This beautiful article has been penned down by Anubhab Sarkar, who would be graduating in the 2015 Batch of KIIT Bhubaneswar. We thank our campus manager, Althea Pereira for procuring this article on our behalf. It is written from the perspective of a non-NLU student’s journey to prosper at law school.
A Good Home Run
When you are talking about a good home run, when you look back at how things have unfolded for you; the very easy way for you to perceive that is analyzing what/who you wanted to be and what/who you are now. The idea of being in a law school is a pretty daunting one and a ‘non national’ one at that can be nightmare like for a lot of individuals. Getting back to the idea of how daunting a law school can be, one should ask themselves a certain question vis a vis ‘Is it worth taking up so much pain for a continuous period of 5 years?’.
It is very important to have fun at what you do (for example, if you like playing football it is irrespective if you play for Manchester United or Liverpool; on second thoughts I think I will stick with Man Utd) and more importantly, it is important to be true to yourself. In the whole Indian societal structure, half of our generation according to my estimation is fulfilling their parents or grand parents’ dream, very well, but I hope these dreams and aspirations meet with yours at a certain point in time.
While being a teacher for the CLAT entrance exam (Ironical as I didn’t make it to an NLU) at IMS, I had the good fortune of interacting with a bunch of rather super smart kids (I think I am getting old, hence!).
One fine afternoon while taking their Legal Reasoning classes, I happened to ask them, ‘So why do you all want to become lawyers?’; Jatin (name changed) answered ‘Sir, I can help the society in so many ways, I want to be a human rights enforcer’ very well, two years later while pursuing his LLB at a top tier National Law School, he calls me up asking ‘Sir, how does one apply to Amarchand Mangaldas for an internship?’ What I essentially want to say here is working in a corporate law firm isn’t a crime, it pays good enough to keep you happy (and people you want to keep happy!); according to me what is actually a crime is not being true to yourself in what you believe.
Let us set a premise, let the premise be that the legal education and the profession is primarily very arbitrary for if you are a Nariman or a Luthra you start 200 meters ahead (more like in Bollywood, you’re almost sorted if you are a Kapoor or a Khan, even Sharma’s and Leon’s are doing well these days). If you are from the top 3 nationals you start 100 meters ahead.
There are a lot of things we want to change in this country but everything isn’t in our hands. For example, I believe there is a norm that for you to apply for a judicial clerkship you need to be from the top 8 listed colleges according to the Supreme Court of India, I am sure this doesn’t violate equality (reasonable classification?). Does this mean if you aren’t a known surname nor in a NLS, you’re career is harder to navigate than gulping shady whiskey in thekas around Gurgaon?
I have seen from the very little experience I have that being in a non national law school is often very demoralizing for an individual’s growth, both as a person and intellectually. Rejection, competition and their abundance of ambition kills them inside. I have seen a lot of brilliant students have themselves treaded down the pecking order.
It is very crucial for one to be headstrong in their tryst with their legal career; it never hurts to never give up. What is important is that you keep doing what you want to and the fun part is that it will see you through, keeping your head up and doing what you believe in.
As Justice M.C Chagla puts it, “To be able to work with devotion at something one likes, can be the greatest and most enduring source of human happiness.”
It is very important to keep an open mindset because at the end of the day being a failure and someone devoid of cause never worked out well for anyone (Even at Harvard!).
I have often seen students trembling at competition from the NLS’s at internships, at moots and at debates. I am sorry, but one has access to the same books, bare acts and online resources they have; what makes the difference is how you look at them and obviously the confidence.
You cannot succeed at anything with a deflated impression of yourself (it is hence often suggested against drinking while you are sad!), it doesn’t make you a smaller person to reach out to someone for help or advice if you think you are not good at something. For me, I have loads of friends around National Law Schools, to be true, one of my biggest support system comes from one of the top NLU’s and she is a brilliant human being/ advisor/friend/critic.
I am in my final year at KIIT Law School and these years have been long and happening. I have had a set of brilliant moot team mates, debate team mates, brilliant seniors, mentors, teachers; I think it is how you look at things. It’s been an exciting home run for me (almost in my last lap) I have interned in the best places in the world and in India; I have also faced questions like “How did you get it, contacts?” (I often wanted to reply, the Queen saw me on Facebook and hence called me over to London!).
I fared well in moots because I wanted to and relied on what I am good at, not something beyond me. Believe in what you do, do it happily and you will get your share of adulation. Have faith in your parents and friends. I am blessed to have a brilliant set of both. How much ever you soar, you can get back to your roots whenever you are with your parents or friends.
Meet people, read a lot, travel, drink, fall in love (I am just giving perspectives)- keep it simple but keep your ambition straight. Being in a non national law school isn’t that hard as it we often make it look like. Hard work has no substitute. You should be organized, systematic and with an open mind to learn. As Mr. Lennon ‘imagined’ and told us “In the end it all works out, if it doesn’t it’s not really the end.” Believe in yourself, have fun and work hard, you should be good to go.