First Person Accounts (FPA’s) are meant to provide a first-hand account of lawyer’s who have pursued a post-graduate course from different schools across the world.
Pranjal Doshi is currently enrolled in the Masters Degree in Corporate Law course (MCL) at Cambridge University (Class of ’19). In this FPA, the HNLU graduate discusses his reasons for applying to the MCL, the application process, and advice for those looking to apply for the MCL in the future.
How did you narrow down on the MCL? What were the factors that you considered before choosing your master’s degree?
My sole motivation of pursuing MCL was to deepen my understanding of the subjects I was genuinely interested in. I studied corporate laws in my third year and the dynamic nature of the subject intrigued me. Consequently, I chose ‘The Corporate Legal System’ as one of my two honours subjects to further develop a detailed understanding in the field. After studying ‘Corporate Finance’ and ‘Regulations’, it became indubitable to me that I wanted to enrich my knowledge in the said area and then, pursue a master’s degree in the same.
I realized that if my understanding of corporate laws has to evolve, it had to be reasoned and comprehended, not blindly digested. After interacting with my seniors and industry experts, I came to know about the matchless exposure an international law school has to offer. I wanted to be a part of the exceptional pedagogic techniques and thrived to work and learn under the best academicians of the world in the relevant field.
I shortlisted a few universities based upon the course curriculum and tuition fees and subsequently floated my application.
When did you start preparing for the application process? In your penultimate year?
I started working on my applications in the final year (probably October) and honestly did not spend a lot of time working on it.
Any advice for those who are looking to go through the application process? Any suggestions for the time that one should devote to the applications?
The SOP is the fundamental document and should be taken very seriously. An average CV can be superseded by a wonderfully-drafted SOP. The admission committee goes through dozens of SOPs in one day, so it’s necessary that what one is offering is not lost in the generic ‘I-want to change-the-world-crap’. The story ought to be believable and the flow must be flawless. One needs to make sure that the SOP has something more and different to offer than the CV. It’s the only opportunity to tell the selectors about who one really is and how he/she is more than the CV. The contents of the CV can be used as a reference to show the larger picture but one must not base the SOP as an elaboration of the CV.
One needs to make sure that the SOP has something more and different to offer than the CV. It’s the only opportunity to tell the selectors about who one really is and how he/she is more than the CV.
The motivation to pursue an LLM should be distinctly visible on the SOP along with the career plans. One has to link how this very LLM will bridge the gap between where one is today and where one aspires to be tomorrow. If one can validly justify this, the chances of getting the offer letter are almost guaranteed.
The length of SOP ranges from 300 to 1,500 words and depending on the length one needs to decide what all information has to be inserted. Well, the amount of time one needs to devote is really subjective. I gathered my fundamental education in an Hindi-medium school and therefore I struggled a lot while framing sentences and describing the story.
It isn’t a Herculean task and normally people would be fine if they are putting a week’s time in their applications.
Lastly, did you apply for any sort of financial aid?
Ah, this one’s tough. Well frankly, I had a pessimistic approach while applying to Oxbridge. I did not even spend a week in my applications because I always felt that I am not good enough for them.
Hence, after sending my applications, I conveniently forgot about the applications and when I got my acceptance in the last week of April, all the funding deadlines had passed by (It was too late).
The important lesson – Send as many (external) scholarship applications as possible and not to commit the same mistakes that I did.