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An Interview with Dr. Kalpna Sharma [Assistant Professor at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi]

Dr. Kalpna Sharma is currently working as an Asst. Professor at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. She has completed her LL.B, LL.M, PGDPM & LW and Ph.D. from Faculty of Law, Himachal Pradesh University.

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

First of all, I would like to thank to Law Corner for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself on their platform. I am born and brought up in Hill State Himachal Pradesh. I have done my schooling and higher education from Shimla. I have completed my LL.B, LL.M, PGDPM&LW and Ph.D. from Faculty of Law, Himachal Pradesh University.

2. What Inspired You to Choose Law as Your Career?

That black robe of lawyers always fascinates me since my childhood. Frankly speaking that fascination became my passion. For me, the law is not just a profession. It is a way; I can serve my country, my people. I can reach those people for whom the law is made. Being an academician I still feel, I am a student of law and I will throughout my life. Every day I am learning about rules, regulations, rights, justice and understanding the growth of law and behavior of society. My parents want me to pursue higher studies, so I enrolled myself in Ph.d and continued my teaching assignments during my Ph.d research time

3. You Completed Your LL.B, LL.M & Ph.D. from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. Please, Tell Us About Your Law School Journey.

I wish I could live that university life gain with my friends with whom I cherish loveable memories of our hostel life and roaming on Mall Road, Shimla on the weekends. My LL.B and LL.M time in the Faculty of Law, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla was the time when I got the full support of my teachers. But, for my Ph.d   my father inspires me. I am very fortunate to get the support of my teachers, parents and my friends to complete my higher studies. I also have done my Post Graduate Diploma in Personal Management & Labour Welfare (PGDPM&LW) from ICDEOL, H.P.University. During, my Ph.D. time my teachers helped me out to teach me various topics and provides me with their invaluable advice. I owe a great deal to these transformative mentoring experiences, the lessons of which I am carried into my professional life.  I feel I have grown and developed myself with each passing year of my journey of learning law. From LL.B to Ph.d and in academics in profession, I am learning constantly.

4. Which Areas of The Law Fascinated You the Most as A Law Student?

Sonam, it is difficult to answer this question. As a law teacher, I can’t confine myself on a single subject. But the areas of law which fascinate me more are the areas where the scope of research and investigation is more. Human rights Law, Criminal Law, Women and children Law, Refugee Law and Constitutional Law are some areas of law I am particularly interested in.

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

I personally feel being a non-NLU or five years law student that practical legal education is very important and relevant for legal education in India. Certainly, mooting and other co-curricular activities are contributing a lot in shaping and preparing budding lawyers. Mooting is an activity which provides law students an opportunity to engage in the functional aspects of law. It provides students with experience in legal research, legal writing and oral argument etc. Legal research is a skill, where students will learn, use and refine throughout their legal career. So, such activities provide students an opportunity to practice those skills.

6. If You Could List Out 5 Activities Which on A Scale of Priority, Should Be at The Top in Any Law Student’s School-Life, What Would Those Be?

According to me, five more important activities in which law students should participate are:

i. Research and Publication –

Conducting research can help students to develop skills in analysis and data collection. Writing a paper and publishing it as an author in a law journal would boost students’ confidence and develop their interest in research.

ii. Internship –

It make students more creative They can work at law firm or under senior advocates or under guidance of Judicial officer as a legal assistants which will help them to inculcate professional ethics and understand the legal arena where they will be soon after their course.

iii. Seminar and Debate –

Seminar and debate can be an excellent training ground for budding lawyers. It will help them to develop strong communication skills.

iv. Mooting –

Mooting will enhance the knowledge and develop the capacity of law students to argue persuasively, convincing others to accept their point of view. Mooting competitions are the great way to connect with legal profession and build advocacy skills.

v. Legal aid and literacy club –

Students can organized legal literacy programmes and help spread knowledge of legal rights and duties, to help poor and needy people in their legal matters.

7. Madam, please tell us How Did You Decide to Go into Academics?

It was after my LL.M., I got an opportunity to teach in school of legal studies, Regional Centre of Himachal Pradesh University, at Dharamshala, H.P. Initially, I was not sure about continue teaching, but at the time of my Ph.d research work I continued my teaching assignments, I gradually start liking lecturing and interacting with students and their appetite to grab more and learn more made me study more. It was like I have to prepare a case every day and presented it before my students. While advocates try to convince judges. I had to satisfy my students’ queries and questions. My parents also motivate me to pursue teaching as a profession.

8. When Would You Say That an Academician Is Successful?

Sonam for me success is relative. There is no hard and fast rule. I think a successful academician is one who is a good mentor to students. His / Her office door is always open for consultation and giving advice to students. The one who is able to make teaching interesting with day-to-day life example. With all these the academic success is also based on how much knowledge he/she has contributed which can be measured by the no. of publication, no. of the journal edited, impact of the research etc.

9. When Would You Say A Legal Academician Is Ready to Start Writing Books?

If legal academician feel that any important topic need to address and there is scope of research and investigation in the particular area. He/ She can address the issue and bring the research in the form of book. One should go ahead and start writing.

10. The Best Experience and Success Habit You Would Like to Share with Law Students to Encourage Them.

I would suggest students to develop the habit of reading and reading more. Indulge yourself in mooting, writing, research. There is no shortcut for achieving your goal. Work hard and do well.

11. Lastly, What Would Be Your Message to People Who Want to Take Up A Career in Teaching?

Teaching is not only a noble profession but it’s also a profession of great responsibility of shaping the future of many young people. If someone is ready to work hard with passion, he/she is in the right person to opt for teaching as a profession. Teachers do more than teach, they are educator, mentor, a friend and sometimes a counselor to their students. One can contribute in national development through their quality teaching.

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