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Ulster University’s Legal Innovation Centre, in partnership with legal and tech leaders in Northern Ireland, are providing the future skills pipeline of multidisciplinary industry ready graduates with a new, and first of its kind programme in Ireland or the UK. The LLM/MSc Corporate Law, Computing and Innovation creates tech-savvy lawyers or computer science graduates with a unique appreciation of legal and financial services.

Global and local legal firms are increasingly seeking lawyers and legal professionals with computing skills, or technologists with corporate legal skills.  Uniquely designed as 50% computer science and 50% corporate, financial and tech law, with the Schools of Law and Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems collaborating under one umbrella, this degree allows for the development of a truly multidisciplinary graduate with the skills that are attractive to employers and that stand out from other job applicants.

Leaders from Citi, Allen & Overy, Factor Law and Herbert Smith Freehills recognised the academic achievements of recent top performing graduates at a recent awards ceremony to graduates who achieved top marks in this new degree course which is based at the state-of-the-art, enhanced Belfast Campus.

Global investment bank Citi provide two 11-month fully paid placements for students, a prize fund of £7,000 for Best Overall Performing Student, and guest lecturers from thought leaders such as Citi’s eminent expert on Smart Contracts based out of San Francisco.  Head of Belfast Legal, Lauren Belle McCoy, attended the ceremony to award the Citi Prize, alongside Citi’s two placement graduates.

Stephen Bartlett, EMEA Regional General Counsel & Global Co-Head Markets and Securities Services Legal, Citi, said:

"The delivery of legal services is evolving quickly, and depends increasingly on the overlapping disciplines of data science. Ulster University’s new ‘Corporate Law, Computing and Innovation’ course is an exciting opportunity to acquire the practical knowledge and skills that are much in demand, as legal practices of all types equip themselves with the resources they need to support markets, commerce and society in the new data-centric era."

Naomi Buchanan, Senior Associate at Allen & Overy awarded the coveted Allen & Overy Law Tech Prize with the opportunity to spend a week in their leading edge i2 (Innovation) lab in London; Allen & Overy also offered an 11-month paid placement.

Sabrina Brennan, Senior Manager, Contract Management, at Factor awarded the Computing Prize, whilst Laura Leatham, Solicitor from Herbert Smith Freehills awarded the Corporate Law Prize.

Through this innovative course the students have the unique opportunity to engage with and learn from practitioners at leading international legal and technology firms who teach on the course, award competitive prizes and offer work placements. A large number of multi-national corporate partners contribute to the degree including Citi, Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, A&L Goodbody, Factor Law, Linklaters, iManage RAVN, Thomson Reuters, HNH, Davidson McDonnell, Grant Thornton, KPMG, PWC and Diaceutics PLC, and many sit on the Advisory Board of the Legal Innovation Centre.

Jane Hollway, Course Director of the MSc/LLM Corporate Law, Computing & Innovation Programme, stated: 

"At the Legal Innovation Centre, we strive to provide our students with innovative opportunities and a supportive environment for their studies, helping them to achieve their full potential. These prizes are both a positive motivator and a reward for success, and this fantastic financial encouragement will contribute to building the strong talent pipeline and community that the legal tech sector needs to flourish in Northern Ireland."

Prize winners:

  • Allen & Overy - Melissa McDonnell
  • Citi - Damien McCann
  • Herbert Smith Freehills - Ryan Cowan
  • Factor Law - Shannon Walsh

The innovative programme is already making an impact on graduates’ job prospects with all graduates from the ‘20/21 Corporate Law, Computing & Innovation programme having successfully secured exciting placement opportunities with industry, with some receiving up to four job offers.

Find out more information on the course page or Legal Innovation Centre webpage.