Emerging LLM Courses

Gauri Chhabra

One career pathway that runs through all the three organs of the Government viz Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary, is LAW. If you’re dead serious about law and already have some legal working experience behind you, an LLM could be your passport to success.
Why an LLM?
Once upon a time, the only people who pursued an LLM did so to become familiar with another legal system, generally that of the US or the UK, or as a stepping stone to a career teaching law. The increasing complexity of modern legal systems has pushed ever more lawyers to seek additional training. In most developed countries, for instance, lawyers routinely take continuing legal education courses in a way that would not have been recognizable a decade ago. More and more lawyers are currently pursuing LLMs. And it is not just lawyers wrestling with the increased complexity of legal practice who now pursue LLMs. Some seek simply to strengthen their core skills, writing, and research, for instance, to be better at traditional lawyering.
An LLM degree offers many specializations. Two emerging options in LLM are in the field of Environment and Natural Resources Law and Specialization in Infrastructure and Business Laws.
Let us examine them in detail
The specialized LLM in Environmental and Energy Law is designed for lawyers interested in careers in environmental, land use, and energy law. Individuals who aim to work for governments, international organizations, or NGOs; who aspire to cutting-edge private practice with law firms; or who will pursue academic careers, study with leading experts in these areas. Each year, students in the program form a close community that enjoys the benefits of being a distinct cohort within the larger student body.
Course Content
The primary focus of LL.M. specializing in Environment and Natural Resources Law stream is to understand how the legal framework can reorient economic activity towards sustainability. This reorientation can happen in different ways like prohibiting or regulating environmentally damaging activities, assigning liability for environmental harms, clearly defining property rights and providing adequate incentives for benign environmental activities. The course will also address the principles of allocation of natural resources according to the concepts of due process of law and equity. This specialization offers a broad range of introductory and specialized courses.
LLM Environmental Law course covers local and international legal frameworks for environmental protection, climate change protection and vital use of natural resources. During the programme, you would be exposed to many issues like water law, business and trade, different forms of pollution, land issues and environmental justice.
As a student of LLM Environment Law, you would get to study topics like Environmental Law and Policy, Energy Law, Mining and Mineral Laws, Forest Law & Policy and International Environmental Law and also the Environmental Aspects of Business Activities, Climate change, and law and Hazardous Waste Law.
Getting in
LLM Environmental Law is a 1-2 year postgraduate degree in law with an environment as the subject specialization. The colleges offering LLM Environmental Law are conducting the course in full-time mode and distance learning mode as well. The course can be pursued by candidates possessing BA LLB or LLB degree with a minimum of 45% or 50% marks in aggregate. The admission procedure shall differ for each college but primarily be based on merit or entrance exam conducted by the concerned college.
Given below is the list of colleges around India offering LLM Environmental Law course:
* UPES, Dehradun, LLM Energy Law
* Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Tamil Nadu
* Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
* National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam
* Teri University, New Delhi
Institute in Focus
The TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS), New Delhi is a not-for-profit Deemed University sponsored by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) with the objective of building capacity in various themes of sustainable development. Currently, TERI SAS offers Ph.D. & Master’s programmes in Legal Studies, Biotechnology, Policy aspects, Energy and Environment, Business Sustainability, and Natural Resources and various other executive programmes. While offering these programmes the University adopts an interdisciplinary curriculum incorporating the most contemporary, research-based evidence.In 2016, the Centre for Post Graduate Legal Studies (CPGLS) was established at TERI SAS as an interdisciplinary Centre of excellence dedicated to legal research and teaching on issues pertaining to sustainable development. Currently, CPGLS offers the following research-based academic programmes:
1. Ph.D. in Legal Studies (with a focus on Law and Sustainability)
2. One-year LL.M. in Environment and Natural Resources Law
3. One-Year LL.M. in Infrastructure and Business Law
TERI SAS offers one-year LL.M. programme with specialization in Environment and Natural Resources Law and Infrastructure and Business Law fully in tune with the UGC norms.
The highlights of TERI SAS LL.M are that the courses are designed in consultation with industry and focusing on National and International developments and are aimed at balancing theoretical rigor and practical application with a prime focus on skill development through research assignments, field visits, case study, group work, role-play, guest lectures, seminars, and workshops.
Online options
Lewis & Clark Law School in the Northwest of the United States is now offering its LLM degree in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law via a distance-learning online option.
The online LLM in Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Law is specifically designed for attorneys who want to practice more effectively with today’s global environmental legal issues, but that can’t or don’t want to relocate. The online LLM draws on the expertise of Lewis & Clark’s on-campus Environmental Law Master of Laws, that has been helping lawyers enhance their careers for 30 years.
The LLM in Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Law includes study modules on Climate Change, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, and Public Lands. It has been designed for those interested in this field, including lawyers who are in private practice, those who serve as government employees, elected officials, energy advisors, and natural resources law specialists.
LL.M. with specialization in Infrastructure and Business Law addresses the policies and laws relating to major sectors viz., transport (including railways and civil aviation), energy, telecommunications, urban infrastructure, and water. The purpose of this specialization stream is to provide an insight into the fundamental legal concepts relating to business in general and various infrastructure sectors in particular including the issues involved in the development, financing, and management of projects. The programme will address issues relating to public-private partnership in detail.
Career Avenues
For LLM students from premier Law schools, there are excellent career opportunities.
LLM degree prepares a candidate to become a teacher, researcher, litigating lawyer or a corporate lawyer. An LLM in Environmental Law degree program prepares attorneys and legal professionals to promote environmentally sustainable legal outcomes in cases dealing with pollution control and remediation, land use and infrastructure, resource conservation and management, and more.
Furthermore, having an LLM in Business Law could put you in a good position to pursue a career as a company secretary, provided you go ahead to earn the required professional qualifications because law and/or business degrees are considered attractive for company secretary positions. If your first degree happens to be in business, economics or management then your attractiveness as a candidate would be greatly enhanced.
Summing up
Therefore, if you wish to push the law envelope further and hone your lawyering skills, options like LLM in Environmental Law and LLM in Infrastructure and Business Law are worth exploring.