Law, Life and the space between

Coming from a generation and background that was largely hit by the charm depicted in the courtrooms on televisions, I was always fascinated to have a lawyer’s way of life. The said idea always followed within me and choosing law school was thought to be the most obvious idea that I could have thought of (and yes, of course because academically, I wasn’t interested deeply in any of the subjects taught in school). As a result of which I finally entered Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. And the journey from where it started till today has been something which will always remain close to my heart.

Ever since I graduated from law school, I have enjoyed a wide variety of experiences. And before the writing gets too long, I must say that I have had the good fortune of working with one of the finest and sharpest minds in India, my mentor, Mr. Rishabh Sancheti, who nurtured the real sense of advocacy and professionalism in me, for what I am today.

To introduce myself, I am a practicing counsel at the Supreme Court of India, New Delhi, with a broad focus from civil to corporate matters. At this stage, I appear Early in the profession I noticed and learnt that once I did take the step, let go safety net and swim into the rougher waters, and there were genuine people to hold my hand and show me the right way. Since my practice largely dwells on disputes side, I too had an opportunity to try my hands on the transactional front for few months, when I apprehended that I’m too messed up at doing desk job.

As far as my specific areas of work are concerned, I largely handle matters of civil, commercial and constitutional laws. The major difference I feel in practicing these areas of law is that one gets to closely associate himself/herself with people whose rights we, as a lawyer uphold which gives a sense of utmost satisfaction. At law school, my area of expertise was Business Law which I passionately studied thinking that I always wanted to be a Corporate lawyer. But this idea doomed soon which is contrary to the norms established that one has to decide in his/her final years as to what area of specialization he/she wants to be in to have a safer future.

My areas of interest in law school were diverse. Some of the subjects that I enjoyed studying the most were Contracts, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Property laws. If I took a real interest in a subject, I would read more authoritative books on that particular subject to do complete justice with my interest coupled with what ideally a subject requires from a student. I also try to keep myself abreast of the developments in the areas of law that evolve everyday with landmark judgments of the Supreme Court in these areas especially.

My area of interest in Litigation grew with each passing day. Here, I would take a neutral stance and say that in the initial years, I never wanted to have one particular area of law to choose as my interest and work upon it. But if I must choose, then I would have to say that my main practice area would be civil and commercial law, though it is still far too early to answer this properly. On the contrary, in this profession, the Clients choose your specialization in the area of law! I think one need to strive hard to match the professional confidence in executing work of the chosen specialization or domain as it requires perseverance and efforts. The said situation is totally opposite in law school as there you have a limited variety to choose from and yes, there were no major stakes back then!

To take a step further, if I was to opt between Litigation or Corporate practice, I would definitely say Litigation as the feeling of standing in court and persuading the sharpest mind in your field gives you an immense satisfaction and pride and I don’t shy away from admitting that I don’t see any other field that can be more enterprising and challenging than this. With each passing case, I see myself growing and learning.

For a lone rider like me in this profession, I understood that things have propensity to work themselves out only at the cost of being patient and open to receiving help. Fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, my first mentor into this field always played a ‘supportive’ role towards me and my work. It might be too early to say this but I have picked some of the invaluable lessons of professional life on various issues such as client handling, self-projection and pressure handling.

I never wanted to apply my areas of interest strictly to my professional work because then it does not allow you to grow completely from all dimensions. Law schools aid in offering you wide variety of subjects, which are quintessential for a law student, but the same reverses, as profession demands a lot more than what we expect from ourselves.

Author Anchit Bhandari, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

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