A Law Student in The Stanford University Business School: From Lawyer to Entrepreneur
It is no secret today that law graduates are faced with a plethora of opportunities where their legal skills are used extensively. Working for companies and as entrepreneurs is one such area. People today go to law school with a business ambition. Combining law with other skills has always been in vogue: whether that be with MBA or CA or CS. The author of this piece describes her experience at Standford University Business School where she went during the beginning of the third year of law school. Summer Schools are gaining more and more popularity in India. In lieu of an internship she honed her entrepreneurial skills.
This is her experience: I realized the importance and need of law in each and every area. This summer school was like a short MBA course of about 4 weeks where I got an idea of how and what happens in a management school. My classes were 5 days a week from 9 to 3 and then followed up with seminars, discussions and debate by and about successful entrepreneurs of the Silicon Valley. I got the opportunity to study under professors who teach the regular MBA batch at Stanford University. Teaching methodology encompassed case studies identifying what mistakes the company makes and the strategy through which companies succeed.
I got the opportunity to study legal topics in few case studies.One of the case study about Eron where the company breached legal provisions of Company Law and reflected complete failure of Corporate Governance. Another was Walt Disney- how because of one wrong clause in the contract he lost his whole business before he came up with Disney park. Other topics like registration and mandatory requirements of entrepreneurs while capital venture were funding them were touched on.
In the late evening we were divided in groups of five where we had to discuss the next days’ readings. Our weekends were also planned by the administration of the Stanford University in which we were allotted with different tasks where we had to use business techniques in practical ways.
One such task was rock climbing, where we were divided into four groups and had an activity in which everyone had to be involved and the time was allotted to accomplish that task. This promoted team building.
I had a mock interview where the professor sharpened my interview skills and provided guidance on my resume.
Towards the end we were divided in groups of 5 and had to give a presentation on the business strategy of a very successful company. My group did presentation on the 2020 vision plan of Coca Cola in front of 200 people. The task was to convince the audience that 2020 vision of Coca Cola is successful where the company have strategize in such a manner that they could earn profit along with social development.
At the time of discussion my legal skills helped me a lot as I was able to share my legal knowledge with regard to setting up a new business venture. Secondly being a law student I have been doing research and giving presentations from the first year of my law school so in my presentation I could add legal sphere which made our presentation different from others. As I mentioned above that my presentation was on Cola Coca the presentation included that case on Coke and the company suffered losses even abroad when Kerala had banned production of Coke.
There I met few people who were working in the law firms and had come to attend this Business school and their views were that the Business skills helps in teaming building, recruitment, strategizing which is must for a senior associate in a firm.
There was one who wanted to start a law firm of his own and his views were that this Summer School would help him to overview the account, statistic and how to approach clients.
There I got to know about 180 Degree Consultancy which is a student initiative undertaken by the Australian National University to give advices to the Non-Profit Organizations so that it could work efficiently. They already have 22 branches all over the world. I took the initiative to start the first branch in India.
Stanford Institute for General Management gave me overall exposure and helps me as a law student as well.
For the application process of this programme, I had to submit a research paper along with my application and three reference letters. I submitted a paper on the Role of Directors in a company as per Company Act, 1956.
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Nikita Hora is a fourth year student at Jindal Global Law School.