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Varun Chauhan is a 2015 graduate of the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar. At the recently held graduation ceremony, Chauhan was awarded six gold medals. In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Shreya Vajpei, Chauhan talks about his journey as a law student, and what prompted him to pursue an MSc in Finance and Law from Oxford.
Bar & Bench: Six gold medals. There must have been some proud moments during the convocation?
Varun Chauhan: There definitely were many happy moments throughout the convocation. At the outset, it was really heartening to meet all my batch-mates, faculty, Director, administrative staff and junior friends. These were the same people with whom I learnt, developed and grew to be a better person over the past five years.
In terms of proud moments, I would say that seeing and hearing about the new developments and achievements of our Alma Mater, would definitely feature on the list. The recently inaugurated surreal world class auditorium in which we were sitting for the first time, listening about the recent Philip C. Jessup National Round Moot Court victories by our juniors were moments that made me really proud of the place that I grew in.
I am sure my parents were proud of me, along with a lot of people who helped and supported me along the way.
Bar & Bench: What would you say drove you through the law course?
Varun Chauhan: I think it was my ambition and passion that drove me through the five years. I was determined to succeed in law school. Moreover, I enjoyed studying law which made the journey relatively easy.
At the same time, I had an amazing set of seniors who were excellent mentors, and helped me navigate through the tough waters of law school by inspiring and advising me in difficult times.
Bar & Bench: Best memories of the law school?
Varun Chauhan: Well there are lots of best memories and I don’t know where to start!
Most of these memories are of the Sports Committee which I joined since day one. I guess the most indelible one of them would be this image of the sun setting on GNLU’s new campus as me and my team stood on the GNLU bus, fitting in the new basketball board and ring.
Some really special guest lectures, including learning corporate law from Professor V. Umakanth (National University of Singapore), and investment arbitration from Dr. Makane Moïse Mbengue (University of Geneva) were unique experiences which I still cherish. There were some amazing classroom lectures from my own faculty like the ones on His Holiness Kesavanada Bharti v. State of Kerala, T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad and a few more which still occupy a special place in my mind.
Ending law school, by being able to successfully plan and execute the biggest Day Zero with an amazing set of friends, administrative staff and faculty members is another delightful memory.
And then there so many countless special memories with my batch-mates, many of whom who still make me proud, by pursuing litigation, preparing to serve the country by joining the armed forces, administrative services and judiciary. Laughing, studying, playing with them, to taking that last one step penalty kick to win the last batch game at GNLU are just some of the few best memories that form part of this unforgettable journey. So a big thanks to all my batch-mates for making these five years a truly amazing journey and creating some special memories.
Bar & Bench: Looking back, is there anything that you wish you had done in the five years that you did not do?
Varun Chauhan: I don’t think so. I definitely feel that I have left no stone unturned. I was blessed to have a great set of seniors, faculty and batch-mates who motivated and showed me the right path for my dreams and ambitions.
Bar & Bench: Lastly, any suggestions for those who are considering studying law?
Varun Chauhan: I think the most important suggestion is that one must be passionate to learn law. In the next five years, the influence of finance, economics and technology will increase by a manifold. The financial sector will be more tightly regulated, block chain technology and artificial intelligence will definitely require many amendments in many laws, as well it would require lawyers to learn and update themselves continuously, not only in law but in allied disciplines.
Additionally, be prepared for a life-changing journey. Studying law in India is a process of self- discovery and personality development. The opportunity to work in teams on projects, participate in moot court, debates, group discussions provide an interactive peer to peer learning environment. Being part of committees, organizing conferences, writing articles, the opportunity to do a wide range of internships across disciplines provide a great insight into the real world and help in finding a career path suited to one’s strengths and potential.
This allows one, to meet diverse people from across India and the globe, which in turn gives an excellent opportunity to work and learn from them and their experiences.
All of this makes the study of law, immensely satisfying and intellectual stimulating. Solving problems through the skills learned in the study of law and through applying the law make it interesting, challenging and at the same time truly worth it.
(Image courtesy GNLU’s Digital Media Team)