"Ms Yamuna Menon, who graduated with a BA LLB (Hons) Degree received a total of 18 medals - the highest number of medals received by any student in the history of the University."- Press Statement, National Law School of India University (NLSIU)..An innocuous statement buried in an account of NLSIU's 28th Convocation that does not quite capture the magnitude of the achievement announced..Yamuna Menon, an IDIA scholar, recently defied all odds to emerge as topper of the NLSIU graduating batch of 2020, breaking all manner of records in the process. Ecstatic after her achievement, she tells Bar & Bench that her parents' smiles made her the most happy..Yamuna, who belongs to Kerala, secured an overall percentage of 95.8% in her Higher Secondary School examinations. .A science student in high school, she reached out to the IDIA's chapter in Kerala after she came across a news report on the Trust's activities. She was not able to clear the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) on her first attempt in 2014. However, thanks to training and mentorship by IDIA, Yamuna secured a rank of 28 on her subsequent attempt the next year..Her father's enthusiasm over the years spurred her into participating in competitions when she was growing up, which went a long way into building her confidence, she points out..And now, with eighteen gold medals in her kitty, she expresses, "...I am getting so many messages and calls, it feels good to see the efforts across years being rewarded.".To IDIA scholars like herself, Yamuna posits, "I believe everyone will figure their own way out and guidance from experienced (persons) will enrich that way. However, remember to refrain from emulating others, everyone is unique, so are you.".On her initial brush with life at NLSIU, Yamuna says "Initially, I did have difficulties coping with the new environment, however convinced myself I will be able to adapt. I truly enjoyed the journey at NLS and always knew I will miss NLS...for me it was my home for the past 5 years."."NLS has a strong support system and there are lots of seniors who helped me throughout the 5 years in law school. My friends from law school are an integral part too, and I am glad to have found them who will be there with me for the rest of the journey."Yamuna Menon.Determined to make the most out of her time at the University, she applied herself almost entirely to academics in the initial trimesters of the undergraduate programme. ."The focus on academics, especially during the initial trimesters, stemmed out of pure determination of wanting to make the best out of the great opportunity I had received, that is being part of NLSIU."Yamuna Menon.Funded by a University scholarship and IDIA, she speaks to Bar & Bench about the kind of guidance she received over the years from the NLSIU and IDIA Karnataka..She narrates:."As a first year student, I vividly remember the support that IDIA Karnataka chapter extended. There was always someone to discuss anything. By the time it was third year, the guidance from professional mentor appointed by IDIA was relevant and helpful. Such a programme helped me to discuss and explore various legal career options and opportunities.".The University gave her opportunities to grow and explore various interests and activities, she recounts, giving examples of the activities and competitions she participated in during her time there. "I participated in international moot court competitions (London and Singapore), represented India as part of youth delegation to Nepal and was also selected for a leadership programme in Australia. I also headed a journal in university as well as the academic support initiatives.".All of these, she says, have helped her connect with people, moulding her in the process..Yamuna credits NLSIU Founder Professor Madhava Menon, Senior Advocate EX Joseph, and Professor (Dr) Shamnad Basheer as the people who have inspired her. While a stint helping Senior Advocate Joseph with an anthology of poems sparked her interest in legal education, her interactions with Professors Menon and Basheer inspired her with their energy.."Prof Shamnad Basheer and his energy was a great source of inspiration. Even though he is not with us today, the amount of impact he has had on people around him will never fade."Yamuna Menon.When asked what her future plans are, she tells Bar & Bench that she will be starting her Master's in law at Trinity College, Cambridge University on a scholarship. She hopes to pursue her interests in commercial and international law during her time there..On the next phase she will be embarking upon, she says, "I am excited to start this new phase. I hope to gain international exposure during my time at Cambridge."