Sruthi Srinivasan and Aishwarya Mysuru Sagar on their Intellectual Property LLM Experiences at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

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We connected with two recent alumni from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, Sruthi Srinivasan LLM ’17 and Aishwarya Mysuru Sagar LLM ‘19, to learn more about the LLM application process, their experience studying intellectual property at one of the best law schools in the US, and what life is like post LLM.

(Edited excerpts)

Franklin Pierce (FP): You enrolled in the LLM right after your undergraduate course. When did you start the application process, and how early would you recommend applicants start?

Aishwarya Mysuru Sagar

Aishwarya Sagar

Aishwarya Mysuru Sagar (AS): I started thinking about doing LLM course abroad around my third year of law school. I started applying when I finished my 9th semester as I was planning to enroll in an LLM course with a Fall opening – this was approximately 8-9 months before the program would begin. I strongly recommend this time frame as it aligns with the application timeline of US universities. If you are interested in scholarships, it is important that you apply early and meet all deadlines. Applying late could impact your chance of getting good scholarships even if you have a strong academic record. So be sure to start as early as you can!

Sruthi Srinivasan (SS): I agree – it is important to start the preparation 4-6 months before the deadline. Getting your transcripts evaluated through LSAC, WES or Globe can take time as it requires coordination with your university in India. And as Aishwarya said, if you are looking for scholarship, it is best to apply early. You will want to make sure statement of purpose (SOP) is in excellent shape and you have letters of recommendation for professors or employers. Some scholarships may require additional essays.

Sruthi Srinivasan

Sruthi Srinivasan

FP: Do you have any other advice on the application process itself?

AS: This is stage is of the utmost importance. You want to be sure you have all required documents. It is important to write your SOP with honesty – talk about your future and how pursuing your LLM aligns with your plans. Let this piece of work represent you. Once you have shortlisted your desired schools, start gathering required documents, such as transcripts, degree certificate, passport, and recommendation letters. Make sure you know your school’s required scores for English proficiency. And finally, keep track of everything you do and do it on time!

SS: Take the time to research schools and speak with alumni from the school. This will help you determine the right school for you.

FP: You opted for a specialised degree – what were some of the other schools that you applied to? And what got you to narrow down on Franklin Pierce?

AS: I chose Intellectual Property Rights as my LLM specialization. I sent out applications (and was accepted) to several US law schools, including Dayton School of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law, and the University of Illinois College of Law. With four schools to choose from, I let rankings and reputation be my guide. From the moment I began researching IP schools, attending Franklin Pierce was my dream. The institution is highly respected globally for IP and the school is ranked #5 in the US for IP programs. It has strong academics with an expansive list of IP courses and a faculty that is equally as strong as the courses offered.

SS: In addition to Franklin Pierce, I applied to Northeastern University School of Law, Boston College of Law, Suffolk University School of Law and University of Connecticut School of Law – all schools on the east coast. I was accepted with scholarship/financial aid from all the schools. I choose Franklin Pierce because it is one of the best programs in the US. The classes offer practical training that prepares you for the workplace. In addition, Franklin Pierce is an intimate law school that provides personalized discussion and allows you the flexibility to take JD courses alongside new age, cutting edge IP courses, such as Information Age Commercial Laws.

I also knew that Franklin Pierce had a strong alumni network around the world, including here in India. Recently, Dean Megan Carpenter, an internationally known IP expert, traveled to India and met with about 40 alumni in Delhi, Pune, and Mumbai. It was a great opportunity to meet and network with fellow Franklin Pierce graduates.

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Franklin Pierce is an intimate law school that provides personalized discussion

FP: How was the LLM experience at Franklin Pierce? What were some of the most exciting or challenging aspects of your LLM experience?

AS: My experience was a dream come true! The program balanced theory and practice and my lectures included speakers from all over the US. The most exciting aspect was my course taught by Mr. Micky Minhas (Vice President & Chief Patent Counsel at Microsoft), who is also an alum of the school. His course included conversations with Chief Counsel/Patent strategists of Apple,
Samsung, Rockstar and Johnson & Johnson. It was such a privilege! The most challenging part was getting used to the US legal education system and keeping up with all my courses – it is a lot of material to cover in just one year! I am extremely proud to have attained my degree from Franklin Pierce.

SS: You can read all about my LLM experience in my Legal Desire interview.

FP: Given the short length of the LLM course, how do you think students can make the most of it?

AS: Most LLM programs are designed for one academic year (usually about nine months). It is a short amount of time, and a bit of a roller coaster ride, but you learn a lot and take so many courses. I grew personally and achieved great heights. One of the best parts of studying abroad is the networking opportunities huge amounts of exposure to new people and new organizations.

You can make the most of the program by utilizing all the resources available. Build co-curricular, community activities and cultural festivities into your schedule. These are sure to help fade away any homesickness you might experience.

SS: If you plan to stay in the US after your LLM program concludes, please contact your Immigration Advisor at least one semester ahead so they can support your plans. If you are considering taking the US Bar Exam, the evaluation process begins early, and you will need to prepare for this in your first semester as this also involves coordination with your University in India.

FP: Lastly, any advice for the Indian law graduate who is considering a master’s abroad?

AS: There are several scholarships and funding opportunities available so don’t let the cost of tuition scare you. Aid is often based on merit – academic record, professional experience (if applicable) and quality of the application. Research your options and apply for all funding possible. And remember, there are limited permanent job opportunities in the US for foreign LLM graduates, so have an open mind and consider a variety of options.

SS: The LLM will open doors for you in India. Since returning to India, I have worked with a major fashion platform. I am currently in a global role with an engineering services outsourcing and product development IT services for the global manufacturing industry. The LLM helped me diversify my professional experience and opened new doors.

For more information on intellectual property programs from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, please visit the school’s website. Or reach out to the admissions team at [email protected] or on WhatsApp at +1-603-513-5300.

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