Have you ever thought what would have been the case had roads not have had direction signs?
What if the flight routes were not pre-mapped?
What if ships in the ocean went with the waves with just gut feeling of the captain to give direction?
Being the captains of our own ships, some of us tend to navigate life with no prior knowledge and just on our gut feeling. Sounds relatable? I have been there, done that.
Coming from a relatively fresh National Law University, our alumni couldn’t really guide us much, probably because even they were struggling to carve out a path for themselves and didn’t have much guidance themselves. Thus, my batch was left with little hope and no clear options to choose from.
While most of the people from my batch managed to get average jobs in relatively smaller law firms and chambers of lawyers, some are still struggling to land one. However, some of us took the right decisions at the right time and could come close to our dream jobs.
Being an above average student, I was always of the view during my law course that there’s nothing I don’t know, although there was also nothing that I knew word to word. I mean, while I had the knowledge about every subject and I liked learning the law in general, there was no particular subject on which I had a command. Still, I could get by with my wit, cleverness and street smarts.
My internships, which somehow turned out to be extremely overwhelming, strengthened this belief that there is nothing that I cannot do. This was how it was until I appeared for an interview for a capital markets team. It was on this day that I realized that if I wanted to make a remarkable career in law, I need to be a master of a single trade to start with rather than being a jack of all.
This quest for specialization, after a lot of research and recommendations, brought me to iPleaders and NUJS’ diploma course in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws.
The course looked so informative and the reviews were so convincing that I registered for it without giving it a second thought. Apart from amazing insights on the subject what this course gave me was a membership to the iPleaders Club – which I want to thank the most in my thank you speech, for it gave my career it’s roadmap.
Let me give you an insight as to how the iPleaders club gave the much-needed boost to my career.
You know those times when you know in your guts that you have the potential to make it big? When you wonder that if staying up a night before the exam to cover the syllabus can fetch you amazing grades, then what can systematic studies do? When you put in a little effort and get a lot of appreciation from someone who matters? When you can see people who are not exactly smarter than you achieving things you haven’t even strived for? Maybe when you see another person having parents in the legal industry, or maybe an elder brother or an older friend, getting the right tips and backing at the right time, you wonder about it.
Can the right guidance lead you to right places? How can you find a mentor who you can count on? Can someone who already achieved what you want to achieve guide you along the way? How will it be to have a mentor like that? Let’s say you want to work in a big law firm. What if you could get guidance from a lawyer who worked in several big law firms and spared 15 minutes every month to review your performance and guide you?
I went through all of the above. I knew my potential, ever since I was a child because, during every parent-teacher meeting, my teachers only used to say – he is good but he can do better!
I knew if instead of last-minute preparation I can study for a week before my exams, I could probably be amongst the top rankers and I knew, right guidance can land me at places where I belong. Even after getting to know all of this I did nothing about it.
With no big expectations, I joined the iPleaders club. To my surprise, soon after we joined the iPleaders club, we were allotted, mentors. They were highly accomplished lawyers in their own fields and they were always ready to guide the students allotted to them.
Not just they identified my skills and suggested the ways to polish them but they also guided me on several crucial occasions. It was not always easy to get time from such busy professionals.
However, when they see you really putting in the work, being eager to learn, it is very hard to turn you away when you just ask for a few minutes of their time. And those few minutes can make all the difference.
If you are able to impress your mentor like many of my batchmates did, they might also recommend you or probably absorb you in their own firms, which could be a great boost to your careers.
Here is someone who landed a judicial clerkship thanks to a timely recommendation from her mentor.
This is probably the most important session that I have ever attended in my life. This webinar just didn’t make me realize the value of an impressive CV, but also taught me the art of presentation.
It made me realize that the standard format suggested by my university would probably never get me a job because there are thousands whose CV looks just the same. Thus, to have unique CV which showcases all that I am and catch the eyes of the recruiters was one of the most important lessons I learned.
