4 Career Questions Answered: ultimate aim of life! | how many research papers in 5 years | moots and litigation | subjects and internships

By Tanuj Kalia

Question 1. What ultimately matters in life?

Answer: That’s a tough question!

Maybe you should watch some TED videos. They are helpful.

Here is a quote by John Wooden, which I’ve felt is the best definition of success:

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

wooden_pyramid

Question 2. Ideally a student after 5th year should have how many published paper in his credit? If I have none paper or just a few few, will it affect my CV? What can be substitute of publishing papers and moots?

Answer: Having a publication establishes some important credentials:

1. this guy/girl can research

2. this guy/girl can write

Having a good number of publications establishes 2 other things:

3. this guy/girl is hard-working

4. this guy/girl is persistent

So yes having published papers (not just going to seminars with them, which anyone can do, and which everyone knows anyone can do) is important but not the be all and end all of it!

Even if you have no publications at all, you can do well in life, surely, provided you’ve done some other good things.

Now, coming to the question of ‘how many’.

Till now I was convinced that have a small number of quality publications is better than having a large number of publications in junk law journals.

However, it seems, that some law schools when calling for applications for faculty positions look for publications in a journal having an ISSN number. (Too many ‘fors’ in this sentence. Apologies if you got irritated).

Now any journal can have an ISSN number. You just have to fill a simple form to get that.

So the answer seems: more the merrier.

But there is a catch. Actually two of them.

1. You do not want your name to appear in the byline/tagline of a poorly written research paper.

2. A good research paper published a good law journal might actually introduce you to people who can help you with your career and life!

So, if I were you, in my 5 year of law school, I’d go for at least 8-10 good publications (one a semester).

Question 3. Are moot courts important to have a career in litigation?

Answer: Yes and No.

Mooting is no way close to what litigation is!

Many a leading litigator have pronounced mooting as something which does not resemble the real world.

But mooting is probably the best learning arena. It teaches you to read, research, write, work in a team, argue, accept defeat etc.

Litigators require all of that.

If you haven’t mooted and want to litigate, give it a shot.

If you haven’t mooted and have ended your law school and want to litigate, still, go to the court with your head held high. Also give the black robe a Bat Man sort of a flourish.

Question 4: I am a 2nd year law student. I am reading IPC, CrPC, and Constitutional Law in this semester. Where should I do my internship at the end of this semester?

Answer: Even if you are a first year law student and want to do an IPR (intellectual property law) internship, you can do that easily, confidently and effectively.

The ‘learning’ actually happens during the internship. The lawyers will be kind enough to allow you to read and might even teach you (Hey! You are in Law College!).

But it helps to know the subject. If you do the IPR internship after you’ve done it in law school, it will sort of re-enforce the learning. In a way, that’s a better way to go about a law internship.

Feel free to leave a comment in agreement or disagreement with the answers!

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  1. “So, if I were you, in my 5 year of law school, I’d go for at least 8-10 good publications (one a semester).”

    What a glib statement. Take sometime to contemplate on the kind of research papers you might have written. A decent paper takes understanding, nuance, multiple drafts and time. Students should be encouraged to write at least 1-2 ‘good’ papers in their 5 years. And actually contribute to some field. Instead, an advice like this only litters the landscape with more jibber-jabber nonsense. If you’re gonna aim for one a semester, you might as well get them published in a pulp magazine.

    • administrator says:

      Why 8-10?

      A ‘serious’ writer who aims to be brilliant one day should write 1000 words a day. (That would be a brave goal!)

      Backed with research and analysis, I’d aim at at least 1000 words a week.

      That actually makes 1 good research paper a month.

      If you ask for your peers and faculty to review it and further work upon it, it might take another month for a complete, well-written, argumentatively rigorous, publishable research paper to be written.

      Why jibber-jabber is good

      Also, in the initial year of law school (1st-3rd) one should actually aim at quantity and not quality. A lot of jibber-jabber non-sense is good and the only way to get started and to improve.

      Only after you’ve done a ‘huge volume of work’ does one get to ‘quality’. http://zenpencils.com/comic/90-ira-glass-advice-for-beginners/

      The 1-2 research papers you are talking about could be the path-breaking ones (the one presented before a Parliament’s Standing Committee, the one for which you are commissioned to write a book, the one which is cited in a SC judgment, the one which turns into a concise piece in the Hindu etc., the most downloaded paper on SSRN etc.)

  2. Hello Sir. This was really a very helpful post, cleared many doubts. Thank you for that. I’m right now in the 2nd yr of my NLU. I’ve always had a proclivity towards IPR, and hence wish to make my career in IPR. I did my first internship, a research internship, at Center for IPR, NLSIU. I want to know what are the career prospects in IPR, and whether i should do rest of my internships related to IPR only?

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