Gayatri T. tells us about her experience of pursuing the LL.M in Law and Development from Azim Premji University.
Q.1. What motivations/objectives did you have while applying for the LL.M in Law and Development programme at Azim Premji University?
After completing under graduation, I was keen on pursuing masters. But I wasn’t prepared for an LLM outside India. I was skeptical about pursuing masters in India; as for most National law schools, LLB is the flagship programme and consequently little attention is paid to the masters. Thanks to some of the amazing faculty I had in my law school, I got to know about LLM at APU.
I was instantly attracted to APU as they have arguably the best academics in the country now especially for LLM with names like Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Arun Thiruvengadam, Sitharamam Kakarala running the course.
I always thought five years is not enough to appreciate law at a critical level. The thought of studying under these erudite personalities excited me, not to mention the unique and rigorous programme structure: it has the right mix of theoretical and contextual perspective with an interdisciplinary approach to enhance the whole learning experience.
My motivation was also to sharpen my reading, writing and research skills and I couldn’t have asked for a better place than APU for that!
Q.2. Could you tell us about your journey pursuing this programme?
The journey has been one of the best life experiences both in terms of learning and enjoying. My batch is lovely with the right blend of fun and intelligence. Classes have been so much fun and enriching with learning something new every day.
We also had tutorials which was an amazing learning experience with our professors personally tutoring us on our writings and understanding of the subjects. I’m slowly exploring Bangalore too (whenever I get time).
Q.3. To what extent the interdisciplinary nature of the programme helped you equip yourself with sufficient skills and competencies?
Here, the courses are designed and taught by situating it in wider socio-political-theoretical context that immensely helps in getting a sense of the background understanding of law and policies around the world. I feel this is really important.
For instance, my favorite course – Law and Justice – enhances one’s ability to reflect on law at a very deeper level with intersection of ideas like Justice and morality.
Another course, Law and development, explores the role of law in development. I personally feel that courses like these aid in a holistic about law, politics and policies of the world.
The second semester is sure one for all the Constitutional law lovers with the core focus on Comparative Public Law!
Also, a special thing about this programme is the special importance given to research methods as we know that a good lawyer is also a good researcher. The course taught by Prof. Sitharamam helped us deeply understand the art of writing a research paper.
Besides, one has the option to choose their elective subjects apart from the core courses.
Some of my friends chose Anthropology as their elective, while I chose private law: a course also structured to eliminate the poor private law learning at the undergraduate level.
Q.4.What is the one highlight of your year in Azim Premji University?
One highlight I would say is the classes in APU. We have very healthy class participation. They have given me so many things to take back home. I would miss them the most after graduation.
Q.5. Tell us how this programme can serve as a launching pad for your future career. What are you career plans?
I have always been fascinated by litigation. And I’m hoping to be good at it. But to be honest, I don’t believe for the most part that a masters’ course in law serves as a launch pad for the career. I’m sure one could launch their career with decent undergraduate learning.
For me, the masters’ course has helped in being more competent intellectually due to the holistic learning here. After all, reading, writing and research skills are very important for a lawyer irrespective of whether one wants to litigate, study further or enter into academics; and I don’t think most undergraduate law schools fulfill it.
A very common perception is that an LLM is like rejuvenation with a solid break after five stressful years before diving into work.
However, at APU with multiple deadlines and loads and loads of readings and preparations for classes, I’m learning to be more efficient and skillful in reading and working hard which is going to help me in future.
Also, good learning helps me at a very personal level and the experience here has been superb so far.
Having said that, for people who are interested in academics, policy-making, and research, this LLM programme is their best launch pad in India. And I have seen our alumni perform outstandingly well in these fields.