Pralika Jain is a media and entertainment lawyer with about three years of experience in the broadcasting and entertainment industry. She graduated from GLC, Mumbai in 2011. Thereafter she worked at Star India Pvt. Ltd. for one year and then with a Talent Management Agency, CAA KWAN as a lawyer to Bollywood Celebrities. Currently, she is pursuing Masters in Intellectual Property Law at Georgetown University Law Centre.
In this interview Pralika talks about:
- Work experience at Star and CAA KWAN
- Choosing Masters over a job
- Writing an SOP and getting recommendation letters
Most of our readers are law students and young lawyers. How will you introduce yourself to them?
I would say I am a media and entertainment lawyer with about three years of experience in the broadcasting and entertainment industry. In an informal setting I would say that I have been a lawyer for the past three years, worked mainly in the media and entertainment industry, tried experimenting in the start-up space and have a passion for technology and still trying to find a way to amalgamate all of that.
How did you gravitate towards law? Why law and not engineering or medical studies?
The fear of Math made me gravitate towards law. Being inherently inquisitive growing up, I assumed engineering would be the apt choice for me, but then I realised that, only being a lawyer will give me the opportunity to explore all the facets of this world, be it business, media, technology, health care/medicine or aero-space. Being a lawyer would give me the opportunity to learn everything there is out there to learn and what better way than to get paid for it, right?
How would you describe your time at GLC, Mumbai? What sort of internships did you do while in law school?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at GLC on and off campus. The first two years at GLC were spent being involved in committees, as most GLC students do. This is where I think we all built our soft skills that no one teaches you in college. Directly connecting with senior lawyers, judges and other eminent personalities to be a part of our college’s activities taught us a great deal about communicating with people, respecting their time and gave us an insight to their work. This was my first preview into the world of law.
I also enjoyed attending lectures (definitely a few) by Professor Pithawala, Professor Ratho, Professor, Professor Chuganee to name a few. From around the second year onwards I started interning full-time, like most GLC students do. Although I had a fair mix of corporate, litigation and firm internships, my internship at Disney introduced me to the world of media and entertainment, more particularly the role lawyers play in the media and entertainment industry. This internship amplified my interest in the industry and led me to pursue another internship at Viacom. I believe both these internships played an instrumental role in introducing me to an industry I never would have considered pursuing much less enjoy working there.
You worked at Star India Pvt. Ltd. for a year and at CAA KWAN as a lawyer to Bollywood Celebrities. How would you describe your experiences working there?
While I had secured a job from the on-campus recruitment at a corporate law firm, I was inclined towards media and entertainment. So I started connecting with lawyers working at various media and entertainment companies and as luck would have it, the then VP of Star and now the General Counsel of Snapdeal, Mr. Ashish Chandra responded to my cold email on LinkedIn.
I had a quick conversation with him which led to an interview and then my first job at Star. My experience at Star set a strong foundation of law as well as the media, entertainment and broadcasting industry. Using my experience at Star as a springboard, I joined CAA KWAN as the legal counsel.
Here, I discovered the media and entertainment industry from the other side which was an exciting experience. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work on Bollywood as well as a few deals in Hollywood. Working with celebrities was exciting at first, but it soon lost its charm, as they are your clients at the end of the day. The time spent working will be a memorable one, as I worked with a team of people who were not only brilliant at what they did but also were great mentors to me. The other thing about working in the media and entertainment industry is the informal environment, which I think contributed a lot to my growth there.
Do you think courts in India are equipped to handle entertainment and media law cases?
With the increase in entertainment and media litigation I think the courts are getting better at handling those cases. To answer your second question, I think law is never up to date with technology. Technology is growing at a rate faster than expected and no legal regime in the world is equipped for it yet.
Were you in double minds before joining Georgetown University Law Centre? How did you prefer Masters over your job?
I knew that I always wanted to pursue my masters, but choosing to study after working for three years was the most difficult decision to make. Once you are used to working and have a comfortable lifestyle it is difficult to get dissuaded to pursue further education. The reason I chose to pursue my masters was because my employers at CAA KWAN were very supportive of it and helped me realise the value any higher education would bring to me. I realised that if I missed out on pursuing the opportunity to study now I would get sucked into the black hole of being employed and would regret not pursuing my masters. I would encourage every student who has the opportunity to pursue their masters to do so. It is an invaluable experience and having good education has never and will never be a waste.
How did you choose Georgetown University over others? How did you go about choosing a university?
Georgetown Law did not seem an obvious choice to me at first, but after I got admitted I researched the faculty and the subjects offered which drew me towards Georgetown Law. My professors are a mix of Judges, Practitioners, Congressmen and Law Makers. I doubt I would have had an opportunity to be taught directly by the law makers in any other school.
How did you go about writing your SOP? Are there any key factors which one should keep in mind before writing the SOP?
Writing the SOP was the most difficult bit for me. I was lucky to have a bunch of my seniors from GLC who had followed the same path help me figure how to write a good SOP. I think speaking to people who know you and have been through this process is a good start. Getting your drafts reviewed by others is also very important, as we tend to miss out on a lot of mistakes when we try to proof read our document. Another thing that is good to keep in mind while working on your SOP is being a true reflection of yourself. Writing achievements and stories that do not have a substantial background do not sound convincing.
How about recommendation letters? Who all recommended you to pursue LL.M?
I got recommended by my professors and employers. Most foreign law schools would specifically state how many letters of recommendation they want and from whom.
How is your experience so far? Tell us about the faculty and facilities. Anything memorable that is stuck in your mind?
My experience so far is great, and people don’t lie when they say the LL.M is going to be the best year of your life. I have made some great friends; I am enjoying the quality of education as well as the campus located in the heart of D.C.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I hope to be following my passion in the technology world in the entrepreneurial sector or attempting to decipher the media and entertainment industry, all of it as a lawyer.
Lastly, what would be your parting message for our readers?
It is a very competitive world out there, so work hard but don’t be too hard on yourself.