Legal Desire interviewed Ms. Nirmala D, Principal of Seshadripuram Law College. A great intellectual and promising faculty of legal fraternity. The interview was taken by Mr.Vishnu Vinayak C.R, Campus Ambassador of Legal Desire and Student at the institution.
Vishnu: What inspired you to join law, were you able to satisfy your inspirations/dreams?
Principal: To be frank I had no idea of joining law. My grandmother was my strength, inspiration and guide to join law. She was a homemaker. Whenever I used to converse with her, she assured me that I would be a good Advocate if I study law. Unfortunately, she is not alive today. Had she been here to see me in this place, she would feel very proud and happy.
Vishnu: How was your law school journey ma’am?
Principal: Absolutely fantastic. I cherish the memories till date. I did my LL.B as well as LL.M from University Law College, Bengaluru. I later pursued my M.Phil from Global Law Institute, my PGADR from NALSAR and PhD from Einstein International University. When I started doing my LL.B, I was a stranger to this field as there was no one from the family who had done law. Our Principal back then, Mr Kutino was the biggest source of inspiration and strength to me. I was awestruck by the way he used to handle Labour Law. In fact, my specialization was in Labour Law. He was absolutely dynamic and filled with enthusiasm. No matter what problem a student had, he would always be there to help.
I remember one instance where there was no faculty to teach a particular subject. We were all disheartened and scared as the exams were nearing. So we approached Mr Kutino to help us out. Despite his busy schedule, he thoroughly guided us and most of us scored very well.
Vishnu: What opportunities are open today to Law Students? How does one grow in this noble profession?
Principal: Back then when we did law, we knew that there were limited opportunities. One had to either be a litigating lawyer or end up being a teacher. There was no concept of niche. It was believed that a lawyer should be aware of everything that works out in the society which would enable him/her to represent his clients. Now, a lot of things have changed. There are vast opportunities present to law graduates. In fact, when we were law students, there was no concept of internship at all. But now, even before finishing law, students are busy with internships. Post completing LL.B, students have a choice to do their LL.M which would help them create a niche and broader perspective in whichever subject they opt. Many students these days write CLAT LL.M which may help them get a job in PSUs. Many students become in-house counsels in various corporates. Many enter litigation. Many choose judiciary. So many students from Seshadripuram Law College are in the judiciary. LPOs are on the rise. Now, it’s the internet era. Many students of mine are providing online services to their clients including drafting, legal advice, etc.
Vishnu: Ma’am, why did you want to be a teacher?
Principal: My grandfather inspired me to become a teacher. He was a teacher. Never had I thought that I would be a teacher post completion of law. I think destiny had a huge role to play in my life.
Vishnu: What’s the best thing about your job?
Principal: Law is a noble profession. I am a teacher, one who teaches law to students who later turn out to be brilliant advocates and contribute to the bar and society in different ways. Therefore, the best thing about my job is to nurture the young minds and deliver mature minds to the society. What can be nobler than this!
Vishnu: Who according to you has been an inspiration in your life?
Principal: The list is too long! To me, my parents were a big inspiration. They constantly motivated me. As I said earlier, my grandfather and grandmother had a huge role to play in my life. Once I was married, my father-in-law treated me as his daughter and motivated me. Without my husband’s cooperation and support, things wouldn’t have worked out.
As I said, when I pursued my LL.B, I was a total stranger to this law field who had no idea what to do and how to go about things. My friend Pushpalatha who is now working with Mr Holla has helped and guided me throughout. In fact, till date, I speak to her on various issues and take her opinion and suggestions. I am blessed to have her as my good friend. Our Principal, Dr. Kutino has always been an inspiration.
Once I started my career with Seshadripuram Institutions, all the trustees have been a great strength and support to me. Our General Secretary, Mr Wooday P Krishna is an absolutely dynamic personality. I admire his way of functioning and his discipline. Despite his busy schedule, he would be present in any meeting much before any of us arrive. He is well informed always. I sometimes seriously wonder his ability to handle so much of work. It is not an easy task to manage 33 institutions which has around 2000 employees and thousands of students. Also, he is a great social worker and activist. I am definitely inspired by him.
Vishnu: Ma’am, According to you what is the importance of Mooting, Publications, and Internships in a law student’s life?
Principal: As I said, when we were students there were no internships and moots. Today, the scenario has changed. There is huge competition. It is like the survival of the fittest. I think the importance of mooting, internship and publications is best known to students. No doubt, mooting teaches drafting and argumentative skills and internships equip a law student to understand the practical/ procedural aspects of law. However, it all depends on how a law student would want to build his Resume/CV and utilise the credits to his advantage once he completes law. Publications help a student understand in depth the topic on which he writes and portrays a positive image to a potential employer that the student has the capability to articulate his thoughts on a subject in legal writing.
Vishnu: Did you face problems in taking up law teaching as a profession and how did you cope up with all this?
