I hope this message finds you in good health and peace.
I am Alisha Sharma, a practicing advocate and a legal advisor from India. I am delighted to share with you that I have been admitted to the SJD (Doctorate of Juridical Science) Program (Fall 2021) at the prestigious American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) at Washington D.C., USA.
I have set up this fundraiser as a quest to raise funds for my SJD Program as I am facing the scary prospect of not being able to meet the costs involved. All I ask is for just 5 minutes of your time, to read this page and see how this is more than just a plea for money, rather support my work and ongoing mission to make this dream become a reality. To secure this admission, I have worked very hard to build my profile, gone through a lot of scrutinies and a rigorous application selection process.
I am an engineer turned Lawyer and many say that I have a story that inspires them and others (Weblink). I successfully worked in the IT industry before I took law as a full-time career. I did my Bachelors in Engineering from Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab.
I am a certified Lawyer, enrolled with the Bar Council of India after successfully clearing the Bar Council Exam conducted in November 2018. I did my Bachelors of Law from Department of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh, in the year 2018 followed by Masters in Law from Kurukshetra University.
Background: A Paradigm shift from Engineering to Law (Weblink)
In a society where to date a daughter is considered a burden, I was blessed that my parents raised me as a selfless, righteous, and courageous woman, with a strong emphasis on decision making. It is said that misfortunes never come alone, everything was going on track until the day I lost my backbone, my father. The untimely demise of my father brought a flood of misfortunes to my family, affecting us financially as well as psychologically. After my father’s sudden demise, my brother had a massive accident and slipped into a comatose state, resulting in his hospitalization and hefty hospital bills. Meanwhile, when we were struggling with the bleak chances of survival of my brother, our tenants (whom we had rented one portion of our house for some additional financial resources) with the help of local goons and anti-social elements illegally acquired the whole property and an unending battle of court proceedings started.
Somehow, with God's grace and prayers, my brother survived. But to our dismay, the counsel who we engaged, took advantage of our situation. He struck a deal with the opposite party and connived with them. I was working in the IT industry and this whole incident acted as a catalyst for myself getting enrolled in Bachelors of Law and later representing my case while being a student and winning our own house back which my parents had built with their hard-earned money (Weblink). A substantial amount of money was spent on the legal tussle which continued for years for obtaining our own property back from the goons.
Why SJD at AUWCL?
Pursuing an SJD from ‘American University Washington College of Law’ (AUWCL) will give me exposure to the skills, knowledge that will shape my career & research work internationally. The esteemed faculty (Weblink), excellent research facilities (Weblink) and the structure of the graduate program at the university make it a great place for SJD. I am sure that this SJD degree will give me the confidence and the required knowledge to pursue my career in the dispute settlement area. My area of research is India centric which when successfully completed & implemented can help the judicial process to curb pending litigation. I can contribute to the attempt of making the justice delivery mechanism and dispute resolution speedy in India. One of the other reasons for choosing AUWCL is its important location i.e., Washington D.C. which offers an array of opportunities to network, learn, and exchange ideas with peers in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Achievements in the legal field:
I have expertise in civil, criminal and matrimonial matters and matters pertaining to intellectual property rights.
After completing my Bachelors in Law, I wanted to work in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). I developed a keen interest in me contributing to the field of Arbitration and I was selected for an internship (Weblink) by the Australian Disputes Centre, Sydney, Australia in the year 2018. There I worked with a team of international legal experts, did case studies on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules. I attended the AMTAC Annual Address conducted at the Federal Court of Australia, in which I also got an opportunity to meet Honorable Justice Steven Rares. I have written research papers for the ADC on Mediation and Arbitration which have been recognized and published by the center on their website (Weblink).
Guest Lectures: I am occasionally invited as a guest lecturer to conduct sessions for students at various law institutes such as UILS, Panjab University and National Law University, Sonipat.
Webinars: I have also conduct pro-bono webinars related to currently relevant topics -
○ Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Work Place,
○ Alternate Dispute Resolution,
○ Women Centric Approach in Laws and Policy Designing and Implementation
○ Safeguarding Rights of Senior Citizens
Last year in November, after rigorous brainstorming and hard work, I gave shape to my brainchild - Agastyas Legal Associates LLP. The whole experience is very enriching and content. I believe that the doctoral study will not only provide an edge to my professional growth but will also be helpful in adding value to the practice areas of the firm in the coming years.
Need for Fundraising:
Being a first-generation lawyer, without much guidance and support, it is difficult to make a mark in this profession. Unfortunately, the pandemic has hit the legal industry very badly, stagnating the flow of cases and litigation. Amidst the pandemic when almost everything has come to a standstill, it became even more difficult to arrange funds for my SJD.
Due to the pandemic, many funding institutions have frozen their scholarships and funding opportunities. Seeing the paucity of financial resources and time, I have to launch this fundraiser to meet the deadlines.
I plan to fund my living and other expenses through my savings, loan and part-time jobs. However, unfortunately, there are still inescapable constraints, which cannot be overcome by individual efforts and due to the high amount of tuition fee, I need your help to achieve my dream of attaining this prestigious degree.
The costing is as mentioned below:
Cost Guide for SJD Program
|TOTAL ESTIMATED COST for Three Years|
(tuition + living expenses inclusive of insurance)
|$ 131000 (53000 + 78000)||99,60,000|
|My savings and loan|
Please help me Succeed!
Raising such a large sum of money is going to be a huge challenge, but I am determined not to let the barrier of tuition fees stand in my way. The current deadline given by the University to pay my fees is 1st September 2021 and I need to collect this money as soon as possible so that I can pay the fees and start other arrangements for the same. Precisely, I have only two months to arrange the funds. I am in constant communication with other scholarship platforms, which may fill up some gaps for my requirement.
I am the youngest member of my family. I expected a normal life for myself but life had other plans. Things were not always good, as already shared, but despite all odds, I have moved ahead in life with small yet firm steps, and head held high, doing in the best possible way what I can for my family. This is one time in my life that I wish to take a step forward for my own aspirations. Please support me in this quest. Let me assure you, someday when I can, I will assist someone like me, the way you are going to help me to follow my dream. The circle of goodness shall keep rolling.
Any help, even the smallest donations from your side would be highly appreciated and would open up the possibility for me to fulfill this golden opportunity. Your support can inspire young individuals like me to dream bigger and fly higher. In case you find my cause compelling, I would also kindly request you to please share this plea with your networks as well. Thank you so much in advance.
Please watch my video (Weblink) and read further about my background, career achievements, etc. for complete details.