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The Recruiters is a weekly piece aimed at helping law students fathom what it takes to gain employment in a field of law they wish to pursue. This week, S&R Associates’ Recruitment Partner Juhi Singh talks to Bar & Bench about the qualities her firm looks for in prospective corporate lawyers, the law schools considered for recruitment and more.
Bar & Bench: Some of the criteria considered for recruitment include CGPA, internships, and publications. In what order are they prioritized?
Juhi Singh: We generally recruit from the pool of candidates who have interned at our firm. We choose candidates for internships on the basis of their CGPA, law school and extra-curricular activities. We also look at the previous internship experience. During the internship, we evaluate a candidate on the basis of their oral and written communication skills, ability to understand legal issues and develop sound legal analysis. We look for candidates who are articulate, motivated, proactive, give attention to detail and have strong analytical skills.
B&B: You mentioned the law school as one of the relevant factors in deciding who to recruit. Is there a predetermined list of law schools you hire from?
Juhi Singh: We do not recruit from a predetermined list of law schools. In addition to NLS Bangalore and NALSAR, we have recruited in the past from NLU Delhi, NLU Jodhpur, Faculty of Law, Delhi, and ILS Pune. We’ve also recruited from Amity Law School and recently from Jindal Global Law School. We may recruit from other law schools if the candidate demonstrates the qualities that I have highlighted above.
B&B: To what extent is a student expected to know the law?
Juhi Singh: As far as we are concerned, we don’t expect a student sitting for an interview to know and understand all aspects of law. We don’t have that much time during the interview to gauge whether they know the law. However, we do get a sense of how much they know, just enough to determine whether they know what they’re talking about. Our objective from the interview is to gauge whether the student is committed, has the drive and will be a good fit.
B&B: Given the high attrition rates of top law firms, how do you determine whether a fresh recruit will stay at the firm for more than a year or so?
Juhi Singh: We try and understand the candidate’s goals and aspirations. If working with us is merely a stop-gap arrangement, then we discourage that. It’s very important that both the firm and the candidate are frank with each other. If they are motivated to learn and do interesting transactional or litigation work, they will stay and contribute to the firm’s growth. So, we try to understand what their short-term and long-term goals are. During the internship, when they spend a month with us, we try and interact with them and get to know them better
B&B: Can you recollect any interesting interviews you’ve had over the years?
Juhi Singh: All interviews have some interesting element – interviewing people with diverse backgrounds is always interesting.