainability, or education.

Would you like to know more? Visit the UtrechtInc site, register your idea, and drop by for a cup of coffee.

Enactus

Would you like to know whether entrepreneurship is right for you? Are you driven, socially conscious, and ambitious? Are you willing to spend a year working on a business for at least 8 hours a week? Enactus Utrecht (Dutch language website) offers you the opportunity to run a business and provides workshops and professional coaching.

Useful links

  • Register at the Chambers of Commerce.
  • You can read about all the other things you need to take care of on the Revenue Service (Belastingdienst) website.
  • Join relevant groups on LinkedIn to share knowledge online and expand your network.
  • Will you run an especially sustainable, innovative, and/or internationally oriented business? The Netherlands Enterprise Agency can support you with subsidies, knowledge, regulation, and more.

Upon completion of your current Master's degree programme, you can follow a one-year (Dutch language) teacher training programme. This will grant you a first degree teaching qualification for secondary education. That means you will be able to work in the upper and lower years of vmbo, havo, and vwo in the Netherlands.

Take a look at UU's Master's degree programme selection site.

When you complete your Master's degree programme, if you enjoy doing research in your area of expertise, perhaps you should pursue a PhD. You will start out as a research assistant or trainee research worker. Check the two-years Master's Programmes of Utrecht University.

The best way to find a research traineeship is to contact the professor in the field you want to specialise in. Another option would be www.academictransfer.nl.

If you'd like to pursue a PhD at Utrecht University, your PhD programme will fall under the auspices of one of the Graduate Schools. For more information, consult the Prout | PhD Network Utrecht website.

The Legal Research Master's programme is much more than just a stepping-stone to a fruitful academic career
Arne Mombers
Lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in Amsterdam

"My motivation for signing up for this programme was twofold. First, I noticed that toward the end of my Bachelor’s programme at Utrecht University, I became increasingly interested in combining my legal knowledge with other academic disciplines. The set-up of the Legal Research Master’s programme encourages interdisciplinary research and offers students the required academic tools. The open-minded set-up of the programme allowed me to position legal dilemmas, including the economic and moral philosophical academic debate. The second reason for signing up for the programme was my desire to improve my legal analysis skills and my legal writing skills. The small-scale legal methodology, legal English group sessions, and the drafting of multiple papers have significantly contributed to my achieving this goal.

During the Legal Research Master’s programme, students develop their own field of interest. As for myself, I developed a particular interest in European competition law. In addition to my academic research, the programme’s flexibility allowed me to intern at the European Commission – an experience that continues to prove useful in my daily work as a lawyer. Moreover, the Master’s programme offers multiple benefits as compared to regular academic Master’s programmes. For instance, the travel fund of the Legal Research Master’s programme enabled me to attend a law and economics workshop at the University of California, Berkeley.

At the start of my legal studies, I did not expect to start my professional career as a lawyer. Nevertheless, my application for a position at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek followed naturally from my participation in the Legal Research Master’s programme. It is much more than just a stepping-stone to a fruitful academic career. It allows its students to enhance their grasp of the substantive and theoretical underpinnings of their field of interests, irrespective of the career they choose to pursue."

My Master's thesis currently forms the foundation of my PhD research
Irene Aronstein
Junior Lecturer and PhD Candidate at Radboud University Nijmegen

"Looking back at this Master delights me. It has given me the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of my favourite field of law, while developing and improving my research skills and being surrounded by great professors. Also the various activities together with the rather small selection of (international) students – e.g. exclusive lectures, the annual LRM conferences and many social events – is what makes this master’s programme so special. The organisation of the 2009 LRM Conference gave me – apart from a lot of fun and close friends – the experience to organise and manage such an event and to publish my first article. As the icing on the cake, my master thesis currently forms the foundation of my PhD research. What more do you want?"