Having successfully decided on pursuing a Master’s degree and enhancing your career is a big decision in your life. But bigger is the step if you plan to pursue the degree in a foreign country. Here is a checklist that should help you in the “sometimes long and winding” application process.
#1 Educational Consultants
If you are not good at sorting out what suits you the best or if you are not an active hustler, hire an educational consultant. These are people who can take the burden of applying for you and getting you admitted at a university. Hiring a good and experienced consultant can get you into a university with minimal strain.
#2 Research: The University & the Programme
Studying in a reputable university matters a lot when it comes to landing yourself in a lucrative job position, yet, identifying the university that should tailor to your requirements is equally essential. Scan through websites like LLM-guide.com and websites of universities to identify programmes that would suit your interest and career goals.
One should realise the fact that all universities do not offer a LLM degree with the same objectives. Programmes might be designed for a career in academia or particular specialisations for a law firm job. So, choosing your programme is important and requires much time and effort. Also, go through LLM University rankings like the QS Rankings which reflect the university’s repute.
Transcript (or Marksheet) formats differ from university to university; so, obtaining transcripts which confirms to the university that you are applying to consume time. Make sure that you apply for official transcripts on time and avoid unnecessary delay.
#4 Statement Of Purpose
This, normally, should toll you most of your time for the application process. The “Statement of Purpose” or “Personal Statement” is the most important key element of the application process. Your admission to a reputed law school or that programme which so fits your career plan depends on this 2-3 page document. You should think seriously and diligently about what you want to include in your statement, prepare a draft versions, review and revise versions and come out with that which opens the gateway to an enriching Master’s programme.
#5 Recommendation Letters
Most universities expect academic recommendations and professional recommendations for you. Finding out the right person to recommend for you and getting the recommendation letters from them promptly and sending it to the universities without delay is also key in getting admitted for the programme.
#6 Student Loans
Financial stringency could be holding you back from pursuing a LLM degree abroad. There are many banks which offer tailored loans as per degree fee requirements. Picking out the right loan from the right bank that suits your requirements is what matters the most. Plan ahead on how you will repay the loan and make sure you stick on to repaying the loan promptly and without fail.
These come in different forms, shapes and sizes. You need to research thoroughly on this area and know what your avenues are. There are scholarships provided by NGOs, institutions, governments and even individuals. Making the right choice and applying through the proper channels at the right time matters most and this would certainly help you get a good scholarship. Flagship scholarships that can grant a full fee waiver are to be looked out for while choosing a particular university.
Fixing up your accommodation before leaving for the university is the first step here. Somehow get a contact in the university, be it former students or present students, and find out directly from them on the different accommodations and its possibilities from them. A firsthand account from an experienced person is something that should not be missed out.
If you wish to pursue a LLM offshore, be mindful of the visas that are to be obtained. Contacting embassies/consulates and obtaining the proper visas should be done promptly. Make sure that the visa that you obtain enables you to stay in the country for the entire duration of the programme and give you breathing space for settling down before the programme and exiting after the programme, You should also make sure whether you will be allowed, under the visa issued, to work while you study for the programme. And also plan properly for showing how your LLM programme is funded as most countries require that you are well funded in order to issue the entry visa.
#10 Career Post the LLM Degree
Most people are clueless or are unprepared on what to do after the LLM degree. Completing your LLM degree and landing yourself in a work position that is irrelevant to the branch in which you conducted the study would be your worst nightmare post the LLM programme. Make sure that you start keeping a tab for your career once the LLM Degree programme is over.
Look into these things before and while applying for a LLM degree abroad. Following them systematically would reduce the risks and burdens involved in the process. Once you are done with the application process, you will be ready for one of the most rewarding experiences that the legal fraternity can offer.