First Person Accounts (FPA’s) are meant to provide a first-hand account of law graduates who have pursued, or are pursuing, a post-graduate course (LL.M. or otherwise) from different universities across the world.
In this edition, Nimisha Thomas (Amity Law School ’17, QMUL ’19) talks about her time as an LLM candidate at the Queen Mary University of London, how she went about the application process, and a lot more.
Were you planning to enrol for a master’s right after your undergraduate course, or was the plan to always work a while before applying?
I had plans of doing masters soon after my under graduate programme since my area of interest requires a specialism.
How did you go about selecting universities, and what got you to narrow down on QMUL?
I first decided the course I wanted to pursue then I narrowed down the best colleges in the world for the subject. Finally, I selected the jurisdiction where I would get a good exposure in the legal field.
Did you apply for/receive financial aid of any kind?
Any advice on how to go about the application process, more specifically the statements of purpose and sourcing letters of recommendation?
The Statement of purpose (SOP) and recommendation letters must be obtained ideally by August/ October for intake applications in the following academic year.
The SOP should be drafted in a manner which conveys to the reader one’s interest in the course which s/he is applying to, why she has opted for that particular university and her aspirations in career which would be fulfilled through the course applied for.
As far as letters of recommendation (LOR) are concerned, seek it from the person you know best and who knows you the best. Do not go behind big titles just for the sake of it. Request a LOR from someone you can rely on to write in favour of you and genuinely.
“As far as letters of recommendation (LOR) are concerned, seek it from the person you know best and who knows you the best. Do not go behind big titles just for the sake of it.”
When it comes to finding accommodation in an expensive city like London, any advice for the prospective applicant?
Research well in advance as most of the accommodation gets occupied by September. While searching for an accommodation keep in mind the distance from the house to the tube/bus stop.
Also, most of the universities roll out applications by February/ March, so it’s good to keep an eye on the university website.
How has the LLM experience been? What have been some of the highlights along the way?
The LLM experience has been life changing for me. I have evolved as a person in all the spheres of my life. Firstly, I have had the opportunity of listening and interacting with great minds from different jurisdictions which has widened my perspective.
Secondly, I have identified my strengths and weaknesses which I was oblivious of while staying at home under a protected environment. I can proudly say that I handled myself and my finances with uttermost care while facing all my fears boldly. I didn’t know I was this independent and fierce.
“I can proudly say that I handled myself and my finances with uttermost care while facing all my fears boldly. I didn’t know I was this independent and fierce.”
I have made quite a lot of memories in this one year from making friends from different states of India, different parts of the world and of different age groups. This has helped me grow as a person and has brought a change in attitude for the good.
Lastly, any advice for the Indian law graduate who may be considering an LLM abroad?
I feel that an LLM is an enriching experience and one should really consider doing it. However, a PG degree from abroad cannot guarantee you a job either in the international scenario or India. While investing so much in a degree abroad one must consider all the pros and cons of it.
Also, I have seen that there is still more scope for candidates who have prior work experience to gaining some work experience in the form of an internship or training contract here.
I must add that the UK job market is highly competitive and a tough nut to crack. Despite that I would still suggest interested candidates for masters abroad. The knowledge and exposure imparted here is worth a shot. All the best!
“I must add that the UK job market is highly competitive and a tough nut to crack. Despite that I would still suggest interested candidates for masters abroad. The knowledge and exposure imparted here is worth a shot.”