Associates, In-House Counsels & Advocates

Divya Vikram, Consultant, Legal League Consulting, on her experience and the future of Legal Management

Divya Vikram is a graduate from NUJS, batch of 2012. During her time as an undergraduate, she was Director of the Society for Advancement of Criminal Justice (SACJ) for two consequent years. She has also taught at the Adult Literacy and Legal Education Programme, an initiative undertaken by the Legal Aid Society of NUJS. She is currently a consultant with Legal League Consulting, where she handles Strategy and Business Planning, Practice Development, Brand Communications & Client relationships, Law Firm Alliances and Synergies.

In this interview we speak to her about:

  • Her experience at LCC and the responsibilities the job entails
  • Striking a balance between work and personal life
  • The future of legal management

 

How did you decide to study law? Tell us about your college life

 

Let’s just say, law was sort of a happy accident. College life in the first year I would say was sort of tough. You had to get adjusted to living away from home, your parents and friends back home, hostel life, hostel food, making new friends, coping with law school in general. However, things got better with subsequent years. Law school shapes you as an individual and professional. NUJS offered me diverse things to do as a student, be it moot courts, publications, managing committees/societies, volunteering in various activities etc. apart from the regular studies and projects.

 

What kind of internships did you do while you were a student? 

After my first internship at Lawyers Collective (NGO), I decided to do my second internship in a law firm. I started with ALMT Legal then subsequently interned at AZB & Partners, Trilegal, Brus Chambers etc. None of my experiences were remarkable as such but each internship taught me something new. However, at the end of 4th year I decided that five years down the line, I don’t see myself working in a law firm.  Hence in my 5th year in order to experience the corporate world as well, I interned at a Corporate (SunEdison) and loved it.

 

How did you decide to work with Legal League Consulting?

The first time I heard about Legal League Consulting (LLC) was in my 5th year when they invited applications through Campus Recruitment Committee. That’s when I checked online about LLC and the managing law firms. Also, I was lucky to find a junior who had interned there and he explained me the nature of work they undertook. From what I learnt about the nature of work I was almost immediately convinced and interested at the prospect of working at LLC.

 

divya-vikramCan you tell us something about the kind of work LLC does?

(LLC is the first law firm management company in India legal industry.)

Legal League Consulting (LLC) provides Management Consulting to the legal industry. We provide solutions to the legal industry with respect to Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Business Development, Strategic Business Planning, Knowledge Management, Partnership Structuring, Alliance, etc. In a Nutshell, it’s basically a 360* degree management service to the Legal industry.

My role at LLC majorly involves, but not restricted to, formulating policies essential for running of a law firm, undertaking activities to assist firms in developing business. I also assist Law Firms in the implementation of various Human Resource, Business Development and Knowledge Management related systems.

 

Did you ever hit a rough patch in the beginning of the career? 

Student life was fun and apart from scoring good grades and working towards a making a good CV and enjoying college life, there was not much you really had to do. But being a professional is altogether a different ball game. It was indeed a little difficult to transition. Firstly, my transition from a lawyer to a management consultant itself was a difficult one, especially those work involving compensation structuring and other finance related aspects. Learning various management concepts, its application and understanding the rationale behind it. As a Consultant, you are solely responsible for all the clients you handle and the documents you send them etc. therefore the accountability factor is more and one cannot afford to make mistakes. Furthermore, one has to be well informed about not only the Company’s clients but the market and global trends and keep evolving.

 

What is a typical day at work like?

At LLC I work for the Law Firm Management Team (the other two being Brand Communications and Talent Acquisition Team), where we undertake a wide variety of work starting from HR, Finance, Partnership Structuring, Compensation Benchmarking etc. Hence most of the days, depending on client needs I work on the client deliverables for that particular day or week. Apart from that sometimes I accompany Ms. Bithika Anand, our Founder & CEO and sometimes other seniors to client meetings. In addition to client work we work on developing new products, and other upcoming initiatives of LLC.

 

What are your thoughts on work-life balance? How do you achieve it yourself?

Work- life balance is definitely of utmost importance to me. I would definitely need a day off from work to clean my apartment, wash clothes, cook some good food, relax, watch television and catch up with friends. At LLC 2nd and 4th Saturdays is off in addition to Sundays, which is good enough for me to relax. However, very rarely, you might have to attend some client meeting on a non-working Saturday or work towards completing some client deliverable… but that’s fine!

 

What do you think is the future of Legal Management?

The future of Legal Management is bright… in fact very bright. Almost every other day we have a new client (law firms, corporates, LPO’s, recently even an NGO) who has approached us for handling their various management related issues and needs. There is growing awareness and realization on the importance of management in runningone’s organization. As lawyers are busy with execution of law, they prefer to leave the day-to-day running and management of their organization to experts in the Management field.

 

Where do you see yourself five years down the line? What kind of work will you like to do?

Since I seem to be enjoying my job a lot, I certainly see myself as a Management Consultant… however, a much experienced and evolved professional. As I love doing more of HR work than Finance, I would like to specialize more in the HR related aspects.

 

What do you do apart from work? How is the life of a law graduate in Delhi?

I would prefer spending my off days at home either watching television, experimenting my culinary skills, reading books and sometimes meeting up with friends and not to forget shopping.

Delhi is a wonderful place for youngsters. It offers a wide variety of options for all kinds of people. There are places to shop starting from your malls to Sarojini Nagar and the old Chandni Chowk, places to eat ranging from your Sheraton, Hauz Village, ParanteWaali gali and other street delicacies. For those who love Indian culture and history, there are remains of the past Mughal Rule in India which can be visited and many other places.

 

Would you like to work for law firms as an associate in future?

No, not at all.

Last but not the least, what would be your message for law students?

There is no reason why a law student will be interested in a message from me. But then if I had to say something, I would say enjoy every bit of your college life, because they are priceless and they will never come back to you. Once you are a professional you will yearn for that kind of time and fun.

Also, don’t spend law school life just being bothered about internship and grades. Trust me, at the end of the day that hardly matters!

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