Siddhant Mishra is a final year student at School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. During his law school days, he founded the popular Facebook page, Aap Vakeel Hain and lawsheet.com, a website for law students.
In this interview, Siddhant talks about:
- His journey through law school and the internship experiences.
- Founding Aap Vakeel Hai and lawsheet.com
- Challenges faced in his entrepreneurial journey
Could you share with us for deciding to study law? Did you have lawyers in your family?
My foray into studying law was unplanned as I do not come from a legal background and am a first generation lawyer.
You know you are a law student when math’s is..!
I choose Humanities as my study stream for my plus two boards; initially graduation in Arts was the only formidable option left with me. It was more by chance than by choice that I got into the Legal Profession.
How did you choose KIIT as the law school to attend?
Not being able to get through CLAT, I prepared for KLSAT and joined KIIT. KIIT helped in gaining exposure in an array of fields, here we learned through experimentation and from our own mistakes. On academics, we had a robust curriculum, and the standards are pretty good which helped in getting introduced to the world of legal practice. Campus has a cosmopolitan crowd & I made some of the closest friends, learnt new things (good and bad).
What co-curricular activities have you partaken in your law school years so far?
Being a member of committees and societies helps in building one’s personality and career; it taught me the skill of networking that is terribly underrated in our system. At KIIT I was associated with committees conducting in-house and national events which helped me stay motivated and added a good blend of work with fun.
Can you talk about your internships, and how they helped you?
Internships were a rewarding experience for me. I was fortunate enough to flavor different kinds of work experiences, having got the opportunity to work with Law firms, NGO’s, Publishing House & in the chambers of some eminent practitioners; all this helped me learn researching and drafting. I learnt time management and prioritizing, which, I believe, hold equal value in our profession. Working as an intern in the chambers of Shri Mohan Parasaran (Ex- Solicitor General of India) made me realized that my interest lies to work as a litigant or to start with something of my own & that I was never interested in working in a corporate structured firm. In my opinion internships give a wider approach to the law students.
You’re a prolific blogger, and you run a website ‘AapVakeelHain’. Can you tell us why you started both?
The very idea of starting a rostrum for law students came in the second year of my college when I realized the dynamic transition i.e an online interface which is about to change the legal industry; but I was confused as which model will hand in glove and build a strong community for law students . Facebook was the answer! Being a student of second year I felt I will sound mindless if discussed this idea with anyone, so I started the work by my own. I created a page with the name “Aap Vakeel Hain” which prospected me as spellbinding and start uploading sketch works commonly referred as “memes” depicting the subtle and overt hilarity of Law School.
“A Law Student who loves to write & marketize”
I started writing and blogging for few websites on my propositions where I get some good replies, met with few excellent mentors and worked hard in crafting my skills, later few of my write-ups got projected in the local newspapers &it’s from here when I decided to transmute the idea of a Facebook page into a Website.
How was ‘AapVakeelHain’ been received by the legal fraternity so far?
Surprisingly it went in an year time, with the sketch works being liked & shared from hundreds to thousands & website blogs started receiving fair traffic in a year time. Aap Vakeel Hain is currently running with the highest followers (30k+) in this segment and has a strong and growing online presence. We have built a good name, strong networks and hosted series of events in collaboration with Law Schools across the nation. Journey so far is really good.
What do you hope to be the future of ‘AapVakeelHain’?
“The best way to predict future is to create it” at present I’m tied in creating a team that will be looking for the upcoming plans. Aap Vakeel Hain will be registered as a company in the near future and will be enduring many marketing & networking programs which will help in solving legal education with online solutions on which I’m active on. I wish the future comes one day at a time.
How has a strong and growing online presence helped you? What are the major challenges you face?
A strong online presence has developed an advanced networking skills, I have led multiple projects; developed and implemented new policies and procedures.
Starting a website requires little money which my father pooled in, he was hopeful and happy to hear my purpose & so were my friends Aqib Alam ( Content Creator), Nishant , Snehil, & Akshay.
Aap Vakeel Hain was initially run and managed single-handedly which at times become troublesome in striking a balance with other ongoing work, as you have to update it daily or else the readers will lose their pursuit and page will weak its reach. I tried to find few potential administrators but then it didn’t work out and it came on my head all again.
There came a time when I was not too sure to expand this whole Idea, thankfully I had few good tie-ups which helped in administering the tasks swiftly.
Aap Vakeel Hain is a self sustaining and profit earning entity now.
What are your plans after post-graduation? Is a masters in the pipeline?
I will go for LL.M which will allow me to further specialize in Criminal Law and thus prepare me better for my career as a litigant.
SuperLawyer.in serves the best when it comes on sharing the career insights, (specially the detailed interviews discussing about the LL.M programs & fellowships) browsing the website directory will be of great help for law students.
Can you tell us about your new venture lawsheet.com?
“Lawsheet.com” A website by law students for law students, is an upcoming project which runs parallel with Aap Vakeel Hain; designed with a vision to help you through Law Schools.
This website will be maintained and written by several different law students from different schools and in different years of their studies.
Aside from offering their tips, advice, and experiences, the bloggers will be able to use it as a sort of outlet and stress reliever from their hectic law school schedules.
You plan to help law students with greater visibility through lawsheet.com. How do you plan to achieve it?
- Lawsheet, among many other things, will depict entries about current events, technology and social networking as it relates to law.
- Lawsheet aims in sharing how to decide if law school is best for you while offering what must-haves you are going to need and how and what you need to prepare for important exams.
- Lawsheet will talks about everything – from eating habits, to studying habits, to writing papers and case briefs!
We are on it, hopeful to launch in the coming months.
What motivated you towards the entrepreneurial initiatives you’ve taken?
Primary motive is the desire to start something of my own. I’m not sure what’s coming down the curve but it is a thrill. We all have that one idea running in our mind of which we are sure of, what’s required is to implement it.
While I was scripting for my Interview I took a break and watched TVF Pitchers (an Indian Comedy Drama Series) in which Naveen (Played as CEO of a upcoming venture) highlights the difference that exists in the European and the Indian model of Entrepreneurships, where in Europe they will ask “WHAT is the Model” in India they will ask “WHY Entrepreneurships”
This difference in the support and attribution systems requires a reformation.
What are the unconventional career alternatives for law students out there?
A degree in Law doesn’t guarantee you a career in Law!
- Entrepreneur- A degree in Law will help in understanding and negotiating contracts related to the business.
- Politics- Both house of parliament are filled with politicians pioneering a degree in Law. Few even managed with fake degrees!
- Journalism/Writing- I have a name “Tanuj Kalia” founder of Lawctopus and a graduate of WBNUJS wrote a book “Law as a career” you may start scripting yours.