Bonny Singh, who graduated from GNLU in 2015 with excellent rank in his class, is currently working at Impact Law Ventures as an associate in Delhi. Impact Law Ventures specializes in Venture capital deals and startup related issues. The Economic Times has mentioned ILV several times as a go to law firm for startups, and several alumni of the NUJS Diploma course in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws have been hired by ILV. Bonny pursued this course when he was still in his 2nd year in college, and was a part of the very first batch of the NUJS diploma course. Over to Bonny.
I have a great interest in startups and investment. I loved to read Techcrunch and blogs by Paul Graham. I used to read a lot of material which falls in the cross section of law, technology and business. I had an interest in startup and corporate laws, and I had met Pankaj Jain, founder of ILV at GNLU, in the early years. I ended up interning at ILV later. My internship was bang in the middle of my pursuing the NUJS business law diploma course, which was quite fortuitous as I had not done any corporate law course till then except for my exposure to the diploma course. Having access to the NUJS diploma course during the internship was really useful and made a difference. I eventually went on to work with the same law firm after graduation.
I always looked for other avenues than what was being taught in class to learn more law and stand out. The course was taken in that spirit. The fact that I was following the founders on social media and read their blogs regularly really helped to build trust.
In my 2nd year I did an internship with a criminal lawyer at a district court who really helped me to learn about criminal law. When I studied a few commercial law courses, I wished I had someone to do the same for commercial courses also as I realized how valuable such support can be.
I find that if you can somehow learn about a legal subject beforehand you can do really well in classroom. If you are particularly interested in a subject, it is a great idea to find someone or a course like the NUJS Business Law Diploma course that will teach you the subjects even before you do it in class. If you can do this, then when you learn the subject in the classroom, you will have an opportunity to acquire a much deeper and useful legal acumen related to that subject. This has been my personal experience.
One of the promises of the course was that it will bring law and business together. That was really attractive to me, I wanted to learn the practical lessons that help one to become a better lawyer.
I was lucky to win a scholarship at GNLU at the very right time in form of INR 20,000. At that time the course fee was INR 20,000 as well. I signed up for the NUJS business law diploma course with a lot of expectations.
After finishing the course I did try my hand at a startup. I was involved with Centre for Civil Society quite a bit. In my 4th year, at a competition at the Centre, an idea I had conceptualized was given a prize and I received INR 10,000 to start it. I was however unable to make it work commercially and had to abandon the project. However, my tryst of startups continued as I was bitten by the startup bug. After this I joined a startup called Lawforme, which is doing great now though I am not associated with it personally now as I am working full time at the law firm. Founder of Lawforme, Kanan Dhru, also bagged a prize worth USD 40,000 from Hague Institute that helped to fund Lawforme. Now the project has moved out of beta and has been launched.
My expectation from the course was mostly met, but I really wanted more interaction. I have noticed that now you have improved on the interaction aspect, as students have access to lawyers, mentors entrepreneurs and a very active Facebook group. Even the webinars are quite amazing. When you started to call law firm partners and litigators to come and teach online I loved it. Of course as I was the part of the first batch I feel that I missed out on the new features but the fact that you guys have kept engaging with the alumni has been wonderful.
It was great to have access to such a massive corporate law material and learn so much that I would not have learnt otherwise. Especially at that time the new Companies Act was coming into place and having an easy access to the updates made a big difference. I also benefited a lot from some of the mails you have been sending to the course students.
The biggest boost this course gave me was with respect to my knowledge of corporate laws and securities law. The course forces you to learn a lot of new subjects early on before you deal with them at work. If you work as a commercial lawyer, doing due diligences is quite inevitable. This course really helped me with learning about all the issues that are covered in a due diligence exercise.
I was very interested in corporate governance, and what I learned from the corporate governance module really helped me. I went on to do a lot of research on this. I wrote a paper on corporate governance for entrepreneurs and presented at IIT Roorkee. Corporate governance sets the DNA of a company, and that is one particular module that I still remember.
By the time I did the course, I had already studied government contracts. However, I still found the module to be very detailed, systematic and really useful. Even when I was finding it difficult to learn tax laws in college, the taxation modules were a life saver. The modules seriously helped me to sort out my basics of commercial laws which goes a long way. Doing the course in the middle of my life as a law student was really helpful on a lot of fronts.
I remember at one point many entrepreneurs were requesting for information on business licenses and various registrations. A detailed list was provided at this time, which was very useful for me while I was studying labour law in college as well as when I started doing due diligence at work.
As I am working at a law firm that specializes in venture capital investments, I feel the knowledge I acquired about investment laws will also be very useful.
Quite a few clauses, Termsheet, negotiation etc that I learned about gave me a lot of perspective when I started work.
As far as the career services provided as part of the course, all the blogs and advice were quite useful to me. I particularly remember the coverage of latest legal issues as I was in my 4th year and preparing for interviews. Now your internship systems and blogs have become even better. Now when we are looking for interns as a law firm, this course is a great source of suitable interns with an interest in commercial laws. I am also thankful that the course still extend so many facilities to the alumni and continue to engage with them.
In the past I have sometimes been critical of the course because I felt that interaction was not sufficient. I must say that with all the new mechanisms to engage the course has really left no scope to complain about that and now I will not hesitate to recommend it to any law student or anyone who wants to become a serious entrepreneur.
If you are in a National Law University, especially in GNLU in the middle years of the law school, I will strongly recommend this course to you. However, have a clarity that you must invest at least a few hours every month if not every week so that you can really extract the benefits from the course. It is not a magic wand and it cannot change your life unless you put in some work, but beyond that this is truly an exceptional resource that can make a difference in a law student’s career.