I am compelled to write this.
I am working as a Research Associate for LawSikho. I sometimes volunteer to chat with students who come to seek guidance with regards to our courses. It disappoints me a lot to see young minds with infinite potential saying to me how being a student of a traditional university has been a waste of their time and money.
While I understand the misery they go through. They are disillusioned if they have brainwashed themselves into believing so.
This is for all the students who feel disheartened because they study in a mediocre law school. We had earlier written a book addressing the issue of how non NLU students can do well in their career too.
The first antidote to the problem is a shift in perspective. You go to a traditional university and think it’s a waste of your time; you can either see it has a curse or a blessing in disguise.
I had a friend who had family responsibilities so moving out of a two tier city was never an option for him. But he was passionate about studying law. I remember while standing in queue for the admission form in a humble law college, I poked him that he still has time to change his decision and we can figure out a way.
He turned around and said to me with confidence and poise, “whether I study in a high profile college or a not so cool college, the end result will be the same. I will have a graduate degree in law. It’s just like a driving license, does not matter where I get it from. Driving the vehicle is my responsibility no matter how tough the roads get. I have taken a bold step, now my career is my responsibility.
“I can use the free time to do focused and long term internships around litigation. Big law colleges have constraints in terms of attendance. He further added that the fee is light on my pocket, I don’t have an educational loan on my head. This gives me the freedom to focus on litigation internships since the fee is low, the burden of expectations from parents is also very low”.
And he was right. He focused on utilizing the time he got to master the court procedure, learned the ropes of litigation, observed seniors arguing in courts. So by the time he finished his law degree he was ready to start his small but own law firm. I am glad to tell you that he is doing well for himself.
I want to say to the 20 somethings who crib about not being from an elite law college. Take responsibility for your future. You have time as your biggest asset. You have the leverage to start early and explore. Your risk appetite for failure when you are young is more.
You don’t have internship support from college, never mind! Volunteer…. Have you heard about a college named GJ Advani law college in Mumbai. I had once interviewed Sarvesh Giri, an alumnus of the college, for an article. He pursued as many as 30 internships in 3 years of law college. I was amazed.
He told me Krishnendra, “people stop applying after 1 or 2 rejections, they never follow up properly too. I just did not stop applying. Took all kinds of work from research to writing to learning the ropes of litigation. Coming from an engineering background he felt he had nothing to lose”.
Ask our founder Mr Ramanuj Mukherjee about volunteering and applying for internships aggressively. He belongs to an elite college. Internships were not served on a platter to him either. He had the same trait, even he volunteered for work, he once told me a story of how his classmate cribbed about not getting an internship after 2 unsuccessful attempts and he laughed at him because he just didn’t quit applying for an internship until he got it after at least 20 attempts.
Many law grads from top notch law colleges I know, take up jobs in law firms just to pay off their education loans and still are unsure of their career choice. They are also expected to live up to certain lifestyle expectations. For students studying in B grade law schools, chances are that they are not burdened by the baggage of loan obligations. Use the financial freedom to your advantage.
If you are worried that you can’t apply for an internship because your college taught you nothing except mugging for exams and rote learning, you can take online courses that work on the idea of training you for the work before you actually have to perform at work.
Writing is another great idea. Law firms value if you have research papers to your credit. You can also write for online legal blogs. It’s a great way to sharpen your research skills too. I remember Adv Nitish Banka used to write on legal issues on his website while he was in college. It ultimately helped in getting clients when he started working.
It is also important to know that at the workplace, you work with people not with degrees. So as you will grow up your bubble will burst and you will realize that people skills are more important to succeed at the workplace. It’s important to network in the right way, reach out to a wider audience, create an online presence. That’s what we teach our students too.
If all this is not working, you have the flexibility of learning a different skill and changing careers too (like Donnie Ashok has done). You have to learn new valuable skills nonetheless.
Lastly, do whatever education you do with pride and happiness, there are many who can’t afford the privilege of basic education too.
There is an advantage hidden in every difficulty. Can you find it? Or will you just wallow in self pity and let the greatest opportunities of your life pass by?
Meanwhile, you can check out the following courses if you are serious about learning and taking a step forward in your career.
Executive Certificate Courses