- How would you like to introduce yourself?
I am Avinash Krishnan Ravi. I am an Advocate associated with the chambers of Mr. P.H. Arvindh Pandian and Mr. Harishankar Mani in the Madras High Court. I am currently pursuing BCL at the University of Oxford with the Commonwealth Scholarship; Dr (Mrs) Ambriti Salve Scholarship and Bodh Raj Sawhny Memorial Trust Scholarship.
- Why did you choose to pursue law as a career?
Law as a career option is not something that I consciously chalked out for myself until halfway into class XII. I was a science student and most of the options that I had considered till mid of class XII were in the field of science. My parents had always suggested that I keep my options open before deciding finally. So, I observed few court proceedings, how things worked there and I felt good about doing it myself. By the time I graduated class XII, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I am quite happy with the decision.
- You’ve received full time commonwealth scholarship. Where did you learn about the same?
Once I decided to pursue my masters I did extensive research on scholarships available in the UK and certain university specific scholarships, and most of the information was available online. Further, I got a lot of insights about particular scholarships including the Commonwealth Scholarship from previous scholarship holders.
- You were offered the same scholarship at University of Cambridge as well. What led you to opt for Oxford over Cambridge?
In my scholarship application, I had specified University of Oxford as my first choice and University of Cambridge as my second. From the research I had done, I gathered that BCL at the University of Oxford is the oldest postgraduate law course in the English speaking world and is by far the most rigorous postgraduate course in law. Also, I had spoken to a few friends, who are alumni of Oxford as well as Cambridge and they advised me to choose Oxford over Cambridge in light of the courses I was interested in.
- You have co-authored a book with the Director of your University. How far has it helped you in enhancing your Resume? What do you think are the most important aspects for maintaining a competent Resume?
Yes, I co-authored a book titled “A Review of Laws Relating to Tourism in India” with Maj Gen Nilendra Kumar and Mr. Hitesh Bhatt, which was indeed a great experience. Working on the book with Maj Gen Nilendra Kumar, who is renowned author with a great deal of experience in legal writing, greatly benefitted me and I suppose Hitesh as well. Apart from adding to my resume, this also helped to shape my approach to legal writing and thought process, which enhanced my resume in more than one way. It gave me an impetus to pursue more on the academic front.
I don’t think there is any straight jacket sequence you follow to build a good resume. But based on my experience, I believe, to try and maintain a good balance between academics, extra-curriculars and internships, is the requisite for maintaining a competent resume. I think too much importance to scores in University exams should be avoided and efforts should be made to gain holistic experiences within 5 or 3 years of law school. Part time internships on a regular basis during law school help a great deal in achieving this. In my case, I interned part time for two years in the chambers of Mr. L. Nageswara Rao, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India which benefitted me immensely. What I learnt from Mr. Rao and his juniors has thus far helped me immensely in practice, academics and has in a great way shaped my approach to the legal profession. Apart from this, my work in the chambers of Mr. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Mr. Arvind P Datar, Ms. Geeta Luthra and Mr. P.H. Arvindh Pandian helped me gain wholesome experience in different fields of law and practice in different courts. The support and guidance I have gotten from everyone in their chambers has been immense. As for mooting and my publications, I chose both based on the subjects that interested me from a career perspective. Preparing and arguing problems and legal propositions based on these subjects gave me a good grasp over them and also valuable feedback from practitioners.
- Please enlighten us as to what should the current aspirants concentrate on for pursuing LLM at such an esteemed University and how to go about the Scholarship?
As I said, what is important is balance. If you have a balanced resume containing good academic performance, a few quality publications and good internships, then I guess that should be good for a LLM. As for scholarships, different scholarships have different evaluation and weightage criteria for a number of things ranging from academics to sports to leadership. People applying for these scholarships should look at the specific requirements of each scholarship and make an application accordingly. In general however, for all scholarships, the key is to have a good SOP. It is good to have references written by people who know you well and have worked with you for a good period of time to have assessed your capabilities reasonably. Further, I guess for the Commonwealth Scholarship, what weighed the most were my internships and my publications as most of the questions in my interview revolved around these aspects of my application.
- What is the field of specialization that you have chosen for LLM? What is the reason behind the same?
I have chosen 4 courses in BCL. They are Commercial Remedies, International Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Negotiation and Mediation and Constitutional Theory. I chose these subjects because the faculty at the University of Oxford is considered to be one of the best for these courses. That apart, I strongly believe that private law in India, has a lot to develop in the years to come, compared to other common law nations and learning practices of other common law nations on these subjects would serve well for my litigation practice. Constitutional Theory was a choice on passion. I have a great liking for philosophical study of constitutions and this subject gives me an opportunity to do that.
- What role has your institute played in this great achievement?
It would not suffice to thank my institute (Amity Law School, Noida) for that amount of encouragement that I received from their side. I was fortunate to have a good set of faculty who were extremely supportive, especially Maj Gen Nilendra Kumar (Director), CS Monica Suri, and Dr. J.S. Nair who shaped my thinking and guided me throughout my stint at law school, training me for moots, giving me comments on my articles, encouraging me to pursue my internships and helping me balance academics whilst engaging in several other activities. Further, I had some very helpful, guiding and encouraging seniors and friends, a few of whom, till today remain my mentors.
Also, I was awarded a 100% Scholarship for good academic performance all through my 5 years in law school which served as great encouragement to be consistent in academics. My college being located in the NCR counts as one of the biggest advantage that was thrown my way. The location made it extremely easy for me to manage internship opportunities.
- What are your plans after Post Graduation?
After post-graduation, I wish to come back to India and litigate in the Madras High Court. I would like to get involved in some academic and policy work as and when I get an opportunity to do that. I really look forward to working out policies to deal with pendency problems in courts, which today, is probably the biggest institutional challenge faced by the judiciary.
- You’re an inspiration for many law students. What message would you like to give them?
While it is good to have goals, not having expectations out of them helps – this is something several successful practitioners have told me, which I think I should pass on. Keeping options open, having wide horizons and having an open mind in ones’ approach to a career in law are helpful. Take every opportunity that comes your way and keep your focus. As long as you are good at what you do and you are willing to put in the hours, you should be able to do well in law.