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Arindam Bhattacharjee recently became the first IDIA scholar to be placed at a law firm during campus recruitments. The fourth year NLIU Bhopal student accepted an offer from Khaitan & Co after getting three other offers on day zero. In this interview with Bar & Bench, Arindam talks about his journey through law school and the difficulties her overcame to become a success story.
Bar & Bench: Take us through your journey to NLIU Bhopal.
Arindam Bhattacharjee: I belong to Berhampore, a town in Murshidabad district in West Bengal. My father is an ex-public prosecutor there. I had no idea about CLAT. There was no one to guide me while preparing for the exam. A few months before the exam, I came across the CLAT brochure and applied for the examination. On the NUJS website, I got to know about a new initiative called IDIA.
Bar & Bench: In what ways did IDIA support you?
Arindam Bhattacharjee: I never took any financial assistance from IDIA. They guided me with a step-by-step method on how to prepare for the exam. They helped me crack CLAT and I secured a place in NLIU, Bhopal. During my college life, IDIA helped me in securing internships at prestigious organisations and also provided me with a counselling session from Vahura on how to face a job interview.
Bar & Bench: How were your law school days? What were the difficulties you faced?
Arindam Bhattacharjee: The basic problem that I faced was the competition from students hailing from metropolitan cities. They had excellent communication skills, and were exposed to great schooling while I was not a very outgoing person.
Apart from this, I also want to talk about internships. I had no references and hence could not secure good internships during my initial years of law school. So, I had to start from scratch and learn to improve my communication skills and try to get internships myself. I had to rely on help from my seniors. Basically, during the initial years, I felt I was at a slightly disadvantageous position as compared to my peers..
Bar & Bench: Was Corporate Law always your first choice?
Arindam Bhattacharjee: Initially, I was not aware of corporate laws due to lack of exposure to it. My first interest was actually Humanitarian Law and I had a keen interest in becoming a human rights lawyer. Later, I developed an interest in Corporate Law as my exposure to the subject grew. Internships at various law firms helped me develop this interest. As a result, I focused on interning at law firms, and eventually it became my career choice.
Bar & Bench: What was your reaction to landing the Khaitan job?
Arindam Bhattacharjee: At first, I couldn’t believe that a prestigious organisation like Khaitan & Co was offering me a job. I had always wanted to work with a big law firm like Khaitan, but I could never get an internship there! When the faculty co-ordinator of our recruitment cell announced that I had been selected, I was first really surprised and then relieved. Apart from Khaitan, I also got offers from two prestigious law firms and a corporate house.
Bar & Bench: What advice would you have for law students from a similar background?
Arindam Bhattacharjee: I would advise IDIA scholars never to lose hope. When you reach law school and meet other people, you will feel that you are starting from different points. But if you focus on academics, put the right amount of hard work and are sincere enough, no one can stop you from achieving your goal.