has started this drive to aware law students and young lawyers to achieve in the field of law through strategies from the achievers themselves.
In our sixth blog of the \”GYAN\” Series, we are going to learn about Publications, Summer Schools, Internships and many other things from Mr. Naman Anand. This is the first part of the interview, to read the second part, Click here
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About Mr. Naman Anand
Naman is a 3rd-year student at the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala. He has a wide experience pertaining to Foreign Internships, Summer & Winter Schools, Publications, Research Assistantships, etc.
He was a Full Scholarship Awardee for the \”Solidarity in European Law\” (SoEULaw) Winter School 2020 at the Facolta Dí Giurisprudenza, The University of Pisa, in Italy and has attended numerous Summer and Winter Schools on merit. He is also working as a Research Assistant to a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) at the University of Cambridge, as well as the Director of the Indian Law Institute (ILI). A gifted researcher, his writings have featured across numerous forums such as the ILSA Journal of Comparative Law, Promise Institute Blog and The Baku State University Law Review and have been indexed by HeinOnline, EBSCO, SCCOnline and many others.
Furthermore, he is the Youngest Chief Advisor (16) of any UNIC-Affiliated Model UN Conference in India and is the only Indian to have chaired a Model UN Conference at the Saxon State Parliament.
In his free time, he loves playing Golf and is a well-known theatre personality. He also possesses a keen interest in Capital Markets.
This interview would be covered in 2 parts. This is the first part of the series.
Why did you decide to start a Journal on Infrastructure, and Energy Law?
My biggest motivation to start the journal was the fact that India is one of the largest borrowing nations at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). After discussing this idea with my father he told me that there are so many journals on civil, criminal and constitutional law, some other on international law but there is nothing that focuses on Projects, Infrastructure, and Energy law. It is so important to create a platform for legal discourse in light of major projects such as IRSDC’s Railway Station Redevelopment of 5 Stations in PPP Mode, the Mumbai-Pune Virgin Hyperloop, Kartarpur Corridor, Jewar Airport, and many others.
As my father was closely working on the aforementioned projects, I got an opportunity to understand the importance of this area of law when I worked with him during the lockdown. This inspired me to start this initiative.
I’m proud to share with you that in a matter of just under 6 months, we have published over 15 Blogs authored by leading professionals from numerous law firms, MNCs, PSUs and islands of educational excellence. Since our focus has been on Sustainable Development as well as promoting Merit, we have decided to publish exclusively online and without levying any publication charges on Students.
I am immensely grateful for the support that I have received from my friends and colleagues throughout this journey and it wouldn’t have been possible. We are blessed to have a robust and diverse team of Advisors hailing from leading firms such as Legacy Law Offices, Dhir & Dhir, Fox Mandal, HSF, Santivanez Abogados, Nithya Partners, L&L Partners, etc.
What benefits does a person having legal background have over others?
I shall be a sixth-generation legal practitioner, so I guess that I can answer this question quite well!
The biggest benefit is that you can ask people around you (family members, relatives, etc.) for advice because they are in the same field that you want to get into. If your parents are in the Corporate Law sphere it is quite understandable that you will have an edge in terms of making connections and understanding numerous things about the industry. For example; I’ve done things such as Drafting, Vetting, Attending Client Meetings, helping set up JVs/Consortiums and other partnerships by traveling across the world, etc. – which an ordinary law student, regardless of where they’re studying or interning, won’t get to till a good 5-10 years post their enrolment at the Bar (for some, sadly – it’s never). However, there are numerous demerits as well.
Firstly, and most importantly, the incessant amount of trolling and stick from your batchmates and others who would look at you as a punching bag for all their frustrations and failures as they think that you have it easy’ -which is not the case every time. Trust me- there will be hatred, vitriol and defamatory banter directed at me because of this interview too! [laughs]. Secondly, the pressure to perform is far more immense as you are under constant scrutiny – do well and it’s because of your ‘connections’, mess up and you’re labeled as ‘product of nepotism and, thus, devoid of merit’ and turned into a laughing stock (read: meme fodder). Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of mental health issues because of this but I’m more or less immune to it now and I’m thankful to my friends and family for that.
The other demerit (although that’s not the case with me) is that sometimes you are pushed forth in a direction that you don’t necessarily want to go into. I’ve seen numerous examples where the person has a keen interest in other areas of law such as IPR or Insolvency but due to the burden they are unwillingly forced to join their parents’ Chambers, Law Firm or appear for the Judiciary.
With all that being said, can’t really do anything about where you’re born. The best you can do is to acknowledge and use your privilege to empower those around you. Lend a hand – help them with internships, fellowships, placement and everything that you can because although the adage goes differently [smiles], “God helps those who help others”.
How can a first-generation law student, work towards a bright legal career?
First and foremost, shed the shyness and come out of your shell. Get on social media and make a LinkedIn profile. Gone are the days when you could get your ‘dream job’ or ‘dream qualification’ without networking with people or without having any presence on social media platforms.
Now, it’s important to see who do you wish to network with. Regardless of which industry you’re working in and whether you have a family background in it or not – it\’s very important to understand who are the right people to talk to, in your case. 50% of the problem is solved, when you know who the correct person to talk to. You can’t approach a Patent Agent for a Maritime Law internship. To keep it short and simple, it’s like going to a grocer for groceries, a chemist for medicines, and so on and so forth – be specific and be mindful!
If no one’s replying to you, try talking to the alumni of your University. I’ve always found mine immensely helpful and approachable.
Secondly, upskill yourself. Gain some knowledge by researching, writing, publishing, etc. Nobody can take away that knowledge from you and it’ll stay with you for a lifetime. Join associations such as IBA, INBA, Y-ICCA, SIAC, etc. and attend their conferences. Go out there and talk to people. Thirdly, learn some ‘self-branding’.
Knock on every single door you can, because if even if one of them opens, it could change your life. It\’s all about how much courage you have – just keep going on and never underestimate yourself. The difference between those who wanted something and those who got it lies in just one word – grit.
How should students go about academic writing?
There are two simple ways to go about writing, in general- think about a new idea or critically analyze an old one. I’ve done both, however, I find the former way more enriching.
Let me give you an example:
I met a very elderly Army veteran during the lockdown, last year. He wanted to register a will, but he didn’t know how to. His children lived overseas and he didn’t wish to leave his residence due to the pandemic.
He asked me if he could make a will on his laptop and just leave it like there. I told him that that’s most likely not going to hold legal value and pat came the two words which always make for a ‘eureka moment’ –why not? Why shouldn’t it be allowed? It’s not allowed in India, but is it allowed anywhere else? Collect the ‘whys’ and ‘why nots’, research, and structure it into an article till all your questions are answered. Voila!
Also, while choosing a platform – go from top to bottom in terms of the reputation of the Journal or the Blog. 99% of students, sadly, do it the other way ‘round and end up publishing their paper in places that aren’t worth it.
I went for it and submitted my E-Wills Article to 196 journals and I received 185 rejections, including that of a National Law University and a State Law College. However, it was finally published at the International Law Students’ Association (ILSA) Journal of Comparative and International Lawand its common knowledge that if you get selected in that journal, your Article gets published along with the Best Memorial of the World Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. So, don’t give up- trust yourself and your content because if you don’t, no one else would.
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