This article has been written by Yash Singhal a student of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, GGSIPU.
‘How to prepare in college to ace in Litigation Career’ by Tanvi Dubey and Anubhav Garg on the LawSikho platform provides essential inputs regarding the process of preparing for a career in litigation while being a college student. The session will be summarised in a brief questionnaire format.
Description of the Guest speaker
Ms. Tanvi Dubey is a practising advocate in the Supreme Court of India, the Delhi High Court and the other Tribunals based in Delhi. She is an avid speaker for the promotion of women empowerment in the legal sector, through various speeches on national and international forums. She is a part of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. law firm. She has been a great performer since her college days which is evident from her internship experience with legends like Ram Jethmalani, Justice Dipak Misra and Mohan Parasaran.
Description of the Moderator
Mr Anubhav Garg is a Management Trainee at LawSikho after securing a PPO at his internship with iPleaders (a subsidiary of LawSikho in blogs on legal content) for content writing and event manager. He is currently pursuing his BBA LLB from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi. He has demonstrable experience in the field of business laws and functioning of courts and Tribunals in this matter. He keeps his content writing skills above anything and has an illustrious internship experience in content writing with some of the best platforms.
Excerpts of the Webinar
Q. Why did you choose to pursue law and what was the reason behind entering Litigation?
(Tanvi) I have always been interested in law. The fascination started around my 9th standard when I read law books and later in the college explored various domains without any specific interest in litigation. The internship experience motivated me to pursue litigation. Law as a profession provides the liberty to express oneself more than any other profession. Litigation needs a multidimensional approach with everything done by the individual itself, learning the patience to listen and avoid dissatisfaction on minor tasks.
Q. What are your views on law students starting independent practices right after college if they have significant internship experience?
(Tanvi) It is a subjective matter with a personal choice of each to go either way. It all depends on stability and how it is maintained in initial days when earning is low. It has to be taken into consideration and an informed decision must be taken. If you have the independent skills to survive then it does not matter.
Q. How did you manage to intern with pioneers in the legal field despite not being from a National Law University?
(Tanvi) All my internships were linked in a way with one of my internships with the Solicitor General allowed me to apply for another internship with Supreme Court advocates. Destiny played its part, along with working on my resume to keep it crisp and a covering email to provide points of details I seek in the internship. The non-National Law Universities students can also seek internships in the Tier 1 law firms with diligence. I gave my 100% in every capacity while staying positive about the kind of work allotted. Always put your points forward to seniors, if any. You can try to apply for months which are less crowded in terms of applications placed.
Q. What activities should be undertaken if interested to pursue litigation after college?
(Tanvi) The law colleges have the required infrastructure to organise activities which prepare students to tackle all situations in the future, I have always motivated students to participate in every activity they can during these five years to get acquainted with everything. (on the personal decision of opting litigation) I did not have anything decided but developed interest during my internships where I learnt new skills of argumentation, dispute resolution etc. It is important to develop overall skills in the first two years of college.
Q. What qualities does a senior lawyer look for in his/her interns while hiring them?
(Tanvi) The lawyers would not expect their interns to know everything but desire commitment towards work assigned to them. You have to find out ways to involve yourself in the workings of your senior by sharing views and thoughts on matters handled by the senior lawyer. (on pre-requisites of getting an internship with senior counsel) You need some prior litigation experience, court functioning, basics of filing and personal role as an intern. (on the hierarchy of internships year-wise) It is ideal to opt for an NGO/trial court internship in the first year, the second year can be allotted to High Court internships, realise what you want to do by the third year and intern in those areas that you are interested in.
Q. What are some things you feel that are not taught in law schools but should have been a part of the curriculum? What is the relevance of the extra-curricular activities?
(Tanvi) Every achievement plays a role in the CV and it should not be only restricted to major events but minor events are also recognised. Colleges have modified their curriculum where they provide enough time for co-curricular activities and students should derive maximum benefits from it. The exposure, nowadays, is immense in regard to events, which are also viewed by recruiters as achievements. There are international universities and organisations organising certificate courses which should be utilised by each student to the fullest.
Q. How to utilise the lockdown period for personal growth by fetching online internships?
(Tanvi) There have been online courses by International Universities such as Harvard and Oxford on legal and non-legal topics. The online internships shall be availed as there is no control over the natural occurrence. The firms should be approached and this would also increase contacts. The courses which have practical value in terms of procedures should be preferred as theoretical knowledge is received in college.
(Anubhav) LawSikho also provides various courses on the online platform which increases the success rate in the profession. The query is resolved by the experts as soon as possible.
Q. What are the pitfalls one needs to take into consideration while pursuing litigation?
(Tanvi) There is no initial money in the litigation practice so the preferred choice is to be patient with the career. Always keep yourself busy to not get demotivated by the circumstances or enrol in teaching a subject which would help in grasping that subject completely. The initial years shall be devoted to learning the functioning of the courts and after some time go for specific practice. The experience plays a major role in deciding the field of interest. (on writing research papers) I started with national journals and gradually shifted to international journals, getting the information of these ‘call for papers’ from the websites itself.
Q. What should be the starting point for a college student to walk the path of arbitration?
(Tanvi) The individual who has realised his interest in arbitration needs to undertake internships specific to the field. They can also write blogs and research papers or engage in discussions on arbitration and related issues. If they manage to crack a law firm internship, then they will be guided by a group of lawyers on the intricacies along with the practical exposure. An active participation in the events associated with negotiation or arbitration helps in enhancing skills.
Q. What should be the financial investment needed to start a litigation career?
(Tanvi) A lawyer needs self-survival strategies in the initial stages when money is not enough in the practice. The office space, staff, clients and many other factors influence the financial investment required. It is a subjective matter as to the moderate investment required according to the facilities an individual aspires for. A futuristic perspective up to the next 5 years should be taken into account before venturing into litigation as a career option.
Q. What should be the way forward for a student interested in only litigation but advises are passed on to have multiple field experience?
(Tanvi) If you have good enough experience in litigation and have made up your mind to pursue a career in it then you should continue with your interest. There is no harm in going forward with litigation provided you are sure about it and have some experience to back it up.
Q. How is corporate litigation different from independent litigation and is there a concept of paralegals in corporate and litigation firms in India?
(Tanvi) There are some spots for paralegals in law firms specifically restricted to research or preparing for a matter. Independent litigation deals with various fields but corporate litigation limits itself to commercial or company-related matters. Independent ligations require knowledge of the basics of all the domains before you pursue a specific field.
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