This article is written by Shreyans Ritolia, 5th year student of Law College Dehradun.
Yesterday I got to hear Mr Ramanuj Mukherjee and Mr Tanuj Kalia. Our college invited them to speak on law and entrepreneurship. They almost gave a lecture for 2 hours and solved many questions of students sitting there.
It was an eye-opening session and made me wonder about the last 5 years. Where did I go wrong? That’s when I thought of the fear which I have in my last year of a Law School.
When I entered Law School, I was like a blank slate aiming to be a top-notch lawyer of this country. When I am about to leave, I am afraid of whatever is coming next.
I will be discussing in this article about the fear that I have which do not let me sleep at nights. Sometimes my mind stops working because of the fear and pressure which I am facing as of now.
Will I be able to make a living?
As a final year student, I had a great fear, the fear of what next. The fear of placement. Being in the top rankers of my batch, I am the guy standing at this last stop of the law school journey. Outside this station, there is a new country where the only rule is of the survival of the fittest.
What will I be doing after a year or two? I cannot visualise myself 15 years down the line as the speakers asked me to in the seminar. I am worried, will I be able to feed my family as they have invested so much upon me?
Will I be left behind?
Many batchmates of mine got PPO or were interning with the top law firms of the country. Whenever they used to call me, they discussed the work which they were doing and how they impressed their boss and the amount of networking they did but unfortunately I was not doing anything so glamorous.
I was interning at High Court in my home state.
I am now afraid that my batchmates will get great jobs and I will be left behind and be the laughing stock of my batch.
Should I study more?
As soon as our 9th semester started, questions like should I start preparing for CLAT PG as it will open some good and new avenues for me started bothering me. After PG I will be eligible to give NET and if luck is with me perhaps I can clear JRF too! Then, I can get one more year to think about my future.
Many of my seniors advised me to go for CLAT PG and told me to implement the strategy which I have. Some of them just made fun of the idea and asked me what I will do after LLM. Some others suggested to me that I should only go abroad to get an LLM degree.
The uncertainty and lack of clarity about my future course of action scare me. After 5 years of legal studies, I am ready to study for another year. But after that, will I be able to stand out from the crowd? Will I get a better job?
The tag of being non-NLUite
I have a very close friend at National Law School Bangalore and she persuaded me to apply for an internship at a Law firm in Delhi. I couldn’t refuse. We applied at the same firm but the biggest fear of non-NLU came true as she got a call from them but I didn’t.
Students of non-NLU have this biggest fear that only NLU students will be preferred and we will be rejected. This lifelong tag of non-NLUite scares me.
Lack of confidence
I got an opportunity to intern with the tier 1 law firm. On the first day, I created a mess over there by not speaking English fluently as I was feeling that I had a come to the perfect place where everyone was so perfect in their work, well dressed and spoken. Unfortunately, I missed an opportunity to impress my boss on the very first meeting.
In our law school, I was told that the first impression is the last impression and I got demoralized which ruined my whole internship as I couldn’t gather the courage during my whole internship. I failed miserably because I was suffering from the disease called lack of confidence which I had due to the fear I had in my mind. So here comes the 5th fear i.e. fear of failing to impress someone, lack of self-confidence, and fear of demoralizing, and getting into depression.
I interned with one of the top notch criminal lawyer in my hometown Dhanbad, Jharkhand. I was so much impressed by him that I wanted to become like him. I made up my mind that I will be doing litigation and the last priority of my list became the first priority.
Then comes another fear. If I opt for litigation, will I be able to earn enough money to survive? When will I be starting my independent practice?
Another fear which I had was that in which city should I start from. I had an interaction with some seniors from different law schools and the associates under whom I worked during my internships regarding this.
Whenever I had a conversation with them I got totally confused. Once I was having a word with an Oxford graduate practicing in a High Court and he suggested me to go to my state high court and join a senior counsel there.
One of my senior suggested me to go to Delhi and join a Senior Counsel or an AOR office. A big fear that I have now is about how I am going to find a good mentor, given that I have no family members already working as a lawyer.
And again, will I be able to earn enough to sustain?
Sometimes I think I should just join a law firm, and get a decent salary at least. But if I join a law firm or any office then why should the HR hire me?
Why will a partner of a law firm vouch for me? How much value I will be able to generate for that law firm? I get even more worried!
Here is what I have decided
After listening to these great legal entrepreneurs I have realised that nobody is perfect and everyone has fears initially. If there are problems, there will be solutions as well. Even where I can’t see the path ahead I must go ahead with courage and search for it. There will be fear in the mind but whatever I choose I should do with seriousness.
My desire to be the best should be self motivation. They inspired me as to how a young graduate can do well without taking part in the extracurricular activity, how can a young graduate teach and counsel lakhs of law students. Patience, smart-work, and most important giving time to something will make me succeed in life, and when I think of these things, I feel no fear.