An Interview with Mumtaz Zabeen Khan (Assistant Professor of Law IEC University, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh.)

Born in a small village district Mewat (Haryana), Mumtaz Zabeen Khan did her schooling in Government Girls Senior Secondary School. In school time she was very much interested in social activities and wants to do something for women’s rights. She also wrote some articles for women’s rights in local newspapers. She entered into the legal world. With the legal studies she also did her Master of mass-communication (correspondence) she completed her B.A.LL.B from the Department of law in Maharishi Dayanand University (2010). And LL.M from Departments of Law in Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra. (2012). after she did her LL.M she got married in 2013. In the year of 2015, she started teaching as an Assistant professor in IEC University, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. She is also working on women’s rights. Her zeal for legal education and legal profession never-ending.

1. Hello Madam please introduce yourself to our readers.

Firstly, I would like to thank Law Corner team members for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences.  I belong to a very backward place where fewer girls come to higher education I always thank my mother it has only happened because of her efforts. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Law at IEC University, Baddi (H.P). I have completed my graduation B.A.LL.B.From Department of Law, Maharishi Dayanand University (Rohtak) in 2010, Post-graduation LLM in Constitution Laws From Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra in 2012(Regular) and Now Pursuing a Ph.D. on the topic “Protection of Battered Wives Under Muslim Law in India: A socio-legal study special Reference to i.e. the state of Haryana” From Pnjab University, Chandigarh Since 2016. I qualified UGC NET in December 2012. I have a teaching experience of 4 years and have publications in various national and international journals. 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?

All credit goes to my father who was always talking about law and Oder. In my school time, I was a deep interest in social activities and I think Law is an independent and respectable profession and directly related to societal needs; it is spanned across every sphere of life. We can contribute and dedicate ourselves to society by reaching out to various aspects relating to social issues and commitments when we are taking the path of Law.

3. Tell us a bit about your study time during college life.

Honestly speaking I was a sincere student throughout my college life and I used to sit in front rows so that I could concentrate on the subject because I was belonging to an NCRT background. But I was very shy in nature and I avoid speaking even if I had doubts about 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. At the end of the 2nd year, I was very confident. This also helped me to enhance my critical thinking. During my 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 my friends, Law and my respected teachers especially Dr. Anju Khnana Mam who is also one of my best ones.

4. What areas of law fascinated you the most?

As a law student, there were various subjects that I found interesting. Some of these subjects included Contract Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and also specifically Family law every subject very interesting and from each passing day I found my decision, of taking Law as my career, perfect.

5. Do you think that Mooting, Publication and Internship are important in law student’s life?

Yes, absolutely as I always believe that the students must be aware about the practical application of Law. Mooting is the best way to learn the practical aspects of Law. In mooting student will be able to learn public speaking, research, critical thinking, putting their arguments before court, teamwork and finally discipline. Likewise, debate also enhances public speaking and publication enhances research skills. Student 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 time online courses are also essential for students as from online course they have 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 area for students and after every year, they can do internships according to their interest and find opportunities to work after graduation.

6. Did you ever had an internship experience during your college and how much internship is important for a law student?

I had done many internships during my college time. Two of them were compulsory trainings that I had to undergo as it was a requirement for the award of the degree itself. I believe that this was one of the best habits that I inculcated in myself as a student and that all students must explore such opportunities as and when one can manage.

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

The prime concern of a law student according to me is to see that he/she gets into the habit of reading as much as possible on a daily basis. Because when you go into real life practice or law firm you will need to read a lot and get the solution at the neck of time. They can groom themselves and learn in abundance throughout their student life that it cannot be contained in a single term. These skills can only be achieved by holistic development, students should partake in all kind of activities from debate to extempore, moot court competitions to publications, internships to research, in short, seize all the opportunities, be active throughout your law school, in classes, and outside the class too. Also, never forget to enjoy your college life because it is a long road ahead of you.

8. How Did You Balance Teaching with PhD?

Well, it’s was a very tuff task for me when I start this journey, But my husband is supporting me. Only because of him I will manage all these things very well.

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

I don’t think I would call myself as successful yet. I still have a long way to go but I am grateful for all the experiences and opportunities that have brought me where I am today. I believe that my habit of being an attentive student during classes and then working on my own notes and reading helped me a lot in sailing through the five years of law school. It was also the same habit for me during my PG days as well. The only habit that I think that helped a lot was the art of managing time that I learnt after my first year at the college.

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

Well, I do not think I am at a stage to give any messages as I am myself at the starting span of my career, but I can relay what I have learnt from my seniors in the field. However, for people who intend to take up teaching as a career, I would only say that teaching is one great way of learning. If one is dedicated and has the right spirit to first learn and then have the passion to teach as well, there can be no better career choice to make, apart from academics! One must appreciate the responsibility that comes with being a ‘teacher’ when many students look upon you for guidance, knowledge and support.

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