Bar and Bench’s Conversation With Arvind Datar: CAREER EXCERPTS: “Write a Lot”; “To Get Money, Wait”

legal News Website Bar & Bench spoke with Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who has been a litigating lawyer for more than three decades.

The full interview is here.


Law and Accounting

I decided to do law along with cost accounting, as I wanted to specialize in taxation. I did accounting in the evening and law in the morning. After I finished cost accounting, there were lots of job opportunities that were paying almost Rs. 2,000 but I decided to be a lawyer and I stuck it out.

Career Planning

I decided that I would be in a civil office for one year and then I will leave and join a tax office; and I will leave the tax office in the fourth year and will set up my practice in the fourth year. Everything went as per schedule, nothing happened by accident.

Writing a lot

I decided to write an article a week. So in 2 years (104 weeks), I wrote 77 articles in virtually all the journals and those articles helped me a lot because I got invited to seminars and conferences. Then the Central Excise Tariff Act came in 1986; and I wrote a book on Central Excise tax in 1988 and that year my income quadrupled! I didn’t look back after that. The next year I wrote a book on Excise procedures. Later, I was asked to be the editor of Ramaiya on Companies Act.

 I tell everybody, write as much as you can, address as many seminars as you can.


You get a job today with a handsome salary and you just take up that job whether you like it or not. And after 2 years, I come to know that somebody wants to do LL.M. There is this craze to do LL.M in the UK and US. I don’t understand the reason.


I honestly feel that in law school there should be sessions on goal setting, career planning and so on.I primarily tell my interns to remember one fundamental rule – that money is a byproduct and not the goal. If you wait for 5 – 7 years, the rewards would be enormous but nobody wants to wait.

Lawyers as lecturers

I personally feel that this entire process of having only dedicated lecturers is wrong. We used to have fantastic lecturers who were practicing lawyers who would come and take classes. Law, like medicine, is one area where practice is very important than the theory.

The full interview is here.

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