Thursday, April 8, 2010

Life for a Lawyer after LLM - From

Why one wants to do an LLM is a matter of personal choice. Maybe you want to go abroad, maybe you want to study a specific aspect of law and specialize. Come 2011, the chances that you are going to be looking for a job, in India, are quite high. Broadly, corporate law firms, litigation, non-profit, and academics are the sectors where you might be looking for employment. Bar & Bench takes a look at how the LLM helps in the rat race.

Post-Qualification-Experience (PQE) is the mantra for most law firms. Depending upon circumstances, a graduate with PQE stands a better chance of getting hired over an LLM graduate with no PQE. The post-graduate competes in the same job market as the LLB graduate. The LLM does not appear to add special value to one's resume or ensure that they stay ahead in the race.

The focus of LLM programs is academic, an edge that is being blunted by the lack of a practical approach. Most LLM programs seem to focus on academic pursuits encouraging a subsequent doctorate, or a career in academics. The lacuna in such a program is evident, considering that a large number of non-academically inclined students are spending an entire year honing their knowledge, only to come back and compete with lesser qualified juniors or peers.

Dr. Shashikala Gurupur, the Dean of Symbiosis Law College, acknowledges this. Since taking over the deanship, she has made efforts to moot changes in the system. "We are in the process of making this a more industry-oriented, industry friendly course." She feels that when a program offers a more 'hands-on' approach to teaching, the value and the demand for the graduates increases exponentially. "While LLM candidates have a saleability issue for jobs in law firms or corporate houses, they are ideally placed to take up a teaching job. As of now, the demand is low, as the salaries are not up to the mark. But that is only a matter of time," she feels. "There is a dearth of good faculty. They are an extinct species," she rues. She is quick to point out that a majority of LLM candidates in India take up postgraduate studies when they do not manage to get a job. Especially during the recession in 2008-09, when the chances of employment were low, a record number of students chose to pursue a postgraduate degree.  

Parikshet Sirohi, a Delhi-based litigator, feels that the program does not have to offer any practical application. At least in litigation. "It might look good on your visiting card or your letterhead, but as a litigator, it does not help or assist one in becoming a good lawyer," he says. "It is about court-craft, presentation skills, and that cannot be learned in a classroom. I know of some LLM graduates who studied corporate and commercial laws, but are now practicing in Administrative tribunals and a graduate in Human Rights law who is working in a law firm. For a litigator, the Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Penal Code and the Transfer of Property Act are bread and butter. I doubt if an LLM will help you with that."
"Your typical LLM candidate will be one of these three. Either he or she wants to eventually end up in the civil services, or in hard-core academics, or wants to go abroad live in another country for a year and come back," says Parikshet, a statement that many outgoing and incoming students would undoubtedly find true.

Source - Bar and

1 comment:

charlylisle said...

LLM is a Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree. People will get so many opportunities after completing LLM. Above article gives very useful information which help to LLM student.

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