Manav Kirtikumar Thakkar from SLS, Hyderabad

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Manav Kirtikumar Thakkar, and my pursuit of a career in law has been a lifelong aspiration, firmly rooted in my ambitions since the 10th grade. The complexities and the transformative potential of the legal system have consistently fascinated me. Throughout my academic journey, I’ve immersed myself in the study of law, actively engaging in extracurricular activities pertinent to this field. This dedicated commitment has enriched my understanding of the legal profession and further fueled my passion for it.

Currently, I am in my third year of the BBA LLB program at Symbiosis Law School, where I am actively honing my legal skills and knowledge. Over time, my desire to contribute positively to society through a fulfilling career in law has only grown stronger and more resolute.

What has your college experience been like? What are some of the fondest memories you have created during your time there?

My college experience at Symbiosis Law School has been nothing short of remarkable, and I’ve genuinely relished every moment of it. It’s been a journey filled with not just academic pursuits but a rich tapestry of extracurricular and co-curricular activities that have shaped my college life. One of the highlights has been my active involvement in moot courts and debates.

These experiences challenged me to think critically, argue persuasively, and develop a deeper understanding of legal intricacies. They’ve also provided opportunities to interact with peers who share the same passion for law, leading to lasting friendships and inspiring discussions. What truly sets my college experience apart is the diverse range of cells and faculty I’ve been part of; each has given me a chance to work on real-world legal issues, gaining practical insights that go beyond the classroom.

It’s incredibly rewarding to see how our efforts can make a positive impact on society. Internships have also played a pivotal role in my journey. They’ve allowed me to bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing a glimpse into the legal profession’s practical aspects. These experiences have been eye-opening, helping me develop a holistic perspective on the legal field. Moreover, I’ve had the privilege of exploring different courses that extended beyond the core curriculum, broadening my horizons and deepening my knowledge in specialized areas of law.

But perhaps the most treasured aspect of my college life has been the friendships I’ve cultivated along the way. The bonds I have forged with fellow students have not only enriched my personal life but have also enhanced my overall college experience. Late-night study sessions, engaging debates, and countless memorable moments have made this journey truly special.

As I reflect on my college journey thus far, I can confidently say that I’ve enjoyed every aspect of it. The knowledge gained, the practical experiences, and the friendships formed have all contributed to my growth and ignited my passion for a fulfilling legal career. I eagerly anticipate the adventures that await me as I continue down this path.

Share some strategies and tricks you employed to achieve success in college, both in terms of studies and building good relations with peers and professors.

My journey through college has been truly rewarding, thanks to my extroverted personality, which has allowed me to connect effortlessly with people. This ability has proven invaluable in both my academic pursuits and relationship-building. Here are some strategies and tricks I’ve employed to achieve success:

  1. Active Participation: Being an extrovert, I’ve always felt comfortable engaging in class discussions and extracurricular activities. This has not only enriched my own learning experience but has also helped me connect with professors and peers who appreciate my enthusiasm for the subject matter.
  2. Networking Skills: I firmly believe in the power of networking, both offline and online. Platforms like LinkedIn have allowed me to extend my professional network and build meaningful connections with professors and professionals in the legal field. This has opened doors to valuable opportunities and insights.
  3. Collaborative Spirit: I’ve always been eager to collaborate with peers on group projects and study sessions. This not only demonstrates my teamwork skills but also fosters positive relationships. Sharing knowledge and working together often leads to improved academic outcomes.
  4. Effective Time Management: Success in college requires effective time management. My extroverted nature has allowed me to strike a balance between academics, extracurricular activities, and personal life. This balance ensures that I excel academically while also nurturing relationships.
  5. Approachability: Being approachable and friendly has made it easier for my peers to approach me for assistance or collaboration. Professors have also been more inclined to offer guidance and mentorship when they see my proactive attitude.
  6. Mentorship: I recognize the importance of mentorship, and I actively seek guidance from professors and seniors. This not only enhances my academic growth but also strengthens my professional relationships.
  7. Clear Communication: My ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, both in person and online, has been an asset. It ensures that my thoughts and ideas are well-received, fostering better understanding among peers and professors.
  8. Gratitude: Expressing gratitude towards professors and peers for their support and guidance is something I hold dear. It creates a sense of mutual respect and contributes to a positive and supportive learning environment.

My extroverted and personable nature has undoubtedly been a driving force behind my success in college. It has allowed me to navigate the academic world with confidence and grace, forging lasting relationships and positioning me for a successful and fulfilling future career.

In your opinion, what should be the primary focus of law students during their time in law school to prepare for a successful legal career?

