INTERVIEW WITH MS.ARUNIMA SHASTRI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT UNITEDWORLD SOL, GANDHINAGAR BY KATCHERI.IN

Q1. Please tell us something about your pre- college life as well as educational background.

Currently, I am pursuing Ph.D. from GNLU. It was only last year that I finished my Master’s from NLU Odisha in Corporate Laws and immediately joined Academics; I graduated from UPES Dehradun back in 2018. As a student of law I tried acquiring sincerity as my greatest virtue, to learn and disseminate information which only added more to my existing knowledge. That’s how I chose a profession that fits my objectives in Life.

Q2. How did your interest gravitate towards law?

Foremost my background is a precursor towards this, but then there were other factors that supplemented, as for me Law seemed only more logical, full of rational underpinnings which further honed ones thought process and line of arguments even outside courts. Your opinions weigh more importance and they’re less likely to be coloured with biases.

Q3. Which areas of law fascinated you the most as a Law student?

Specialized fields of Law such as IP, Arbitration and Investment & Trade Law drew my curiosities, as I garnered an understanding that Law is omnipresent in every other subject matter of state and Individual’s action, because nothing in a country can be worked out without a proper legislation, an authority to decide which propagated rights and obligations that’s where Law permeates and outperform its fulminous character.

Q4. Do you feel that the legal profession has significantly changed from the time when you decided to study law?

Well, it has changed phenomenally! Law is self-permeating and evolving discipline of knowledge. The employment sectors have widened scopes and needs to befit this profession. Struggles are real even now for potential litigators. But research related platforms and centres have expanded to analyze the policy changes which require legal acumen e.g Think Tanks.

Q5. How relevant are internships for present law students?

Internships are extremely important to have hands on experience of what would work best for you. I advise students to intern not just in law firms but Research Centres, NGOs, Under High court/ Supreme Court judges, because the capacities and potential are best realized when you have stepped into various roles and made efforts to learn. They are most relevant for students aspiring for job as In house counsels, Associates in Law Firms. There your consistent work appraisal would increase on your chances to bag a job.

Q6. How did you decide to go into Academics?

I was astounded by the fact that great teachers make great students but now I realise, from the other side of the table that it is also true the other way around. When I was in my 3rd& 4th Year ofUPES Dehradun, reading my core courses and tutoring my friends and juniors were one of the first instances relevant to reveal an interest which grew further when I read courses on IPR, Arbitration Law, Evidence Law taught by the best of the faculties. It occurred to me that this is my calling and thereafter I never gave a second thought. My parents were very supportive to pursue Masters’ course regardless of whatever profession I would want to choose. It would be unfair to not thank my academic mentor Dr. Nachiketa Mittal who is now heading Virtual Law School, for handholding me on all possible junctures. A favourable ecosystem around you only betters your growth and that has been my greatest strength to get me where I am.

Q7. What would be your advice to those law students who wish to go into academia but are instead forced to opt for other fields that are considered more lucrative?

Humans have an innate tendency to fit into the moulds they are placed in with compromises and difficulties; I think rising above it counts as a courageous act. You can’t change someone’s perspective by mere words for those who feel academics is less rewarding, the only way out to this is to challenge their beliefs by getting into the battlefield and triumphing. I come from a family of judges and lawyers, though they were open to letting me choose my career pursuits, but whenever a discussion arises, I tell them a simplefact that Academics is the creator of other professions. You wouldn’t have been you, if you weren’t taught.

Q8. What is the relevance of research articles in a law student’s career?

Relevance is outreaching. Research gives you far too many perspectives of authors, to learn, adhere or critic any school of thought. It’s important to understand research – finding a researchable area, followed up with research questions and then develop, synthesize information and outlook gathered. Mere paraphrasing and reproducing a work or an idea never truly counts as a research phenomenal enough to reach to your CVs.

Q9. When would you say that an academician is successful?

An Academician has two evolving persona, one is of rigorous researcher and the other of a dedicated teacher. Balancing them both with personal growth and interests is what I would consider to be successful and that is what I aim prospectively.

Q10. What would be your advice to those law students who couldn’t make it to NLU’s but want to excel in the profession?

Branding and Tags matter only when you’re about to step in the Industry, Coming from a private college nothing stops you from excelling as resources and opportunities are open and accessible to all, in terms of databases, online platforms ( todays new cool ‘Webinar’) these days. Knowledge is in abundance and overflowing from all corners of the globe, at this point. And that my law schoolites will get you an edge over anybody else with a tag.

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