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Starting my LLM programme in Governance and Law in Digital Society

Date:19 October 2020
Lucas Haitsma (image courtesy of L. Haitsma)
Lucas Haitsma (image courtesy of L. Haitsma)

If you have any questions about the GLDS programme, contact the Faculty of Law through our information request form.


When looking for an LLM program, I was looking for one that that I could tailor to my interests, as well as offer some working experience. During my bachelor’s degree in International and European Law and my first master’s degree in Global Criminal Law, I developed an interest in cybercrime and the problems it posed for law enforcement and I wanted to further cultivate this interest. I was also looking for a master’s program that would help me expand beyond a specifically law perspective and provide me with a policy and governance outlook. I really wanted to build up some practical experience as I had already spent quite some years in academia and thus wanted to put some of my knowledge and skills into practice. This led me to the Governance and Law in Digital Society (GLDS) LLM

How did you hear about the programme and why did you choose to apply?

I discovered the GLDS programme via Facebook. Prior to this, I was actually planning to do a different, second LLM that I was not entirely sold on. As soon as I learned more about the GLDS programme, I knew that it was exactly what I was looking for. Within a matter of days, I cancelled my enrollment to the other LLM, and applied and enrolled for the GLDS summer school and degree program. I look back very favorably on that decision. I ultimately chose the GLDS LLM because it was exactly what I wanted. I saw that the LLM was partially based on projects which provided me with an excellent opportunity to tailor such to my interest in cybercrime. The GLDS programme was also quite attractive to me because it involved many guest lectures from people who work in fields related to digitalization, there were several seminars, and there was the possibility for an internship. The internship was also a big selling point for me as this is rare for an LLM programme and it meant that I would not only graduate with a degree but also working experience. Lastly, the master’s provided me with an opportunity to branch out from my law education and dive deeper into how policy and governance play a role in the issue of cybercrime.

How has your experience been so far with beginning the programme? 

So far, the program has been fantastic. I am currently working on a number of projects that fit my interests and am loving it. I am working on projects related to the enforcement of Dutch cybercrime legislation, predictive policing, and problems for law enforcement arising from the use of digital evidence. While I am working on projects related to cybercrime, my peers are working on other topics related to digitalization in the areas of finance, defense, government, and social media. What I have particularly enjoyed so far is the presentations given in guest lectures as it really gives you a feel for why graduates of this program are in high demand and an idea of the various organizations you can end up working for. Furthermore, all of the topics we have covered have been engaging and all of the classes have an interactive element. 

What are you looking forward to in the programme during the upcoming academic year?

In the upcoming year I am especially looking forward to the internship placement. The internship I believe is a great opportunity to put some of our unique knowledge about digitalization into practice. Technology and digitalization are evolving at a very high rate and many companies are looking for students with expertise in the area of digitalization to help them navigate this high paced environment. I am very much looking forward to making my own contributions in that area and conducting research in the field.

- Lucas Haitsma, Netherlands, Governance and Law in Digitial Society student