“If you want to SHINE like the sun, first burn like the SUN.”
-APJ ABDUL KALAM
An ardent believer of this quote – She is one of her kind. It’s been 5 long years since she took her baby step into the legal industry which can turn out to be quite intimidating for someone who’s been a first-generation lawyer. Radhika Verma, our very own legal speaker who has had a journey that you all will be able to not just relate to but perhaps, manage to find the answers of your struggles, confusions through a glimpse into a remarkable journey full of learnings and humble victories. An advocate, a legal consultant, an avid reader, legal writer and above all, a believer. We are stoked to present you all the insights of our very first conversation with our Guest speaker Radhika Verma where she chronicles some of the most interesting anecdotes from the diaries of her personal as well professional life and learnings.
Q1: Kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Radhika Verma, born and brought up in Delhi. I have completed my basic, academic and professional education in Delhi only. My academic journey began in the year 2008 that led me to pursue B.Com from Delhi University followed with an additional degree in CS from ICSI and then went ahead to do LL.B from Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. Apart from that, I am an avid reader and really enjoy penning down my thoughts and expressing my opinions. I have always had an inexplicable penchant towards legal writing and I also aspire to carve out my own niche as an academic speaker as well as writer.
Q2. When did you decide to pursue law as a profession and what was your motivation behind the same?
My enchantment and proclivity towards legal profession invigorated during my high school days itself. I was immensely fascinated with that elegant black attire and courtroom proceedings. Arguing in court or cross-examining a witness, applying logic, doing research, the art of persuasion, all this seemed very thrilling to me. Also, my father had the deepest desire to see me as the one that prompted me further to pursue this as a profession. It was his motivation that led me to aspire for this. So all these factors motivated and prompted me to become a Lawyer.
Q3. How would you describe your law school journey?
My law school journey has been extremely enriching and richly rewarding. I have emerged as a smarter and confident person. I remained an active mooter throughout. I always made sure that I would participate in all the college events, in one capacity or the other. I did 4-5 internships with some good law firms and senior advocates. I made good friends there. Our teaching faculty was exceptionally good. I enjoyed all the lectures thoroughly. Campus life was so cheerful and vibrant and my learnings there throughout have been a major catalyst to my success so far.
Q4. Do you feel any difference in the working pattern of law students from your time to the current students?
I feel that during our time, way back in 2012-2015, Internships weren’t that much-hyped. Especially in my college, it was not mandatory to do internships. However, today, I feel that scenario has drastically changed, to ‘better’. Internships these days are becoming an integral part of the curriculum of most of the legal courses and academia. I personally like the idea of doing an internship or two rather diving straight into the full-fledged career once you are done with your formal education. It really helps you to identify your skillset and clarify your self-doubts to a great extent. Hence, to all the legal students and freshly graduates, I would advise them to take up an internship or two during their course. It is really beneficial in the long run. I did internships on my own, just to widen the horizons of my knowledge. In fact, LinkedIn was not much popular among law students. We had no idea at that time that how much informative and beneficial it could be on the professional front. There was not much buzz about Webinars and Podcasts. Online courses were very limited. But today the entire legal education system has been reshaped. We have ample of online courses, lecture series and webinars. One can do it as per his/her convenience from anywhere. There is no boundation to attend the classes in person and seek professional expertise. Things are changing at an extremely fast pace and all we need is to learn how to adapt quickly, yet efficiently.
Q5. What were the major activities you pursued in the law school apart from the studies?
I actively participated in moot courts & debate competitions, I did few good internships. Apart from that, I participated in Inter College Mock Parliament, SGBT Khalsa College on Anti-Conversion Bill, 2015. I was the part of Legal Aid clinic of college. As I mentioned earlier too that I have had a penchant for legal writing, so I have been writing articles since my college days. I also keep posting my opinions and articles on various pressing matters on LinkedIn and Lawyersclubindia as well. I would really appreciate if You can check them out and leave your thoughts and feedback on the same.
Q6. How did you navigate your career in the initial years after law school?
Being a first-generation lawyer, I had to start from scratch. I was mentally prepared that I could not be choosy or restrict myself to a particular arena only, be it litigation or job. So I embraced whatever opportunity I could lay my hands on. During my professional journey of five long years, I have had the privilege to associate with esteemed Organizations such as Delhi Judicial Academy (High Court of Delhi) and Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission where I have worked in the capacity of a law researcher under the mentorship of eminent judges. I have worked with a few real estate groups as In-house Counsel. I hold relevant experience in the field of Legal Research, Legal Documentation, Property Due Diligence, Title Verification, RERA Litigation, Consumer Litigation, NCLT Cases, etc.
Q7. With the rise in opportunities in this field do you think the competition has risen exponentially since a decade ago?
Yes, there is stiff competition everywhere. But on the other hand, we have plenty of options to harness our career exponential. The irony is that the more options you have, the more confusion it might lead to. So it is always advisable, to make the right choices at the right time. It has become very important to constantly upskill yourself, making yourself aware of the latest emerging trends, keeping a track of legal amendments and landmark judgments, etc. Being a Legal laureate is good but to make an impact that lasts, brushing up your knowledge and refining your intellect goes a long way in ensuring a convivial professional journey ahead.
Q8. How being a CS has helped you in this field of law?
Being a CS has helped me out in multiple ways. I hold good command over Corporate and Business Laws. It is an added advantage and additional qualification which can help you to seize good opportunities on the professional front.
Q9. What are the types of matters you currently working upon?
RERA, Land Litigation, Property Verification, Property Due Diligence, Legal Documentation, Bail cases, Civil Matters etc.
Q10. Your personal advice for those who want to practice in RERA and are struggling both professionally and financially?
RERA Litigation is no doubt a lucrative option but one should do it only if it intrigues him/her, not otherwise. It is difficult to carve a niche out of it, but once you understand the intricacies, then you actually enjoy doing it.
Q11. Your parting words to our readers?
Set your visions!! Always strategize first before taking admission in any course. Consider the market scenario before opting any course. Even if you are preparing for any competitive exam, don’t sit home, keep doing something side by side to get practical exposure. Practical exposure is always beneficial. Be a smart and sound lawyer. I greatly admire this quote, so sharing it here: “Failure doesn’t mean the game is over, It means try again with experience.”
Interviewed By: Yamya Pandey.