My LL.M Experience: Life at Boston, From India to United States

Graduated from Shri Vaishnav Institute of Law, Indore in 2016. During my 5 years of studying law, I was awarded for the best research project and moot competitions. I had also served as a student member at different committees of my college. I interned with attorneys at the law firms, corporations and various government agencies. During my final year at the law school, I decided to pursue my further studies in U.S. So, I started gathering information to justify my choice to do LL.M. (Masters of Law) from the United States of America.

How did I make up my mind? Well, I followed my instincts. Although, I did a research upon whether foreign lawyers are eligible to appear as an attorney, likeliness of securing a job. Frankly, several articles discouraged my decision. However, my belief was strong. I believed and still believe that, it doesn’t matter where you study, it is your work, your expertise and your hard work which will pave a way for your success! So, that was my thought when I made my decision. Moreover, the support I got from all the people around me made me firm on my decision.

In July 2016, I joined Northeastern University School of Law, Boston where I am pursuing LL.M. with concentration in International Business Laws. My coursework includes Law of Contracts, International Business Transactions, Secured Transactions, U.S. Constitutional Law, Corporations, Negotiations and Legal Research and Writing. I secured a Research Assistant position at the Legal Skills in Social context program at the law school. I also started working as a Research Assistant at Institute of Research and Data Administration at Northeastern University. One of the things which I considered while choosing my law school was the exclusive “co-op opportunity” which Northeastern University provides. I am proud to say with the administration’s support and my passion, I managed to secured a co-op (internship) at Partners Healthcare which I will be starting in few weeks.

I wanted to be a lawyer since my 10th grade; but I wasn’t confident enough to pursue it because I really wasn’t that confident in public speaking. When I got good grades in the 10th ICSE Board, my parents persuaded me to choose “science” subjects and appear for engineering entrances! However, I badly wanted to pursue law, so I searched up about it. Having no background and knowledge about the examinations, I joined a private class to appear for CLAT. Eventually, I joined a law school and participated in almost every event and competitions while pursuing my studies. I lost my fear in my second year after exposing myself to public speaking in the mootcourt competitions! While I was in my fourth year, I had completed interning at various law firms, companies and NGOs. Gradually, I realized my passion and interests towards commercial and corporate field of law.

I wanted to pursue my Masters, either in India or abroad. I really didn’t think about how and where but I think my parents support motivated me to decide. Well, after I planned to pursue it abroad, it really mattered to take this as a lifetime experience. The degree once acquired in U.S. would be beneficial as to qualify to practice in another jurisdiction. Moreover, it will give me a chance to land a job with an international firm. While deciding my university, I really didn’t have time and since I missed most of the IVY deadlines, I decided to pursue at Northeastern University on the recommendation of an alumnus (family member). There are a lot of factors to consider studying abroad, specifically costs and the risks. It was easier for me to settle in due to my friends and family. However, I would strongly recommend people to consider these things.

 My experience at Northeastern University School of Law, is entirely the opposite of my bachelor’s studies. I believe one of the main differences is the methodology used to evaluate one’s skills. The course structure is designed in a way to help you grow as an attorney with all necessary skills. I am expected to comply rules of “Plagiarism”, which didn’t really was a topic of discussion during my bachelor’s. I am evaluated based on my own skills and my hard work. Professors are really kind and helpful. It is a complete new experience for learners (like me) out there. Diversity is another difference which could be observed. I am the only Indian student in my LL.M. program with students from all over the world. It’s completely new and amazing when you feel the responsibility of representing your country in a foreign state! I would rate my time in Boston as one of the best I’ve had so far. I will be completing my second quarter in few weeks and I have no idea how time flew! It’s thrilling to attend classes, complete assignments, read hundreds of pages per week, travel on weekends and manage our bills! It is so exciting to live at a beautiful place with beautiful people around. There’s a lot to come ahead this year and I am prepared for it!

Bhagyashree Sonwane,
Student LL.M- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston
Executive Director, Legal Desire Media and Publications



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