Bhumesh Verma- Managing Partner, Corp Comm Legal EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!! Answers 5 Frequently Asked Questions of Law Students!

Bhumesh Verma, Interview, law, lawyer, corp comm legal

ABOUT BHUMESH VERMA

Bhumesh is the Managing Partner of Corp Comm Legal, a New Delhi-based independent Indian law firm. In the mid-1990s, he began his career with Ajay Bahl & Co. (now AZB & Partners). He then became a partner in some of India’s most prestigious legal firms, including Khaitan & Co., Paras Kuhad & Associates, and Link Legal.

In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship by the United Kingdom government, where he studied at York College of Law.

He has strong connections with partners of many large, mid-size, and small law firms and other consulting firms around the globe, and is continually involved in inbound and outbound M&A transactions.

Bhumesh has written over 500 articles for a variety of print and online publications, including LinkedIn, IBLJ, Business World, The Practical Lawyer, and scconline.com. Bhumesh is an Adjunct Professor at a number of prestigious law and management institutions in India and abroad. He also provides workshops and training sessions on contract writing, negotiation, and corporate legal skills for students and professionals.

Bhumesh has written and edited books on commercial contract drafting and mergers and acquisitions, and he is now working on a few additional publications on various corporate law topics.

5 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY LAW STUDENTS:

1. Many students normally have a fear that since they are 1st generation law students their journey would be more difficult than a student whose parents are lawyers. What is your take on it and what would you say to them?

Bhumesh Verma: “ You would have seen some of the star kids making a debut in movies now and then. Do all of them do equally well? No. Only those who are talented and work hard make it big. The same principle applies in the legal profession.

Your parents may help you in affording an expensive college, getting internships, or the first few assignments (if you join your family firm), that’s it. Thereafter, you have to face the judge/arbitrator on your own, satisfy the clients/government authorities on a corporate transaction on your own – how can your parents help?

This debate is as old as the legal profession, I think. You need to have what it takes to be a good lawyer – your parents, background, heritage, and legacy may open few doors for you initially but you have to undertake the entire journey on your own. In the long run, you ultimately get what you deserve out of your efforts in life, that’s my experience.

I have been a first-generation lawyer too – had my fair share of struggles but I always admire the support I got from the fraternity. The legal ecosystem is quite fair to all – a piece of humble advice, stop complaining/anticipating problems and start working on your strengths.”

2. Today most of the law students are shifting towards cooperate sector because of the big salary they would get initially. There is a notion among the law students that if you join a law firm or a company you will earn money faster than if you choose to work under a senior advocate in a court. What are your thoughts on the same? And what would you tell all those students?

Bhumesh Verma: ” To me, this is a juvenile approach. On the contrary, in my limited knowledge, the most well-known, respected, successful, and richest lawyers are those practicing on the litigation side.

You need to concentrate on your skills – identify what are your strengths and weaknesses. Pick a path which you are passionate and enthusiastic about – not what you think or are told makes the most money.

Please understand that money is the result of your efforts and craft. If you are good at your craft, any practice area will get you money. If you choose a practice area due to your perceived notion about its monetary potential, I feel sorry for you. What if you were not to succeed at that ?”

3. In Law school there is a perception that the more the number of internships the better. Is it true? And many students feel that most of their friends get internships because of contacts and not merit due to which the students who truly deserve miss out. What would you say to them?

Bhumesh Verma: “ More internships may be better if you are getting exposure to diverse legal practice areas. It should help you in identifying your interests and strengths and enable you to choose your potential practice area.

Otherwise, just adding several internships doesn’t help you much. Almost every student can get good internship opportunities – contact your college internship cell, apply to firms directly or now even some good organisations help in placing students with good law firms. You don’t get if you don’t ask.

I feel amused at the concept of ‘deserving’ among law students. How does a student measure that she is deserving and someone else is not? Leave this to the recruiters’ judgement, shouldn’t you?

Imagine if your parents were to be in a position to secure a good internship for you, wouldn’t they recommend you or you ask them for it?  

Stop crying and cribbing. No one likes cry babies in this world.

If you don’t find a way, make one for yourself.”

4. During 12th standard, students come under this enormous pressure to crack entrance tests to get into top-tier law schools of the country but as we all know that due to limited seats everyone cannot get into it. What would you say to students who couldn’t make their way to the top law schools?

Bhumesh Verma: “ A college brand also helps you to an extent only. Isn’t there a difference between the student who stood last in his top law college and the topper from a low-ranked college?

As I said earlier, you get what you deserve in life. If you start and keep moving, you will reach your destination.

If you don’t get an elevator, go by stairs.

If you don’t start moving – just keep complaining about NLU / non-NLU, English / regional language background, first / tenth generation lawyer, you are just filling your mind with negativities and seeding complexes into you. If you don’t respect yourself, trust me no one else will.

Good students make their mark in whichever college they study in. If you don’t get admission in your desired college, you have to compensate for lack of it in the ways you can – read, write, research, intern, participate in moots, do additional specialization courses.”

5. Nowadays there are enormous online courses present on the internet which are being sold. It is high time that Law schools should start analyzing their syllabus/course structure so that students who are already paying law school fees, no more need to buy these online courses. What do you think? What would be your suggestions to Law schools?

Bhumesh Verma: ” I am engaged with some Universities as well as online education entrepreneurs as Guest Faculty / Hony. Professor, so my feelings are ambivalent on the subject.

Actually, there has been a huge void/gap between the academic knowledge imparted at Indian law colleges and the practical skills required to practice law efficiently. Some entrepreneurs are trying to bridge this gap by introducing online courses.

If your college is already imparting you practical skills by engaging with seasoned professionals in moots, workshops, specialized courses, etc. that may suffice.

However, sad but true, many colleges still lack this approach and they feel their job is over by delivering course-based lectures and organizing/participating in moot courts. Students of such institutions may feel the need to fill the void by going for online courses. However, it should be need-based, not for the sake of certification, under peer pressure or out of Fear of Missing out.”

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