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From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns
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From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns

Aditya AK

Over the last few years,  Working Title has chronicled the lives of law graduates who have dared to go against prevailing trends, and follow their dreams. These columns are proof that having a law degree does not necessarily mean you have to practice law.

And yet, none of those we interviewed have regretted “losing” five years (or three) in the study of law. On the contrary, each of them believes that learning or practicing law has enriched them in some way.

Below, we pick four of the most-read Working Title columns published so far.


Shifting world-views and altered states: Ruchika Sukh

From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns

Past: Amity Law School – K&S Law Partners – EA International – Rainmaker – Johnson & Johnson

Present: Intuitive Healing Coach

Challenges are always a part of the journey. They create discomfort and psychic heat, which is required for growth.

What she does

“[On hypnotherapy] It is a scientifically acknowledged psychological and therapeutic discipline. Simply put, hypnosis is a ‘trance’ or an altered state of aware consciousness. You feel extremely relaxed, pleasantly calm, receptive to suggestions and are able to access deeper memories.”

Making the shift

“Overcoming the insecurity was liberating. The pay-check was actually a tiny challenge compared to continuously living in uncertainty. Challenges are always a part of the journey. They create discomfort and psychic heat, which is required for growth. My choices have been borne from my intuition [and] as I grew up it was natural for interests to change.”

How the legal background helped

“I interacted with some of the best legal minds in the world, understood how various organizations and leadership structures worked, picked up legal and business skills, gained experience in counselling, interviewing, consulting, analysis, investigation and training. Over this period, I had many realizations about human nature and our constant quest, which unconsciously laid the foundation for what I do today.”

Lawyers on the Ottoman

“These lawyers were facing varying degrees of unpredictable reactions at work, verbal abuse, excessive or unreasonable criticism, controlling authority structures, etc. These can affect a person’s sense of self-worth and obviously be a cause of stress, triggering many modern diseases.

Lawyers make very interesting clients because they make you become very thorough with your work. They do their research before coming and like to be aware and more in control of the process.  Another distinguishing trait is that lawyers generally prefer talking as compared to listening. Many tend to ‘understand’ their emotions than simply ‘feeling’ them. Connecting them with their deeper feelings is a challenge at times.”

[Read the full Working Title here.]

Two lives: Satyajit Sarna

From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns

Past: NLSIU, Bangalore – S&R Associates – Amarchand Mangaldas – K. Datta & Associates – Chambers of Neeraj Kishan Kaul

Present – Writer, Advocate at Delhi High Court

Would it have been better for me if I had spent all that time focusing on my day job? It’s a moot question. I can’t help that I want to write.

On what he does

“Writing a book is not easy. Sure, there are days when the words come flooding out of you…but there are many days when nothing at all comes to you. Sometimes you have to stick it out and keep putting words on paper or on your screen till they start making sense. If muses exist, they are capricious and ungenerous creatures and need to be dragged kicking and screaming from their caves.”

Making the shift

“When I graduated from NLS Bangalore in 2008, I was following what I thought was my dream of being a corporate lawyer. I joined S&R Associates in Delhi – which is a great firm. But, much as I liked my bosses, the friends I had made and all the perks of the corporate law firm lifestyle, I was fairly sure that securities law was not my future. And of course, on weekends, and at night, I was writing – fragments, scenes, scraps.”

How the legal background helped

“Being a lawyer by day and a writer by night is not the easiest thing in the world, but I am really thankful, because law is a profession that offers you enviable flexibility and an incredibly nourishing level of interaction with the world. I have heard stranger stories in courtrooms than I have read in the wildest fiction. If the realm of literature is characters in conflict, then there are few better places to look for material than in the courts.”

Groping at immortality

“At the end of it, when your book is actually out and people are reading it, you have to deal with expectations and insecurity. You will let something which is part of you out into the world, and maybe the world will mistreat it, but you have to be okay with that.

Was it worth it? Would it have been better for me if I had spent all that time focusing on my day job? It’s a moot question. I can’t help that I want to write. At a very human level, I hope to leave something behind, something that speaks for me, a grope at immortality, and until I know better – writing is how I can hope to do that.”

[Read the full Working Title here.]

Keeping it reel: Pallavi Rohatgi

From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns

Past: ILS Pune – Nishith Desai Associates – University of Michigan Law School – Ropes & Gray (New York)

Present: Founder, Humara Medialabs

Short films seemed like the logical way to foster a community, create solid networks of talented filmmakers by giving them a consolidated platform

What she does

“Humaramovie.com is a creator and owner of quality content catering to the new generation of media consumers. Our vision is asset creation (ownership of content) and distribution through new media (online, mobile, live streaming, pay-per-view). Think of it as Netflix, which is just a trading platform, having an asset base of HBO to back it up!”

Making the shift

“I did a few courses in short story writing and photography in New York. I had met a producer during one of these classes and she told me that with my legal background, production might be a good space to get into for two reasons: there is a lot of legal stuff that a producer needs to be aware of and you would bring unique project management skills based on your deal management work. The idea just sort of took off in my head and things just fell in place. I enrolled in a film making intensive course at NYU and I haven’t looked back since.”

How the legal background helped

“I believe the practice of corporate law teaches you some transferable skills, like managing impossible deadlines, managing people to get everything in place for those impossible deadlines, ability to put in long hours without losing your concentration, understanding the needs of your clients and the importance of communicating up and down the hierarchy, and most importantly not losing your cool when things go wrong.”

Promoting Indie in India

“After having worked in the indie film space in New York (the Mecca of indie filmmakers), I wanted to create a similar community in India. One evening, a few friends and I were talking about the lack of a cohesive indie film making space in India. Short films seemed like the logical way to foster a community, create solid networks of talented filmmakers by giving them a consolidated platform to showcase their work and generally bring forth the young talent of India that are out there, but who don’t necessarily get the one big break.”

[Read the full Working Title here.]

I fought the law: John Daniel

From the Archives: Four of the most-read Working Title columns

Past: NLSIU Bangalore – Furniture off-loader- Rambler

Present: Musician & Music Teacher

Your life is short and should be filled with memories of things you have loved.

On what he does

“I teach music mainly to adults. I do teach music to children but only when I’m sure that the child wants to learn and is not enrolling because the parent has enrolled the child for a music class as just another extra-curricular activity. When adults pay their fees, they tend to ensure they get value for their money. This means regular attendance and practice at home. This helps them get more out of my course.”

Making the shift

“I felt alive when I left law school. I was invited to France to be the best man at a friend’s wedding. I backpacked through France for about a month. In about a week, I had spent all my money and so my friend’s uncle set me up with odd jobs in his furniture factory. So I was a graduate of NLS, off-loading Belgian trucks bringing in Indonesian furniture to a French warehouse in La Rochelle. So I guess leaving law school enabled me to become a rambler and I think that in turn helped me focus on my music”

Intro riff

“Well, my first guitar teacher was my mother!  I studied music in the Calcutta School of Music under Carlton Kitto and had played in a couple of bands for a few years before getting into NLS. At NLS, I was happy to be a part of the committee that worked on the first Strawberry Fields music festival back in 1998.

I was in the class band in college as well as in the college band. We participated in a lot of intra-college competitions as well as inter-college competitions. My former drummer and I were quite kicked when we won the Mount Carmel [College] fest and a bunch of girls sent us flowers!

On a final note

“Law is a great foundational course. Studying law, however, doesn’t mean that you have to be a lawyer. If being a lawyer is what you really want to be then you should try really hard to be one. But if you want to do something else in life, pursue that with everything you have. Your life is short and should be filled with memories of things you have loved.”

[Read the full Working Title here.]

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