Note: For Law students who want to pursue an LLM or teach.
Academicians across the world and in India have published exciting books, consulted global corporations on challenging issues, been cited by courts while deciding difficult judgments and been part of exclusive committees created by courts and governments. Some even come back to the industry. For example, Raghuram Rajan held professorships at the world’s most distinguished universities, before he was appointed as Governor of RBI. This is an addition to developing bright minds, which they do as a part of their everyday career.
If you want to pursue a career in academics, we are assuming that you are interested in obtaining such results in your career.
Developing practical skills provides access to some very unique career opportunities. Let’s explore what they could be.
1 – Private sector consultancy
Those academicians who have practical knowledge are able to regularly secure several consultancy assignments from the private sector. Their credibility is much higher than any freelancer. Private sector projects and consultancy work can regularly keep flowing in, provided you have some practical experience, that is, a sense of commercial intent and incentives for different business players, and how law applies practically. It is less concerned with theory, or right and wrong, and more about getting things done.
Further, owing to the vast amount of student resources at their disposal, teachers are uniquely placed to undertake voluminous research projects to analyze trends and amounts of data that private sector organizations would find too expensive. They can take up projects that others can not if they have a sense of what’s important for businesses and organizations. For example, they can undertake projects to get data, recommend amendments to law-makers based on extensive research and surveys, recommend rare public-interest litigation strategy, etc.
For example, Professor Shamnad Basheer was able to start India’s first and leading intellectual property law blog called Spicy IP. Similarly, Professor Umakanth (on NUJS’ industry panel) started India’s first and highly respected scholarly blog on corporate laws called the Indian Corporate Law Blog.
2 – Publishing books
Law publishers constantly seek out new authors, and as a teacher you have tremendous credibility. A law teacher is in a very unique position to blend theory with practice, to connect with practitioners, develop new emerging theories in the law. Ronald Dworkin, for example, analyzed judgments to develop his theories in jurisprudence.
Both in the US and India, judges have relied on scholarly publications to decide issues on complex positions of law.
Adding a book to your name amplifies your credibility on national and international forums. Your book is also likely to be found in a practitioner’s or a law firm’s chamber, if it is connected to their area of practice. Apart from earning royalties, publishing books creates exciting possibilities for travel to different parts of the world to deliver guest lectures, pursue further studies, obtain research grants, honorary degrees, etc.
3 – Rockstar teaching
We can’t forget the benefits of practical experience and skills in mainstream teaching. You will notice that many successful academicians have been practitioners of the law for at least some period of time. Their students remember them for years. They are somehow able to grasp the subject really fast, and often go into an advanced level out of their own interest. How do these teachers achieve such results? Having worked in industry enables them to have a filter of what’s important and what’s not and simplify concepts in a more effective manner.
These skills can now be acquired simply by learning from industry practitioners who have years of experience in dealing with these subjects.
4 – Command an edge in your SOP and LLM interview
In your CV and SOP, having additional skillsets is beneficial in the following manner:
- As academic qualifications (in your CV)
- To demonstrate you have work experience (in your CV and SOP)
- To demonstrate that you have the ability to generate work (in your SOP)
5 – Part-time assignments during your LLM
If you are pursuing research abroad, you may be able to undertake consultancy work and generate additional income from the country of study or from India (consultancy from international clients may be subject to visa-related norms).
LLM theses and research papers are heavily based on data, theory and norms. You may be able to produce a more comprehensive and relevant thesis based on practical understanding of Indian laws. For example, if you are studying an LLM in corporate or banking and finance laws, your research can be more high-impact if you have a sense of practical aspects of Indian business laws (taught in the NUJS Business Law Diploma Course).
6 – Non-academic career opportunities post your LLM
Last, you may want to move back into the industry. That’s the time your practical skills, network and real work experience will come in handy.
Many people pursue an LLM for a global experience, and not necessarily for enhancement of career opportunities. An LLM does not add to additional work experience. In many cases, post-LLM career opportunities are not very different from what is available pre-LLM. If you decide to come back and work, the practical skills you have acquired will count. If you can acquire them while in India or through an online course (if you are already pursuing your LLM abroad), it can be pretty useful.
What can you do now to open doors to the above opportunities?
It is not always possible or even necessary to work to be able to capitalize on these opportunities. On-the-job training is great, but very narrow and unstructured. What if you could learn practical skills in a structured way from industry experts? We recommend the NUJS Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws (see here) for overall career development that enables you to get maximum training, mentorship and career opportunities after the course.
For subject-specific courses
- iPleaders Certificate Course in Commercial Contract Drafting and Negotiation (see here)
- iPleaders Certificate Course in Intellectual Property Laws (see here)
Read about the career journeys of the following people:
- Pranusha Kulkarni (see here). She now teaches at Tamil Nadu National Law School.
- Fatima Quraishi, who pursued a masters’ degree in Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (see here)
For all-round development on a variety of skills, we strongly suggest you take up the Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws (see here).