Parley with Adv. Shhaurya Sah, Kashish Intellectual Property Group, Delhi

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Why did you choose to pursue LLM in the field of IPR? Why did you choose Queen Mary, University of London? How was your experience there?

We all know the present scenario of undergraduate law course prevalent in India. It is not only extensive but also exhaustive. But like any other student I developed my interest in International Law, Insurance and IPR. There were many factors involved in deriving my interest towards IPR in particular. The first and primary factor was attending a guest lecture on IPR by one of alumnus of Symbiosis Law School itself Mr. Rodney D. Ryder. The lecture was a real eye opener. I was in my first year and I was compelled to analyze the growth of IPR in the coming years in Indian market and elsewhere. Besides a prospective future in the Industry the other factor was that for me it is one of the most interesting subject.

Though I received bursary from another University, choosing Queen Mary, University of London over that University was not a difficult task. Few of my seniors from Symbiosis Law School namely Mr. Nilesh Sinha and Mr. Anuj Sehrawat who are also Alumni of Queen Mary, University of London had volumes to speak for this institution. The other factor is the IPR course that is offered here is outstanding; the faculties are one of the best in this field. In fact I have referred to the books written by these faculties as an undergraduate student.

The experience cannot be better than this. Being guided by people you look up to is an amazing experience itself. Besides this, Queen Mary, University of London has one of the best campus and halls of residence in London. There was a constant effort from the management to keep everyone busy and keeping in mind the volume of International Student it was made sure that we don’t feel left out in a new environment. There was always a new event coming up there. Later I also got a chance to work for an IPR firm in London. The tips that were provided by my mentor were very useful. I can only say that studying IPR from Queen Mary, University of London was the best decision I made.

IPR has evolved as a uniquely distinctive field of law and is consistently gaining momentum and opening up avenues for the young guns in the field of law. What are the opportunities awaiting a law student out of college interested in pursuing a career in this field?

It is very aptly put forth that IPR is consistently gaining momentum and opening up avenues for the young guns. It is a dynamic field and the progress in this sector is geometric. Since it is a field which is interlinked with media, technology, cyber world, brands and fashion industry, etc. one can only come to a conclusion that it is ever evolving.

Since it is linked with various fields even the opportunities in the coming years is going to be at par. One can always opt for IPR litigation. Besides this there are many other option not just for law graduates but also law graduates with science or other technical degrees. During the recent past we have witnessed landmark judgment in the field of Patents. The Pharmacy Industry, Engineering Industry etc. plays a very major role in extracting work from Law Graduates from technical backgrounds. In an IPR firm one can always start with prosecution and opposition matters.

How is the experience of working in an IPR law firm different from that of any other traditional law firm? Are there any extra skills that one must possess to be successful in this area of law?

Working in any niche firm is always different from working in a traditional law firm. It is the same for IPR firms. Things function in a very specialized manner in any IPR Firms. There is a clear demarcation of work e.g. Prosecution, Opposition, Litigation Enforcement etc. For securing a place in an IPR firms one should have a basic working knowledge of prosecution of IPR. Being an ever-evolving area the students must keep themselves abreast with the changes in the field. Besides this the most important thing is having an interest in this subject. It is a technical area and it is quite possible that students might lose interest.

Jobs in law firms are often perceived as being excessively demanding and stressful. Is this perception true? What advice would you tender to the young law school graduates to be able to better adapt to the ‘corporate lifestyle’?

The first thing to keep in mind is that it is not just a job in a law firm that is excessively demanding and stressful. Now-a-days job in any given sector is excessively demanding and it is true not just for law jobs but any other job. It is always advisable to utilize your vacations and try gaining work experience in any firm. Try to gain experience in a corporate setup as well as in litigation field. Do your permutation and combination well and you will realize that work is equally demanding everywhere. It is just the nature of work that changes from one setup to other and this this is perfectly normal and the students should not worry about this.

Once you will start your internships you are definitely going to find a field that attracts you the most. Try to work in the same setup and you will start enjoying that work and give you a clearer picture of what you should pursue upon graduation.

You hail from a ‘non NLU’ law school. Is there any inherent bias between the students of National Law Schools and other law schools while recruitment at law firms? Was overcoming this ‘stigma’ a daunting task?

Recruitments in law firm are never based on NLU or Non NLU law schools. The first thing that always matters is the quality of education that is being imparted at that University. A good education in turn is reflected from the quality of the students from that University. A good quality of student is in turn reflected from their work. Hence, it is very necessary to make a mark during your internships over your prospective employer. The alumni of your University play a major role in driving employers to your University. It is a vicious circle. University and the Students both play a crucial role in elevating each other’s standards.

Being an undergraduate from a non NLU and being an ex faculty of an NLU I have witnessed both the sides of the hedge. It has got nothing to do with having a status of an NLU. There may be a certain degree of biasedness among the recruiters but that is only restricted till the time they have seen the quality of the student from either setup of institution. Once this stereotype is broken there is no difference between an NLU and a non NLU. For this it is very necessary to make your presence felt in the law firms and build a strong alumni network.

Kindly share with us your valuable words of wisdom which would inspire our readers to make the most of their times in college.

I will always suggest everyone to make the best use of your time in a law school. As we all know that working in a firm is quite different from a law school education, it is necessary to gain experience in firms in the form of internship. This will not only help you in knowing the work culture of a corporate or other kind of setup but also help you identify your area of interest.

During these five years you should not just involve yourself into studies. Involve yourself into extra curricular a co curricular activities. Make friends and build your social network. It is a time to make friends and not foes. After you step out of you law school you will realize that our community is still very small as compared to other professionals out there. Somehow or the other you will come across a familiar face now and again. Attend lots of seminars and functions organized by other law schools. There is a lot more going on around you than your syllabus and your campus. Get involved in those activities and make your presence. And last but not the least be proud of your Law School. One day you will be the face of your Law School.

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