An Interview With Alisha Verma (Assistant Professor of Law at Manipal University, Jaipur)

Ms. Alisha Verma is a full-time academician, presently working as Assistant Professor Law at Manipal University Jaipur. She completed her school education from Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan. For her distinctive performance in secondary school examination she was awarded with Gargi Scholarship by Government of Rajasthan for her senior school education. She did her graduation in Bio-science from University of Rajasthan. After that she graduated in law from the very prestigious Indian Law Society’s Law College, Pune (ILS). She did her Masters in Law from Amity University Jaipur and secured a gold medal in the program. She is currently pursuing Doctoral program in law. Her area of interest includes Criminal and Civil procedural law and laws related to women. She has judged many moot courts and trial advocacy competitions. Before entering the academia, she practiced law for couple of years.

1. Hello Madam, Please Tell Us Something About Yourself to Our Readers.

Hello Sonam! First of all, I would like to thank you for providing me with this opportunity to interact with your readers. It has always been a pleasure to reach young minds.

I am born and brought up in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, the city of Gazal Maestro Jagjit Singh. My father and mother both have transferable jobs and because of which we encountered different cities every alternate year of my school education. So my initial education took place in Sriganganagar and after that we moved to various other places till my high school. I have been a bright student in my school as well as during University times. I have always been the sincere one. Music and literature are the integral part of my life. I am very fond of Urdu poetry and Gazals by Jagjit Sahab.

I practiced law for around a year and half after Legum Magister and then I started my career as Assistant Professor of Law in the year 2016 with Raffles University Neemrana. Currently, I am working with Manipal University Jaipur.

2. How Did You Gravitate Towards Law? Why Law and Not Engineering or Medical Studies?

I belong to a family with law degrees. My father’s brother is a retired judge. One of my cousin sister is a Public Prosecutor with Government of Rajasthan. My father did Law too. Although he did not pursue it as a profession. Impressed by the charm, law had around me, during my school days only, I decided to pursue my higher studies in law. There was not much trend of five-year law program then. So I decided to pursue graduation in my subject of 12th standard i.e. Bio-science. After that I applied to ILS Law College, Pune and luckily I got admission too. People often ask me this question that being a science student, did it not affect my approach towards Law. I would like to say that graduation in science, gave me a much more scientific eye for everything. I am loving this journey of law and I think science has got much to do about it. I am thankful for the same.

3. You Completed Your LL.B. from I.L.S Law College, and LL.M from Amity University, Rajasthan. Please, Tell Us About Your Law School Journey and Experience.

Law school and Pune both have been so kind towards me. Since my graduation was in science I was the odd one out in my group there. Most of my colleagues were from commerce background and only a few from humanities. I was a sincere but shy student during my initial years at ILS. I had a very limited circle then. Since medium of my graduation in Bio-science was Hindi, I had to make extra efforts for making up for it. It was the time when I turned to English literature for help. I made this sure that I read one novel every week. It really helped me to overcome my fear of English language and of course, a better understanding of law at the same time. It was Pune which changed my perspective towards life and made me the person I am today. It made me bold and confident. And law school helped me to build a mind with critical thinking. I used to spend more hours in self-study then and in my spare time I also used to work with an NGO there.

After my graduation in law, I moved to Delhi for preparation of judicial services. It was this year, when I understood the beauty of law in real sense. Our mind works like a parachute, it works best when it is open and freely used. Having a year free from exams and classes after law school, helped me a lot to develop more clarity of concepts. After a year of enlightenment in Delhi I moved to Amity University Rajasthan for Legum Magister. Delhi showed its enlightening effects in my master program at Amity. I secured a gold medal and excelled in every subject of the program.

