Mr. Devansh Saraswat, Co-Founder of the LAW Learners and a 3rd year student of Gujarat National Law University on challenges faced in starting Law Learners. The interview was conducted by Hrithik Khurana who is pursuing law from GNLU and is also student ambassador at SCC Online.
Question 1: Hello Devansh, tell us something about yourself.
Hey Hrithik. Well, I am currently pursuing law from Gujarat National Law University. Presently I am in the 6th Semester B.B.A. LLB stream, and I believe I am keen to devote myself to Judicial Service in the near future. I basically belong to Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Well, I am an introvert who loves to Research, Write and Present Papers, lookout for new opportunities and come up with innovative ideas.
Question 2: Can you help us understand the vision behind the LAW Learners?
It all started with a serving the society and it continues to be so. There are a lot of ventures offering varied opportunities to law students, advocates etc. however it is hard to find a one stop solution. Further, all these ventures were somewhere charging a hefty amount, which we ourselves found to be quite unaffordable.
Wondering the same, we thought of a platform where people can learn the law for free, because we believe that education shall be at no cost. The basic idea was to acquaint the maximum population with the basic laws of the nation.
Question 3: What are the services/products being offered by the LAW Learners?
The LAW Learners is all about learning in an absolutely new and creative manner. We organize Free Certificate Courses without any eligibility criteria for a duration of a month. We have also tied up with various Professors to assist us in conducting the Courses. The basic idea is to impart free legal education to the maximum population. Further, we organize various Online Events time to time like Law Quizzes, Amendment Writing Competition, Legal Auction and the like, all of which are mostly free of cost.
Other than that, we have also launched the Indian National Law Review with various esteemed dignitaries on its Editorial Board. Our Internship Programme goes on round the year.
Question 4: How has been the experience so far? Also, can you highlight the challenges encountered by you and your team?
The experience of handling TLL has been a mixed blend of excitement, pressure, fun and thrill. We encounter many challenges but the vision keeps us moving.
One big challenge initially was to build an organization, as where we stand today. It was tough to make people believe that we do offer quality courses, despite no cost. However, we overcame the same once the Courses began and people started appreciation them.
The next challenge we believe has always been with us is to manage the workload. At times it gets really high and demands itself to be done within a short deadline. Further, organising various activities at regular intervals of two months adds up to the workload everytime. Building a customer friendly organization where we listen to you 24*7 is tough, which we had not thought of, however has always been a learning experience coupled with fun and that is what gets us going.
Question 5: We have learnt that recently you have incorporated a private company, could you please tell us about the reasons for taking the decision, the challenges that you faced and the impact that it has had on your initiative?
Yes TLL has now been incorporated as a company named “Lextum Legal Education Services Pvt. Ltd.” The reasons for taking the decision were multi- folded. First, we wanted to back up the startup with a separate legal identity, which in our opinion pays off by strengething the authenticity and reliability of the same. We wanted our customer base to expand in a rather more trustful manner. Undoubtedly, providing company certified certificates on the completion of the course serves as a plus point. Apart, increasing the number of members to the core team of TLL required registering the same as an authorised legal association, we just ruled out the idea of Partnership and went for Company.
Having discussed about the impact, I would say that good things require good efforts. Although company registration is paying back in a real good fashion, but at the same time, it comes up with so many legal compliance. Being the Directors, we wake up as Potential Criminals everyday. On every default, act or omission, rhere stands a penalty and a punishment, which seriously needs to be taken care of with utmost diligence. This somewhere takes up some of our time, but at the same time, owing to the benefits, we do not regret taking this stand.
Question 6: Isn’t it difficult to manage academics with the responsibilities associated with the start-up?
It undoubtedly is. No denial. TLL is the organisation that has the recurring cycle of 30 days. At every 30th day, we start over again. In between the ongoing 30 days, we manage the other events we host. Owing to the never ending work of TLL, I accept I cannot devote much hours to college studies. We (I and the other director) reinforce each other mutually by taking over all the responsibilities on one shoulder when the other has examinations. However, it is rightly said that if you choose it, you are not supposed to make excuses. So despite of managing both of them together being really difficult, we enjoy the work and the thrills that come along.
Question 7: What are your future plans for yourself and your start-up?
Well as mentioned, I am planning to go for PCSJ as a career prospect. TLL shall however be a permanent organisation. Nevertheless I am afraid it shall not be able to qualify as a full time work, because the services we offer are free and TLL does not have the insight of Profit making. Undoubtedly in such case, to earn the living invites a job and career :P. However that is for sure that TLL shall strive to provide and impart legal literacy as long as people keep showing their faith and trust in us.
Question 8: What will be your advice to fellow law students who might be having ideas for spreading legal awareness and for propagating legal education?
There isn’t any secret to being an entrepreneur in India. Try not to begin with something that is already there in the market. Try to come up with something that people call is ‘your innovation.’ Bring up something that is creative and new, this makes people love it.
Being a Law Student, acts as a bonus. You know the legal aspect thoroughly. All you need to put in is the delivery mechanism. There’s one thing that is luck and it does play a big role in an entrepreneur’s life. Even if you do not believe in it, you will be forced to, like me.
Hrithik: Thank you Devansh for such an insightful interview, we wish you all the best for your future endeavours.
Devansh: Thank you and all the best to you guys too!