Yasharth Kant Srivastava is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. He completed his graduation from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow in 2012.
In this interview he discussed about:
- His experience
- Tips to clear AOR Examination
- Importance of Internship for Law Students
You graduated from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law Univerity, Lucknow, tell us something about your experience there.
Ans. The experience of a national law school is diverse. There are opportunities to not only excel in academics but also in co-curricular like moot courts, seminars, sports, etc. I was involved in badminton throughout college, part of the legal aid committee, organized college fests and graduated with distinction. RMLNLU has brilliant faculties who have helped me shape my career today.
Many students aim at clearing the AOR Examination. What would be your advice to them and how difficult is it to clear the Examination?
Ans. The AORs form part of a group of selected advocates who can file cases in the Supreme Court. The examination consists of questions related to practice and procedure specific to Supreme Court. You can only sit for the examination only after practicing for a number of years in court. The papers are -Practice and Procedure (to be read from Supreme Court Rules), Professional Ethics, Leading Cases and Drafting. It is better to start preparing early by reading leading cases and going through Supreme Court rules. These are the two most important areas for clearing the AOR exam according to me.
You interned at various Organisations, how important are Internships for Law Students from career perspective?
Ans. Law School is a perfect opportunity to have varied exposure. Every student is allowed to intern with an NGO, a government institution, lawyers and practitioners, companies and law firms. However, it is best to realize what kind of work the student wishes to pursue in the future and try to get internships in the same organization for multiple times so that it provides an entry in the organization.
How would you describe your journey from an intern to being an AOR?
Ans. Professional experience vastly differs from interning as a student. You are liable for your actions in the profession. Also, the rewards are much greater. Legal practice means you have to “practice” the same thing every day and you can get better at it, therefore when interning also, one should intern like they want to practice law.
Tell us about the most Memorable case you dealt so far?
Ans. I have participated in several constitutional bench matters like Entry Tax before 9 Judges, where the hearing lasted for 2 months, the Ayodhya Dispute, Art. 370 reference, Land Acquisition matter, etc. Each was a different experience involving different learning. However, with every small case you handle you learn nuanced nitty-gritty. It is a process.
How Important is it to read the Judgments?
Ans. As part of the practice, it is extremely pertinent to read judgments especially those of the important cases. And the judgments should be read not en passé but multiple times to understand it thoroughly. Try not to read headnotes only, read the whole thing and read the judgment in context of facts and circumstances of each case. Remember Judgments are not legislations which you have to interpret.
You have a decent experience in the field of litigation, what according to you are some of the skills required to be a good litigator?
Ans. A good litigator should have a command on the language, good court wit and immense common sense to be able to answer the court’s questions. The most important thing is Court craft and understanding of law. There are no shortcuts; you need a good understanding of law and also practical knowledge of the procedure. Again Law practice means the practice of same thing again and again.
Being a lawyer, how difficult is it to maintain a balance between Personal and Professional Life, how do you cope with the work stress?
Ans. A lawyer’s job is different from that of a salaried employee. There is no time limit on the job. But the positive is that you are your own boss and there is no limit to growth in private practice.
What’s your opinion on the NLU and Non-NLU Divide?
Ans. Anyone can get requisite education from a law school. The difference today is the fact the NLU does provide a lot more opportunities than a traditional school for activities other than academics. The brighter students clear the CLAT examination and join those institutions. However, there are several other Law schools which are adopting new technique of teaching and they are equally good but that is only one part. Real-life starts when you join the profession and thereafter there is no such divide. Ultimately whoever is more sincere in learning the craft better, will do better in life, irrespective of the fact whether they are from an NLU or otherwise.
On a concluding note, what would be your suggestion to the Budding Lawyers?
Ans. Law is a very interesting field and has lots of scopes to grow. Stay focused and set small achievable targets along the way to reach your ultimate goal. It doesn’t matter whether you come from a legal background or not. Law in India is blooming field these days. Choose your stream wisely. Do not just fall for fancy buildings and amenities. Look for faculty and library. Get into your choice of legal field as early as possible and repeat your internships in the same field. Invest in human relationship, be it in professional or personal, because these relationships will help you achieve better in life.
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