Here is a great trick I learned in the club. They asked us to make a dream CV. It is a CV that describes achievements I do not have yet but want before I sit for my job interviews.
Before making the dream CV, you have to ask the question to yourself “What do I need to have in my CV so that they will create a new position for me even if the employer doesn’t have a vacancy?” Your answer is the dream CV you prepare for yourself. Then you can get it reviewed by your mentor. You should also make a task list bast of this dream CV. Does it mention that you are an author of a book on electricity laws?
Then put it on your task list that for next six months you have to write two articles of 2000 words each. After 6 months, when you compile these 24,000 words into one body of work and add all the relevant statutes to it, you can submit this compilation for publishers to consider. If you manage to indeed publish a book on electricity laws, will not law firms working in the domain of electricity laws love to hire you?
Even there, the iPleaders club has mentors who have published books of their own and can connect you with a recommendation to publishers if they like the work you have produced.
That’s how CV building is done! Step by step, like a missionary. Being in touch with people who already achieved it makes all the difference.
Even Aditya Manubarwala, one of the youngest Indian to appear before the parliament expressed his gratitude to the iPleaders club to have helped him in building his CV. You can read about his experience here.
The power of LinkedIn
My journey to get my dream job found its reality here.
I always had a LinkedIn account and I used to simply message recruiters in case I stumbled upon an opportunity. However, it never gave me any results. In the club, I had to attend a webinar which told me how LinkedIn can be more useful than I imagined.
The little intricacies of updated and presentable profile, LinkedIn etiquette and importance of posting good content were few topics they covered. It was only through this session I learned how to make connections on LinkedIn without looking too pushy. I cannot thank my stars enough because it is through this training I got my first job.
You might think that you are ready for all challenges once you graduate out of a law college. Sit for an interview and your perception will change forever. The subjects are not restricted to books alone. Any subject has such tiny intricacies involved that it is almost impossible to comprehend and remember all of it at once.
In my capital markets interview, I was asked about regulations that I had never even heard of, though I read all night online about SEBI and RBI circulars and regulations. What was more embarrassing was that they asked me questions from my own CV and I wasn’t fully prepared. I could not remember the research I had done in some internship ages back. At the iPleaders club they conduct mock interviews where you are prepared for the real challenge.
You wouldn’t even know but there are offices who judge you from the minute you walk in. How to maintain calm, how to answer the questions without fumbling and most importantly how to prepare for the interview are some of the topics which might appear to be of little importance but believe me, they do make a lot of difference. Here is someone who got immensely benefited from the mock interviews thanks to her informed decision of taking this course.
This is another path-breaking concept that top performers in Universities like Harvard and Princeton are encouraged to follow but I never heard of this in India. As a lawyer, you need to network and get to know people who are in higher positions than you are but they are barely interested in you. How can you do this? An informational interview is the answer.
You go and meet 5 lawyers like whom you want to become. They should be people at least 5-10 years ahead of you in the career. You request them for 10 minutes of their time because you want guidance. When you meet, never ask for a job or a favor of any sorts. Only ask them questions like these:
I admire what you are doing and 10 years down the line (or 5 years, depending on how much older they are than you) I want to see myself where you are. Can I ask you what are the challenges you faced along the way?
What were the big realizations that led to your success?
I am here now, what are the few things you think I should focus on in the next one year?
What are the strengths I need to develop?
Ask these open-ended questions, and then shut up and listen whatever they may have to say. DO NOT INTERRUPT!
When they are done answering these questions, thank them and ask if you can call them once in a month for 5-10 minutes to ask some questions. If they don’t have time for once in a month, ask if they can give 5 minutes once in 3 months. Then whatever they may say, thank them and leave.
If you take any action based on what you learned from them, just drop them a one-liner mail and let them know you took action and how it helped you. That’s all.
