College Manager Vinayak Pant interviewed Ms. Medha Sachdev, Alumni of University School of Law and Legal Studies (IP University, Delhi). During her college days, she was an active mooter.
After College she went on to work with Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pradeep Nandrajog for a little over a year and thereafter she worked at the office of Ms. Richa Kapoor (Addl. Public Prosecutor and Central Govt. Standing Counsel), Delhi High Court.
Now she will be pursuing LLM in International Commercial Arbitration at University of London, Queen Mary College. Read on for several important tips and tricks.
Q.1) Tell us about your schooling and background. What inspired the law school decision?
I did my schooling from The Mother’s International School. Contrary to popular notion, I wasn’t into debating or public speaking so none of those played on my mind while deciding to opt for Law. Law was more of a decision backed by gut.
After understanding my aptitude and strengths and weaknesses and after going through various flyers describing different career options, I narrowed down on Law as the best suited for me given my personality type and the one I could see myself pursuing.
Yes, idealistic dreams about helping others and my country also played in my mind, but it was a sum total of all of the above that made the decision. Know thyself and then it is a piece of cake.
Q.2) Mooting. Unnecessarily glorified or a stepping stone?
Stepping stone to what? Towards getting a job after college or towards developing you and fixing your inhibitions?Well if it is the former you are asking, then it is horribly glorified. But if it is the latter then mooting is the best and a must do.
While participating in a moot court competition you learn a lot, not just law, but ways to work as a team, be responsible to and for the other; realise how many more like you are there in the country; meet new people; visit new places etc.
So you see mooting as a tool to develop yourself as an individual is brilliant but if someone tells you it is required to look good on your CV and will get you a job then all I have to say is : please ignore such people!
Q.3) What made you opt for litigation? What are the challenges that lie ahead in this field?
Litigation was again a choice made on the basis of aptitude. I have a very bold and overpowering personality with a thirst to be around people and work best in such an environment. Closed doors and fixed timetables are not my cup of tea. But yet I don’t say I have made up my mind.
See the truth is not I not anyone can tell you how a field is exactly, because it is different for each one of us.
You have to be in it to know. So experiment, try everything you like and then decide. I say waste a few years now if you have to, it’s better than making a wrong decision and wasting your life!
Challenges! Yes well there will be many but their difficulty levels will depend largely on you. Money to begin with is the first that hits you. You either get a good pay and no quality work or you get quality work and peanuts. So that I have seen frustrate many around me. Be prepared to be paid nothing!
Next is Reality. Many often join Litigation with idealistic dreams of becoming Noah, while thanks to Public Interest Litigation, it is very much possible to become a hybrid Noah, but it requires A LOT of patience and perseverance.
Decisions will take years, judges will be moody and opposition lawyers will be ******** and kids with god fathers and established families will be given preferences even if they aren’t up to the mark. Lastly, your Desires.
People in firms will be earning a bomb and getting fancy toys while you will be living hand to mouth. Moreover you’ll have no life. The working hours are killing.
Can you handle that? If yes, then I’ll see you in court!
Q.4) Your entire USLLS experience. Any special person(s) you would like to mention?
USLLS was a blast! It was a perfect blend of restrictions, leverages, and quality studies. Special people actually. All the professors are absolute sweethearts.
To name a few:
Ms Upma Gautam: A very strong lady with absolute devotion to her subject and students;
Ms. Deepshikha Aggarwal: She is the cutest! It has been real pleasure learning from her;
Mr. Rakesh Kumar: The most fun and chilled out professor in college.
Q.5) The world beyond the race for “who-wants-to-be-the-next-amarchand-partner”. Your take. In other words, please elaborate on the alternative career choices that a person graduating from a Law School today would have, other than “placements”.
Placements? You have those? Well we didn’t. Amarchand and the likes are factories of mass production.You can’t expect quality of a handcrafted piece from them. Law has no boundaries really.
You can join a company, a firm, an individual lawyer, a bank, freelance, join panels, become a judge, teach, blog, write books/articles, join organisations like Rainmaker, Manupatra, Asian School of Cyber Law, Times of India etc.
Q.6) Your interests in the world beyond law
I am an amateur photographer and I like to travel.
Also, I like to read about various occult sciences and about Indian Mythology.
Q.7) Considering that the students studying in National law universities and the students studying in USLLS have a different learning environment altogether, any piece of advice for them?
NLU students are forced to read and research a lot, which (un)fortunately is missing in USSLS. So read journals, articles etc, because once you start working you will not have as much time in your hand.
Also, try attending seminars where renowned speakers are called. Intern at different places and establish contacts that can help you get a job after college.