Associates, In-House Counsels & Advocates

Roshni Manuel, Associate, Veritae Legal, on studying in Nottingham, maritime law, and plans for the future

Roshni Manuel graduated in law from ILS Law College, Pune, in 2010. She then went on to pursue her Master’s degree from the University of Nottingham, specializing in Maritime Law. She is currently Retainer Associate-Corporate, at Veritae Legal, where her role and responsibilities include General Corporate Practice, Trademark Registrations, and Corporate Agreements.

In this interview, we speak to her about:

  • Maritime Law as a career and its scope.
  • Life at ILS and University of Nottingham.
  • Important requirements for application to a university in UK.

 

Given that most of our readers are law students and lawyers, how would you introduce yourself to them?

I am only a beginner in this big arena with just a year’s experience. I am thankful to the whole team for choosing to take my interview. And I’d like to introduce myself as an aspirant of law.

 

What motivated you to pursue law?

I was always interested in the humanities and hence, law. Another explanation would be, I wanted to be on the other side of the crowd who knows exactly how policies in this country are drafted and what its legal implications are. I must say I have not reached that level of analysing law and policy but I do keep a track of it whenever I get time.

 

roshni-manuelHow about your college life at ILS—do you miss it?

Life at ILS, Pune was very colourful and competitive like any top 10 law schools. My college has got a very heritage look and it is a very peaceful place with acres of timbre and wild birds. So, whenever I think of my college all I think of is the peaceful Campus, my friends and dear professors and of course, the famous library. Something about grad school is you wont miss it until you pass out; it could be because at some point you may think five years is a little too much to tolerate;  I never thought I will miss it so much until I joined LL.M. at Notts.

 

What kind of internships did you do while in law school that helped you in shaping your career choices later?

In my case it was my first internship which helped me choose my stream of interest. It was in a Maritime Law Firm at my hometown. I have tried my hands in different areas of law but I find Maritime a very interesting and a suitable field for my caliber.
I guess rather than going for the popular one or the one with better scope, one should always choose the field which matches their caliber and interest.

 

What made you go for higher studies so early in your career?

I planned for LL.M. when I was in 4th year law. I don’t have a specific explanation for taking it up early but at some point during ILS days i thought i should be more focused on my field of interest and that could be one reason for opting LL.M soon after graduation.

 

How did you develop an interest in a field as niche as maritime law?

I hail from a port city, Cochin, and my parents are also in the shipping industry but not lawyers. Them being in the same industry surely opened the gates but I think it was my first internship which planted the interest for the subject in me.

 

Why University of Nottingham? What other universities did you apply to?

As you know I was keen on Maritime law since my time as an undergraduate and hence applied only to universities which had maritime law as a specialized field. Other universities I applied to include University of Southampton, Swansea, and UCL. I chose Nottingham for its ranking and for the faculty, especially Prof. Bennett (Marine Insurance maestro).

 

Would you tell our readers about the application procedure and other requirements?

Firstly you should be sure about the subject to specialize; you must make your own list of universities and should never take advice from any education abroad consultancy in this matter. Every university has different criteria for selection. I have applied to only UK universities so the procedure below is just for UK

  1. IELTS score above 7
  2. Aggregate marks should be 60% or more
  3. 2 references
  4. Statement of Purpose

Visa requirements keep changing so please check the UK consulate website for details.

 

Tell us something about your LL.M. years.

I would say LL.M. abroad widened my perspective. It is totally different when it comes to studies there. I found their method of teaching very interesting. It is basically seminars; the student is expected to prepare for every seminar and participate in the discussion. I was part of the LL.M society and Indian Society. I got the opportunity to organize events and interact with well established lawyers. Apart from the regular activities, if you are lucky, by using the university contacts you could snatch a summer internship in Europe as well.

 

Currently, you are member of Maritime Law Association of India. Tell us something about your role over there.

The partners of the firm United Maritime Law Chambers are part of the governing council. And me as their associate got the opportunity to interact with aspirants in maritime field, judges and International Lawyers. And I did get an opportunity to publish one of my articles.

 

You work as an Associate with United Maritime Law Chambers. What kind of work are you involved in over there?

I am entrusted with maritime case research, case follow-ups, drafting, contract review, marine insurance matters, etc. and occasional corporate work for shipping companies.

 

How is Maritime law different from other areas of law?

Maritime law includes norms of national law, referring to various branches (civil, administrative, criminal, etc.) and norms of international public and private law. Commercial maritime law which includes carriage contracts is basically law of contracts and the maritime aspect in it makes it different.

 

What would be your advice to students interested in Maritime law?

You should be studying subjects like Maritime law, Carriage of goods by sea, law of the sea, International sale of goods, Marine insurance and should have a very strong base in law of Contracts. It is a very interesting and popular field. The opportunities are many if you are really keen; like shipping companies, law firms, P & I clubs, etc.

 

Last but not the least, your advice to future lawyers and current law students?

Dream high and make as many contacts as you can. Make merry with your classmates as those connections will help you in future and would be something you can trust and rely on.

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