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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

An Honour-able Career

Brian Da Silva
Having an inclination to reading and current affairs, law was a profession that excited Brian Da Silva from childhood. Becoming an advocate seemed like the best profession one could have in Jabalpur to him. This acted as a driving force for him to join this profession and become a Senior Advocate in Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur. Brian shared some insight while talking to Brainfeed about the ‘then and now’ of the legal profession

How do you describe a typical day of lawyer?

It would seem like a boring day for anyone but for us it is pretty exciting as the day is spent by moving from one file to another. Morning starts by meeting a client, getting briefs from them or other lawyers. It is quite exhausting yet exciting for a lawyer to start his day by preparing for cases, either for the day, or the next day or for the near future.

What were the obstacles that you faced before coming into the field of legal practice?

I wouldn’t say that I faced any obstacles but I would like to call them challenges that I am sure every profession has. They are of different kinds. All we need to do is keep our focus fixed, have strong will power and work harder every time we are pushed back by these challenges. Hard work, perseverance and will power are the keys to achieve in life, whatever the profession may be.

The main challenge here is the competition to get where we want to be as there is always someone better; there is always a next one. So the only answer is to work harder.

What kind of activities or educational methods can teachers adapt to foster the students who are aspiring to become a lawyer?

One thing that has already been introduced in the curriculum is the ‘moot courts’ and if you observe the lawyers who are coming into the profession today, from day one itself they are prepared to argue the cases, they already have an idea about how to prepare the cases and how to present them. This is a difference from our times where we needed a lot of guidance and learnt everything hands-on in the field while shadowing seniors. Today’s lawyers are fully prepared from the initial stages.

So what the teachers are doing at present in the moot court is something really great and in this regard if something new comes out, that would be beneficial for the students. There are couple of universities I have heard that schools conduct exchange programmes for law students, which is a very good thing as it brings in exposure to law systems of different nations but it also needs to become affordable for the deserving students. Exchange programs can bring in new insights on how to prepare and present a case, how to study the case and come out with solutions, build strategies. A lawyer is almost similar to being a detective who needs to study all sides of a case and then come to a conclusion and then present his/her side of the case in the court. So studying thoroughly and reading habit is a must in this profession. Other than that I think already a very good job is being done.

Moot court is an extracurricular activity at many law schools where students participate in simulated court or arbitration proceedings that usually involves drafting memorials or memoranda and participating in oral argument. It is also known as “moot” or “mooting”

Are the challenges today similar to that of the past?

No, things have drastically changed over time and they have changed for the better. Students who are coming into the profession nowadays are better trained; they have a much wider outlook for the profession even before they have entered or joined. I would say that the competition today is much stiffer but healthier.
I think for any student who wants to pursue this profession, the first thing they need to do is cultivate or inculcate the habit of reading. If he/she is not fond of reading, this is not a profession for him/her.

The second thing is patience. Students pursuing law require a lot of patience because this is not a profession where you can be successful from day one. It takes a lot of time for a steady income to start and one has to be patient or he/she would have chosen the wrong profession.

What are the skills required in this profession?

The obvious skill is that one should be a good orator. Logic and reasoning should be at very good level or standard. The most important one would be the practice of reading and being familiar with all the current affairs and news. Reading newspaper creates a sound mind that is well versed with the proceedings of the nations and studies every story in a form of a case.

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