THE LLM" TALK
INTERVIEW: NIHARIKA SALAR, LLM FROM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE SHARES WITH US ABOUT HER LLM EXPERIENCE.
Ms Niharika Salar completed her LLM with specialization in Intellectual Property & Technology Law at National University of Singapore after pursuing her BA LLB (Hons) from NUSRL Ranchi. During her time at NUS Singapore, she had the privilege of presenting her research at Hong Kong and Indonesia with respect to Brands and IP law in multiple jurisdictions. Apart from this she also had the opportunity to work with Prof Chalmers (Vice Dean, Research, NUS Law) on his project on the legal and regulatory framework of various SEA countries with respect to their covid response where Ms Salar was responsible for looking into India. Ms Niharika Salar is currently working as an Assistant Professor at NALSAR, Hyderabad where she is responsible for co-teaching General Principles of IPR.
Hey Niharika, please tell us about yourself?
Hey, my name is Niharika Salar. I completed my BA LLB (Hons) from National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi, otherwise known as NLU, Ranchi with specialization in IPR. I was then accepted at Faculty of Law, NUS Singapore for my further studies with a specialization in Intellectual Property and Technology law. As I was inclined towards the academic wing of law as a profession, I eventually ended up joining NALSAR, Hyderabad as an Assistant Professor after my LLM. Other than studies, I am a very fun-loving person who loves to play sports, and practice yoga.
What made your mind to pursue law as your further studies?
It was more of a cancellation process. Coming from a family of science lovers, opting for science appeared an obvious and a good option following which I realised the same was not my cup of tea. Eventually, through a few incidents, the thought of taking up law as a career option started settling in. I don't have a cliché answer that I wanted to bring a change in the world but rather the legal field appeared interesting to me and the curiosity to understand the Indian legal system acted as a catalyst. Once that was decided, I took CLAT.
What is the reason behind your decision to pursue LLM abroad after completing your graduation?
When I was in my second year of under-graduation, I decided to pursue my masters from a well-recognized foreign university. I was quite sure that I didn’t want to pursue my LLM from an Indian institution as I was desirous of global exposure and international pedagogy. I believe that if you don’t explore, you will never expose yourself to the opportunity to broaden your horizon. After spending a good 8 years of childhood in the Middle East, I was in a position to appreciate the immense importance of global experience and impact of the same on my overall personality.
As far as the right time to pursue an LLM is concerned, it’s a very consequential thought which every student faces and the opinion varies from person to person. From my point of view, as I knew I wanted to interact with more nationalities and expand my horizons of research and academics, it would have been better if I got done with the process as soon as possible due to which I decided to apply nevertheless and go with the flow. On the other hand, I had also applied for some jobs for backup. For me, things came up as they were as I decided to study further in IPR.
What did you find unique about the University and the Program you chose?
I wanted to pursue my LLM with specialization in Intellectual Property Law. Usually, candidates would want the maximum return on investment as studying overseas involves a lot of financial as well as emotional investment. A popular opinion is that a specialized LLM is considered better over a General LLM as in depth knowledge in a particular area of law is appreciated (though it depends from industry to industry) due to which I decided on a specialization. I started looking for law schools that had good IP Programs and by good IP Programs I mean law schools which are competitively ranked at the global scale, have good IP Faculties and a wide range of relevant modules to offer. I had been accepted at QMUL London, University of Edinburgh and NUS Singapore, but couldn’t get through LSE and Cambridge. Studying in Singapore was cheaper than the UK in terms of expenses like accommodation and living expenses. NUS has good IP faculties, it's comparatively cheaper and had more opportunities to offer for being the IP hub of Singapore in addition to the presence of WIPO & INTA offices. So while I was at NUS, I had an opportunity to travel to Hong Kong and Indonesia to present my research work, on scholarship.
Studying overseas definitely opens up a lot of windows; a pro-active candidate will always make the best of it and access further windows.
What is your parting advice for the students looking to pursue LLM overseas?
2020 is not the best year to exist in and everyone is impacted in some way or the other. But, I would strongly suggest to not let the pandemic dishearten you. A good candidate is well aware of the exhausting process of application and is always mentally prepared to devote a few months to give a good shot at applying. Once you're done with your LLM Personal Statement, do save your energy to put in equal efforts towards your Scholarship essay and things would be definitely be in your favour. Make sure you are proactive with your deadlines, scholarship information, college information and application drafts and you will be fine!
For further questions, Niharika can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/niharika-salar-27032a80/
Assisted by -Akanksha, GNDU.