We have a long and rich tradition of Indian alumni – UNH Franklin Pierce’s Associate Dean Shane Cooper

In conversation with Bar & Bench, Shane Cooper shares his experience visiting Indian law schools, some of the insights gained, UNH Franklin Pierce’s India plans for the future and much more.
Shane Cooper
Shane Cooper

Earlier this month, Associate Dean Cooper made a whirlwind tour in India, meeting law students across nearly a dozen universities, and discussing how the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law might be a good fit for Indian law graduates. In this quick chat, we get Associate Dean Cooper to share some of the insights gained, UNH Franklin Pierce’s India plans in the future, and much more.

Nine days, three cities, and nearly a dozen Indian law schools! What were some of your initial impressions of the Indian law schools that you visited?

I took away a very positive impression about the law schools I visited in India. Each school had its own unique character, campus arrangement and class sizes which was interesting to compare and contrast. 

However, the consistent takeaway I had was how friendly, positive, welcoming, and talented the law school student bodies were at each law school we visited. Further, the commitment by the faculty and administrators to provide a quality legal education for their students was apparent at each school I visited. 

It was a memorable experience.

You visited a diverse set of Indian law schools from the smaller public institutions to the larger, private universities. That must have been quite an interesting experience?

Yes, the law schools we visited were really diverse be it in terms of nature (public or private), size and even historical origins. There were some schools which were really focused on providing access to an affordable legal education which was heartening to see.

I also think that these large student bodies reflect the high demand for legal education and growth in the future generation of Indian lawyers. And of course, what role UNH Franklin Pierce can play in this.

I must also thank all the schools for providing our delegation for their warm welcomes and receptions by a very engaged student body.

You also had the chance to interact with prospective LLM applicants - were there any questions/comments that you received that stood out for you?

I was struck by the very informed questions that students asked which rightly focused on outcomes and advantages offered by the US LLM experience.  I really would encourage potential LLM applicants to really think about how they can use the UNH Franklin Pierce Masters courses to further their own careers, whether in the US or back in India.

There were also questions involving the financial aspects of the LLM which I think is only natural. At UNH Franklin Pierce, we do try and provide as much financial aid as we can.

I do wish that I could have had longer visits with each schools to allow for deeper student interaction and participation.  There were so many students to talk with that had important questions and I wish I had more time to engage with them.

Looking ahead, can Indian law schools and lawyers expect more such visits in the near future?

Yes, absolutely! UNH Franklin Pierce has a long and rich tradition of Indian alumni from our institution who have attended our school since the 1990s. We have a deep commitment to India and we are very glad to increase our travel and engagements with India since the pandemic. 

There were some discussions on faculty collaborations as well as how Indian law graduates can make the most of what UNH Franklin Pierce has to offer – this is something I am quite excited about.

I am also keen on building networks with Indian IP practitioners be it those with a legal or engineering background (or both). As you know, India is an exciting place to be in the world of intellectual property.

I anticipate a similar tour next year as well and hope to engage in private visits to India with our dean, administrators, faculty, and admissions staff.

Until then, if anyone wishes to get in touch with me or anyone at the Graduate Admissions team, they can always reach out to my colleagues back in New Hampshire or contact us via WhatsApp at +1-603-513-5300 to schedule a meeting.

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