(Ishaan Chopra is fourth year student at NLIU, Bhopal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last year, in July 2018, the Centre for Business and Commercial Laws (CBCL) announced the prizes for the 4th NLIU-Trilegal Summit on Corporate and Commercial Laws. My mind processed and captured three pieces of information from the poster put up by CBCL – a paid foreign trip, an internship at Trilegal and an Eastern Book Company (EBC) publication.
The above mentioned prizes definitely motivated me to write for the Summit but I had little idea about the intellectually enlightening journey I was about to depart on. To start with, I gauged the scope of legal issues and the themes that the Summit sought to cover. The theme for the Summit was “commercial laws” which effectively covered everything that was trending in the corporate law sector. After some preliminary readings, I delved deeper into these issues to zero down on something in my interest area. The indicative themes were insightful and guided my research into different topics.
The Summit’s wide range of themes provided by the summit gave it an edge over other similar summits and conferences which are organized in the law school circuit. One simply cannot jump into preparation for the Summit. Given the variety of themes and stiff competition for publication, brainstorming over prospective topics is a must. If one is in the Second or Third-year of law school, these readings will probably be their first exposure to a web of corporate laws that actually have widespread implications on various areas of our lives. Reading through various topics and researching on them actually helps us understand the complexities of these laws and even gauge our interest in the field. After choosing a theme, one must strategize on the structure of the paper and then begin the process of putting it into words.
None of the above is possible without setting out the objective and scope of your research. It is a sine qua non. And while you are at it, it is always a great idea to take research and drafting advice from seniors who are relatively more well versed with the developments in the field of corporate law.
The Summit ensures that all the effort put into research and drafting is appreciated, and sufficiently awarded. Each research paper undergoes two stages of technical review and is further reviewed by experienced lawyers working at Trilegal. After a rigorous assessment of the papers a total of 15 papers are shortlisted for the presentation at the NLIU Bhopal campus.
The lucrative prizes bring with them intense competition among the participants. It is this level of competition and the satisfaction attached to it, that has made law students (including me) across the country strive for the opportunity to present their paper at the Summit.
I was fortunate enough to write for the Summit and get shortlisted in the top 15. The next challenge was the paper presentation. The panel for the Summit consisted of Trilegal partners, academicians and reputed in-house counsels. This is because Trilegal truly ensures the presence of excellent panelists. The very idea of speaking in front of such experienced professionals for eleven minutes, on an issue they have a practical insight into, was daunting. I started my preparation by getting the basics in place. Subsequently, I developed a structure for the presentation and read up on the current issues pertaining to the presentation. This process helped me comfortably put forth my views on an issue of commercial laws and approach it with a commercial perspective. The preparation for the presentation involved focus on advocacy skills as well. Cohesion and eloquence are key to systematically presenting a corporate law issue, which should be a prime focus for all presenters.
Last year, Mr Sumeet Malik (Director, EBC) visited the NLIU Bhopal campus and inaugurated the Summit with his session on legal research for junior law students. The students were elated to be learning the basics of the simple yet crucial concept of research. His mantra to teach students not the law – but to think like a lawyer and to know where to find the law, has been extremely impactful on a personal level. This session was immensely beneficial for participants, the students of NLIU Bhopal and anyone else aiming to understand the art of research.
On the next day of the Summit, CBCL warmly welcomed the participants with hampers. I distinctly remember the first presentation that took place. The instant the presentation ended, there were series of questions that followed. Interestingly, the panelists were heavily inclined towards engaging in commercial realities of the issues raised other than the position of law itself. The audience and the participants were also keen on asking questions and the panel engaged in an interactive session with the students. This unique opportunity of interacting with reputed practitioners is another factor which makes this Summit one-of-a-kind. While the questions asked were intriguing, what grabbed my attention most was that the participants were thorough with their respective topics. The competition was tough and the panelists were all praises for the effort put in by the students. Additionally, CBCL arranged for scrumptious meals and additionally it was a great environment to network with peers from across India.
Even though my presentation was post lunch, I felt intimidated by the panel and my peers who had given excellent presentations prior to that of mine. During my presentation, the panel patiently heard my views and asked questions, which I answered on the basis of my preparation. The interaction was extremely insightful and my analysis and perspective were appreciated. The panelists relied on simplified examples to explain their practical experience to all presenters, including me. Post my presentation, I witnessed the remaining presentations of the Summit and asked questions, which were appreciated by the members of the panel and this resulted in me securing an internship with Trilegal. Having developed a keen interest in commercial laws by the end of the Summit, the internship with Trilegal was an excellent opportunity to further my interests and interact with the brightest minds in the field. In addition, the access to SCC Online and EBC Learning this year, will definitely set apart the winners from their peers and give them a real legal edge! In fact, even members of the audience were being rewarded for their active participation with merchandise and books courtesy of EBC.
The Summit was an excellent launch pad into the field of commercial laws and it was rewarding, not just for me, but several participants because of the meaningful exposure we got with an industry that a lot of us aspire to be a part of. The NLIU- Trilegal Summit is truly a “must do” experience for all law students interested in corporate law!