This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, Co-Founder, and CEO at iPleaders.
A lot of people ask us, what is the last date for enrollment?
What sort of people ask for the last date? The sort of people who are playing catch up. People who just survive rather than thrive. I know because I used to be one of them. I will leave things for later, till the deadline. This cost me many great opportunities.
Say, for example, the opportunity for working in a foreign law firm. When I was in college, most of us considered getting through to a London law firm as the pinnacle of success. Partners from these firms visited annually to select a few from our campus. Some of the brightest people from the few top law schools in India got through to these law firms every year.
It’s not that the toppers or the smartest people got through. In reality, the people who got through are the people who were best prepared. People who took out the time to discover what is needed of them and to go about it systematically to build the right profile, right skills and competitiveness in the tasks that one must accomplish to get through.
Years later, I tried to see what does it take to get through to such an opportunity. I interviewed several of the people who got through to these law firms. It turns out, almost always, people who got through were the people who started preparing long ahead, and relentlessly worked on it over a long period. The smart and the bright people who tried to do it last moment hardly ever made the cut.
I was smart and bright too. I was incredibly hard working. However, I kept things for last minute. Many things I used to pull of in the last moment as well. However, the invitation to apply to foreign firms took me by surprise! I didn’t think of it until that point though I always wanted to work in a London firm. Who wouldn’t? When it came, I was struggling with many assignments and could not dedicate more than a few hours to fill up the very long form that wanted me to think deeply about many aspects of my life.
On the other hand, there were people who prepared for it over the year. They took foreign language classes so that they could impress the interviewers. They went and got help from seniors who have already cracked these interviews in the past. They found and bought books on how to get a vacation scheme from a magic circle law firm, they read up on how these firms work and what they want in their associates.
Simply put, before these people who were prepared for a world war, people like me had no chance. It was an embarrassment to even try.
Isn’t that the case with everything else too?
India lost to China in the 1961 war because we were not prepared for a war. We didn’t think it will happen so we didn’t prepare for it. This mistake, since then, was never repeated by the Indian army. You prepare for war when you don’t need to prepare. That’s how you win wars.
I had friends who knew they will join Amarchand Mangaldas (now split into CAM and SAM) even before they joined law school. And guess what? They kept working towards it. They planned for it, prepared for it, figured out what would get them through the door. And they executed that over 5 years. So did I, and I received multiple offers from several law firms.
Of course, there were people who woke up in their 5th year and wanted to get a top job. Mostly, they didn’t succeed. They had to be happy with what they got instead.
It’s quite the same about starting up a company. I was learning things that I would have to do when I started my company right from my 2nd year. I was in business under my own benner by the time I was finishing 4th year. That’s why when I decided to quit the law firm job and start iPleaders, we hit the ground running. We already had years of preparation. If I decided to start this company a week before we quit with no prior preparation, I don’t know what would have happened.
Passion does not compensate for lack of preparation. Hard work and commitment doesn’t compensate for lack of preparation. People who prepare win. They win negotiations. They win cases. They win in life.
If you want to be a winner, quit doing things last moment. Do it when the last date is not even in sight.
We have trained thousands and thousands of students, and hundreds of them now work in top law firms. The very best took our courses while they were still in their 1st or 2nd year of college. There are those who took it in their 5th year and got a job also, but with limited time there are limited things you can do.
Think about it. Most of the best jobs are given away before people join their 5th year classes. It happens in day 0 interviews that usually happens in the end of 4th year in top law schools, or through pre placement offers in the internships right before that. So the batch that is studying in the 5th year now, in 2017, for them the best jobs are already gone before they joined their 5th year class. Those who got those jobs will join the law firms in 2018 July/August. Now these law firms will not be hiring from that batch anymore. Their fresher slots are all filled.
Who got those jobs? People who did really well in their 4th year internship. Most of them were called back for a 2nd internship, when they were given special tasks and observed and then confirmed for a PPO. This means that they did a really good job in their first internship and stood out of the crowd. When did they do that internship? That has to be the summer after their 3rd year got over, or the winter semester of 3rd year.
This means, the people who got through started getting hang of how to do well in their internships by the middle of their third year. They have probably done good internships in their 2nd and 3rd year as well.
However, most of the corporate law subjects are not taught in law school till end of 3rd and 4th year. This should tell you that the most successful people didn’t wait till college taught them what they needed to know.
They started preparing. They didn’t wait for the last day. They started getting good at being a lawyer the first time they got the opportunity.
That’s why, if you ask us if you should do a course like this in your first year of law school, the answer is you should enroll as soon as you get your 12th results, and decide to become a business lawyer, you should enroll. Well, if you didn’t do it then, do it now.
The best day to prepare for what you really really want in life was yesterday. The next best day is today. If you didn’t start yesterday, start NOW.
Are you the kind of person who keeps things for last moment? I did. I suffered. I had to change because I always wanted to win. Winning cannot be done last moment. Winners and people who do things on last date (people just trying to manage, just trying to survive) are different breed. I hope you know the difference. I hope you also know that no matter what you have done till now, you can change that right now by doing things now rather than keeping them for later.
A lot of you ask us the last date for enrolling in the course. Let me ask you something. Why are you doing this course? Is it because you want to become an extraordinary lawyer? Is it because you want great professional success? Is it because you want to land an amazing job? Then please don’t wait for the last date.
If you enroll, we will also not wait for the official commencement date. We will give you access to the course immediately so you can start your work and take an important step towards improving your legal skills, practical knowledge and strategic acumen. The assignments and exams will of course start from the official commencement date.
The last date for the next batch of Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws is 26th October. However, don’t wait for it unless you have a serious money problem. There are others out there who want the same things that you want, and many of them are not waiting. They are working hard at their dream. Can you afford to wait?
Don’t be the guy who does things on the last day. Try to implement this everywhere in your life and let me know how it goes.