Hi, my name is Varun Kumar & I completed LL.M(Criminal Law) in 2017 from University Institute of Law and Management Studies. Firstly, thank you Sudipta Bhowmick and Jurisedge team for giving me the opportunity to express the views and experience on the topic ‘LL.M from NLU Vs Non-NLU’ and give everyone an insight into law school experience. As per my understanding the theme of the article is to differentiate the experience of doing LL.M from the Non-NLU and from NLUs.
Let me first give you insight about the place from where I did my LL.M. UILMS established in 2000 as National Law College is the maintained institute of M.D. University, Rohtak and is located in Sector 40 of Gurgaon city. The University offers LL.M 2 year’s course and procedure for getting admission into LL.M course is to appear for the University Post Graduate Entrance test and on the basis of the Entrance Merit you are called for the counseling and option to select the different affiliated colleges and university institute. On the basis of the merit I got selected in University institute.
So here I start my experience of being Non –NLU student, I was lucky to have and taught by eminent professors and teachers in field of academics like Professor A. S. Dalal is an Indian legal educational administrator. He is Professor, Head & Dean in Department of Law Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana also Director of Law in UILMS, Gurgaon. He previously worked as Dean in Nirma University, Gujarat & National Law University, Jodhpur, Dr. Anupam Kurlwal who is author of book titled ‘An Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution System (ADR)’ published by Central Law Publications, Allahabad and Dr. Virender Sindhu who is Constitutional Expert and also guide of my LL.M dissertation.
The class comprised the people with varied backgrounds which include Retired Military officers, practising advocates of High Courts and lower courts, freelancers, entrepreneur and some was just law graduate (like me) and obviously this diversity in class comes with experience, knowledge, and different ideas I think this is the advantage of doing masters which helps to interact and make connection with the talented people and this was not happened in law graduate course(BA.LLB) because of same age group and limited experience. However, this somehow shaping our lives, future, thinking, surroundings and way of approaching the law in both substantive and procedural sense.
Well, as far as the infrastructure of the institute is concerned was not so good and I think same situation is faced by the students of State Universities. UILMS being University maintained institute and funds are provided by University itself so it is obvious that being govt university maintained institute there have been less in everything as compared to the NLUs. Moreover, there was less exposure in terms of seminars, conferences, guest lecturer’s visits, etc.
NLU vs. NON-NLU
Well, to say that it did not make a difference being NLU and Non- NLU student would be both unwise and inaccurate at the same time. We are talked in sense of LL.M from NLU vs. Non-NLU, as per the my experience LL.M from NLU only gives you tag in the market because if you are in house counsel or work in some such capacity or some corporate firms, LL.M might be desirable but I would recommend you ask your employer whether he is looking for a professional with such qualifications. However, if desire is to stay in practice then a LL.M. degree won’t make much of a difference. If you are looking for the academics then LL.M is must with NET qualification. Moreover, if I talked about another difference between doing LL.M from NLU vs. NON NLU that there is leniency in attendance generally all govt. university offers LL.M 2years course. this thing help you to invest your time in other activities like preparing for competitive exam by taking classes in evening in coaching institute , not possible in NLUs as the course structure is rigorous and its LLM 1 year course.
My LL.M course was 2 year and there was not much pressure of classes, assignment. It helps me to invest me time in chamber practice, preparing for competitive exam. I managed to achieve the University Rank in the LL.M exams and also focusing on other activities side by side.
To conclude, LL.M degree per se is no guarantee of employability and no increase on salary on sole basis of LL.M even if it from NLUs or NON-NLU. According to me there is only a question of affordability of fee of LL.M which is higher in NLU as compared to the NON-NLU like DU, KU, MDU, etc. Everyone has different purpose and motivation, so my advice is going for LL.M when you have certain reasons why are you pursuing it.
“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” –Will Rogers