Malavika Prasad is a PhD scholar at NALSAR University, the same university she graduated with a law degree from in the year 2013. In 2016, she enrolled for an LL.M. at Michigan Law School where she was, amongst other things, a Research Assistant to Professor Vikramaditya Khanna.

She was interviewed by Anuj Agarwal for Legal Education Consultancy firm, Amicus Partners. The following interview is being republished with permission.

You are currently a doctoral candidate at NALSAR University, your alma mater. Did you ever consider pursuing a thesis outside India, and if not, why?

I did not consider doing a thesis outside India. One thing I learned in my LL.M., was that we Indians look to some countries way more than we do to others, for inspiration on constitutional law issues, and that can have costs. Truly speaking, I think an academic exchange term at South Africa would make more sense for me professionally because they are committed to a constitutional vision much more like ours.

Besides, I wanted to work where peoples and actors are making claims to the Constitution, and to work with them. I guess I fear that researching and writing a thesis on realizing our constitutional vision from a foreign, and particularly western location, with all the attending conveniences, can alienate us from the audience we hope to write for. I worry that the Indian republic is already very alienated from our constitutional vision.

I have to say, I have been quite fortunate to be able to make this choice – not many of us can make it with such ease. Some kinds of work and research might be safest done from elsewhere, especially if one is at risk of losing funding and the ability to keep body and soul together by being in the country.

What got you to take up an LL.M. and did it provide what you hoped for? What were some of the things you wish you had known before enrolling?

Part of my motivation to do an LL.M. abroad stemmed from my having internalized the mantra that getting a foreign degree is the pinnacle […]

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