By Muskaan Wadhwa
To pursue an LLM from a foreign university is something I started pondering over during my second year of law school. This was the year when I first did a Public International Law (PIL) moot and was amazed by the vastness of the field and the extent of interpretation. It was also the year I realized that the practical aspects of PIL and International Dispute Resolution are largely eschewed from the law school curriculum in India. A foreign LLM seemed like the ideal way to channel my passion for the subject.
But that is not the only reason why I want to pursue an LL.M. Here are the rest.
A LLM from a foreign university will enable me to learn from renowned faculty who are experts not only in the theoretical aspects of the subject but also in practical aspects. Unlike India, professors abroad are also practicing lawyers. Some of them are authorities in the field of PIL and have in fact contributed to the development of the law. I believe that studying under the guidance of professors like these would enable me to maximize my intellectual potential and obtain a novel understanding of the subject.
Moreover, the classroom environment in foreign law schools is quite different from what I’m exposed to currently in India. Giving emphasis on the Socratic method, these classrooms are student-driven, with professors pushing students to think and expanding their horizons and intellectual development.
A lecture I recently attended stressed upon heterogeneity as a prerequisite for robust problem solving and thinking. Foreign universities are a melting pot of different cultures, religions, political opinions, and nationalities. A classroom with such a diverse pool of people would enable me to widen my canvas of thought and imagination. Moreover, the LLM is a good way of networking and making connections with potential future leaders in the legal market.
I also believe that an LLM opens up several new opportunities on the professional front. I would either like to get into academia or write the bar exam and become a Barrister abroad, preferably Canada. The LLM degree is a good segue into doing that.
Being in my fourth year of law school, I often face dilemmas where different bits of advice are offered by different people. I’m still conflicted as to whether I should obtain some work experience and then go abroad or jump right in. And I also deliberate over whether an LLM degree would serve me better or a JD.
I’m also cognizant of the variables that might affect my plans of obtaining a foreign degree, be it funds, family, or changes in immigration laws.
Nonetheless, I expect my foreign degree to enable me to develop skill sets essential to any lawyer, my personality, and most importantly, provide me an enriching experience, both academically and personally. Which is why the foreign LLM shall continue to be something I aspire for.
(Muskaan is a fourth-year law student at Christ University’s School of Law, and a research intern at Amicus Partners. In case you are a law student who wants to contribute to this section, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Lead image by Porapak Apichodilok)