Hi, I am Anubhav. I worked as Blog Manager at iPleaders Blog for 2 years (Till April, 2019) and currently, I am an expert at LawSikho, teaching Legal Writing to more than 1000 LawSikho family members.
This article is written by me and is a note from a teacher who forgot to take his class on the scheduled day of the week!
This article is specifically focused on two classes of professionals.
First, Law Students.
Second, Professionals involved in the study of law who have hit the plateau of practice or learning of law.
People who are between any of the above two stages can take infinite risks and therefore, I am specifically urging you to be a little irresponsible.
Those in the middle of the above two stages, I know, and you must, disagree with me. After all, one cannot afford irresponsibility in the prime of their career-making. Right?
(Caveat before I begin: My definition of irresponsibility is a negative one and is discussed somewhere in the middle of this article. The definition is an inclusive one. Therefore, go ahead and add more to the already existing list. Also, please hit a reply to this mail and let me know what is the next irresponsible step you are going to take).
Why am I asking you to be irresponsible? Because of the following two instances which made me think, how good at times can it be, to act a little irresponsible?
Instance One – Every Saturday, my weekly classes on legal research and writing is scheduled where I teach more than 1000 family members at LawSikho.
I forgot to take the classes scheduled for February, the 8th. It was my roommate’s birthday. I forgot to inform my students regarding cancellation of the class out of sheer irresponsibility.
Teaching has been my first profession. I started training students on writing legal blogs since I was in my third year of B.A.LL.B programme.
Second Instance – Do you remember that one guy in the hostel who cooks excellent chicken? I am that guy! I am an excellent cook. Just to add, my estimate of excellence is to be measured among ‘hostel cooks’.
Every birthday, as a ritual, we cook paneer and chicken. No specific names of the dishes. Ingredients consist of the two and when coupled with drinks, rest becomes part of history.
I came to realise that I missed taking my classes in the middle of celebrations (The same day when my classes were scheduled). As a result, cooking went terribly bad.
P.S – I added a handful quantity of Ajinomoto instead of salt. Rest I leave at your imagination.
These instances made me sit back and ponder on an important question, Is it alright to afford a little irresponsibility? If so, then how little?
Shout Out to Law Students
Have you been the responsible one throughout your law school?
Taking the lectures on time. Scoring well in semester exams. Applying for Internships on time. Writing Research Paper. Mooting. Being part of the committees. Taking an active part in cultural or sports fest?
After performing all or a couple of tasks listed above, do you still feel you just lack that spark!
Are you failing to get Internships in spite of applying on time?
Even after getting an internship, are you able to perform excellently in your internships?
Are you getting callbacks?
Or your internship is just another case research mundane work where you are sticking your eyes in ‘or/and’ of legal research databases? Or perhaps you are asked to proofread yet another discarded document taken out from the official depository.
Did you interned at a Tier 1 law firm quite many times and yet, called for an assessment internship, let alone PPO?
I know you must have done a self assessment. What was the answer received? What did your brain signal you? An answer coupled with solid reasons, ain’t it. Some of the answers might resonate the following.
- It was a Summer/Winter Internship. Jam-packed with law students. Therefore not getting enough work was natural. I will definitely apply for the off-seasons internship.
- The reporting manager was least interested in teaching an intern.
- Obviously, he will be.
- Imagine you are having 5 years of practice in the legal profession.
- You get a team of enthusiastic interns every month, filled with energy, however, who do not even know even 10 percent of the Level 1 work (as simple as writing a legal opinion).
- Now, will you, take one hour of your every workday, 12 months a year and train interns, who anyways will vanish after 30 days or will you prefer spending that 1 hour with your family?
- No reporting manager feels like training interns from scratch.
- You are supposed to know Level 1 work.
- It is unfair I know.
- However, this is the way it is. Feel free to complain, no one is listening.
Why do I suggest acting irresponsibly is the way out?
By acting irresponsibly, I mean acting unconventionally.
Till now you have been following the advice of your teachers or seniors.
Reading commentaries on contracts, doing an IBC moot, writing paper on biggest corporate governance failures and whatnot.
It is time to be irresponsible now.
Irresponsible according to the conventional standards.
Irresponsible according to the standards of your teachers/seniors.
Do not limit yourself to reading bulky commentaries on Contract but actually, draft one. Even a simple rent agreement will work. Offer your services to any of the local lawyers for free. I am sure you will get your first client with this method.
Follow the latest development on IBC. Nonetheless, do not limit yourself to mere re-posting on the recent developments on IBC on LinkedIn.
Write an article on how with the new development vide the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, the liability of a corporate debtor for an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process shall cease. Write a legal opinion on this.
How will you acquire these skillsets?
After all, being irresponsible according to my standards sounds a little utopian!
You will have to cross the barriers and learn law through unconventional ways. Ways of which our traditional legal education haven’t even thought of yet. Or perhaps is afraid, since the legal fraternity knows, the teachers present lack the practical skillset required.
Step 1 is to understand what is the area you need to learn. Most law students believe they are good in a particular area. Their belief comes from the fact that they can answer all the questions which come from teachers in classrooms.
Please, do not be in this state of doubt. Come out of it.
If you are interested in contracts and want a job, you will have to know, at least what law firm lawyers, in-house counsels, independent business lawyers, business leaders require in a well-drafted contract.
If you are interested in cyber law and planning to build a career, you will need to know the area of work around which the Lawyers working for technology and eCommerce companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Flipkart etc. are establishing their practice.
