Student story: studying for a career in law

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Get an insider’s view of what it’s like to study law, and the career opportunities it could create

If you’ve got your eye on studying law at university, you’re probably keen to know what to expect and where this academic route could take you.

We’ve put some questions around those topics to Rhea Sumitra, who is currently enrolled in a year-long International Commercial Law LLM at The University of Law. 

Find out more about her experiences studying law, her plans for the future and her top tips for other students.

What made you decide to take the LLM?

I’m from India, where I’m already a qualified lawyer. I practised in India for almost five years before coming to England for my LLM. Back home I used to work in human rights, and now I’m pivoting into commercial law.

Why did you choose to take this particular course?

I used to work for an organisation called International Justice Mission, where we were using technology for our various case management systems. While there, I saw that technology can be a great thing for legal services. 

That was my first interaction with technology and I really wanted to explore its use in the legal sector further. I am very passionate about human rights, but at the same time I spent almost eight years of my life in that area, and I wanted to explore the corporate side. 

The only way I could achieve that was by pivoting to an LLM degree. With all my previous expertise I worked on very international grounds, so I do have experience in the professional field but this degree should help me land a job in the corporate world.

Were there any specific elements you were looking for in this course?

Of course, the buzzword at the moment is AI, so I was looking for a course which offers anything related to AI and commercial law. 

My course is LLM International Commercial Law, but within that my subjects include AI, cyber law, IP rights and commercial law – so it’s a very good blend of what’s happening right now in the AI and tech field with the legal side of things.

What were your expectations of your course before you started it?

Jumping into this, I wasn’t expecting much. Because I have not experienced this sector, I didn’t know how I’d cope with the subject and whether I’d be able to understand – the teaching style back home is also very different to how it is here. So I was very worked up!

How has your experience of the course been?

I’ve been so happy with the way classes are conducted at The University of Law. One of the best parts about it is that you don’t share the class with masses and masses of students – it’s somewhere around 16-20, so the professors can give you personal attention. 

It’s been a very good experience for me with the professors, they’ll check that we understand everything and that interaction helps so much. 

Even the way they designed the modules gives you a holistic view of what that subject has to offer. For example, with the AI module our professor made sure she explained it in the context of real life examples. 

It could be difficult to get what all these technical terms mean – I never heard them in my previous career – so explaining that to students in a way they will remember and be able to apply was really interesting.

How would a typical day on your course look?

My first semester covered two subjects, which would mean coming to university twice a week. The days I came into university, I would spend my entire day at the library doing group studies with my friends and then attend my class.

What are your plans for the future after you graduate?

I definitely want to get into a commercial corporate firm where they deal with international commercial law, but specifically related to AI. 

Even though I’m a lawyer in India, I’m not qualified to work as a solicitor in this country. At the moment, I’m looking for jobs which are aligned with the legal tech field, but not as a practising lawyer.

Do you have any tips for someone interested in taking a law degree?

I would suggest they start looking for internships from the first semester. That will help them get the foot in the door to any company and will help with their future job prospects. I didn’t do any internships unfortunately – I was pretty laid-back about it at the time, but now I realise that I should have done. 

To get good marks, the only thing I would suggest is just to do all the reading and be mentally present in class. I scored 90 in my AI class without really doing anything additional – all I did was pay attention in class and complete all my reading. 

Finally, I would say to choose somewhere like The University of Law, where they take a holistic approach to the coursework and the professors are all really great at helping you understand the core of the subject. 

Our partnership with The University of Law

The University of Law

The Student Room is proud to work with The University of Law as the official partner of our law hub, where current and future law students can find the advice and guidance they need.

The University of Law welcomes intelligent, ambitious students interested in the world around them; people who question systems, procedures and behaviours, and are not afraid to challenge convention.

Study at The University of Law and you’ll be equipped with the professional knowledge you need to excel in your chosen career, and supported by an award-winning employability service to help you get there.