plane-3Illustrated by Minji Reem

I distinctly remember the first day of orientation last August – both anxious and excited to have left a very different world as a corporate lawyer in India to embark on my year-long LL.M. journey. Today, as this journey nears its end, I look back on this past year with affection and satisfaction. And I can only say one thing: If I could, I would do it all over again!

Over the course of this past year, I developed some deep bonds with my colleagues and professors, which I am sure will stay with me for the years to come. Each story and every interaction was inspiring—even academic discussions here touched on life at large. I learned so much from brainstorming with my colleagues, from the classes I took, and from the classes that professors graciously allowed me to audit.

Columbia gave me the opportunity to be part of a truly global community. There were events not only at CLS, but also throughout the University that were unique, enriching, and extremely engaging—from participating in the “Around the World” festival to interacting with senior partners of global law firms; from seeing heads of state, business leaders, and policy makers to experiencing the best of art and music—I was inspired by all that Columbia had to offer. The multiple lunch time talks all through the week at the law school provided a unique opportunity to interact with lawyers working in diverse fields.

Before I came here, one of my friends in India, who had previously done an LL.M. told me, “an LL.M. can be a year of academic rigor, or endless partying, or an escape from the law firm life, or a lot of exploring the city- or it can be all of these in one package!” I now know what he meant by this. I have enjoyed every bit of Columbia and every bit of NYC—the sheer energy of the city is infectious and one can never have enough of it!