If you are interested in MnA, not having the skillset on how a scheme of merger is presented before NCLT for approval will leave you directionless.
Confused about your future? Can’t make up your mind? Reach out to me or any of the expert at LawSikho.
You can take a free career assessment by reaching out to us here, at LawSikho.
Do not be scared. It is difficult, I understand. Being irresponsible according to our standards is scary.
We expect you to walk the Road Not Taken. Yes, the one which has been less travelled by and this is what will make all the difference.
I will share a little anecdote of yet another act of irresponsibility before I shift to next part of the article where I discuss why it is alright to be irresponsible if you are a professional involved in the study of law and have hit the plateau of practice or learning of law.
2012, Battle of Bands, Ranchi
I am from Ranchi. It is a small tier 2 city. A city aspiring to be metro. But my go-to spend my weekend spots are not city pubs or malls, instead, waterfalls, mountains where we go for hitchhiking, lakes (specifically, fishing in the dark. Rohu bait works best at night. This fishing technique is not frequently found in fishing books but told as a tell-tale by village elders.
Legally speaking, this technique is a Traditional Knowledge (:
Ranchi hosts a battle of band event every year. All the rock bands perform and compete for the cash money. My band Explicit was registered for the 10th performance in the year 2012
We were to perform Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven and Floyd’s, Wish you were.
Our Music Guru prepared us at a metronome higher than usual as we were ending with wish you were here.
To cut it short, the first piece of music which we were playing was very fast and the second one, comparatively slower. Therefore, we decided to set the pace of the second song faster so that both the song can resonant an octave.
We rehearsed accordingly. The traditional way. We rehearsed responsibly.
We rehearsed at the pace which we were supposed to perform at the event.
Quite often, whenever sir was not around, we played unconventionally. It gave us immense pleasure.
Ask any Guitarist. Playing Wish you were here, resonating David Gilmour is a dream. So was mine!
We were rehearsing to play at a higher pace as per the performance’s requirement. We felt troubled. What Explicit (My Band) wanted was not what we were doing. We were puzzled.
We were all set on the day of the event. Standard 10th kids, all set to compete with oldies. We were infamously referred to as Outlawed since we chose late 70s – 80s retro, rather than banging our heads at stupid death gore metal music.
We chose melody over stupidity.
We choose to act irresponsibly as per the standards of the competition.
I was the lead guitarist and Achintya was at drums.
I held my CORT AD series gifted to me by my grandfather and opened with A note, D string, 7th Fret. Guess what? The crowd went crazyyyyy!!!!
We were happy. Performing in the middle of thousand people. It was perhaps a dream come true.
After 4 minutes, it was time to shift to Wish you were here.
As per rehearsal, we were to go with PLAN A. (What our sir taught us).
Explicit went irresponsible. (We went with plan B. Plan B, which we wanted to play).
We played differently.
We slowed the pace down instead of boosting it up. We felt the music while playing.
We Played at a slower pace than was expected.
Our Guru was shocked and angry. He went ahead to the point of trying to turn our plugs
Till this time, the memory of November 14th, 2012 give me chills. The Stubborn we took over the
The crowd went crazy. They heard something
Our sir was mad at us. He disapproved of the performance
We eventually were disqualified for not following the rules and extending our performance for 1 minute and 28 seconds.
When I Look back and connect the dots, I realise what that performance taught me. I realise this.
It made me fearless. It made me strong. It made me realise that even though I might upset my teacher, however, I can cheer a thousand people up.
Immaterial of the fact that I will be disqualified thereafter.
This is being irresponsible according to me. Making things done. Finding answers.
Have you found your answer yet? Drop me a WhatsApp text or you call even call me at 9915873870 and I will be more than happy to hear your story.
Shout out to Professionals who reached plateau
If you are a good lawyer, work will come at your doorstep This is a traditional and conservative viewpoint. Quite often in the alleys of court, it is discussed, a lawyer need not engage in business development or promotional activities, and that in fact such practices are unethical in the legal profession!
What if I tell you that there are lawyers who, after practising for decades, feel that the area of growth is saturated and there are no new avenues to look for.
These practitioners are having good practice backed with awesome clientele base. They can sense the plateau reached.
They are still hungry! They want to grow. They are just like Lions in a jungle. Looking for new prey, a new avenue of law, however, it is difficult to find answers for.
How would you like to grow your law practice predictably, reliably and smoothly? It is possible to do so by applying sound principles of management and building systems with purpose and clarity.
Surely, doing it systematically can make a world of difference. It is much less painful and far more profitable.
I am urging you to be a little irresponsible too, irresponsible as per the conventional standards. Because these set, standard conventional ways is unable to take your practice to heights.
We are, therefore, proud to announce the Law Practice Development and Management course for lawyers looking to build law firms and chambers of the future.
The material taught in this course is distilled from the experience and wisdom of the most successful lawyers as well as business managers from other related services domains such as management consulting. We had the benefit of working with some great legal entrepreneurs who have built big law practices as well as have been partners in some of the most remarkable law firms.
We would have a few of them offering live classes as well as part of this effort. Hence, you will get to learn the most critical lessons straight from lawyers who have built great law practices, or manage some of the best law firms. This is really a rare opportunity.
We will answer the following
- What are the most important qualities of a lawyer who wants to set up a law firm or a solo practice
- What are the point of agenda for building a strong brand as a solo practitioner
- Why is online presence important for lawyers and law firms
- What kind of online presence should you build
- Top 5 things you can do to expand your law practice
These are just the tip of the iceberg.