Name of the Reviewer
LL.M. in Access to Justice, 2015-16, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
There are 2 categories of people looking for LL.M., the fresh graduates and the other ones.
So it is expected that the other ones will have more clarity to answer their doubt that why do they want a masters degree, where knowledge can be acquired while reading by yourself (assuming that the graduation and some years of work brings in more clarity).
The fresh graduates may chose to pursue a master degree, which is closed curriculum, i.e. which requires one to have a graduation in the same faculty because either 5 years were not sufficient for them to make a choice about their interest area or even though there was, but it didn’t work.
A constant case for doing LL.M. is when one is willing to chose academics as their profession and requires LL.M. as eligibility to move ahead for further qualifications that are expected in academia.
To all such aspirants, this course is unfit, as you tend to read something more intense than what is required to become a law teacher in law colleges/universities, or for that matter cracking the UGC NET exam.
About the Course
One way to analyze the course is to know the subjects taught and they are as follows:
I. First Semester
1. Field work
2. Law & Justice in Globalizing World
3. Comparative Public Law: Systems of Governance
4. Research Methods & Legal Writing
5. Law & Development
6. Law & Justice Institution including Court and Case Management
II. Second Semester
1. Field Work
2. International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
3. Community and Citizen Participation in Access to Justice
4. Legal Strategies for empowerment of Marginalized Groups
5. Curriculum Development & Teaching Laws
6. Dissertation on Legislative Reform in support of vulnerable groups.
The name of the subjects are big and law appears as a mere inclusion in order to make this course look like LL.M.
It also brings in a lot of doubt about their utility and content, but there is common line which binds all these subjects and this is one area which propels this course from rest of the LL.M. degree and that is ‘Compassion’ which is in less supply these days.
Like any other educational institution, this school also deserves better faculty. There are Professors who can give a distinct perspective on already known issues but some are not good for such an institution running a niche course at PG level.
At times, it does not fulfill the requirements of a specialized course.
It becomes tough to convince that this course is technically at par with any other LL.M. Course such as LL.M. in Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property Laws, likewise.
The evaluation process includes the field work which is unique but requires a lot of dedication from students, so all those looking for a classroom based program or are more interested in doctrinal approach to understand a law are suggested to be careful while making up their mind for such a course.
Apart from the curriculum subjects; one gets a lot of scope to attend lectures from any other social sciences faculty.
The students come from different parts of the country with different backgrounds pursuing different courses yet we stay together and this makes TISS a live learning platform than the classroom practice.
The School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance does some real hard work when it comes to placements. It is well organized and there is a bonus when it comes to TISS.
It has its own Central Placement Committee, where students from different courses can approach employers from various backgrounds and the School specific Placement Committee managed jointly by the Students and the Faculty.
A lot of students get placed with NGOs .
In addition there is a Fellowship offered to deserving students who want to lead on any specific issues related with marginalized groups in any part of the country. Some earlier students are working in very remote areas with communities often not known to urban population.
Apart from all above discussed details, TISS is worth a place to explore.