Hi! I am a lawyer based in New Delhi, India. I have been accepted to the LLM programme at the University of Cambridge, UK for the Michaelmas Term 2022. I am, however, short of the funds required to get there.
Academic & Professional Background
After faring top of my class in high school, I joined a BA LLB programme at one of India's highest-ranked law schools. I graduated as a distinction holder and amongst the top 3% in a batch of over 300. During law school, I got interested in and involved with data protection and data privacy laws, considering the important role they play in protecting the vulnerable in modern-day society.
After graduation, I chose to pursue a career in litigation. However, as a young woman and first-generation lawyer, it was extremely challenging to kickstart my career. To add to my woes, I graduated in 2020, when COVID-19 was at its peak. I thus started my career in a job market that offered me remuneration below minimum wage, if at all. Without any backup or security to fall back upon in terms of my career, I was left with few choices. In the meantime, I did a PGD in Patents Law from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Here again, I shone academically and was ranked third.
Even after joining a litigation firm in Delhi, the constant interruptions in workflow due to COVID left me financially vulnerable. In 2021, during the devastating COVID wave that struck India, I lost immediate family members, which further set me back on a personal level and took a toll on my mental health.
The decision to Pursue LLM at Cambridge
After gaining some experience in the field and working with cyber and intellectual property laws, I decided to study these in detail. I've always admired the work and research done by Cambridge's Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law in this area. Pursuing LLM at Cambridge was thus an obvious choice for me.
Financial and personal setbacks, along with my limited savings, made me apprehensive about daring to dream big. However, with the support and encouragement from loved ones, I decided to apply. This was not an easy decision — a woman my age was expected to get married, not pursue higher education. I strode ahead regardless, spreading myself thin as I juggled college applications along with a full-time career that demanded over 70 hours a week from me.
My acceptance to Cambridge has been nothing short of personal and professional achievement. I have put in years of hard work and perseverance in the face of several adversities to achieve this dream. This opportunity has unlocked many doors for me and has the potential of changing my life as I know it. After Cambridge, I hope to participate in the formulation of digital law frameworks, and the advancement of digital rights, in India and around the world.
However, I face financial constraints in fulfilling my aspirations. Without financial aid, I am struggling to sponsor my studies.
Litigation is unfortunately an unforgiving field for a young professional like me. Even though I have grown tremendously in my short but rewarding professional career, I am finding it difficult to self-fund my higher education. My immediate family, who is already funding my sibling's undergrad studies, is also not in a position to pay the entirety of the required funds. I will be the first in my immediate family to pursue higher studies abroad.
At the moment, I am waiting to hear back on the several scholarship applications that I have made, including those to the Cambridge Trust and the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Since the University sent across acceptances quite late this year, most scholarships had closed applications by the time I recieved my acceptance. This greatly put me at a disadvantage.
I am also working on obtaining an education loan in India. This is proving to be exceptionally difficult given my choice of course and the country of study. Even if I manage to secure an education loan, the obnoxious rate of interest levied thereof will put me in an extremely vulnerable position after the completion of my course, which I cannot afford.
Estimated Financial Liability
I am thus in need of any and all financial assistance to be able to live my dream at — and after — Cambridge. I hope to be able to meet some amount of my financial liabilities through education loans, potential scholarships, and savings. For the rest, I am taking this leap of faith. Do support, if you can.