Ramkishore is pursuing the final year of the five-year law course at ILS Law College, Pune. He hails from Andhra Pradesh, where he secured a Rank 26 in the AP Law Entrance Test. He won the Intra College Client Counseling Competition this year and has previously participated in many other moot courts. Ramkishore is a strong proponent of speedy justice and amicable settlement of legal disputes. He’s on his way to becoming a stellar new associate at AK Law Chambers, one of the best arbitration law firms in India!
- What inspired you to pursue a career in law?
Ans. My passion is to become an IAS officer. I thought knowing law helps me serve the people better that was my initial consideration to take up law.
- You have been a university ranker, please tell us something about how to deal with university exams?
Ans. A ‘University Rank’ is not something which you can get if by follow some tips. It’s always based on luck (especially when it’s the University of Pune). In my five years I’ve never changed the way I prepare for exams; sometimes I’ve secured a university rank. At other times, I have scored a higher second class (55%-60%).
So, I reckon that there is no clear answer to this question.
- You have interned with a variety of establishments, tell us something about how you bagged these internships and your experience?
Ans. Like every other law student, I applied for internships through ‘Lawctopus’. In the first two years, I was not sure about the area of law I want to practice so I tried different places.
My internship in ‘The Hindu’ improved my communication and drafting skills a lot. During this internship, I had a chance to interview a lot of people and to write articles for the paper. The chief editor always helped me achieve a better version of myself.
Next, my internship in Dalmia offered me a lot of research on contracts and arbitration. I experienced the practical approach of law. This internship taught me that the law is not what we study in college; rather it just acquaints us with the basics to face the reality.
My internship in Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre created my interest in Arbitration. The essence of speedy disposal attracted me a lot. Here, I worked on various cases dealing with domestic and international commercial arbitration. I also attended a couple of arbitrations at the Center.
I applied for JSA through ‘higherknowledge.in’. Basically, when I applied for the internship I got a mail requiring me to submit a report on 10 research topics in one week; I would bag the internship if they are satisfied with my research. I researched on issues arising out of the laws of arbitration, crimes, registration act, stamps act, income tax, and contracts. Lastly, I got a reply from JSA one month after I submitted the report that I’m selected. I mostly worked on company law and arbitration matters. Discussions with the senior associates helped me in improving my drafting skills, I can never forget the guidance given by them.
- You have displayed a keen interest in arbitration and mediation. Tell us how you acquired and developed these interests.
Ans. My interest in arbitration started with 2nd Tarka Sastra National Moot in my first year. Even though I was just a fresher, my seniors liked my performance in the Novice Moot took me as the official researcher for the Moot. I can never thank them enough for that. That moot dealt with international commercial arbitration. I spent sleepless nights to solve the issues and I really liked the subject.
My interest in mediation developed in my 4th Year. During my internship in AK Law Chambers, I worked with one of the associates on a mediation case. We solved the problem in a very short span. The quick solution and lack of technicalities attracted me to learn more about it. My perception towards mediation has totally changed after that mediation.
- You have participated in a lot of moot court competitions, do you think mooting has helped you in any manner?
Ans. I feel I am in the position I am in today because of the moot court competitions I participated in. I could perform well in the internships because of the knowledge gained through moot courts. I generally don’t study unless there is a competition. So, I always prefer myself participating in moot courts; this is because I go deep into the subject understand it properly only during moot competitions.
I’ve never regretted doing any moot, they have helped me always in my internships. In short, most of the friends I got in my five years and the PPO in AK Law Chambers happened because of moots.
- And for the question of the day: tell us about how AK Law Chambers happened for you!
Ans. When I interned in Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre I got to know that AK Law Chambers is an arbitration firm. I never interned in an arbitration firm before AK Law. So I checked the details online and applied after my 4th year in June. There was no interview for the internship but I think my internship in JSA helped me to get through this place.
Right from the first day, I was given hardcore arbitration research. Being an intern I was entitled to leave at 6 pm, but the work they gave never let me leave before 9 pm. My research on ‘Pathological Arbitration Clauses’ impressed the partner a lot and he started giving a lot of work to me.
The turning point in my internship was my research in an arbitration case worth Rs. 1000 Crore. There were 4 issues in the case. When I solved 1 complicated issue among these 4, the partner put me on the case and even asked me to go along with him to Bangalore for the hearing. Subsequently, I got a lot of work every day from all the associates on issues dealing with company law, IPR and arbitration. Sometimes, I used to stay back at the office till up to 11 pm to discuss important issues with the partner. The associates gave me continuous support to learn especially with Sujay and Timothy. Discussions with them over lunch and dinner were the best!
- Did you face a PPO interview? If yes then, what were the most common HR and technical questions in the interview?
Ans. There was no interview at all. The partner asked me to come to his chambers on the penultimate day of my internship and asked me if I was interested in joining the firm in the following year. I gladly accepted this gracious offer.
- What will be your advice for students who do internships?
Ans. Ask for work always. Never sit without work rather; grab a book and continuously improve your knowledge. One good thing about our profession is even if you read something about any random law it will help you somehow in the longer run.
I can tell you innumerable experiences: for example, once the article I read about securities helped me in a task at JSA. So nothing you read about law goes in vain it will help you always.
- You have recently organized a Mediation boot camp tell us something about that?
Ans. In India people always prefer to fight; they don’t want to resolve it amicably. Everyone wants to go to court to fight. No one voluntarily goes for any of the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods to settle the dispute amicably. I am a strong supporter of ADR.
I wanted to enlighten people about the ADR methods and why it should be preferred over court litigation. The Mediation boot camp was one of my efforts to educate people about mediation and its benefits. When I discussed that proposal, not even my friends supported me to go ahead but I placed my trust on the resource persons and went ahead and it worked also. I’m very glad about the overwhelming response the camp received.
- Any advice as to how one should deal with their five years of law?
Ans. You don’t have to spend every day in your studies but at the same time don’t misuse the liberty that you get when you are in law school. I always suggest participating in moots; that is the one tool which improves your knowledge and helps you in future.
Write as many as research papers that you can and keep yourself updated with the laws and current affairs. I say current affairs because the law changes according to the needs of the society and to suggest any amendments to a particular law it’s important to know the current needs of the society.
Ram Kishore was interviewed by Yojit Pareek from ILS Pune. This piece has been edited by Ritvik Kulkarni.