Nikita Abraham(LLM Candidate at Munich Intellectual Property Law Centre (2020-21)) ANSWERS 8 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF LLM ASPIRANTS

  1. Today many students after getting their undergrad degree aspire to pursue LLM in a foreign country as they feel that an LLM from a foreign country will be more worth than pursuing an LLM in India. What do you think about it and what would you say to these students?

Nikita Abraham- ” It depends on your interests and your means to pursue those interests. I cannot say with absolute certainty that pursuing an LLM abroad is worth more than an LLM in India, since the course structure would be very different and may not be suited for everyone. Studying abroad was the only choice many years ago if equivalent programs were not provided in India, however that is not the case today.

Before making the decision, I would recommend that students slow down and sit down to think about whether they want the experience of living abroad for a year, because that would be the minimum time spent away from India since most LLM programs are one year courses. After this, think about whether you want to stay back and work for some time away from home. Whatever your answer may be to the second question, there is a lot of planning and preparation that will follow, if you want to study abroad. If students decide to pursue their Masters from a university abroad, they should:

  • Shortlist the universities that offer programs with subjects of their interest
  • Have a look at the faculty associated with the courses. Go through their background and their accomplishments
  • Read up about the alumni and reach out to them asking about their experiences.

A prospective LLM student should do this and definitely more! This could be an easy journey for some students, whereas it could be extremely challenging for others. Find out which one you are. The most striking features about doing any educational program abroad, which multiple people before me have said, are the people you meet from different walks of life and all over the world and what you learn from them.”

2. Many students feel that LLM is a necessity after studying law as it will enhance their profile and will give them better job opportunities in the future. What do you think about this thought process of students who just want to pursue LLM for enhancing their profile? What would you say to such students?

Nikita Abraham- ” An LLM will definitely enhance your profile, but so will actual work experience. It comes down to the real learning that takes place regardless of whether you do an LLM or decide to focus on work. Keep in mind that an LLM program is so much more labour intensive than your undergraduate program and an expensive endeavor as well. The decision you make will be influenced your unique personal situation.”

3. Students who have already decided that they want to do an LLM are often confused about whether they should pursue LLM after getting some work experience or before. What would you say to these students?

Nikita Abraham- ” This depends on your area of interest, which will influence your work profile. Did you decide when you were midway through your undergraduate program that you wanted to do an LLM from a specific university? Did you start working on your profile from then by writing papers, doing specific internships, or learn relevant skills specific to the area of your interest? If yes, then go ahead and apply for that LLM program.

But if you are unsure, don’t worry. This is where work experience helps you figure out what matters you enjoy working on and what you want to learn more about. Working in a specific field, being exposed to the current legal issues, discussions with seniors will help you navigate this. Keep in mind that some LLM programs might require work experience as part of their admission criteria.”

4. After deciding that a student wants to pursue LLM, a question that comes to mind is where? So, can you tell the viewers how to choose where to do an LLM? And how did you decide yourself.

Nikita Abraham- ” Your unique financial situation might influence this decision a lot more than other factors such as what your interests are. You will need to figure out whether you can finance it yourself, or if you need scholarships or any other external funding or benefits. Look at the places you want to apply to. Find out if it matches the goals you set for yourself, whatever they may be, and if it will help you get there. Talk to students doing the same program and ask them about their studies and other projects they have done. Does their lifestyle and experience appeal to you? If yes, then you can start planning accordingly.”

5. There is a common doubt in students that whether they should do a general or a specialized LLM. What are your thoughts on it and what would you say to the students who have this doubt?

Nikita Abraham- ” As clichéd as this will sound, once again it depends on your interests and what you wish after the program. Talk to people who have done both programs for perspectives on opportunities available after completing the programs. It doesn’t matter whether you do a general program or a specialized program, you must accept that you will have to keep learning and keep yourself abreast with legal developments that could have an impact in different spheres.”

6. Many students are often confused on which area of law they should pursue their LLM in? Because even if they know their area of interest, they are getting confused on which one to choose because today there is immense competition in the market and due to the rise of technology it creates uncertainty about the future of certain jobs. How did you decide and what would you say to the students who are confused about it?

Nikita Abraham- ” Make sure that you are ready to learn and be willing to accept that things may very well change. If the rise of technology creates uncertainty about the future of certain jobs, then you should also realize that it opens the door for other kinds of jobs. Try to learn the basic skills and more, you will realize that these will always be in demand.”

7. Do you think doing an LLM after getting an LLB degree helped you? How was your experience pursuing LLM? What were some lessons which you learned while doing an LLM which you would like to share with the viewers?

Nikita Abraham- ” Yes, it has certainly helped me. I am currently doing the program. I learnt the importance of research. Being prepared really makes a difference, whether it is for your lectures, your seminars, other miscellaneous discussions with classmates, studying for your exams. You realize the importance of effective time management while juggling so many tasks on your own as an LLM student abroad. You also realize that the work you put in and your extra efforts make a difference in most activities that you do, but sometimes you can be wrong. You learn the importance of working hard but also that you need to be smart. You learn by trial and error and you come to accept that you will not be successful at everything you try out, but you will find out what you can succeed at.”

8. What according to you are some key things the students should keep in mind who have decided to do an LLM? What advice would you like to give to LLM aspirants?

Nikita Abraham- ” I would say start early once you have made up your mind. Do not while away time when you have to work on your application, because there is a lot of preparation that goes into this. After shortlisting the universities that you want to apply to, be sure to be very clear about what is expected from you as a candidate. Do not leave room for doubt. Ask around if you are unsure; ask the present students studying there, reach out to the alumni, contact the university’s administrative department.

After you know the process thoroughly, start working on your application. Some of you may take months, some of you might only need a week or two. Don’t be afraid to ask for help during this process. It is stressful and you will definitely need support. Reach out to your teachers, your friends who have done this before, seniors, your employers if that is the case, etc. Make sure to give it your all and do it with sincerity. The rest usually follows!”

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