Interviews

Texas A&M School of Law is proud to announce its academic partnership with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) for LL.M Pathway Program

For the first time in India, students from GNLU will have the opportunity to enroll in the LL.M Pathway program created by Texas A&M School of Law with Gujarat National Law University. 

The students wishing to participate in the program may earn up to 12 credits at GNLU on a case-by-case basis which will be evaluated and transferred to Texas A&M School of Law as per the American Bar Association’s credit hour calculation.

Students will then spend one semester and possibly a summer term at Texas A&M School of Law, completing the rest of the 12 credit requirements to become eligible to receive an LL.M. from Texas A&M School of Law at the close of that period of study.  

Applications for Fall 2020 are being accepted now. 

Have questions about the tuition fees, visas, eligibility for the bar, OPT, or the application process? Contact Ananya Gupta at ananya@lawnchpad.org or by phone at +91-7204686355, Autumn Lockett at alockett@law.tamu.edu, or GNLU representative Ms. Harsha Rajwanshi at hrajwanshi@gnlu.ac.in.

Robert B. Ahdieh, Dean of Texas A&M University, School of Law, spoke about the collaborations between Texas A&M University School of Law (Texas A&M Law) and O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) for the GIFTED Program, and Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) for the LL.M. Pathway Program. 

Dean Ahdieh, could you tell us about these partnerships?

Superlawyer

Let me begin with Texas A&M Law’s just-launched Global Immersion Fellowship for Talent & Educational Development (GIFTED) Program with JGU, India’s top-ranked private law school, in Sonipat, Haryana. 

Under the GIFTED Program with JGU, scholars will spend the fall semester studying at JGU and up to 12 of their credit hours will be eligible for transfer to Texas A&M Law. Upon successfully completing the spring semester in residence at Texas A&M Law, students will earn their LL.M. degree from Texas A&M Law. Additionally, by combining the non-transferred credits from the fall and JGU credit for their spring coursework (adding up to a minimum of 16 credits at JGU), students will be eligible to earn an LL.M. from JGU as well.

We are also collaborating with GNLU on the LL.M. Pathway Program, in which scholars may earn up to 12 credits at GNLU, which will be evaluated and transferred to Texas A&M Law on a case-by-case basis, in line with the American Bar Association’s credit-hour calculation.

Students will then spend one semester and possibly a summer term at Texas A&M Law, completing the rest of the 12 credit requirements to become eligible to receive an LL.M. from Texas A&M Law at the close of their period of study. 

In both cases, for the first time, Indian scholars have the golden opportunity to simultaneously get degrees from their Indian universities and from Texas A&M Law, allowing them to engage both the U.S. and Indian legal markets. 

Going forward, we welcome similar collaborations in India and other countries.

How do you feel about these partnerships?

Needless to say, much thought, planning, and due diligence has gone into these partnerships between Texas A&M Law and the Indian universities for the LL.M. Hence I expect these partnerships will create significant synergies for the benefit of both our students and our universities. Scholars who complete a double LL.M. more than double their chances of professional success both nationally and internationally.

What would you like to tell us about the Law School at Texas A&M University? 

I would begin with the significant upwards momentum of Texas A&M Law in recent years – with a bigger rise in the U.S. News rankings than any other U.S. law school. During this period, the quality of our incoming students has likewise increased more than that of any other law school, while our faculty has grown significantly and scaled new heights. Our reputation among judges and lawyers has also risen faster than any other law school in the country – and we are confident that our reputation will continue to grow in the years ahead. 

In addition, I would also highlight Texas A&M Law’s existing and emerging areas of distinctive strength: our top 10 rankings in Intellectual Property and in Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation; our very strong program in Energy and Environmental Law; and our emerging programs in Health Law & Policy and in Cybersecurity and Privacy, among others.

 

Finally, I might say a word about our location in Texas – the fastest growing state in the United States, which would be the tenth largest economy in the world, if it were its own country. New businesses – from Toyota to Infosys, Wipro, and Mahindra – are moving their headquarters to Texas every year. Every major law firm has or is opening an office here in Texas. With particular regard to India, 20% of U.S. Foreign Direct Investment into India comes from Texas. 10% of U.S. bilateral trade between India and the U.S. involves Texas. All of that creates great opportunity for growth, for learning, and for professional development for law students. And the cost of living is also quite reasonable.

What are the advantages of an international LL.M.?

The value of an international LL.M. degree starts with how globalized the practice of law has become. Thus, in addition to one’s home country law degree, an international LL.M. serves the function of enhancing one’s credibility both in the country in which the LL.M. is earned, and in the world generally. It also gives one a meaningful foundation in the law of the jurisdiction in which one earns one’s LL.M. – and if that is an important jurisdiction in terms of trade, commerce, immigration, etc., that can be incredibly useful. Finally, an international LL.M. is a ready vehicle to create a network of lawyer colleagues from around the world, which can serve one in incredibly good stead over the course of one’s career.

 

So, who should do an international LL.M.? I would say that anyone with interests related to business, trade, energy, international arbitration, intellectual property, tax, cybersecurity, and the like should careful consider whether there is an affordable opportunity to earn an international LLM. Likewise, those who look to work in any area of law with cross-border dimensions. And finally, those who have an interest in better understanding the world generally, and particularly the global nature of legal practice today.

What would you advise Indian lawyers looking to develop a cross border or global practice?

I think developing a network of international colleagues is always valuable. Likewise, the credibility of having meaningful exposure to a foreign jurisdiction. All this can come from an international LL.M., but it might also be accomplished in other ways. Finally, don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile and also other means to make a name for yourself out in the world. Tweet thoughtful insights on timely legal questions. Write a blog on some interesting area of the law. And the like. It takes time, but it can have tremendous payoffs.

Professor Ahdieh, thank you for your time and inspiring discussion.

It’s always a pleasure to discuss Texas A&M Law and the global nature of what we are working to accomplish.

NOTE: 

Have questions about the tuition fees, visas, or the application process? Contact Ananya Gupta at ananya@lawnchpad.org or by phone at +91-7204686355, Autumn Lockett at alockett@law.tamu.edu, GNLU representative Ms. Harsha Rajwanshi at hrajwanshi@gnlu.ac.in, or JGU representative Ms. Anshu Gupta at anshugupta@jgu.edu.in.

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