Hardika Kukreja is a law graduate from Amity Law School, Noida and currently pursuing her Masters of Law from the University of Cambridge. She is an all-rounder, vindicating it with a scholarship in her academics and an exemplary performance in her co-curricular. Hardika is a passionate social service enthusiast and her area of research is IPR in Pharmaceuticals. She has worked with different organisations in the chase of fulfilling her goals. She has her expertise in drafting and oration. Miss Kukreja has a knack for writing and she is also an avid reader. For her law and innovations are an impeccable weave.
She has been interviewed by Divya C Vattikutty, EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador who is currently pursuing law from DSNLU.
- Before proceeding further with the interview would you please take a moment to tell our readers about yourself and your journey to Cambridge?
I have always been passionate towards women’s rights and that is something that prompted me towards the domain of the legal profession. Currently, I am registered as an advocate from the Bar Council of Delhi. I was fortunate to be chosen to pursue my Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce in the form of an integrated course from the Amity Law School, Noida in the year 2016. I completed the primary years of my school education in the same year from St. Joseph’s Convent, Bhopal. In the terminal years of my college, I co-founded a student-led research organisation in the form of socio-legal forum with the collaboration of five law students from varied geographical locations. I had always been passionate towards learning and law has always been my calling and therefore I wanted to gain knowledge from the best universities that there is, hence, the University of Cambridge.
- What contributed to your decision to pursue law?
Law has been a tool for people to gain justice and it has always strengthened democracy. This is what assisted me in my pursuit to venture my career into legal studies. Since I was young, I used to read articles where noticeably there used to be publications of at least one activity of grave injustice against women; this is what led me towards the conduit of law. Being a girl, interested in women’s rights, it had always been my cherished ambition to pursue law and specifically work against this catastrophe in the society where women are stippled down and converged on into the abyss of self-deprecation and meekness. Law is a powerful contrivance if used wisely. I am a firm believer in the saying that with the law comes power and any such endowment should be used wisely and for the betterment of the community. Moreover, law bridges the gap between the interests of the society and rights of the individuals.
- Please tell us briefly about your schooling and college life, especially at Amity University and now at Cambridge?
I believe that my school life has played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. I studied at a girl’s school since my kindergarten to grade 12th. Acquiring my initial years of education under the guidance of powerful women inspired me to take a supplementary vestige in protecting the interests of women. Furthermore, I was fortunate that my alma mater encouraged us to be firm on our views and work for the betterment of society. Subsequently, at Amity Law School, Noida I was given the prestigious opportunity to present my views further with the unwavering supervision of the faculties who had been patient in getting me acquainted with the intricacies and cornerstones of law. During my legal studies, I also ventured into the dynamic field of intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical industry. Working forward at Cambridge University, I plan to acquire my education and expertise in the legal profession from the best of the legal jurists in the world.
- What are your views on the prospects of foreign LLM?
Masters in law is the unopposed form of knowledge in the legal fraternity, whether it is from India or from abroad. Nonetheless, my decision to pursue my masters from a foreign university was influenced by the very fact that I wanted to attain the legal knowledge of not just our nation but I also wanted to fathom the international efficacy of the same. I have always been an avid reader and being a learner and reader of law has always been a motivating factor for me. Moreover, pursuing my masters in the United Kingdom would also broaden the horizon of my practice and assist me in securing a job in India as well as the United Kingdom. In addition to the same, upon the completion of my masters, I plan to work with international organisations to render my services globally and to bring about a change in an international sphere.
- Which were the other universities that you were considering and had applied to? What were your criteria for the selection of the college?
As I was applying to universities, I divided the universities into two categories: dream universities and safe universities. The dream universities can be discerned as one which have low acceptance rates and the safe universities on the other hand can be understood as those colleges which have a higher acceptance rate. For my assistance, I relied upon the QS rankings. I primarily wanted to study in the United Kingdom due to the fact of how it has influenced the Indian legal scenario in the long run. I chose the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science as my dream universities. I opted for Queen Mary University, London as my safe college as it has a student-friendly atmosphere, and it is one of the top reputed colleges for LLM.
- How should an aspiring student go about the application process? Please tell us about the timeline of the application and your experience?
There are two ways by which the students can go forward with the applications. It can either be through the assistance of the agencies (consultancy services) or the aspirants can choose to fill the applications on their own. I chose to fill the application on my own because I have the point of view that at the end of the day our application is what presents our candidature to the universities as their prospective students. Moreover, if one intends to apply for an October intake then they should start not later than the month of August of the previous year. I would also like to assert that the applications of the prestigious universities majorly close by December and therefore, one should be diligent with it. Furthermore, statement of purpose (SOP) is the most imperative part of the application, and it should always cover within its ambit why one chose a particular area of study and what are the future plans of the candidate. I would also like to bring it to your notice that after the SOP, the letter of recommendations (LORs) are to be focused upon. There are usually two LORs that are required by the universities for the LLM application. These referees should either be the academic references or the professional references of the candidate. Last but not the least, the subject preference is a critical threshold in a LLM application. It is due to the palpable manifestation that your CV, SOP and LORs should all align with the candidate’s alacrity to attain the specialisation in a particular subject.
- What were the areas you focused on in terms of CV building towards LLM?
A curriculum vitae presents what you have done in the prime years of your student life to further your goal of enriched learning. The universities primarily look for adept scores in the applications of the candidates. It should also be clubbed with participation in social services. A diverse experience in mooting and dispute resolution always goes a long way. Legal research is a prominent component for every law student. Even if a student plans to go into litigation, he should have good researching skills so as to present his case, devoid of any ambiguities. Besides, a good researcher is always preferred by the universities because it assures them that the student would be able to endure the tedious hours of study and would also have sufficient knowledge in the field of specialisation chosen by him. In order to burnish their researching skills, the students can espouse participation in the paper presentations and research paper publications.
- How important is doing proper legal research and how should law students equip themselves with legal research skills. Not many people are familiar with the concept of “exhaustion of a search”. What are your views on it?
As stated above, I am resolute that research is a vital idiosyncrasy for every law student. A researcher would always come across several points that are already known by him and some points that are new to him. A researcher should substantiate every point of research with precedents and provisions of law. A student should work on the adroitness of their researching skills by focusing on reading several judgments and focusing on the research questions. It always assists in streamlining a research.
The efficacy of research was very well understood in the precedent of S.P. Anand v. H.D. Deve Gowda,. The Court stated that a good cause can be lost if petitions are filed with half-baked information. This stance undeniably brings forward the concept of “exhaustion of research”. Invariably, an incomplete research is always hazardous because it repletes with unanswered questions and contradictions of the research purview. Therefore, every search should be done with assiduousness before the researcher concludes a research.
- Lastly, is there any advice you would like to share with the law students aspiring to apply for LLM abroad?
There is a lot that I would want to impart to the LLM aspirants because we tend to make aberrations in the fit of anxiety while applying. However, I would narrow it down and substantiate that it is not difficult to get into a prestigious college abroad until you can prove your impetus and inclination towards attaining higher education in a particular area of study. The combat for higher education does not end just with the successful application but several factors hinder your perseverance until you reach your desired institute. Despite the strive, it is all worth it and the exposure that you get by studying abroad is unexcelled. I would also encourage everyone to attain their further education. I would like to leave with the afterthought of a saying from Benjamin Franklin,
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
 (1996) 6 SCC 734.