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"IDIA Is Like Family,Legal Career Can Be Truly Diverse": In Conversation With Yamuna Menon, NLSIU Topper

Akshita Saxena
29 Sep 2020 7:12 AM GMT
IDIA Is Like Family,Legal Career Can Be Truly Diverse: In Conversation With Yamuna Menon, NLSIU Topper
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Yamuna makes history by winning the most number of gold medals in the history of NLSIU

Yamuna Menon, an IDIA scholar from Kerala has emerged as the Topper from NLSIU, Bangalore this year. She belongs to Udayamperoor, near Cochin. An extremely bright student, Yamuna secured an overall percentage of 95.8% in her Higher Secondary School Examinations and he 28th rank in CLAT 2015. On graduating, she has been awarded the title of 'Best Outgoing Under-Graduate Student'...

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Yamuna Menon, an IDIA scholar from Kerala has emerged as the Topper from NLSIU, Bangalore this year. She belongs to Udayamperoor, near Cochin. An extremely bright student, Yamuna secured an overall percentage of 95.8% in her Higher Secondary School Examinations and he 28th rank in CLAT 2015.

On graduating, she has been awarded the title of 'Best Outgoing Under-Graduate Student' among others, and has been awarded medals for excellence in the following subjects: (i) Business & Corporate Laws; (ii) Torts Law; (iii) Public Law; (iv) Constitutional Law; (v) Contracts Law; (vi) Criminal Law; and (vii) Property Law.

LiveLaw: Who do you attribute your success to?

Yamuna Menon: I am unable to pinpoint one person. It's a combination of a lot of people who shaped me into who I am today. I think it's more to do with the supportive environment that I was blessed with. From my parents, school teachers, my CLAT teachers at Heritage classes, IDIA, my professors in law school and friends. It's their warm support and encouragement which helped me move forward with determination.

LiveLaw: What was your life at Law School like?

Yamuna Menon: I absolutely enjoyed my life at law school. I always knew I loved the place and I will miss it when I have to leave a place that was home to a lot of us for 5 years. And yes, I do miss law school now. It is also sad that I couldn't spend my last trimester on campus due to the lockdown.

Initially, I did have difficulties adapting to a new environment. However, NLS extends a great student support system through seniors and mentors. NLSIU opens up a variety of opportunities for law students. I did two international moot court competitions. Those opportunities allow one to meet new faces across continents, develop new skills as well as work in teams. I was also fortunate to represent India as part of the Youth Delegation to Nepal. Moreover, being part of Endeavour Leadership Programme in Australia was an enriching experience. I believe law school helps in accessing such unique opportunities in addition to furthering interests in areas of choice. For example, throughout my 5 years in law school I did associate myself with various research centres which work on competition law, labour law, environmental law etc.

The student committees are another major part of law school life. I headed the academic support initiatives in university and was also the chief editor for a journal. These are not just positions of responsibility, but they are opportunities to connect and network with a lot of people from the legal field and outside of it. In addition to this, being part of the University sports team was a great feeling too.

The people at law school defined my law school journey. My professors, staff at NLSIU and my friends played integral part in this. I am thankful to them.

LiveLaw: What is the importance of IDIA in your legal career?

Yamuna Menon: IDIA is like a family. You know IDIA is there for you always— that's the feeling. Apart from scholarship (I thank my university and IDIA for it), there is a mentorship that IDIA provides. When I reached my third year in law school, I had a professional mentor who helped and guided me on various doubts on legal career that I had as a law student. Since law opens up myriad paths before you, it felt better to have a mentor to discuss my considerations with. It is a great support system.

LiveLaw: Did you ever get a chance to interact with late Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer?

Yamuna Menon: I had multiple opportunities to interact with him and I remember those vividly. He was so energetic and that energy made every meeting lively. Even an email from him would carry that energy. I was also in the middle of a conversation with him regarding a recommendation letter (which he was so happy to write) for a postgraduate scholarship, when we lost him. I really miss those responses - 'Terrific' - which was so unique to him and shared multitude of meanings.

LiveLaw: How important are internships for a law student?

Yamuna Menon: Internships are compulsory in NLSIU from third year of study. I think getting exposure to wide variety of legal career options will help in getting greater clarity while going forward in law school. As internships help you experience a workplace first hand, you can judge for yourself if it suits you. Personally, I noticed many of us including me almost follow the same path and almost same set of internships because we have witnessed our seniors do it. However, there are diverse opportunities available at national and international level for Indian law students which are worth exploring. A bit of research on such opportunities might be a good way to approach internships from a fresh perspective.

LiveLaw: What are your plans for the future?

Yamuna Menon: I will be joining Trinity College, University of Cambridge, soon with a scholarship. I am excited to join Trinity College which shares a rich history of excellent alumni. I hope to study options on commercial law and international law. I would definitely try to gain international exposure with a focus on responsible economic development.

LiveLaw: What advice would you like to give to the young aspirants out there?

Yamuna Menon: Legal career can truly be diverse. This is because law is inevitable and integral to our everyday life. What we aspire from that journey is undoubtedly defined by that person. So, make it a unique one for you.

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