Surprisingly, these informational interviews open an amazing number of doors if done right. One of my batchmates got a job with a top criminal lawyer in Mumbai 2 months after his informational interview. The lawyer called and asked if he is interested to work with him. However, remember, don’t go expecting jobs and favors. Only go with a mindset of an ambitious youngster trying to learn as much as they can from a master.
5 of these informational interviews can change your career and those who do not do it in 6 months can be asked to leave the club.
Lifetime Membership and career opportunity updates
Entering the iPleaders club is rather easy. You get an automatic entry into the club once you sign up for any of their courses. Something amazing about iPleaders is it is striving very hard to make an impact and help as many students as possible. Thus, one can also sign up for the membership by subscribing to any of the lawsikho courses as well which belong to a certain price range.
Initial provisional membership of the iPleaders club is only for a period of 6 months, during which they give you some assignments to accomplish. These tasks are designed in a way that you get a taste of practical application of the everything that you learn during this course. I
f you are not able to submit 5 of these tasks in six months, you are removed from the club. This ensures that only high-quality people get to be a part of the club. Post these six months, you are on your own to face the real challenge if you didn’t become a permanent member. However, best performers during these 6 months are given an opportunity to be a lifetime member of the club.
I was fortunate enough to get the lifetime membership of the club. It gives me access to their online course for lifetime free of cost, with updated topics for life which is extremely important for any area of work. I can guarantee that there is nothing more you will need to look up for, except the course, during a research with related topics because the modules are so wholesome within themselves.
What it gave me further were constant jobs and internships updates from the alumni or mentors which I have seen have helped a lot of people. iPleaders club has right now 600 members, which just does not involve students from law colleges, but law professionals, businessmen, engineers, and people from all walks of life.
Imagine what could be networking with 600 people at once get you. Many law firms and other organizations that hire lawyers regularly approach iPleaders Club for CVs, and the club, in turn, shares those opportunities with the members.
Value Addition to my CV
Enough about the club, I will get back to my CV now. I have interned roughly at about 12 places before I graduated, including with firms of the likes of Luthra. Being the debating society convener, I have about 14 debates to my credit and a handful of research papers.
However, the most asked questions were about the course I have taken from iPleaders. I don’t know if it is the credibility of the course developers, or NUJS brand name or the specialization status it has brought to my CV but most of the questions asked are about Business Laws and to my surprise, despite being an average student in business laws in college, I was able to give confident answers to most of these questions.
Shivam Dubey, who works as a legal executive at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has something similar to say. He states how he has mentioned this course on his CV and LinkedIn profile and how the recruiters of his current job asked him questions on the same, which was a mere cakewalk for him. You can read more about his experience here.
You know that a course is reliable when the team is responsive and credible. I had always heard of Ramanuj Mukherjee when I was in college, however, when he called me once for a conversation, the way he encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and start doing rather than merely talking, still gives me a push to work better. The other members of the team are equally encouraging and always available for helping us out.
What more did it give me?
The authority to share this experience with you.
Let me explain it a bit better. After graduating in May 2017, I was instantly picked up by an MNC. However, jobs in compliance team could be pretty monotonous and that did not go too well with me. It was while looking for more exciting opportunities that I decided to aggressively pursue the diploma course so that I could do something productive in my spare time.
The tasks were so involving that I started giving them a lot of time, without getting bored. The kind of dedication I was putting in surprised even me. It made me very interested in iPleaders as an organization.
I applied for a job at iPleaders and got a callback. I was given an assignment. It was after this assignment that Ramanuj decided to offer me a job as a content marketing executive.
I moved to Goa from Pune to work with the iPleaders team on 6th of December. It’s been a joyride since then and I still thank my stars that I took the first step of taking this course up. Interestingly, several other people in the iPleaders team, including the sales head Ratul Rudra, who has an experience of over 20 years in the insurance and education domain, had first done the diploma course and later joined iPleaders.
Regards, Aditya Shrivastava
Content Marketing Executive
Now, Team iPleaders (yay!).