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A High Achiever to Strengthen the Legal Fraternity

From young age, Jayani De Silva, a successful ANC postgraduate law student,wondered about the possibilities of becoming a lawyer who could speak for fairness and deliver justice. Hailing from Visakha Vidyalaya, Jayani passed her A/Levelsadmirably well in Commerce stream and entered the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo. She graduated with a LLB degree from the university with a Second Upper Class and passed out from Sri Lanka Law College as an Attorney-at-Law, taking a step closer to her childhood dream.
During her school career, Jayani displayed immense talent in academics and extracurricular activities. She was an athlete and a Chessplayer who took part in numerous tournaments at school and national level simultaneously. She served as the Captain for the under 11, under 13 and under 15 Chess Teams.She was appointed as the Deputy Head Prefect of Visakha Vidyalaya for the Year 2006/2007. Owing to her stellar performance all-round she was awarded the Best Prefect Award jointly in her senior year.
At the University of Colombo, she was an active member of the Moot Court & Debating Society of the Faculty of Law.Amongst many accomplishments as a law student, she secured the title of the first runner up of Asian Law Student’s Association Law Review Competition. She also participated as a panelist Adjudicator at the World University Debate Competition (2013), held in Germany. Jayani also served as anAssociate Editor in the Editorial Board for the Asian Journal of Legal Studies (AJLS) of the Asian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) in 2013/2014 – and also as an author forthe Law Mantra Law Journal in India in 2013/2014.
During her undergrad years, she worked as a legal intern at few places, as a researcher at many occurrences and at NGOs including United Nations Development Project (UNDP). Further, she served as a Legal Apprentice at Nithya Partners.That’s when she decided to obtain her LLM to advance her career in law and become part of the much-respected legal fraternity in Sri Lanka. Being an ambitious individual, she enrolled in LLM in International Business and Commercial Law from the University of West London (UWL) offered at ANC School of Postgraduate Education. While working as the Legal Officer at Interblocks Limited, Jayani completed her LLM at ANC in year 2016, receiving outstanding awards at the recently concluded ANC’s Awards Night & Graduation 2017, for achieving the highest average under the UWLLLM programme and in the Dissertation Componentwhile succeeding to be the 1st Sri Lankan to obtain a Distinction in the UWL LLM Programme.
Below are the excerpts from the interview with Jayani…
What made you want to do a British LLM at ANC?
My previous qualifications in law are local qualifications obtained from the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and Sri Lanka Law College. Therefore, I always wanted to gain foreign exposure for my LLM studies and obtain a foreign qualification – yet, I had various commitments in Sri Lanka.
I had alsoalready started my career in Sri Lanka as a junior lawyer and I did not want to break that momentum. That’s when I came across the LLM degrees offered at ANC, which are Britishqualifications that are equally good. The ranking of the UWL is also impressive. Hence, I opted to follow the programme.
How helpful is a British LLM to practice law in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has a legal system which is an amalgamation of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law and Customary Law. At the Faculty of Law and at Law College, we referenced books by mostly British Authors and foreign case studies.
In this context, the content learnt from a British LLM can be applied to the legal system practiced in Sri Lanka. Besides, my area of study focused into is International Business and Commercial Law with special concentration on Information Technology IT (IT) Law, which is not specific to the UK, but applicable internationally.
How relevant is your postgraduate education to the type of work you do now?
At presentbeen employed at Interblocks Limited which is an IT company, I oversee IT and Corporate Law which is well in-line with what I studied. When working in the corporate sector,what is required is to have the ability to practically apply what is learnt in real world situations.
Further you engage with international clients and very senior lawyers who are well-versed in many areas of law. IT Law is comparatively new to Sri Lanka and it is vital that you receive a proper introduction and a foundation to carry out research and learn to negotiate with international clients and lawyers.
At ANC, the LLM programme helped me strike a balance between theoretical knowledge and more importantly its application in real world situations.
How do you describe your experience at ANC?
We had anexceptionally good
panel of lecturers who were thorough professionals. ANC also gave us the flexibility, we needed to attend the lectures, since I was a full-time employee. Besides that, ANC organized many events to help students socialize.
Further ANC invited guest speakers from the legal fraternity in Sri Lanka quite frequently throughout the duration of the programme – thus introducing students to prominent persons in the field of law.
ANC School of Postgraduate Education as a tertiary education provider with a strong focus on quality and rigorousness has produced many outstanding postgraduate students and is proud to showcase their high achievers.
Please contact 0777449966 for more information.

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