INTERVIEW WITH MANASA GAYATHRI, LEGAL ASSOCIATE WITH ARTHA ADVOCATES AND LEGAL ADVISORS
Request you to introduce yourself to our readers?
Well, with me still being on page one in the book of life; I believe that there are a lot of pages left to be written, for me to answer this question aptly. However, for now, I would like to introduce myself as a cheerful person who is passionate about the law and its diversities. I have completed my graduation in the year 2015 from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, IP University. Thereafter, after working with several Advocates for almost four years, I am currently working with Artha Advocates and Legal Advisors as a Legal Associate.
What interested you in taking up Law as a profession?
To be very honest, I have been surrounded by bare acts and commentaries all my life. My father was passionate about the law and he even pursued his Masters in Law from the University of Delhi. Thereafter, he worked in several Legal Departments of the Central Government. When my time to choose a field in graduation had come, I was, like any person at that time, confused. But before making the decision, I went for a few entrance examinations. However, I should be honest that each time I had to choose, I found Law to be more intriguing than any other subject. I felt something very mesmerising about Law. When the strenuous phase of entrance examinations came to an end, and as the time for the decision making on my future career arrived, I somehow was surprisingly clear in my head that it was a Lawyer that I wanted to become.
How was your law school life?
I honestly do not have enough words to describe just how life-changing and incredible my college life was. I was fortunate enough to secure admission into Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, IP University after getting through the Common Entrance Test (CET). My college life was a delightful experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The college gave me everything from friends-like-family to tremendous amount of exposure into the field of Law. The college had always been encouraging towards the participants of the students in several extra-curricular activities. And as a result, I even participated in a couple of moot court competitions. From hanging out with my friends after college to the last-minute assignments and mugging up before examinations to the guidance of the brilliant Faculty we had, I miss each and everything.
What were the activities and internships you pursued in college?
My college organized several events and activities giving a new learning opportunity at each avenue. Throughout my college life, I had participated in a couple of moot court competitions and several other extra-curricular events. I had voluntarily visited Courts as many times as I could. I was even a part of the Legal Aid Society of our College in my Final Year and resultantly, I had the opportunity to counsel some people involved in legal issues, and each time I dealt with a problem and worked up a solution, I found utmost satisfaction and absolute joy, which I still do. I strongly recommend the law students to not let go of any such opportunity given. It enhances your problem-solving capability and bestows you with a new lesson each time. According to what I believe, an opportunity in itself is the best opportunity.
And as for my internship, I got the opportunity to intern with several Advocates and Law Firms. My first internship was with the SRGR Law Firm, which gave me a lot of practical understanding of the subject of law. I was allowed to work in several areas of law. Working with the Law Firm has enhanced the problem-solving capability in me and had brightened my research skills. Thereafter, I went on to work with Advocate K.P. Toms who introduced me to the world of Consumer Forums and District Courts which has awakened the Lawyer in me.
Please walk us through your professional life after graduation.
Initially, after graduation, I tried my chances at Judicial Services. For the initial one year, I dedicated myself to Judicial Services Preparation but somehow, with time, I realised that being in the shoes of an Advocate kept me more contented. Hence, thereafter, I stepped in the shoes of an Advocate and as I continued to work with more and more experienced advocates, I kept on growing as an Advocate myself. As a first-generation Lawyer, I must admit that the journey hasn’t been very comfortable and I have had my struggles, but, it has been completely worth it.
Even while working, I somehow managed to complete two Post Graduation Diplomas in IPRs and International Trade Laws from Indian Society for International Law. Today, after four years, I am working with Artha Legal Advisors and Advocates as a Legal Associate.
How is your experience working with the “Artha Legal Advisors”?
My experience working with Artha Legal Advisors and Advocates has been exceptionally satisfying and a great learning experience. One of the best things about Artha lies in the diversity of cases it deals with. It creates a great learning platform for each of its employee. My job as a Legal Associate is not limited to one area of law but one gets the opportunity to work in several areas. I get to learn something new each day. Thanks to Artha, I have grown as an Advocate. Most importantly, I could have never asked for a better mentor than Mr Sougat Sinha. Working under his mentorship has led me to a better understanding of law, litigation, and life.
What are the challenges of working with a law firm?
I have a counter-question to this. Which field does not have challenges? There are, of course, many challenges of working in a law firm, but that’s what makes it worthwhile. I feel that the more challenges you overcome, the stronger you become, so instead of counting the challenges, what you can do is to treasure these experiences to be cherished in the future.
What do you seek in an applicant when she/he applies to your firm for internships and jobs?
To begin with, we value a team-player because Law Firms are all about teamwork. The second most important qualification is one’s dedication and determination. The remaining obvious qualifications follow which involves one’s work experience, academics, etc.
What are your views on the unemployment and low salaries of fresher’s in Law?
To begin with, the field of law is a bit challenging in that aspect. Most of the Fresh graduates come across this hurdle in their way to achieving their dream of becoming a successful lawyer. But one must always remember that the experience that you gain as a Fresher is valued at a price that is way more than money. Once one gains this experience, there is no looking back. The key to surviving in this field is patience and determination.
What are your opinions on career choices after Law?
Nowadays, there are diverse career options one can opt for after law, apart from Litigation and Judiciary. I suggest that one must always stick to their interests and work on them. While making this choice is overwhelming, having gone through it myself, one must never leave the opportunity to explore before settling in.
Parting advice for the law aspirants?
Work hard and never give up. Stay determined towards your goals. Enjoy the challenges. It’s all worth in the end. Wishing you success and happiness!
K.L.E. SOCIETY’S LAW COLLEGE, BENGALURU