Namrata Pahwa
Namrata Pahwa
Apprentice Lawyer

"Fashion Law is an emerging arena of legal speciality", counsel Namrata Pahwa

Namrata Pahwa is conducting an online certificate course on fashion law along with the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow

Bar & Bench

The Internship and Placement Committee, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow is organizing an online certificate course on Fashion Law from tomorrow onwards. This course would revolve around IPR and Fashion law with Ms. Namrata Pahwa delving into the procedural aspects of Fashion Law, the crimes associated with it and redressal mechanisms.

Ms. Namrata Pahwa is a practicing Advocate at the Delhi High Court. She has carved a niche for herself in Civil, Commercial Litigation, specializing in Intellectual Property, Information technology law, Competition Law and Legal Metrology matters. Ms. Pahwa is also an LL.M. graduate from National University of Singapore.

In this interview with Priti Singh, she discusses the emerging areas of Fashion Law, the utility of an LL.M. and more.

What do you think are the most important skills required if one wants to pursue a career in Fashion Law? How should an Indian lawyer or law student prepare herself to build a career in the same?

Fashion Law is an emerging arena of legal speciality, encompassing various legal issues from IP to Contracts to Company Law and Policies. Apart from the skills that you would need to become a good lawyer, you should also have the interest and passion to be a part of the fashion world.

It is as exciting as it is technical since it comprises of different legislations that you will need on your finger tips to provide a holistic solution.

Now more than ever, you come across intense litigations and conflicts in the fashion world. From international brands to local artisans, you will cater to all, therefore you will be required to do depth research and have great negotiating skills.

How do you think the LL.M. from National University of Singapore is relevant for someone who wants to practice in India and abroad? How does it help in giving an edge over others?

Let me begin by saying that a Masters is not necessary for a successful legal career in India or abroad, having said that, if you get the opportunity and can financially support yourself, you should not think twice.

A Masters programme along with giving you an additional degree, hones your analytical and research skills, widens your outlook, rids you of your consciousness and also provides you with plenty of opportunities to grow your network.

At least that’s what it did for me.

Whether you want to practice as a foreign lawyer in another country or come back to your homeland, a Masters does provide you with an edge. However, before you decide to pursue your Masters, you must do thorough research on the course, University and even your professors.

Where do you think India stands in terms of Intellectual Property Law, more specifically in the field of Fashion Law?

When I was in Law school, Intellectual Property was booming and currently there are artists, pharma companies and even individuals who are all aware of their Intellectual Property rights and are doing everything they can to protect it.

There is ample awareness, knowledge but having said that, there is immense grey area in the Law too, which you only get to know once you start practicing.

Fashion has always been an intrinsic part of the Indian culture and now fashion law in India is growing day by day. Since there isn’t one statute called “Fashion Law”, one has to take shield under various legislations to get holistic protection.

The Indian fashion industry suffers from the loopholes of the law as the traditional laws for the protection of intellectual property rights are not sufficient to cover up the issues plaguing the fashion industry as opposed to some of the Western countries.

We have noticed that you have your own blog, posting regularly on contemporary issues. How important is it for law students and lawyers to regularly write on legal topics?

From the day we enter law school, until the day we retire from the Bar, two of the most important aspects are to keep updating yourself with any/all amendments and keep writing.

For when you write, it can either be a blog or an article or even an opinion, it not only enhances your analytical and research skills but is also instrumental in penning your arguments.

Writing must be a cardinal aspect of a law students journey and more so now as there are so many platforms and even more interesting topics that one can research and opine on.

What advice do you have for young lawyers who wish to pursue a career in new, emerging fields of law?

There has never been a more exciting and dynamic time as there is now. Everything from the judiciary to the education standards are evolving and there are so many niche sectors of law.

This is the best time for a young lawyer to immerse himself in finding the sector he so wishes to pursue and dive in the deep end. It is my personal opinion that you need not know every aspect of every single statute (and you possibly cant as well) but what you choose to pursue, know everything in it and try to be the best advocate for that.

Focus on your internships because honestly, theory is not so difficult. You need to picture and imagine what you want your life to be after your finish law school – that will show you the path you should take during law school.

(This interview was conducted by Priti Singh, a fourth-year student at RMLNLU)

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