Mr. Anil Mehta has been a practicing advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court for close to fourteen years now. He is the new Senior Standing Counsel for the union territory of Chandigarh and is the founder of a law firm Lex Solutions, in the city. He is one few persons from India to have delivered a lecture in House of Commons, Westminster (British Parliament), United Kingdom.
He is an alumnus of the Army Institute of Law, Mohali and represents various government organizations such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Container Corporation of India Limited, National Highways Authority of India, Food Corporation of India, Central University of Haryana, Punjab Engineering College, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar and Haryana High Court. Mr. Mehta comes from a defence background and is a first-generation lawyer. Earlier in 2014 he was also appointed as the Deputy Advocate General Haryana. He remitted this position in 2018 to join the Chandigarh Administration as Additional Standing Counsel.
During his tenure as the Additional Standing Counsel, for the union territory of Chandigarh, Mr. Mehta appeared before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in various important matters.
In this interview to Mr. Anil Mehta, talks about the considerations that prompted him to pursue as career in law, his experience of delivering a talk at the House of Commons, Westminster and advice to students interested in having a successful legal career.
What inspired you to choose the legal profession, in spite of coming from a defense background?
During my school days, I enjoyed oration and public speaking. Added to that, I also developed an inclination for contributing towards various social causes. Therefore, the legal professional became a natural choice. Also, my defense background allowed me the opportunity to study law at the Army Institute of Law at Mohali, which immensely contributed my initial grooming in the field of law.
How representing government bodies is different from representing an individual in a court of law?
As government bodies, have a responsibility to be fair and provide equal opportunities, their actions are subject to greater scrutiny and judicial review. Accordingly, defending government actions becomes a challenging task, as even when certain decisions are within the legal framework such decisions may not pass the equitable tests of constitutional courts. That apart, understanding the decision-making process of such bodies requires considerable time and effort.
How was your experience in delivering a lecture at the House of Commons, Westminster in 2017?
It was a wonderful experience and a pleasure to deliver the said lecture on an international platform and be one of the few Indians to do so. The august gathering, the audience and the occasion was indeed a great motivation for me to carry the mantle for India in a truly world class platform.
What challenges did you face being a first-generation lawyer? What would be your advice to future first-generation lawyers to overcome such challenges?
The initial challenge that a first-generation lawyer would face is simply finding his or her feet and making a place for oneself in the profession. Additional challenges could be procuring briefs, managing with limited resources, and maintaining resilience during the initial tough days of one’s career. My sincere advice to all budding lawyers is that they should go through the grind with patience. Starting as early as possible in this wonderful profession would hold them in good stead.
On what points should a law student focus on while pursuing a law degree to meet the requirements of the legal profession?
The practical aspects of the profession such as court craft, observing the members of the bar while they carry on their trade and developing excellent research capabilities, are certain areas which a law student should consistently focus on enhancing. Maximum exposure to court proceedings and learning how to apply the law in practice can go a long way in instilling confidence and enabling greater learning.
This interview was conducted by Campus Ambassador, Shubham Gupta.