4. What areas of law fascinated you the most?

Beauty of law lies in the fact that it’s dynamic in nature. No matter how settled a law is, there always is a room left for interpretation and amendment. This fact about law keeps me connected with it. Apart from this, procedural law, both Criminal or Civil, has always been my area of interest. The inter-related nature of provisions with each other as well as with other areas of law in such a manner that you have to keep a multi-dimensional approach to avoid any mistakes while arguing in court or teaching it in class. It just creates a rush of blood and this very fact about law fascinates me the most.

5. How important do you think mooting or any co-curricular activity is in shaping one’s future career in law?

In my opinion, law is a kind of field which very much depends upon one’s communication skills, open attitude and level of comfort in public speaking. of course! Having co-curricular activities on the side is very important in shaping a career in law. A student must take part in moots, trial advocacy or judgment writing competitions and so on. Having internships in winter and summer break gives student insights as to the practical aspect of law.  All these activities will help them to have a different perspective about the field. I have seen students who are very shy in nature and are not able to overcome the fear and participate much in these activities. It does not mean that they will be less of a lawyer than the students who are more active in the above but I just want to say that we never know our full potential until we push ourselves towards something more and more every day. In order to realize our strength, we should always be ready to leave the comfort zone and make the most out of every opportunity.

6. What Is Your Topic of Research for LL.M? Why Did You Choose That Subject for Research?

My LL.M. is in Business and Commercial Laws. International Trade Law was one of my favorite subject then. During that year I was keenly analyzing the policies of various International Organizations. I still remember that one day I was just searching for an interview of an activist and accidently clicked on a link which was of a speech by Late Mr. Rajiv Dixit about the policies of World Trade Organization (WTO) and their impact on developing countries. I dug deep into the matter and came across the work of many activists who were still fighting for opting out of the WTO. This seemed appealing to me and then I decided to write my dissertation on the policies of WTO. I prepared a critical analysis of how they are deeply harming the economy of developing nations and has just become a way of exploitation of these nations by the developed ones. Opening the doors of economy is not as beautiful as it seems.

7. What should be the prime concern of a law student?

In my opinion, the prime concern of a law student should completely be on developing the understanding of law. Conceptual clarity is very important in law. As I said earlier also that it is a subject which has so many inter-relations with many other areas of it. And it takes a lot of time to develop such kind of clarity. Mr. Joseph Story has very rightly said that “Law is a jealous mistress, and requires a long and constant courtship. It is not to be won by trifling favors, but by lavish homage”. A student has to devote a lot of time to law. But I can guarantee one thing and that is if you love law with all your heart, it will definitely love you back.

8. Where Do You See Yourself Five Years from Now?

Well! I am not the kind of person who plans things in advance. I believe in seizing the day and go with the flow of life wherever it takes me. Still, if you ask, I can think of just one thing for now. Currently, I am pursuing Ph.D. in Law. I am working on it with all my heart and I wish to have a meaningful outcome from my research in near future.

9. The best experience and success habit you would like to share with law students to encourage them.

I mentioned a habit of mine earlier in this interaction i.e. reading a novel every week. During my days of law school at Pune, I religiously followed this habit. Not that I am suggesting the students to read novels but by quoting this here I mean that the soul who wants itself to belong to law must have one habit and that is of reading. Read as much as you can. Reading bare text helps us to identify the ingredients of the provision and reading text books gives us clarity of concept about them. And last but not the least as garnishing upon a dish, they must read as many judgments as they can. It helps us develop the legal vocabulary. It is so much easier for our generation to know about the latest developments in law and have access to judgments, credit goes to the digitalization of course. We can easily subscribe to the channels, apps, websites which give access to the latest news and judgments. Update your knowledge every day, every minute of your life.

10. Lastly, what final piece of advice do you want to pass on to the readers of the Law Corner?

Dynamic nature of law requires diligent and curious mind every step of the journey. Remember the thing I mentioned earlier about what Mr. Joseph Story said. Enjoy your days of law school, squeeze every opportunity which comes your way. Times flies! So live life at the fullest. Happiness and excitement is all that matters in life.

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