Ultimately, you know yourself best, so I would suggest make your statement as interesting as possible. Most people who apply to foreign universities are obviously very qualified, but you can stand out by making your statement both personal and interesting.
We live in a world which really allows us to be innovative with the work we would like to do. So, take that risk to try out what you truly like. And don’t worry if things don’t work out, a law degree is a fantastic safety net and you can always come back to more traditional careers.
The civil services are still fairly a generalist’s domain but I hoped a masters would allow more opportunities for me to work in specific areas. An LLM felt like a better fit with my law degree rather than a public policy course.
Law schools need to create incentives to enable students to take up work that they are passionate about, rather than doing a bewildering number of internships for the sole reason that other law students are.
The LL.M. is a broad-ranging experience so the purpose cannot be anything but subjective. Ask yourself why you want to do it and this will likely yield answers to when and where you would like to pursue it.
The famous collegiality of the Fletcher ‘mafia’ is a different experience altogether, and one learns a lot from one’s peers as well, especially because the range of perspectives, nationalities, professional backgrounds, and world-views is staggering.
Thirdly, you will not find that many lawyers applying to business school – so, there is a bit of work involved in explaining to admission committees what exactly you brought to the table as a lawyer and how those skills will help you thrive in the world of business, both in business school and beyond.
If anyone wants to break through the US legal market, the JD is always a better option than LL.M. However, if you still want to explore the US market with an LL.M, it is still possible but there are several hurdles to overcome.
The LL.M. course is an immersive, rigorous programme with a steep learning curve. It doesn’t help that the setting is also unfamiliar. But it is truly an other-worldly experience – a chance for you to make friends with people from all around the world, get exposed to their culture and way of thinking and see things from a very different perspective.
Though the MPP was new, I found the programme well-structured, with sufficient exposure opportunities. It was one year, as opposed to most other policy programmes which require a two-year commitment.
“The level of discourse in the ‘right’ professor’s classroom is so high – that if you’re genuinely nerdy/romantic about the law, it is definitely going to giving you a clearer perspective of where you see yourself in the profession.”
Balu G Nair is pursuing an LLM at Melbourne Law School. The NUJS grad discusses the pros of an international LLM, the Alex Chernov scholarship, and more
Ameen Jauhar, a graduate of NUJS (’12), recently completed an MSc in Systematic Reviews for Social Policy and Practice from the University College London.