Abu Nasar is pursuing the LLM in Law and Development offered by Azim Premji University (APU). He tells us about the course below.
Q1. What were your motivations/objectives in applying for the LL.M. in Law & Development programme at Azim Premji University?
Working in litigation before joining the course, I realized certain deficiencies in my academic understanding of the fundamentals of law and its applications to the causes of the society. I was also looking for a university which would allow me to tailor the course to a certain extent as per my curiosity.
The course structure offered by APU promised me a rigorous academic environment coupled with some field engagement which interested me a lot.
Apart from the structure of the course, I had the opportunity to speak to students from both the preceding batches who informed me about their academic and non-academic experiences in the college which was a great motivation for me to apply for the course.
Considering my interest and what the course structure in APU is, it became my only preference for LLM, although I had applied for CLAT, I preferred to not sit for the same after my selection here.
Q2. Could you tell us about your journey of pursuing this programme?
I found the university from day one to be very student friendly and accommodative. It understood and acknowledged the difference in abilities and experiences among the students.
Week-long orientation sessions, feedbacks from faculties, open house sessions with the coordinators of the course and the academic environment which emphasizes more on the learning process than the outcomes of the exams are few highlights from my days in APU. I had immense assistance from the faculties in addressing my academic and career concerns.
I enjoyed the way the core courses were taught to me with emphasis on the primary texts and limited use of secondary texts. The tutorial essay as a component of the course allowed me to go beyond the text in understanding it and helped in developing critical reading and writing skills.
Apart from this, the programme sufficiently allowed me to customize the course as per my interest by giving a wide range of electives with a possibility to audit certain courses, in addition.
Q3. To what extent did the interdisciplinary nature of this programme help equip you with sufficient skills and competencies?
My understanding about law in the undergraduate was only about reading statutes and interpreting them. APU introduced me to the interdisciplinary nature of the law where we discussed geography, economics, politics etc in classes to understand the legal concepts and its foundations.
The mode of lectures and the supportive nature of the faculties engaged me with disciplines that I was not familiar with. The inter-disciplinarity of legal teaching has introduced me to studying law in the context which I intend to develop over the years to come.
Apart from this program, the general environment of APU Campus which consists of a spectrum of students coming from diverse backgrounds and various disciplines provided a unique platform for discussions and interactions.
Q4. If you could highlight one thing of your time at Azim Premji University, what would that be?
A couple of things which I found relevant have been highlighted in the responses above. What I would really like to highlight is the importance given to the fieldwork in the course structure.
The Course has a mandatory component of Hub Projects (19 different projects offered this year) which allows students from Masters of Law and Masters of Policy and Governance to work in a cohort and engage in various social and political projects.
I am working on the Legal Aid in India Project wherein we intend to understand the availability of the legal representation at the first stage of an arrest in Karnataka.
The three weeks’ fieldwork in addition to the preliminary visits gave us sufficient time to interact with different stakeholders and understand the application of the law in the society.
Q5. Tell us how this programme can serve as a launching pad for your future career. What are your career plans?
The course has given me a rich understanding of the foundations of law along with seeing the law in the socio-political context. The internship and hub project which I have undertaken as an essential to the course has helped me understand the criminal litigation and its procedure from close.
I intend to join litigation, with a preference for ‘cause lawyering’ and the course has allowed me to explore the area and introduced me to many nuances of the field. I am sure the blend of academic and field exposure which I have gained at APU will assist me in my professional endeavors.
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