This article was written by Latika Vyas. If you want to share the story of your law school, please write to me at [email protected] This is being republished from A First Taste of Law archives.
They say an individual is a man till the law of nature governs him; else he’s just a beast. Our nature is governed and bound by law. For me, the introduction to law happened from the time I learned how to differentiate between different colours. I learned the nitty-gritty of the law from my grandfather, now a retired District Court judge. My house was a bookshelf full of law journals, case studies and bare acts and case laws. Sitting with him over a cup of coffee and just suggesting some vague ideas in his high profile client cases; I thought I was his lawyer. But only until, I saw the condition of womenfolk in my native place; I realised that just passing lame judgements and remarks won’t help, I had to get down and dirty in the puddle to clean it. Women being harassed for dowry, a girl child, rapes; were all that I heard and saw. Being blamed for own rapes was what shattered me as a female. This is when I decided to make my little effort towards turning the beasts back into a human. Along with my inner conscience, my grandfather’s clientele, the seriousness of the cases, the adrenaline pumping discussions, the ever-final conclusions; was my ball of fire; my battle of troy. Battle because I knew I had to fight my parents, my family for my career choice.
And hence, I took up law as my career choice.
Law for me has not been an easy option.
My parents, like other parents, wanted me to pursue the safe career options; like engineering, medicine, arts; as for them a successful career lay inside the courtroom and not outside in a black blazer. For them fighting for somebody else is just a waste of time, a waste of effort and a waste of a study degree. I feel if subjects such as physics, biology, and commerce can be taught in schools, and then why not law. Had we as humans been taught the importance of law, we could have matured into responsible human beings and not animals. Our boys could have respected females from a young age and not fed upon their bare souls. I didn’t want to be the one sitting in a black blazer outside some dingy courtroom; I wanted to be the one inside the courtroom fighting for my gender’s right to justice. And this is when, law happened. Just sitting for CLAT made me feel closer to my dream. And inch by inch, I reached ITM Law College.
My first day at ITM law school, I was a clueless teenager, hopping from one department to another.
A batch of 110 students and five years and I was one among those many. And I knew I had to shine throughout. A total of 64 subjects and a lot of case studies motivated and brought out the competitive streak in all of us.
I remember my days at ITM vividly; they’ve been a part of my life both professionally and personally. On the professional front; ITM law school threw such challenges at me, that I knew only my hard work would sail me through that. I knew I had to survive and ITM forced me to learn it that way. A bunch of integrated subjects both of law and management brush up my mind and case studies, presentations, moot courts, seminars, conferences and internships hardened my resolve towards being a better lawyer from day 1. My college always pushed me and provided a highly competitive environment. Soon I realised that I had to constantly be on my toes for my survival by updating myself. ITM motivated me to look for what next was coming up rather than glorifying my past laurels. There were subjects from 2 distinct fields’ management and law but at the end after learning them I understood that the law is all about management and management is all about being lawful.
More than 40 plus subjects we have studied till date some of them became part of interest to decide our future career options .law was not the only interest, management also attracted, but that to be together. I liked many of management subjects like human resource, strategic management; financial management which helped me to decide my honours stream which is corporate honours .all those first 2 years management subjects helped to understand the need of law in management world. There were many questions and queries which disturbed when I talked to people around me and I realised most of them were biased for litigation not for corporate they found corporate law as a need but not good as to establish my career. Big challenges after opting honours subject was to mug up heavy international law and schemes, for once there was a thought to give up but faculty were so helpful and understanding that they made our dilemma very crystal clear and then it was the final decision to start up and gear up to my career there is nothing can be called as perfect, but imperfection leads to better perfect situations. The moot court exercises exposed us to the practical aspect of the law. The internships helped us to enhance our knowledge and apply it practically. The internships really groomed us and we got to learn different aspects of the law. We worked with NGO’s, lawyers, law firms and other legal bodies. All the students wanted to intern at best places which in turn were a hard task. The actual competition began from here the only conversation among students and teachers during this time were only about internships. The faculty was really cooperative and helped us in arranging internships.
We have to start working before semester starts because of 6 different subjects we always have 6 different projects and presentations which takes place at every alternative week and beyond that we had very strict examination schemes which we have to clear for our promotions and to intern. It is not only academic sessions but also co-curricular activities we had to participate to maintain our hobbies and interests. After working with many lawyers and law institutions, we started looking at the logic behind courts decisions rather than just believing written texts in our books and it completely changed my outlook towards the subject. Law is about helping others which help to be a better person every day to maintain our dignity, money is not the only thing which can satisfy you or help you to get sound sleep this reality of life I personally realised every early when I actually faced conditions of those people who can’t fulfil their basic needs for living no shelter no clothes most importantly no water and food, I felt like a very lucky person who has everything for a luxurious life but one thing was very fishy despite so many government schemes they were allotted with they never received even if they received they never enjoyed them completely and then there was a question of WHY? As a teenager there were many things going around and shook all of us who were working in that remote rural areas, we have visited each and every door of 12 villages and collected bundle of cases about how our legal system is so mismanaged. After this amazing court experience of fraud cases and case of fraud against people, court according to me is not at all a normal place there is no point of being emotional while fighting a case or deciding a case, hence it was proved that facts, evidence are more important than truth, even if a defaulter is innocent and he don’t have proof for his innocence he is legally guilty.
After working with many legal bodies I was actually forced by myself to decide whether I want to be a better lawyer or a better human being and I decided to be both, I actually can’t change everything but I can’t avoids things I see around me . Moreover when I worked with an arbitrator I improved my skills and changed the way I use to see things, I more started thinking to find out way which is available by our legal system and that attorney really improved me not only as a to be lawyer but also as a human being and then I felt like I don’t study law to become a student I study law to become a lawyer. He removed that boundary of my own dilemma and taught me one should never stop discovering new opportunities and should learn from their failures rather than being zeroed at particular career. I am thankful to my parents, family and my Teachers plus ITM University for being always there to support and allowed us to say exactly what we like to say. One person I don’t want to miss is my ex LAW SCHOOL DIRECTOR Mr. Sanjeevy Shanthakumar who gave me this lifetime opportunity and his words I can never forget “make this classroom your parliament and start your journey as lawyers”.