An Interview With Dr. Mona Mahecha (Assistant Professor of Law at Manipal University, Jaipur)

Dr. Mona Mahecha is an Assistant Professor of Law at Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). She has completed her graduation B.Com. LL.B., Post-graduation LLM in Business laws and Ph.D. Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur.

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

I am an Assistant Professor of Law at Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). I have completed my graduation B.Com. LL.B., Post-graduation LLM in Business laws and Ph.D. on the topic “Eradication of Corruption through the institution of Lokpal: A critical study with reference to Lokpal in India” under the guidance of Prof (Dr) Chandanbala, Dean faculty of law JNVU, from Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur. I qualified UGC NET in June 2012. I have a teaching experience of 5 years and have publications in various national and international journals. I have one book publication titled “Corruption in India: Special Reference to Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988”. But before all these things, I am a law student because still I am learning with each passing day.

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

After XII, I was very much confused about my career. As in my family, all are from Science background and it was absolutely clear that Science is not my cup of tea. So, I decided to take Commerce. During B.Com. I gained an interest in law. Later on, my cousin brother, Mr. Ashok Soni, who is an advocate, motivated me to build career in the law field. Thus after I took admission to LLB and moreover this was the first turning point in my life towards shaping my career.

3. You Completed Your LL.B, LL.M and PhD From Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur. Tell Us About Your Law School Journey.

I was a very sincere student and I used to sit in front rows so that I could concentrate on the subject. But I was very shy in nature and I avoid speaking even if I had doubts on any topic. To overcome this situation, I studied 4 to 5 hours daily after college. Gradually I gained confidence and that confidence helped me to come out from my shy nature. After around 1.5 years I was one of the most active students in my class. This also helped me to enhance my critical thinking. During my post-graduation days, all teachers were used to help me a lot in the study and guide me in further shaping my career. This was basically my journey from a shy to bold and confident personality and in my opinion, this became possible because of Law and my respected teachers.

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

As a law student, I really found every subject very interesting and from each passing day, I found my decision, of taking Law as my career, perfect. But still, some subjects were my favorite which includes the Law of Contract, Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, Criminal Procedure Code, Company Law. As I had a Commerce background, so Business Laws always seemed very interesting to me.

5. Do You Think That Mooting, Debate, Publication, Online Courses and Internship Are Important in Law Student’s Life?

Yes, absolutely as I always believe that the students must be aware of the practical application of Law. Mooting is the best way to learn the practical aspects of Law. In mooting students will be able to learn public speaking, research, critical thinking, putting their arguments before the court, teamwork and finally discipline. Likewise, the debate also enhances public speaking and publication enhances research skills. Students should start writing from her/his first year because one cannot learn writing until and unless they write something. Here publication does not mean that publication of research papers. They can start writing from articles and blogs, and gradually they can move towards research papers. In recent times online courses are also essential for students as from online courses they have the opportunity to learn various aspects from the learned persons or foreign universities. Internships are also very important as it is a way to explore interest areas for students and after every year, they can do internships according to their interests and find opportunities to work after graduation.

6. How Did You Decide to Go into Academics?

In my initial college days, I did not want to take Academics as my career. I wanted to go in litigation, and I started my career in litigation in criminal law. Litigation was always very appealing to me. Meanwhile, I cleared UGC NET and then took admission in Ph.D. During my Ph.D. days, I gained an interest in teaching. That time I came to the fact that in the law field there is a shortage of law teachers. Then I decided to go to Academics and every time when I teach, I gain a kind satisfaction that I am on the right path.

7. Describe your teaching style. How do you define good teaching?

I always prefer an interactive session and try to give examples from the surrounding things in a very simple manner, in both Hindi and the English language as each student’s level of understanding is very different and I put my best efforts to make the things understandable for students. I try to inculcate various methods in my teaching like I use PPT and Board at the same time, in-class activities I give students some situations so that students can understand how to apply provisions in a practical manner and also I try to communicate with each and every student so that they can feel safe and comfortable teaching environment in my class. I think without a safe and comfortable environment, students will hesitate to interact with the teacher.

There cannot be a set teaching method as it totally depends upon the requirement of the students. But yes, for me a safe and comfortable teaching environment is the first and foremost condition, it also enhances the student’s involvement in the class.

8. 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?

  1. Moot Court
  2. Internships
  3. Research
  4. Debate
  5. MUN

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

I think if you touch even one life, you are a successful teacher. The teacher’s role is not limited to teach prescribed courses only but even above this, a teacher’s role is to prepare a student to face life’s challenges. Like success, failure is also important in one’s life. Students should have experience of failure also. And as a teacher this is a very challenging task to prepare students for success in the outer world by indulging them in failure.

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

Every year of my Law school was my best experience. Every year I learned new things. So, I just want to say, to my students do not waste your time in your virtual world, be in the real-world and enjoy every moment. Each and every moment try to teach you something new. This time is a golden period in your life. You will badly miss your college days.

For me, my success mantra is my self-confidence and this self-confidence comes with hard work and time management. So, if you want to achieve your goals then you should start your preparation today.

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

I think a teacher is always a student first. Before teaching, one should be dedicated to learning. One cannot be a perfect teacher, but continuous improvement is required. The role of the teacher is not only teaching but they are mentor also. Along with this, they have a lot of other administrative tasks and publications are also mandatory for them. If anyone chooses teaching as a career, they should keep in mind all the roles of a teacher. And do not demotivate with the initial days’ challenges. Keep learning, keep going with a smile.

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