Are you a first-generation Lawyer? Are you confused if to take your better opportunity to go for higher studies abroad?
In this article, I can list out the skills you will develop through each course (may vary from person to person) and the lacunae we should be aware of.
Currently, In India, “Law” has become a popular career option, so is LL.M from abroad.
It is about our skill set and self-dependency level to decide what our next step will be.
What a 5years Undergraduate course offers:
“A trap is only a trap if you don’t know about it, if you know about it, it’s a challenge” quoted by the author China Miéville. I mean to say before taking up a 5year course, one should be so well researched that it will not feel like a trap once you are in.
The course is almost half a decade, so you shall be well versed with what the course has to offer during and after the course is over.
Most importantly, to ask yourself if you are ready to invest that much amount of time and resources.
Five Years Law College/School:
Choose your law school carefully with all considerations, the location, faculties, and surroundings. Everything is going to influence you in every way possible.
Take help of the internet, talk to graduates of the school, connect with the students or faculties of the school you are considering, go on a campus visit.
- After you have joined your law school, you can be benevolent towards law school colleagues. Maintaining an attitude to learn helps because every day we learn something new here. Few people are difficult to get along with and it’s okay to give them their time. That’s how we are starting to networking.
- In a 5years law course, the first two years dedicated to BA or BSc or B.Com, law subjects are taught for the rest of 3years.
During the summer break of your first two years take up some certification courses, or try to be familiar with the legal terms or you can intern even.
I feel one of the best sites to find certification courses is at Ialm Academy | Shape the Future. In my second summer break, I was interning with Human Rights Commission, ODISHA.
- In India, faculties are very much approachable. They help a student in the remote way possible. The Faculties from Ramaiah College of Law, Bengaluru (My UG college) are dynamic.
- Internships are extremely pragmatic to stay in the race. In my 5 years of undergraduate period, I have done 7 certification internships and 2 non-certification internships. I have learned the most from my internship at Thakur and Sinha Law offices LLP.
Moreover, the right places to search for paid internships are at LinkedIn: Log In or Sign Up, Paid Human Rights Internships | Human Rights Careers and Legal Internship at indeed.com.
- Participating in moot courts, both inter-college, and intra-college helps the law students grow.
Team-work, Legal research, advocacy skills, Time management, professional conduct are some of the skills that develop through moot courts.
You get to know about legal research platforms like lexisnexis.com, scconline.com, Westlaw. I remember going to Amity International Moot court, Noida from Bengaluru and it was indeed a great experience.
- Placement Cells are paramount. But not every law school can meet up to the standards or your expectations. That’s why I say research is important before joining the course.
- The legal industry is a fast-paced industry, we need to cope up with the upcoming changes while having room for personal growth. Indulging in sports activities, Yoga and Asanas can help in safeguarding our mental as well as physical health.
To Be Aware of:
It takes courage to accept your mistakes and learn from them. So did I.
- Bare Acts are essential for law students, they are seldom taught in colleges. Reading textbooks after the bare acts makes the law understandable.
- After the completion of 5years, I found some of the important subjects were never in the syllabus. Example: The Specific Relief Act, 1963 and The Limitations Act, 1963 (these acts are short yet filled with technicalities) It is because I was not aware for a long time and I limited myself only to the syllabus. Sometimes it is important for you to know what you want before time.
- Procedural Laws are more practical knowledge-oriented and practice-based. One must be thorough with the procedural laws. It is important from the judiciary point of view as well.
- The ability to interlink the subjects or sections comes with effective teaching and with practice.
- Law schools/colleges shall conduct Courtroom visits, Arbitration center visits, provide a clear picture regarding the functioning of the Legal industry.
- People, trying for corporate sectors must search for jobs through job boards like LinkedIn: Log In or Sign Up, Jobs 2021 – Search Jobs in India, Latest Job Vacancies, Recruitment – Shine.com, indeed.com, Jobseeker’s Sign in – Search & Apply to Latest Jobs Online | MonsterIndia, Glassdoor Job Search | Find the job that fits your life.
For joining Law firms you can try sending your CVs to the law firms on their website “career” option or can check in Vahura – Legal Talent Management
- According to Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana, “students are often caught in the rat race. A collective effort can refurbish the educational system to ensure that students can have the right outlook to their career and life outside,” published in Hindustan Times. Hon’ble CJI N. V. Ramana was a first-generation lawyer himself.
One Year LL.M from Abroad:
To be honest, this program has fueled me to transform my skills and enthused me to overcome my weaknesses.
MDXU’s LL.M immersed me in International Law with a Work Integrated Experience of Six months in International Human Rights.
Hendon Town Hall p.c by me On Jan 2021 [All our classes were scheduled here in 2019]
Whether you are doing LLM from India or from abroad it’s up to you, I don’t think academically it makes any difference till you are choosing top-ranked colleges.
The difference is, in abroad(UK) you,
- get more exposure,
- It is study focused ,
- they give you more time to explore yourself,
- only 4 hours max classes per day for three to four days a week,
- Libraries are open 24*7,
- get to study in a diverse environment (though in India you get a diverse atmosphere too but limited to states mainly ),
- Professors teach by interlinking current ongoing issues,
- We had visits scheduled to the European Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
N.B: The last six months of my course were badly affected by COVID, I rarely made new friends, we were locked up in a room, could not get to use the library (but after some time we had access to e-libraries), study trips were canceled.
One thing I learned during this course is “It’s You Who Can Help Yourself.”
After my Masters, I started feeling passionate about writing, because we were given enough assessments, time to widen our research and cultivate.
Most importantly we were appreciated.
Seminars brought more confidence within.
We have to put extra effort sometimes to strengthen our knowledge of English. British English is not easy.
Sometimes, when the student is anxious the professors hold one-to-one sessions. They point out where exactly the student is going wrong or what the student has to do to make it better by himself/herself. I found this immensely beneficial.
LLM is a lot of research work to fill in the knowledge gap and mostly you won’t be having placement facilities provided from your university abroad. Nowadays, two years of PSW (Post Study Work) has been granted to people taking admission in 2020 or 2021.
You can look for a job by yourself using the Job Boards.
One can consider doing an MBA after Law to widen the career options even more.
Where it Lacks:
- The student and teacher relationship is purely professional. You have to book appointments a day before you seek any help.
- You need a lot of resources. Accommodation and transport are pretty expensive.
- Not everyone is approachable.
- People away from home get homesick.
What will be your advice to a student entering into legal education?
Featured image credit: David Veksler/Unsplash