In Conversation with Avani Pathak, Corporate Head at LiveLaw
August 28, 2021
We, at KnowLaw, got into an interesting conversation with Ms. Avani Pathak, the Corporate Head at LiveLaw. She has a lot of knowledge in her arsenal about various topics, which is not only limited to law. In this conversation, she will share her experiences as a Law Student and how she went on to become the Corporate Head at LiveLaw from a shy, young, and introverted child.
ShreyaGupta, KnowLaw – One word or even a sentence that describes you other than you being a lawyer or a corporate head.
Avani Pathak – I would say if there is one good word I would say “determined” I genuinely believe that all law students and aspirants should possess determination more than any other thing to excel in the field.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw – How did you develop an interest in the legal field, as most of the people choosing this field are ambiguous about their further venture. So why did you choose to become a lawyer?
Avani Pathak – That is a very good question. I have been in into reading since the age of 6 so once in the 9th standard I stumbled upon a book on Constitutional Law, of course, I will not say that I understood everything but I found it very interesting as it was the first time, I was reading something like The Constitution so I thought of exploring it further and that is how I decided to study law also no TV show played a role in the making of the decision.
However, I had no clue about the further available options after studying law. I had not even decided whether I wanted to become a Litigating Lawyer or a Judge or an Academician but I always enjoyed reading the subject. Just as a subject.
And since school times I was good in the social sciences and literature and studying law would mean getting to read a lot about the subject. So law made sense to me as I knew I would get to read and explore a lot.
Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw –All of us have different experiences at Law School, what would you say was your memorable anecdote at law school, a funny one perhaps. As everybody has a different kind of experience. An incident that will always stay with you.
Avani Ma’am– So, this particular incident I don’t know if it is funny, I think it is lame.
In the first year, in fact, I cried in the classroom in front of everyone in the first sem. In the History class, I asked a doubt our History Professor, who also happened to be one of the directors of our college. When started explaining and while she was explaining my friends began teasing me, I started laughing. This angered the professor. She was, in fact, one of our directors and I was scolded pretty bad, I wept for the entire day almost like a nursery student so yeah that was it.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw –What mistakes do Law students generally make while drafting their C.V?
Avani Pathak – Firstly, I don’t think it is the students who are at fault here. Colleges do not provide any knowledge regarding the same to their students. Whereas, this should be the first and foremost law students should be taught as if they are not able to draft a proper CV, how will they manage to get an internship? So, universities should take up the initiative to teach the students, how to draft a CV You really need an expert to guide you through the process. This is very important because the students will be applying for internships in the very first year and if they do not how to draft a cover letter or a CV how do you expect them to get an internship.
I know various online resources teach you how to draft a CV but not every student can invest their time and money in it. So, few tips that I would give are- keep it as simple as possible. A standard for every institution is that a Lengthy CV is not required at all. Remember to make no grammatical mistakes.
Refrain from putting your picture in it and make sure that you provide your contact information. Keep it as simple as possible. Make sure your contact information is correct so that the company can contact you as soon as possible. One page is enough but if you have extra information just try to wrap it up in two pages. So as far as the cover letter is concerned, the first step is to research the kind of organization you are applying for. Don’t apply blindly. If the problem of CV drafting is resolved we will see good CVs in the future.
ShreyaGupta, KnowLaw – How should a Law student determine their own area of interest?
Avani Pathak – To be honest, I am not the right person to answer this question as I was not much of a bright intern myself. I will say this with full honesty that I only wasted time in my internships in my first three years in law school. This was because I went to the office and I was blank as to what do I have to do. Even if I was asked to research I was not able to do it as I was not taught how to do that. The research subjects come in the 3rd or 4th year. That is when you are taught all that. I being a first-year student had no clue about these things.
I would say that as an intern, you should communicate with the other interns in the organization about how the organization works and what does the organization expects from the interns. Law students should also make a proper LinkedIn account and try to establish as many connections as possible. You will get to know what goes on in the organization that you are joining. That is really going to help in your life ahead. You will get to know the available opportunities.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw – Ma’am you have worked with a lot of organizations and now you are working with LiveLaw. Can you share your experience at Live Law with us?
Avani Pathak – As most of you might be knowing LiveLaw is a media organization. It focuses on hardcore reporting. I had a lot of job opportunities before coming to Live Law and I was still confused about which way to go. I was supposed to go to Singapore for pursuing a course. I also had a job offer from a leading firm in Delhi. I thought a lot before coming to a decision. Joining Live Law could’ve been a risk but could even be the best decision. I talked to a lot of people and they suggested that this is completely different from what you’ve done till now but maybe this is the push your career need. They said the other two options are standard options that probably everyone takes.