In my opinion, the primary focus of law students during their time in law school should extend beyond academics to encompass a well-rounded approach that prepares them for a successful legal career. Here are key aspects to consider:

  1. Strong Academic Foundation: A solid understanding of legal principles and concepts is the cornerstone of a legal career. Law students should prioritize their coursework, attend classes regularly, and actively engage in discussions to grasp the nuances of the law.
  2. Participation in Moot Courts: Moot court competitions provide a practical understanding of legal advocacy and courtroom procedures. Engaging in moots hones your research, argumentation, and presentation skills, which are vital for litigation.
  3. Internships: Practical experience gained through internships is invaluable. Students should seek diverse internship opportunities in law firms, courts, legal aid organizations, and corporate legal departments to gain exposure to various aspects of the legal profession.
  4. Professional Courses: Supplementing your academic curriculum with specialized courses can set you apart. Courses in emerging legal fields or areas of personal interest can enhance your expertise and broaden your career prospects.
  5. Networking: Building a professional network is crucial. Attend legal conferences, seminars, and workshops to meet practicing lawyers, judges, and legal experts. Utilize platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals and stay updated on industry trends.
  6. Legal Research and Writing: Develop strong research and writing skills. These are essential for drafting legal documents, opinions, and briefs. Competence in legal research tools and methodologies is highly valued in the legal profession.
  7. Extracurricular Activities: Engaging in law-related clubs, societies, and journals can help you gain practical exposure and develop leadership skills. These activities can also lead to networking opportunities.
  8. Soft Skills: Effective communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills are indispensable for lawyers. Work on developing these soft skills, as they are essential in client interactions and legal practice.
  9. Continual Learning: Law is a dynamic field, so staying updated with legal developments is vital. Commit to lifelong learning through continuing legal education (CLE) programmes and staying informed about changes in laws and regulations.

In summary, the path to a successful legal career involves a multifaceted approach. While academics, moots, and internships are essential, complementing these with professional courses, networking, and a commitment to continuous improvement will equip law students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the legal profession.

How has your experience with moot court competitions been in college?

My experience with moot court competitions in college has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve participated in numerous moot court competitions and have had the honour of achieving notable successes and awards. One of my most significant achievements was my participation in the 5th Surana & Surana & Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law International Law Moot Court Competition in 2022. Among a competitive field of 27 teams, our team showcased our legal skills and dedication.

After the preliminary rounds, we secured an impressive 4th ranking. Making it to the octafinal rounds was a testament to our hard work and preparation. Furthermore, we were honoured to receive the 3rd Best Memorial Award.

These experiences have not only enhanced my advocacy skills but have also instilled a deep appreciation for the importance of research, argumentation, and teamwork in the legal profession. These are moments in my college journey that I am exceptionally proud of.

How would you describe your college’s academic placement record, and what co-curricular activities or events are prominent at your institution?

My college boasts a commendable academic placement record. Graduates from our institution have successfully secured positions in various sectors of the legal profession. Many have found opportunities in well-established law firms, gaining exposure to diverse areas of law and client interactions. Others have chosen to work in corporate legal departments, where they contribute to in-house legal matters and compliance.

Some have pursued careers in government agencies, serving in roles such as public prosecutors, legal advisors, or judicial officers. Additionally, a significant number of alumni have embarked on careers in judicial services, taking on roles as judges or magistrates.

It’s important to note, however, that while the college provides a strong foundation and opportunities for career advancement, the actual outcome of placements depends on individual factors. These factors include a student’s academic performance, their ability to network and build professional relationships, their choice of specialisation, and their drive to pursue career opportunities. Thus, while the college’s placement record is commendable, the ultimate success of securing a job is contingent on the student’s proactive efforts and qualifications.

Co-Curricular Activities and Events:

The college places great emphasis on holistic development, and as a result, there is a rich tapestry of co-curricular activities and events that students can engage in. Some of the prominent ones include:

  1. Moot Court Competitions: Moot court competitions are a cornerstone of our co-curricular activities. They provide students with practical experience in legal advocacy, research, and courtroom presentation. These competitions not only enhance legal skills but also boost confidence in students.
  2. Debates and Discussions: Regular debates and discussions are organized, allowing students to engage in thought-provoking conversations on legal, social, and ethical issues. These events foster critical thinking and communication skills.
  3. Seminars and Workshops: Our institution hosts seminars and workshops featuring distinguished legal scholars and practitioners. These events offer insights into contemporary legal topics and expose students to different perspectives within the legal profession.
  4. Legal Aid Camps: Outreach programmes and legal aid camps are organized to promote social responsibility. Students participate in these initiatives, offering legal assistance to underserved communities and gaining practical experience.
  5. Conferences: The college frequently hosts legal conferences, inviting experts and professionals from various domains. These conferences serve as platforms for networking, learning, exploring career opportunities, etc.

While these co-curricular activities are prominently featured, the level of involvement varies from person to person. Students are encouraged to choose activities that align with their interests and career aspirations. Active participation in these events not only enhances one’s legal knowledge but also builds a well-rounded skill set that is highly valued in the legal profession.

Is there a particular instance, quote, mantra, or book that has kept you moving forward and motivated in your life?

In my journey through life and academia, one quote that has consistently kept me motivated is, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that count.” This quote by Winston Churchill reminds me that both successes and setbacks are temporary, and what truly matters is the determination to keep moving forward, learning from experiences, and striving for excellence. It serves as a constant source of inspiration, reinforcing the importance of resilience and persistence in achieving one’s goals.

This interview was conducted by Samikshya Madan from SLS, Hydrebad.

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