Principal: Fortunately I did not have any problem when I took up teaching as my profession. I strongly believe that teaching students, especially this generation who are intellectuals and who are well informed about everything, is not an easy task. Teaching is an art. Not everyone can master this art. I do not know how far I have mastered this art but it gives me immense satisfaction to teach students from so many years. Also, it is equally important for us to stay abreast with the latest developments in the legal field and incorporate the same in our teaching. No matter how many years of experience I hold in teaching, I read, do my homework every day and then enter my class to teach. It has been a comfortable and enjoyable journey so far.
Vishnu: What is that one thing that keeps you going?
Principal: The passion that I hold is my driving force.
Vishnu: Law profession demands a lot of attention and determination and also sleepless nights, what are those thoughts, the ideas which you had in the initial days of your struggle which never let you sleep?
Principal: As soon as I completed my LL.B, I was got married. After my LL.M, my daughter was born. Needless to say, there were certain obligations. I had responsibilities which I had to take up. Despite my obligations and responsibilities, I did not want to end my career being a no one. I was an academically inclined person. I was interested in pursuing other degrees. I was also into paper presentations and other research work. As you have rightly said, law profession demands sleepless nights and constant determination to reach goals. My passion helped me overcome the physical discomfort which any human being would experience. My initial struggle did give me good results and I am happy about it.
Vishnu: The best experience and a success habit you would like to share when you were a student for the readers which would encourage them.
Principal: Back then, we did not have access to information conveniently. We had to run around, ask experts in the field, jot down whatever was important etc. Now, almost all information is available free of cost and is easily accessible. The struggle that we had to go through to learn something new would always be a good experience. Hard work was/is the only mantra. I strongly feel that as a student I burnt my midnight oil to learn as much as possible and maybe that is the reason for the little success that I may have achieved today. The present generation has a wide array of options at their disposal to learn and grow. Therefore, hard work accompanied with smart work would enable a student to achieve his/her goals.
Vishnu: What would you suggest to students who are new to the law and those who are graduating?
Principal: Students today are well informed of what needs to be done and how to go about it. Having said that, my humble suggestion to students who are new would be to inculcate the habit of writing, especially for the purpose of examinations. I have seen that students leave the examination hall without utilising the entire three hours given to them. The reason is not that they have not studied well for the exams but many have lost the habit of writing which causes discomfort while writing examinations. Also, many students fail to complete the entire question paper as they lack speed. This would have a direct bearing on their results.
To all those who are graduating, I wish them best of luck in their career. I wish and pray that they contribute their best the bar and to the society while maintaining professional ethics.
Vishnu: How do you measure the success of any person in their career?
Principal: Success is very subjective. What might be success to me might not be success to someone else. I can neither be judgemental about a person’s success nor measure it using any hard and fast rule. Happiness is success, I feel.
Vishnu: What according to you should be the prime concern for law students?
Principal: Students not having patience should be a prime concern to them. Today’s generation wants instant success and wealth. Success does not come overnight and if it does come instantly, it does not last long.
Vishnu: What would be your message to the Law students to encourage them?
Principal: Law students are fortunate to study law and be advocates. Not everyone would be this fortunate. The sky is the limit for a student of law. Do not be disheartened by failure. Rise like a phoenix and one fine day you would have conquered your dreams.
Vishnu: How should we strike a balance between our personal as well as professional lives?
Principal: This is extremely important. We all know for a fact that this profession is a time consuming profession. Therefore, it is extremely important to ration time. No doubt professional life is extremely important. But one should not forget that profession is a part of life. There is also personal life in which one would have their loved ones. Both should be handled with equal pace.
Vishnu: Please share the golden rules of your life which brought you here so that the students can gain from the useful insight and can be inspired by you.
Principal: I wish there were golden rules in life. Unfortunately, there isn’t any. All I can say is that when you love your work and you are extremely passionate about whatever you do, you would definitely reach your goal.
Vishnu: In this long career when did you consider yourself a success?
Principal: There lies a long path for me to travel. I think it is too soon to consider myself to be successful. However, there is a small incident of my life which I would like to share at this moment. Once I completed my 10th Standard and entered my 11th or Pre University, I opted for Arts. I was mocked at for choosing Arts. Many were sceptical about me achieving something in life. My sisters had opted for science and commerce. I was the odd one out. Today, there is this little self-satisfaction that, I have become the Principal of this wonderful institution.
Vishnu: Any suggestions or comments for the students?
Principal: I feel students these days are very reserved and do not make an attempt to mingle with the mass. Unless students start interacting with as many number of people as possible, it would be difficult for them to understand the problems existing in the society. This would also have an impact on their law practice. Therefore, my humble suggestion to students would be to get along and get to know not only friends but the society so that they can have a sound practice.
Vishnu: Madam, your views on Legal Desire and token of Love and message to our readers?
Principal: I got to know from Vishnu that Legal Desire has been catering to legal enthusiasts. That whatever a person would desire to know of law, it would be available on Legal Desire website. I wish and hope that Legal Desire continues to cater to the needs of the legal fraternity and reach out to larger masses.
Vishnu: Any Quotation from your experience?
Principal: ‘Determination without anything and Attitude with everything’. With determination anything is possible. Having a negative attitude towards everything would lead us nowhere.
Thanks for taking the time to share your unique journey with us, and best of luck to you!