Supersets
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This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho.

If you read our emails regularly, I assume you are interested in big, ambitious goals in life irrespective of the situation you find yourself in.

The bigger our goals are, bigger are the challenges life throws at us. There is no denying that only a few people will choose such a life – a life of adventure, thrill, and amazing rewards, but before anything else, a life of struggle.

Andrew Carnegie, who was the richest man in the world (wealth adjusted for inflation), wrote a book called The Advantages of Poverty. He was surely qualified to write the book, having started his life as child labour in a boiler room. His first job as an adult was of a peon in the railways. He credited the advantages of poverty for his becoming the richest man in the world of his time.

You should read the book sometimes, but the basic message was this: lack of money is an enabler, not a mere obstacle. As you overcome bigger and bigger challenges, one at a time, you grow from strength to strength.

The story of my life has proven the same to me. Every time I have embraced my struggles, I have grown. When I begrudged them, circumvented them, cursed them, tried to run away from them, ignored them, I have suffered and become weaker.

Another assumption I am making here just because you are on this list is that you want to drastically, radically and inexorably keep enhancing your legal skills, in order to become an extraordinary, legendary lawyer.

If that is so, you are going to appreciate what comes next.

In this context, I wanted to share with you today three concepts from the world of bodybuilding, specifically strength training. 

In strength training, there is a concept called supersets. Most people in the gym work out only one set of muscles at a time. When you do supersets, you move from one exercise to another without any gap between them. The exercises target different sets of muscles. For example, in my today’s work out, I continuously repeated these exercises non-stop for 15 minutes: pike shoulder push-ups, hanging knee raises, push-ups, wide grip pull-ups, and crunches. I managed to do a total of 6 rounds of these things in 15 mins.

One round was of a superset. 

What is the benefit of doing a superset? 

Have you seen people who have huge biceps and thin legs? It’s weird. It represents a lack of balance and proportion. You want to develop all your muscles, in proportion, and that is when you would look good.

It is kind of the same when it comes to your legal muscles. You need to develop an array of legal skills. To succeed as a lawyer you need to research, draft, think on your feet, argue – all at the same time.

The exercises you will do, in order to become better lawyers, therefore, need to resemble supersets. You need to practice using a number of diverse skills in combination, to solve a problem. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are most critical for lawyers, but you can produce great lawyers only when you use them in combination with other skills.

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That’s what makes a lawyer’s job so difficult, and therefore well paid.

Legal training needs to reflect that. However, remember your classes in law school? At most, they tested you for your memory, analysis or ability to crunch information. Usually, one skill at a time. You may have to understand and remember some legal concepts and be able to write about them in exams or talk about them in a viva. You may have written some projects, which develop some research, analysis and writing skills. But even for the best students, law schools rarely prepare you for real-life legal work, simply because you never get to experience the roller coaster for real-life legal work!

In our courses, we wanted to remedy that. And we draw inspiration from the concept of supersets. We give two assignments to our students of premium courses every week, which they have to solve and submit to us. And these exercises simulate real-life legal assignments, that you may get from a client or from your boss in a respectable legal job.

That is exactly where we include supersets in our courses. The exercises you do are realistic and test many different skills you have at once!

We especially focus on the following: the ability to research, competent drafting, critical thinking, problem solving and articulation. We also often teach how to break down complex challenges into small manageable chunks. We focus on negotiation and strategy a lot in our advanced courses because these are the skills that fetch a premium in the legal industry.

The other thing I want you to learn about is called the burnouts.

When a work out is done, we must do burnouts. Burnouts target a specific set of muscle on a certain day. The idea is to do this for different sets of muscles on different days.

In burnouts, you have to work out a certain muscle until failure. Until you have given all you can give, it’s not burnout.

So you don’t stop doing push-ups at 10, 15 or 20. You are not supposed to count. You keep going until you just can’t go anymore. Until you try one last time, fail, and crash into the ground, the burn out is not done.

That’s a burn out exercise. The idea behind this is to ensure your muscles are fatigued. This rapidly builds muscle. It is the kind of failure that is sweeter than success.

When you are trying to do a burnout exercise, you are seeking out failure. 

Crazy? Yes, it is.

What is the equivalent of this in legal training?

When we make your exercises, we ensure that you can find 90% of what you need to solve this riddle which is there in our study materials. Chapters, templates, process guides, videos. But the last 10% is a stretch. 

We want you to try and fail. Or maybe succeed! Who knows? But it should be a struggle.

That struggle is critical to producing better lawyers. Those who sweat it out with exercises, do better in their actual tasks. In the world of sports, and in the world of law too!

The final concept is a trophy and maintenance work out.

Let’s say you go to the gym regularly, build amazing muscles, and you look amazing. If you stop working out after that, how long will you look good?

A month? I doubt. When I stop working out, it starts showing within a week. You are certainly not going to continue to look great if you quit working out.

And there is something called maintenance work out for that. You need to engage in certain minimum work out activities to maintain your vitality, stamina, and muscles. Otherwise, all the hard work you put in to achieve a great physique could be lost within weeks.

Muscles, if not exercised, atrophies. So can your legal muscles.

It is no different from any legal skill you may develop. You can look at it as a tragedy, but in reality, it is just the way things work. Those who will keep practicing legal skills shall continue to grow, and those who rest on their laurels will atrophy.

Lawyers need a gym for their legal muscles too! 

And that is why we have always strived to create LawSikho as a kind of gym where lawyers can come and work on their skills in an ideal training condition.

Also, I would like to remind you that the following courses are closing in a few hours:

Diploma

Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

Diploma in Companies Act, Corporate Governance and SEBI Regulations

Executive Certificate Courses

Certificate Course in Advanced Corporate Taxation

Certificate Course in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Certificate Course in Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Drafting

Certificate Course in Legal Practice Development and Management

Certificate Course in Media and Entertainment Law: Contracts, Licensing and Regulations

Certificate Course in Real Estate Laws

Certificate Course in Arbitration: Strategy, Procedure and Drafting

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