How has your Professional LLM laid the foundation for you to further your academic study?
OsgoodePD’s LLM was of critical importance to my ensuing academic studies as it furnished me with practical legal knowledge to support my research questions. A theory’s effectiveness is measured by the feasibility of its practical application and is therefore buttressed by practical knowledge. With a significant emphasis on public law, my doctoral studies benefited greatly from OsgoodePD’s courses in constitutional and administrative law. Supplemented with the materials in seemingly disparate courses like criminal law and evidence, I gained sufficient familiarity with Canadian jurisprudence to effectively substantiate my research papers at the doctoral level. Whereas the procedural components of the course work will surely assist with work in legal practice, the analyses in matters pertaining to substantive law underpinned the theoretical framework of my research questions.
What advice do you have for graduates of the Professional LLM who would like to pursue a Research LLM?
I would first couch this response in one very important caveat: a concrete formula to segue into a research LLM does not exist. If an opportunity opens, seize it without hesitation. Luck, however, is the residue of design. As such, some essential steps can facilitate the process of easing into a research-focused mindset. First, reflect on an area of interest. Whether it be in the field of technology, human rights, or another matter entirely, slowly acquire more knowledge on a specific area of law to frame the research question prior to applying. Second, write a draft research statement and request feedback from a professor or trusted friend. Considering an LLM research paper is intended to address a specific problem in a particular area of law, it would be wise to start analyzing the law through a more critical lens. Third, maintain focus on a preferred specialization, but instill a healthy dose of curiosity. In addition to possibly furthering career aspirations, a research-based LLM is principally designed to whet the intellectual appetite. Finally, consult a current research student and inquire about their chosen route. Different backgrounds and interests produce varying approaches. Everyone’s path differs.
Where do you see your professional journey headed once you complete your Ph.D?
Every Ph.D candidate seeks employment in an arena where their intellectual faculties are fully engaged. Typically, academia is the preferred route for Ph.D graduates. Coupled with a law degree, scholars also pursue legal practice and legal consultation positions. However, contemporary academia has subtly departed from previous eras where a doctoral degree would signal an automatic inauguration into professorship. Some modern academics proceed into public policy, while others structure their studies around a future career in the private sector. Some are even keen to fluctuate through a variety of sectors and industries. In a market evolving at a rapid pace, due in part to increasing innovation and the need for industries to keep abreast with technological developments and research, a contemporary academic must be prepared to attend to various opportunities that arise with market demand. Simply put, to zero in on one specific career path is to create a recipe for rigidity.
Amir Korhani is a Ph.D. candidate in law at the University of Ottawa. His principal area of research focuses on cybersecurity law. Having previously worked in book publishing and digital media sectors, Amìr enrolled in law school. He earned his LL.B from the University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom and subsequently earned an LLM from Osgoode and an LLM with a concentration in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa in 2016. Amìr has conducted research for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and interned at the CRTC and Global Affairs.