First Person Accounts (FPA’s) are meant to provide a first-hand account of Indian graduates who have pursued, or are pursuing, a post-graduate course (LL.M. or otherwise) from different universities across the world.
Dyuti Rikhi is a 2019 graduate of the University of Glasgow, where she completed an LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law. In this FPA, the 2017 law graduate shares her reasons for opting for the University of Glasgow, the importance of scholarships, and a whole lot more.
Let’s get right to it – how did you end up choosing Glasgow? What were the other schools that you shortlisted based on your interest in IPR?
There were many parameters that I had in mind before rolling out my applications for my master’s degree in law, since my course was an upcoming field worldwide choosing the right university with just the right faculty, library and resources was imperative.
I had applied to six of the best Universities in UK for LL.M.in Intellectual property rights amongst which were LSE (London School of Economics), UCL (University College London), KCL (Kings College London), QMU (Queen Mary University), UoG (University of Glasgow), and the University of Edinburgh.
Luckily, I got a letter of Acceptance from all of them. Personally, for me an additional deciding factor was financial aid keeping in mind my academic credits and achievements.
The University of Glasgow had it all with its world-renowned faculty and dreamy yet modern architecture. They recognized my academic and expressive potential and rewarded me with an LL.M. India Scholarship worth 10,000 GBP.
But that wasn’t all. Glasgow city, and the university, whole heartedly welcomed international students. The city gave a feeling of being one with the world, it was just a home away from home.
This concoction of great academia, culture, and academic recognition made me zero down on University of Glasgow.
You opted for the LL.M. a year into practice – what were some of the expectations you had from the LL.M.?
In my view you should have a goal and a dream that you want to achieve and not [just] expectations. Expectations are fulfilled when you get your dream and pursue your goal.
My goal was to specialise in the field I really wanted to pursue as a lawyer and my dream was to get my specialization from one of the best law schools for IPR in the world. I achieved what I had dreamt of and surpassed my goals par excellence and I am proud of it.
My only advice to all the aspirants of LL.M. is dream big and set goals. LL.M. is a milestone in an advocate’s life, just a step towards a better understanding of laws and getting in depth knowledge of your cores. Also, an actual work experience of at least a year holds utmost importance to understand your area of interest better.
Any advice on how to go about the application process itself? How much time do you think one should spend on the applications?
Applications are foremost and laborious. One needs to be really practical and well versed with the kind of course and corresponding best universities they want to apply to in accordance to their opted subject to avoid the unfathomable hurdles and confusion during and post the process of application.
I had made myself a chronology of steps to make the application process facile, it helped me have a better hold of the application process.
How was the LL.M. experience itself? Looking back, what were some of the most rewarding aspects of the course?
It was definitely an extensive and enriching experience. The LL.M. degree with a merit was a huge achievement. I had the opportunity to experience an academically and culturally different environment which added to making my masters a wholesome and rewarding experience. The interactions and exchange of ideas amongst colleagues from worldwide and wonderful academicians gave a new horizon to my existing knowledge and ideas.
The finest of all was my selection to the Harvard Law school copyright programme in association with Glasgow Law school that gave me an extra edge over the others. I got the opportunity to associate myself with the most brilliant minds.
To encapsulate it all, the academic enhancement has been amazing, not negating the city which lives up to its tag line ‘People make Glasgow’.
What is your reading of the employment opportunities that an LL.M. such as yours offers?
Employment opportunities are never minimal to anyone who really strives to achieve them. It’s not merely the best of academics but the personality, the promptness and presence of mind that makes it all easy.
Intellectual Property rights is an upcoming field in the legal panorama worldwide, the job opportunities are immense both nationally and internationally one just needs the right guidance and patience to make opportunities come ones way.
But I must mention that job opportunities that interest you should be followed up rigorously. Keeping an eye on traineeship programmes and applying for opportunities on time makes all the difference.
Lastly, any advice for the Indian law graduate who is considering a master’s abroad?
I just believed in myself and kept my goals clear to achieve the best. I had offers from all the best UK universities, but I still chose Glasgow and I am proud of my decision. It is just not the name but all innumerable factors that matter when studying abroad, keep the basics clear in your mind and then choose the best for you, follow your course and not the brand.
At this juncture I should also mention the importance of financial aid. Finances are one of the most cumbersome hurdles when applying abroad. Try and ease out the expenses with sponsorships as they not only give you financial relief but also give you that extra added confidence.
Work on your statement of purpose to make it stand out from the rest. The key is always to give your personal touch.
Summing it all: ‘Believe in yourself as nothing can beat you or your dream, but you’