Richa Parashar is one of the most diligent and illustrious scholars of the 2015 batch of NLIU, Bhopal. She has a noteworthy academic, mooting and debating record. Her diligence and mettle at work was recognized when she bagged a job offer from Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co., during campus placements. We asked her to share her experiences paths taken as a student over the years.
In this interview, she tells us about:
- Securing top-notch law firm internships
- Her journey from an intern to getting job offer from AMSS
- Importance of academics, internships, debates and moots
Why and when did you decide to do law? What interested you most about the subject at the time?
I decided to take up law when I was in class twelfth. I was fascinated by the diverse areas of practice and the fact that it’s one of the most dynamic fields. My uncle and my elder brother, who are also in the profession, were an influence as well.
One can find it difficult to manage continuous evaluation through trimester exams, projects etc. in a law school. How did you manage to keep up your grades?
Trimester system can get hectic, yes. There have been times when we’ve given exams just three weeks after we’d be done with the previous ones. But, the good thing is that the syllabus is never too expansive. I generally pay attention during classroom lectures and prepare notes regularly in order to maintain my grades.
Your internships at law school have all been with top tier firms. Our readers would be quite curious to know how you went about securing these internships.
I always applied for my internships well in advance and followed up regularly. It’s also important to keep your CV updated. Our university has a highly competent placement coordination committee which takes care of applications of registered candidates from third year onwards.
Did you learn any skills while interning? What are these skills and how did you acquire them?
Internships are probably one of the most enriching experiences that a law student goes through. Besides researching and drafting, I learnt time management and prioritising, which, I believe, hold equal value in our profession.
What are the things you consider sine qua non for positive feedback from an internship?
I think sincerity assumes importance over everything else. Besides that, one must be particular about the finer details like formatting, good presentation etc. These are things which can set you apart from the other interns.
You have participated in various moot court competitions. Tell us how important is mooting and what effect does it have on one’s CV?
Mooting is probably the most fun activity in a law school. It tests you on a number of skills like researching, drafting, arguing, keeping one’s cool under pressure etc. Every law student should moot at least once. Moot victories definitely add value to your CV. However, it doesn’t mean that if you don’t moot, you can’t have a good CV. There are lots of other things like grades, internships, paper publications, debates, mediation competitions that add up to a good CV.
Recently, you bagged a job offer at AMSS. How did you go about achieving this?
I have interned twice in AMSS. During both of these internships, I did my assignments sincerely. In my second internship, I prepared a corporate law PowerPoint presentation. In AMSS, the presentation holds a lot of weightage when it comes to recruitment. Therefore, it’s important to prepare it with diligently. For the interview stage, I brushed up my CV and basic concepts of corporate law, contracts etc.
How was the experience of your AMSS internship and how was it different from other internships? Please tell us about the recruitment application process at AMSS?
I had the finest experience in AMSS during my internships. Besides the excellent quality of work, I loved the atmosphere in the office. The seniors were really helpful and encouraging which is rare in the corporate world. For recruitment, one needs to fill out an extensive questionnaire. Apart from the CV, the interviewer may also ask questions based on what the candidate has written in the questionnaire.
How did you go about preparing for your interview? What kinds of questions were asked to you?
Honestly, one mustn’t frame their opinion about interviews based on what others tell them. The reason is that every interview is unique. You may be asked the most unusual and unconventional questions and must know how to keep your cool in such situations. However, be thorough with your CV, and basics of corporate law, contracts, property law, banking etc. I was asked questions based on my CV, general corporate law and a couple of HR questions as well.
How do you think one should go about writing a CV when one is applying for a job?
A CV should be crisp and accurate. One must ensure that there aren’t any blunders like incorrect spellings or dates. These things give the worst impression possible.
There is a phenomenal obsession amongst law students with maintaining a very high CGPA. How important according to you is this in securing a job?
Grades are extremely important in getting good placements. However, a number of other factors like internships, co-curricular and extra -curricular activities also add up. Therefore, one must try to be an all-rounder rather than just focusing on grades.
If you could re-live your 5 years in Law school, is there something you would do differently?
I’d visit the library more often. Also, I’d take part in more moots and utilize the trimesters optimally.
Lastly, what would be your message to our readers?
Try everything that you possibly can, in these five years – participate in competitions, write research papers, volunteer for events, go for fests. Explore all that your university has to offer. And that includes the gym! But, make sure that you maintain your grades.