Ankit Pal on receiving LLM offer from University of Cambridge

Mr. Ankit Pal belongs to a town  called ‘Korba’ in Chhattisgarh. He has completed his law from HNLU, Raipur. He has been selected from some revered Universities including University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge . He has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador who is pursuing law from HNLU, Raipur. 

1. Tell me something about yourself?

Hi. I am Ankit Pal and I come from a small town in Chhattisgarh called Korba. I completed my intermediate in the science stream and managed to secure a good percentage in my boards.Though I wasn’t sure of choosing law as a career as it would bring me up as a first generation lawyer in my family, yet I chose to appear for CLAT after having been encouraged by my family and peers. After having completed my five years at the Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, I can gladly say that I was justified in choosing law as a career. Currently, I have been selected for pursuing my LL.M. from some revered Universities including University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge and I look forward to joining soon.

2. When and why did you choose to pursue Law as a career?

Well, as I said, law wasn’t the first option to have crossed my mind as a career option, back when I enrolled in the science stream after my matriculation. Coming from a small town, I had never really been exposed to the magnitudes of the legal field before. In my final year at school, I met some correspondences and peers, who were at the time studying law (coincidentally at HNLU), who helped me gain confidence for taking law, after which I found out more about the field through my own research. Intrigued by the gamut of the field and its professionalism, I chose to attempt for CLAT, after having attended a crash course and managed to clear it with a good score, securing a seat at HNLU, Raipur.

Even though I chose to pursue law only intrigued by looking at the surface of it, my 5-year course taught me that law was, in fact, the right choice for my future endeavors.

3. You recently received conditional offers of admission for the course of Master of Law from University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh and Institute for Law and Finance, Frankfurt. How did you prepare yourself for this?

Preparing for an LL.M. is really a long-drawn and tedious task because there is not one parameter that one is judged on for being selected for the course at an esteemed University. Long-drawn because everything, right from one’s academic transcripts and CV to his proficiency in English (if one is looking for an LL.M. outside India) is taken into consideration by the selection board. Each University has its own set of requirements (for instance, Edinburgh requires a Skill and training essay while Oxford requires a written work or an essay on a topic of law) in addition to the basic documents that are needed by all, including a Statement of purpose, recommendation letters (academic mostly, sometimes personal also), IELTS/TOEFL score (as a proof of English language proficiency), and Curriculum Vitae.

Anyone who looks forward to pursue his LL.M. from a good University must therefore plan his way through his undergraduate, building a good CV as well as a sincere rapport to get good recommendations from his/her Professors.

4. You come from a small city in Chhattisgarh and you have worked your way through college. Your friends call you the human embodiment of ‘Deserving’. How did you nurture yourself and hone your skills to achieve what you have?

Well it’s true that I come from a small town in Chhattisgarh, which if you were to evaluate objectively, isn’t the best place for one to have an appreciation of the lengths and breadths of any advancing profession. However, I wouldn’t say that coming from such a place has to necessarily have an impact on where I’m thriving myself to be. Entering law school as a naïve science student, unexperienced of the diverse intelligentsia of the country, was, in fact tough,but it was only a matter of time that this diversity came to be the boon I had required for grooming myself into better standards. I believe that it is that spirit of friendly competition and mutual nurturing at College that brought about the best in me, as it did for many others. I owe it to my batch mates, faculties and the entire HNLU family for whetting me into bringing the best out of me and it is them that I would really bestow the title of ‘deserving’ for helping me mature.

 5. You said that gaining knowledge is your hobby which you can relate with exploring and travelling as both of them help in broadening your thinking horizon. Is there something you would like to share with the readers which helps them in gaining more perspective with respect to the legal field?

Yes. I firmly believe against the popular thought that anyone chooses law because they seem to have no other options left. In fact, I believe that pursuing law opens one up to a wide gamut of opportunities and career options, needless to mention the personality and analytical progress that one makes enrolling into a good law school. One shouldn’t be intimidated because he/she doesn’t have a generation of lawyers before to help make the transition but should rather be encouraged into the field by the growing significance of law and justice in a country as ours. Pursuing law is not what seems like an end option to me, rather I perceive it as a modelled choice for one who believes in being a part of the extensive sphere that is law. One can choose from being a big-shot corporate lawyer, a practicing litigator or a member of the Judicial services of the State among a plethora of other enthusing options by pursuing law.

6. What is your advice for students looking to pursue their masters from such premier institutes?

For students looking forward to pursue their masters in law, I would recommend you to make overall performance the aim of your undergraduate law course. As I’ve already stated, preparing for an LL.M. is a long drawn out process, especially if you’re looking forward to pursuing it from an Institute abroad. One must put in effort to do proper research about the numerous general and specialized masters courses proposed in law by the offering Universities. I would also say that one must weigh in all factors before choosing to pursue LL.M. from abroad as it is expensive venture, the more so with the top-ranked Universities (like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, etc.). One must therefore have a clear idea of what he/she plans to yield out of his masters, as the prospect of increased employability is not very promising. However, if one is convinced to pursue masters in law, he/she must start working to prepare his SOP and recommendations from the penultimate year itself, so as to meet the deadlines of the offering Universities comfortably.

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