Founder at Remote Lawyer – Soumya Shekhar (Completed LLM From National University of Singapore) answers 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions of LLM Aspirants

ABOUT SOUMYA SHEKHAR

Soumya is the founder of Remote Lawyer, a virtual legal services consultancy which offers diverse services such as innovative contract drafting solutions, legal content creation, startup advisory and knowledge management services. Soumya is an alumnus of National Law University, Delhi and National University of Singapore. A scholarship holder from National University of Singapore, Soumya comes with a rich and diverse experience. She has worked with tier-1 law firms and also MNCs as an in-house counsel. She routinely advises startups on their legal requirements such as drafting commercial contracts and legal compliance needs. 

5 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY 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?

Soumya Shekhar- ” I suggest that, do not apply for LLM right after your college. Work for a few years, gain some practical insights and then, if you have the academic interest in the area for which you are applying, then only go for a LLM. As far as Masters from abroad is concerned, it definitely adds to your CV. The exposure you get in a foreign university is unprecedented for Indian students as the academic pedagogy in these universities differ greatly from Indian universities. Having said that, obtaining a degree just to adorn your CV is not the way to handle your future. Pursue a LLM if you are genuinely interested in getting academic exposure, not because everyone is doing it!”

2)Students today are very confused about whether to pursue LLM or not. What do you think how a student can decide whether an LLM will be worth it for them or not? Can you share your experience with the viewers on how did you decide to do an LLM and why?

Soumya Shekhar- ” I have always been inclined towards academics. My decision to pursue a LLM stemmed from the fact that I wanted to pursue teaching at some point of time in my life and a LLM degree would have helped. Moreover, I received a full scholarship to study at the National University of Singapore, so the decision for me was pretty simple! Pursue a Masters if it ties in with your long-term goals. If you want to litigate having a foreign LLM on your CV would add to your credentials. If you want to enter into consultancy business or become an entrepreneur like me, again a foreign LLM degree makes your offering more credible. Hence, think before you follow the rat race. How would this degree help you in the long run? What do you want to do in the future? These are the questions you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.”

3)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.

Soumya Shekhar- ” There are primarily three reasons why one would want to pursue LLM:

  1. To enhance job opportunities in India.
  2. To work abroad.
  3. To have a brand name on the CV.

Your choice of location of LLM should depend upon what is it that you want to get out of your LLM degree. If it is to enhance your CV: Ivy League, Oxbridge and NUS are good options. If you want to work abroad, then look at EU Universities. There are plenty of opportunities in the EU and it is comparatively easier to get through as a majority of applicants are still unaware of the potential of the EU market.

Some other universities where I had gotten through were UCL, NYU, Columbia and Georgetown, however, as I was getting a full scholarship in NUS, it made more sense to choose NUS over the US universities.”

4)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?

Soumya Shekhar- ” I would suggest a specialized LLM. It always looks better on your CV, as it shows clearly your area of interest. Choose which area you want to specialize in and build your CV accordingly.”

5)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?

Soumya Shekhar- ” I took an experience of 2 years at Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, before I pursued my LLM. I think that pursuing a LLM post at least some work experience helps one understand the nuances of law better. Some of the life lessons I learnt during my time at NUS were:

  1. Analytical thinking: To question the existing thought process. I critiqued the paper of a Professor who taught me and he was impressed with the fact that I decided to point out flaws in his work. This is the pedagogical level we require in India to develop an innovative mind.
  2. The habit of researching deeply: While writing my term papers at NUS, I could not have turned in a paper which was superficially written. The deep dive research I did, taught me the value of reading everything before forming an opinion.
  3. Exposure to different ideas and mindsets: Discussions were a huge part of the academic culture at NUS and it helped me understand diverse ideas and mindsets. It also helped me develop my argumentative skills.”

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