Interviews

Aarushi Mishra, Associate, Wadia Ghandy, on being a first generation lawyer, her mooting experience, and plans for the future

Aarushi Mishra is a graduate from RMLNLU, Lucknow, batch of 2014. She is currently working as an Associate at Wadia Ghandy & Co.

In this interview, we speak to her about:

  • Interning with Wadia Ghady and getting a call back
  • Being a first generation lawyer
  • Her mooting experience

Why did you decide to study Law?

Honestly speaking, the first time I decided of becoming a lawyer was when in my eighth standard I read The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare and got inspired by the character of Portia in it and wished to be a lawyer like her.

I believe that a good lawyer can truly bring about a change in the society and this belief has always motivated me to learn the subject.

 

Do you have any lawyers in your family?

No, I am a first generation lawyer. However, I do believe that if one has a family member with a legal background, it is quite helpful in terms of making the right choices because guidance can make a huge difference.

I think being a first generation lawyer, I had to struggle slightly more than a few of my peers with a legal background. But I was very fortunate to be guided by seniors in my law school and even from other law schools who helped me take decisions about my career.

 

What are the extracurricular activities you took part at RMLNLU?

Well, I made sure I was a part of every academic or non academic activity in my college because I feel that it is very important for a law student to expose himself to every challenge that comes his way.

 

You have taken part in a lot of Moot Court Competitions in college, can you share a few mooting experiences?

Moot Courts are extremely important in a law student’s life, not only because it adds those extra brownie points to your CV but more importantly because it gives you that experience of working on a case as an advocate and use your intellect to the best of your abilities. Moot Courts are a great way to learn the subject inside out.

I have participated in the Nani Palkhiwala Moot Court Competition, which is based on the law of taxation and the Leiden Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition which as the name suggests, is based on international air law. I got the opportunity of being a speaker in both the competitions and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

 

Do you think mooting is beneficial for Law students or is it just to make your CV look fancy?

I don’t think mooting should be taken as an exercise to make your CV look fancy because then one can never enjoy the experience of mooting. It is not about winning a gold in the moot court competition but it is about what you learn from that moot and how that will help you understand the subject better. I did not always win my moot court competitions but every moot court that I have been a part of has enriched my knowledge about that subject to a great extent. Moreover, I believe mooting is one of the best ways to build your confidence and sharpen your articulation skills which is very important for a lawyer. Hence, every law student must participate in moot court competitions without the fear of losing!

 

What are the law firms at which you interned?

I have interned at Saikrishna & Associates, Noida; Oasis Advisory, Mumbai; Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai and Wadia Ghandy & Co., Mumbai.

I think each of these internships has been very enriching in terms of experience. My internship at Wadia Ghandy & Co. was the most fulfilling. The Associates and even the Partners at Wadia Ghandy & Co. were very encouraging and approachable which helped me understand the work better and enjoy it.

 

What was the procedure you followed to apply to these law firms?

I mostly sent e-mails on my own. The Placement Committee of my college helped me secure a few internships.

 

What was the kind of work was allotted to you during your internships?

During the first three years of my law school I was usually given research work pertaining to matters. However, eventually in my fourth and fifth year internships, I also got an opportunity to draft letters of intent, opinions on issues, writ petitions etc.

 

How many times did you intern with Wadia Ghandy to get a PPO?

I have interned at Wadia Ghandy & Co. twice, in my fourth and fifth year respectively under two different teams.

As I had mentioned before, my internship at Wadia Ghandy was very successful in terms of experience and work. It was quite different from my other internships because I found great mentors in the Associates and Partners of Wadia Ghandy with whom I worked. Since the work environment there was very encouraging it was easier for me to interact with the seniors and seek their guidance which improved the quality of work I did.

 

What do you think an intern should accomplish during an internship in order to get a call back?

I think it is very important for an intern to show his enthusiasm and inclination towards the subject because unless you really show your interest in the subject, nobody would take you or your work seriously. Obviously only showing interest is not sufficient but the work assigned should be done with utmost sincerity.

 

Did you learn any skills while interning?

I certainly acquired skills significant for my professional life during my internships, like multitasking, communicating with the clients, and most importantly use of all possible applications of MS Word which I was completely unaware of otherwise!

 

How do you think one should go about writing a CV when one is applying for a job?

I would suggest the clichéd old rule –keep it short and simple!

 

How did you go about preparing for your interview?

I focused on the work I had done during my previous internships which I had mentioned in my CV.  Apart from that revising the basics in all core law subjects helped.

 

Do the law firms usually provide the candidates with an option to work with the teams of their choice while recruiting?

Yes, most of them do.

 

How important are grades in order to secure internships?

Not really! It is more about the kind of work you show during your internships. However, of course a high GPA is a strong catalyst in securing that job once you’ve proved your mettle to your team while interning.

 

Your advice to the law students, who aspire to secure a job at top law firms?

My advice to all those aspiring to get a job at a top tier firm would be: make sure you know your subjects. I think it is very important for an intern who is a job aspirant to put across his intentions very clearly to his team because unless they know what you’re there for, they would never automatically make an offer or even notice your hard work. So, just work hard and never hesitate to approach your seniors for help and guidance!

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