A Corporate Lawyer Writes a Letter to His 1st Year Law Student Self

Pranav Tolani
1st year law student,
In the Past, near Good Times,
Memory Lane

Dear Pranav,

Hope my letter finds you in good health. Yes, I know you’re all fit and fine right now but wait till you catch the bad flu in 3rd year!

Now, before you freak out and call the police – let me introduce myself. I am you (yep!) – just, from 6 years in the future (and 1 year out of college).

While I won’t tell you how I managed to bend space-time even when Stephen Hawking couldn’t – let’s just say I have me something like a time-turner, and a hot-tub-time-machine at disposal (Spoiler Alert: Mr. Hawking is no more as of writing this letter). Super cool, huh?! You bet. It gets better.

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I can now stay out as late as I want to without having to convince Mother (every half an hour) that I won’t (cant) be kidnapped on Marine Drive (that’s not how kidnapping works, Mother!).

I can even watch as many movies as I want without having to convince Father that the multiple late-night debits from his account were indeed made to the college charity (that’s just how college works, Pops!). And boy, wait till you see my shiny new BMW!

Okay, that was a joke – it’s a shiny new cycle, but who are you to judge?

Anyway, like I was saying; 6 years from where you are now, things are a lot more different.

I know you constantly wonder how on Earth are you ever going to learn those crazy Latin maxims when you couldn’t learn Sindhi in 18 years of being one – but, trust me, volenti non fit injuria works like a charm every time you make a mistake.

And as difficult it is for you to imagine that the word ‘company’ means anything but your good company – 6 years from now, you will be a corporate lawyer helping ‘companies’ make pocket money. I know you woah-ed.

Of course, it would be difficult to explain karporate law to Pop’s lawyer-friends and your teachers back home – but can you expect them to know how sharp it feels to wear fancy suits to office? 6 years from now, you will find that being a lawyer is a lot of fun!

But let me digress – I am not writing to tell you just how cool it is to grow up (ahem, let me sip some wine!).

Yes, on the brighter side, there is more freedom, more places, more people; but, there is also more stress, more worry, and more weight.

Even as they become more accessible, you will find that movies, Marine Drive and calls from Mother become less frequent. Freedom, as liberating it is, comes with terms and conditions.

This is, however, not just about the challenges of ‘adulting’ too.

I am writing to you, well, to tell you that in the next few years in your life are going to be part of an amazing journey – as vulnerable as you feel about it right now.

You will make some amazing friends (as you will lose some), learn how crazy laws can be, study with amazing teachers, work with intimidating and eccentric lawyers, do moots, study a day before exams, amaze yourself and disappoint yourself – and yes, you will manage.

You will manage just fine. At times, it will seem tough, like a little too much and you will find yourself directionless. But look around some and you will find your way. You cannot have better proof of it than a letter from the future!

On second thoughts, have you ever had to stay up at 3 am in the night to draft an agreement?

Yet, you’d be wondering why, of all me(s) that I could write to, am I writing to you? Perhaps, because just like you, I have also started on a new journey. And I feel clueless at times.

Perhaps, this is as much a letter to a 24-year old me, as it is to an 18-year old me. You see, 18-year old Pranav, things are just fine 6 years from where you are now. I am sure they would be fine 6 years hence – but isn’t it always better to know?!

(Cue to my 30-year old self – time for a letter, Mister!)

With Love (and Science and Law and Magic),

Pranav Tolani[1]

[1] Pranav Tolani is a lawyer associated with a corporate law firm in Mumbai and can be reached at pranavtolani[at]gmail.com. Enjoys movies, marine drive, cycling and calls from the Mother.


Note: This post was published on November 13, 2018.


This post was first published on: 13 Nov 2018

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