Higher Studies

Habin George Sebastian, shares his experience on securing internships at top-tier law firms, LLM from Georgetown University and Diploma in Business Laws from iPleaders

Habin George Sebastian graduated from ILS Law College, Pune in 2016. He then pursued an LL.M in International Business and Economic Law with a specialization certificate in International Commercial Arbitration from Georgetown University.

In this interview he shares with us:

  • Securing top-notch law firm internships
  • Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Business Laws
  • Choosing specialization for LLM
  • Writing SOP for LLM abroad

 

HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR READERS?

I am a very cool person with an open heart who always want others to smile at me and say Hi Habin! From there, I believe my task is to make that person happier, (literally, some say I am a Joker/Nautanki/Mr. Bean and the names go on).

 

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED YOU TO PURSUE LAW. PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE LIFE.

For me, it was not a tough decision to make. I come from a family that has a law background. My uncle P.G Chacko is a retired judicial member of The Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal and my cousins were also corporate lawyers in a big law firm in India. I must confess that my role model is my cousin(sister) Reeba Chacko, who is considered to be one of Asia’s best corporate lawyers. I always wanted to be like her. I will be at some point in my life.

I enjoyed college at its best. I am fortunate to have such wonderful friends and teachers such as Prof. Nilma Bhadbhade, Prof. Sonali Jhadav and Prof. Anagha Kadolkar. I will say that I got a family in ILS Law College, Pune. Maybe college life taught me who I am really!

 

 WHAT IS THE SECRET TO SUCH A SUCCESSFUL ACADEMIC RECORD?

I was amongst the very few who secured First class with honors in the final year of my batch. My secret to such successful academic record is my sister Sebin Elizabeth Sebastian who always motivates me to get the best out of me. I love you, sis!

If I am not wrong, now it’s getting highly difficult to secure a first class in Pune University. (I am sure it’s not because students are dumb but because of the…. ILS people you should know the answer for this.)

 

 YOU HAVE DONE MANY INTERNSHIPS IN TOP TIER LAW FIRMS DURING YOUR TIME AT LAW SCHOOL. HOW DID YOU BAG THEM? HOW WOULD YOU SAY THAT AN INTERN CAN GENERATE A POSITIVE FEEDBACK IN THE LIMITED TIME THEY HAVE?

I have done many internships in top-tier law firms including J Sagar Associates, Trilegal, etc. I secured these top-tier internships through networking and contacts. In India, if you want to get a positive feedback in an internship, work hard as you can and show them specifically the research work you have done for your day. DON’T EVER FORGET TO SHOW your work !!! But at some point even if you work hard as a student intern, some people won’t recognize your research. So don’t ever give up if you get a negative feedback. If you give up, then they will get a win over you which you don’t want. This is the main difference between US firms and some Indian firms, not all. I also trained with CG software Inc, Arizona, USA, an International firm where people are always MOTIVATING you to get the best out of your ability.

 

YOU HAVE PURSUED THE DIPLOMA IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND BUSINESS LAW FROM NUJS. PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THIS COURSE. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO LAW STUDENTS?

I am happy to inform you that I was in the first batch of this course. One of the main reasons to pursue this course which is also my area of interest that is Business Law was its tag with National University of Juridical Sciences that gave a boost to my CV. I think I joined this course during my second or third year which gave me basic insights about Entrepreneurship and Business Law. I must tell you that even after completing this course, NUJS-Ipleaders was extremely helpful to me even in my career. I am thankful for your intense interests to answer some of my queries and special thanks to Mr. Ramanuj Mukherjee who guided me a lot throughout my career process. Thank you!

 

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO GO FOR A MASTERS PROGRAMME? HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR SPECIALISATION?

I was not mentally prepared for a job during my law school days. So I thought I will pursue Master of Laws that will make me ready for it.

During my first year, I had my first mooting experience ever in my life. Fortunately, I won First Rank in my courtroom and selected amongst the 22 out of 208 to the semifinals of the Novice Moot Court Competition conducted in ILS Law College, Pune that was an encouraging moment for my career and confidence. I started liking litigation, mooting etc. On the other hand, I also liked the corporate dealings, its complexities in Mergers and Acquisitions. I used to read major Mergers and Acquisitions done by Cousin Reeba Chacko and made some collection of it like stamp collection (lol), I know it sounds crazy! but for me this kind of crazy stuff builds PASSION!

These factors encouraged me to specialize in International Law that includes International Business and Economic Law (helped me to know about corporate law) and International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution(helped me to know about International Litigation and Arbitration ).

 

WHICH UNIVERSITIES DID YOU APPLY FOR LLM? HOW DID YOU CHOOSE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTRE?

Honestly, I have applied to twelve law schools including Georgetown, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Berkley etc. I got calls from Georgetown Law and the University of Pennsylvania and waitlisted by NYU and Berkely.

I always wanted to study in Harvard OR Yale because of its name around the world but I didn’t get admission there as a fresh graduate. But God has got a different plan for me. Fortunately, I could study law at Georgetown Law with my experienced classmates who did there undergraduate law degree (JD) from Harvard/Yale/Columbia/LSE etc and I got the same feeling of those elite institutions, may be better in International Law. Georgetown Law is considered to be one of the best law schools in the world for International Law. Therefore, my obvious choice was Georgetown University Law Center for my course.

 

WHAT SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND WHILE WRITING SOP FOR LLM ABROAD?

I must confess this part is the toughest in the whole LL.M Application process. Please send your SOPs to at least 150 people like I did and edit it accordingly. Don’t ever give up during the LL.M application process and send some lethargic applications to law schools in the USA. That won’t work because they need the best in the world (195 countries) not only from India. I worked for at least ten to twelve months in SOP Editing.

 

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR TIME AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTRE? WHAT SHOULD A LAW STUDENT EXPECT WHEN GOING FOR AN LLM ABROAD?

I won’t ever give regret my time at Georgetown law. It has got such wonderful campus and got to know people from all around the world. Some of the notable things I remember, I got several opportunities to meet finest International Arbitration lawyers in the world in person such as Ian Laird, Nabeel Ikram, Karthick Nagarajan etc. I am fortunate to say that I can even call some of them to ask any doubts in International Arbitration. They are great minds filled with humble elements.

I say, Keep your expectation very high and this expectation will strive you to work hard to get your desired position. If you don’t get, don’t despair but try next time. This is not the end of the world!

 

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS AT JSA?

I think recruitment process at JSA is very transparent specifically for an Associate position. You can apply directly through their site and wait for their call, it may take months to get a response.

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PARTING MESSAGE TO OUR READERS?

I have a strong message to all future LL.M applicants. If you believe at any point in time that you are not smart or you are an average student, don’t ever stick to this point! Get up and think think think! What should I do from now to change myself to my best? You should not compare yourself with others. Believe in yourself and don’t believe others who try to demotivate you including your family/friends/colleagues.

 

 

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