Somewhere I knew that this is going to be the best professional decision that I could take. The risk paid off well and I got to learn a ton of things. I’ve learned so many things that I never thought I would learn at such a young age. Live Law has no corporate negativity and thus it has had a very positive influence on my career and the things I have learned here are some things I thought I would learn in the next 10 years. It was a very refreshing and great experience. You should take risks sometimes in your life.
Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw –Everybody has a success story ma’am, so what would you say is the story that pushed you and motivated you?
Avani Pathak – Real experiences come only when you step out of your Law School. In your college, you are protected. Once you step out it is a different world altogether and not every experience is pleasant. Once you start working you are a blank sheet of paper because studying law and applying law are very different things. You actually start from zero. The organization nourishes you so you can become a good professional but initially you don’t know anything. You sometimes start doubting yourself as you are scolded so much.
There was this point in my life once where I felt I was good for nothing, but if you have good people around you, you realize that it happens to everyone in the beginning days. Everyone has to face difficulties. But I never gave up despite the negative feelings and I gave my best every opportunity I got. I realized if they have hired me they have trusted me with something and I should deliver it and not let them down. If
you stay strong in the initial days of your career you’ll become so strong that
no job would be impossible for you.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw –So Ma’am like you said, studying in a law school and applying law are two different things so how did you manage to bridge the gap between the two, and what was your experience?
Avani Pathak – One thing I always write about is that I decided to study law but never decided what to do after studying law. And I know this is the scene with about 90% of the law students. I thought 5 years is a long time I’ll somehow figure it out. But this is not the case. When you start reading more law subjects and work for a corporate firm or litigation lawyer you get more and more confused. One good and bad thing about our industry is the availability of so many options.
I have worked with law firms, NGOs, and whatnot, yet in Law School, I was confused about what I wanted to do so I decided to complete my masters then I would get two more years to figure out, but because I was not sure about law, I refrained from doing so. Somebody who is not sure what to do getting another degree does not make sense. Instead, I took one of the offers which I got after my LL.B. So, I would say that what I did was just going with the flow and I would thank my stars for all these circumstances. If I would have ended up doing L.L.M. I would still be lost after seven years and that would have been a very big blunder.
There are reasons why certain things happen to you be it professionally or personally. I went by the opportunities that came my way and after a year I knew what I had to do. The confusion that I had for five years was cleared after I started working in the industry.
Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw –We are all stuck in midst of a pandemic and our lives have come to a halt. We know how we attended our online classes. All the students are stuck in a messy situation. The biggest question is which internship to choose as everything is online. Will we be guided in the right manner or will it be a waste of time? We have no practical knowledge. So what is your suggestion and how was your experience.
Avani Pathak – You are asking about online internships I couldn’t even learn anything from the offline internships. I sat in the office for 10 hours and learned nothing still. I can totally understand your situation. I would say that some particular things don’t change in online and offline internships for example research. They’ll ask you to research and that is something you can do quite comfortably sitting from your home. When you take into consideration a corporate internship I don’t know how it is working out because if you are drafting something you will have a hundred doubts.
That might be very difficult so you can take up a piece of research information. You will have doubts about that too but not as much as you will face while drafting. So go for research-based internships as research will help you in any field you law you choose to enter into. One other thing the students can do is work on building your LinkedIn. Live Law happened because of that. Also, start writing so that you are noticed by people. If they are impressed then they may hate you.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw – What advice would you like to give to all the budding lawyers out there?
Avani Pathak – One thing I would say again is that never give up. Take every opportunity you get even if it is a small one. Don’t keep an attitude that I’m a law student why should I do this work. Doing any kind of work is very important. Some people make their career out of their internships. People may not understand your decisions but you yourself be confident. I will give a final parting message to the just-passed students that I know that getting jobs is difficult right now.
These are difficult times and nobody is getting a job it is not just our industry but every other industry. I know there are a lot of negativities around but trust in yourself, times are getting better stay confident as this is a part of your journey. There is nothing you can do about this situation but be positive and try building connections with the right people.
Pratik Banerjee, KnowLaw – So, we can say that we have learned a lot from this interview like taking that leap of faith is necessary and the most important thing is being confident and trusting yourself, and being positive.
Shreya Gupta, KnowLaw – Exactly as it Is said that if a door does not open for you, it is not meant for you.