Ms. Mehak Kalra is a partner in a full-service law firm Innov Legum. She has years of working experience in Criminal Corporate Litigation Firm. She is handling pan India Litigation for various corporate clients. She is an external member for Internal Complaints Committee of various Companies. She also has experience in Civil Litigation and has handled Labour Law, Matrimonial matters.
Q: You are a first-generation young lawyer how would you describe your journey so far?
As far as my journey is concerned, it has been quite Great. I would say so because the moment I joined a reputed firm as a paralegal, I was given an opportunity right away to be an associate in the firm and thereafter the Senior associate and within two years I was made a partner of that firm. I worked there for about 3 to 5 year and then eventually decided to set up something of my own. So now, I am running a firm (Innov Legum) with one of my partners, it is basically a full-service law firm which focusses on each and every field of law, however, our specialisation is in criminal law but we tend to take all the matters. Apart from that, I am one of the External Member of Internal Committee which is now amended to internal complaint committee for sexual harassment issues.
Q. Students in law schools are more inclined towards getting good grades. Do Grades really matter in the long run?
I would say that I was myself the University topper so I would definitely not say that the grades don’t matter because whatever you study and whatever effort you put in the colleges, helps you in getting in-depth knowledge of the subject. However, it must also be noted that grades are not the sole criteria to adjudge the intelligence of students.
Q. Being a female associate did you ever face Gender Biasedness in the field of law?
When it comes to me, I would say never. I would like to tell you that I have experience of working late till night (till 3 am). I had stayed at the police station for a good number of hours. Biasedness only comes in when you are not given opportunity. Females are coming forward and working in the field of law.
It is to be noted that we have a good number of female judges who have a much better understanding of the subject matter. I would not say that biasedness still exists and if it does I never experienced it, maybe I was too lucky in that case.
Q. In the wake of COVID-19 what is the problem faced by the lawyer Nowadays?
Financial turmoil is something that everybody is facing these days. Post- COVID situation is not going to be the same as it is today. After the assumption of the Social or economic orders, there would be a lot of burden on lawyers especially the young generation lawyers. The main thing they would have to focus on is the quality of the services that they would be offering to their clients. Young lawyers are majorly suffering from financial turmoil wherein they have no cases to handle, the urgent matters having been already allotted to the top-notch lawyers or law firms.
Q. Are Virtual Courts a better alternative to the traditional courts?
Virtual Court is definitely a substitute for the physical court. It has its own advantages like:
1. Transparency in the system
2. People would get more justice
3. There would be accountability
4. There would be Intelligence
5. It would be cheaper for a lot of litigants also
However, it must also be kept in mind that there are a lot of Lawyers who are not aware of how to make use of the technology. So, we have to plan accordingly, we need to train the lawyers about technological know-how. Moreover, there are lawyers who cannot afford the required technological gadgets. We need to find an alternative to it and assist them.
If there had been no virtual hearing then many people would not have been served with justice. The idea here is to give justice to all, including justice and not excluding justice. I feel the physical court is the spine of the constitution which cannot in any circumstance be ignored. Virtual courts can in no way displace the physical courts. However, it is certainly a substitute in the current pandemic.
Q. How to be a better litigator?
To be a good litigator you need to have good communication skills, it helps to engage with your clients and present the case. Apart from the Communication skills, drafting and analytical skills also play an important role. One needs to have a deep knowledge of the concerned subject and should possess great research skills.
8. You have been a non-NLU student, so did you face any problem being a non-NLU student?
There are many private collleges and universities recognised by the Bar Council of India which have left a mark in the legal field, matching the standard of NLU’s. If I talk about litigation, the college you belong to, hardly matters. It is the efforts you put in the case, the presentation of the case that helps you in winning the case. Being an NLU student might have an added advantage in the Corporate sector, but in the log run it’s the hardowrk that matters.
Q. Do Participation In Extra-Curricular Activity in Law schools like Mooting, debating has any Impact on Carrier in the long-run?
The problems that are given by the colleges are more or less related to the practical situations, that we actually face in courts. In a way, they are making you prepare for the practical system apart from your theoretical system. Debates, Moot courts, Article writing, e.t.c boost up your self-confidence as well as the knowledge about the subject. Academics and Extracurricular activity play an Equal role in the setting of a good Carrier.
Q. What will be your Appeal to a Building Lawyer?
I would suggest the young lawyer’s needs to be clear what field they wish to pursue right after their career like they wish to go for litigation, judiciary or Corporate. They need to focus on drafting skills, your drafting skills really matters in litigation. They should be aware of what’s happening around the world. And last but not least, enjoy the field, the colleagues are really helpful to support you.