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Ishita Sharma is a third-year student at the Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam. She is also the co-author of Ultimate Success Guide to the CLAT & LL.B. Entrance Examination, along with NUJS student Mohit Diwakar and law entrance coach, Shyam Saraf.
In this interview with Bar & Bench’s Shreya Vajpei, she talks about her online coaching centre, coaching for CLAT, and which are the best law schools in the country.
Shreya Vajpei: What was the inspiration behind the website CLAT tutorial?
Ishita Sharma: I started CLAT tutorial in my first year of law since there was a monetary crunch that I needed to overcome. And then when I joined law school, I realized that many portals offered CLAT coaching, but none of them was providing exactly what students needed. Since I have been through that problem myself, I decided to be the change.
Shreya Vajpei: Law school can be demanding at times. How do you manage running the website accurately alongside your studies?
Ishita Sharma: I would like to mention that I not only run CLAT Tutorial but also lawgurukul.com which is also another website dealing on the same platform but is more of an e-commerce website.
It is pretty hectic. I hardly sleep 5-6 hours in a bid to manage all this alongside my academics.
Shreya Vajpei: How did you collaborate with Mohit and Mr. Saraf for the books?
Ishita Sharma: Mohit is my senior and has been helping me even before I was a law student. Since I had been running this coaching from past 2-3 years I had a lot of material.
Our earlier plan was to just launch a book which would comprise of everything on just the legal section since, that section alone carries a lot of weightage in the CLAT examination. However, the publishers were more interested in the complete guide.
Since the two of us were not enough for the book since we were studying, we decided to have another author with us and hence we got Mr. Saraf.
Shreya Vajpei: What was the entire process of writing the book?
Ishita Sharma: Initially when the three of us we came together, we divided the entire workload. I dealt with the Legal & English part, Mohit dealt with the Current Affairs and English as well, and Mr. Sharaf completely dealt with the Logical and Maths Section. It took us one year to come up with this book.
Shreya Vajpei: Finding a publisher can be really hard. How did you manage that?
Ishita Sharma: We tried contacting many publishers. We’d contacted Eastern Book Company first, but during our negotiations, a big coaching institute bagged the contract. We took recourse to sending emails to many publishers and somehow Central Law Publications were interested. I met Mr Rajiv Arora, our publisher in Allahabad and somehow we managed to crack the deal.
He was pretty convinced because the USP was that students were writing the book. He believed that students would understand other students perspective way better than a person who is a professional and runs a coaching.
Shreya Vajpei: Do you believe that a CLAT aspirant should rely on a coaching during his preparation phase?
Ishita Sharma: It is very subjective. If a student is in Class 12 and is preparing to crack CLAT I think what matters most is self-preparation, self-reliance, self-confidence. And if you are regular with your practices you would definitely be able to crack it.
Coaching is just minor guidance. They will just bring you on track but you do need to be persistent.
Coaching is just minor guidance. They will just bring you on track but you do need to be persistent. Coaching can’t guarantee a 100% result. It’s not that every student who joins coaching centre cracks CLAT so that means that it is not 100% efficient.
In fact, crash courses are complete bogus courses. They are just money-minting mechanisms. Nothing else. A person needs to be more dedicated.
Shreya Vajpei: Lastly, what are the non-CLAT law schools you would advise students to apply to?
Ishita Sharma: GLC Mumbai, leading the list, since it is one of the India’s oldest law school. After that there would be ILS, Pune. This year ILS, Pune will conduct its own entrance test. Earlier it was on merit-basis. But this year the change would help more students to come secure admission.
After that I would suggest Symbiosis, Pune and Jindal Global Law. And finally, Army Institute of Law, if you’re able to crack it since there are just 4-5 seats for the general category.