It is true as yet, when a woman moves upward, before all career challenges and pathway ahead, the very first step is to step beyond the gender roles. One can clearly see the determination and self conviction that has made Ashima Mandla a revered name as a litigator in the apex court of India. It is hard yet to believe that the lady with an innocent personality and delightful smile is someone who has hustled vehemently for socially relevant issues like the Aadhar (right to privacy), the anti lynching bill and gender neutral sexual offences; reiterating the thought that the delicacy of women never did define the power within them.
A student of psychology who chose to pursue law as a career and claims the same to work as an added advantage specially working in the area of Criminal Law, reminisced her initial days as an intern with Mr. K. T. S. Tulsi, Senior Advocate and Member of Parliament, when asked of her aspiration ahead she had replied “I want to be a criminal lawyer and a politician” adding that “I aspire to be like you”, we can certainly vouch that she certainly has taken the pathway for the same.
While in discussion with the students, Ms. Ashima thoughtfully suggested that choose a career that bring you success as well as happiness.
Speaking over the topic of the day, Ms. Ashima emphasized on the necessity of oratory skills for law students by saying that ‘Law is one profession where you constantly sell yourself, so you’ve to sound sure & convinced of yourself, you cannot afford to sound unsure’.
On being asked by a student whether the content is more important or it’s the flair of speaking that is more relevant, she responded by saying that Law isn’t theatrics, your knowledge is of utmost priority but the way you convey that knowledge is equally important.
Displaying the psychology student, Ms. Ashima talked about the reasons people are often not comfortable speaking in public, putting it to an early experience of being constantly judged for making mistakes and the fear of reprimand but insisted that it is not difficult to get over those fears once we are able to assure our minds.
The 160 students in attendance had a plethora of questions on this very relevant topic of discussion and were answered patiently and emphatically by the speaker of the day.
Anas, a student of Indore Institute, asked the skills that are essential for a law students to make their career a more promising one, to which Ms. Ashima responded by suggesting to read bare acts, learning the interpretation of those and not just simply remembering the provisions, reading through judgments and being able to understand the legal intricacies.
Students asked several questions based on her journey as a psychology student to a successful lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.
Anuj Gupta, final year student of Indore Institute of Law concluded by asking for suggestions for final year students graduating and joining courts, how can they capitalize their skills in oratory.
Ms. Ashima gave a practically viable response, suggesting the students to not focus on money in the first 6 month of career, to not be exploited by someone but making sure to invest time in learning the work and honing your skills even if you are paid less. She emphasized on the importance of skills and reiterated that grades do not ensure good career.
In its entirety, the students had an inspiring session and learned some very important aspects in relation to developing themselves and approaching their future career prospects.
We thank Advocate Ashima Mandla for her invaluable time and the knowledge she bestowed upon all those in attendance of the session. We hope to have her association in future as well.