April 16, 2021

With Himanshu Saini, on Online Legal Education

Himanshu Saini graduated with a B.B.A LL.B (Hons) degree from Amity Law School, Gurugram. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Legal Bites. We managed to ask him following questions.

How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

I specialise in Cyber Law and I am currently the Chief Operating Officer at Legal Bites. I was born and brought up in Gurugram, India. I did my schooling from Rishi Public School and graduated with a B.B.A LL.B (Hons.) degree in Law from Amity Law School, Gurugram.

Please tell us something about your pre-college life? What inspired you to pursue law?

To be honest, studying law was not my first choice.

I completed my primary education from a Rishi Public School, a Gurugram based high school. Pursuing my education from the Science stream pushed my interests towards engineering and the IITs but life does not always go the way you plan. Being unable to get into an IIT in the very first attempt was frustrating to me; it was quite the rocky ride with long nights, missed connections and lost friendships.

However, I am always eager to learn new things. I love programming and the potential of new technologies like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence excite me, I was pretty much obsessed with technology – this included programming, participating in hackathons and working with cybersecurity teams, etc. I knew where I wanted to go and I spent all of my free time doing the little tasks to get there.

I knew that a bachelor’s degree in law may feel very far from computer science but they both helped me in different ways. Since my father is a lawyer by profession, I was exposed to the ins and outs of the working of courts at a very young age, which has made me to choose Law for my graduation.

You have done your Bachelors in Law from Amity Law School, Gurgaon. Please share with us your experience.

What I have learned over the past 5 years in Amity Law School is the concept of rediscovering myself as a lawyer, as a leader and developing my organisational skills.

From completing the required courses for the major to extracurricular activities, internships and socializing, I learned important skills for employment such as time management and other essential on-the-job abilities, such as leadership and communication skills.

Amity Law School has exposed me to a wide variety of perspectives. The academics at Amity will never overburden you and you will get the time to discover and develop new interests and hobbies. All the efforts from my professors and career consultants at Amity helped me in my personal and intellectual growth. In fact, it was not until my graduation years that I was able to give my ideas a sense of direction.

During my 5 years of law school, I have frequently organised several events and competitions. I’ve improved my research and drafting skills by interning under Supreme Court and High Court advocates. I made sure to utilise the 5 years long law course in a productive and fruitful way.

Please tell us about ‘Legal Bites’. What prompted you to start? Considering it’s something different, what challenges did you guys face?

The idea of Legal Bites was envisaged by our founder, Mr Mayank Shekhar during the beginning of his law school days. With the aim to provide quality education and exhaustive materials to law students, Legal Bites works in close consonance with the contemporary demands of students.

We are not just like any other law platform limited to sharing events and opportunities. From offering critical insight into the concepts of nationalism and justice, democracy and social responsibility to the crucial topics of pollution and health, Legal Bites covers a wide range of indispensable subjects. The website also offers opportunities in the form of competitions, jobs, and events relevant to the legal fraternity.

The goal always was to provide affordable as well as quality legal education and shall always be. In this continuously evolving era, our traditional education systems are simply unable to keep pace with the ever-developing technologies. Even though this pandemic has put more emphasis on online education and courses, this dramatic shift in educational paradigm makes one wonder about the true relevance of mounting student loans, ridiculously high fees and the 3-4 years invested in getting a university degree.

Legal Bites is an economical and friendly website with content curated by the brightest legal minds. The content for all legal subjects and leading case laws is specially developed keeping the competitive job market in mind. We work tirelessly to provide great content which suits the needs of the majority of law students. We want to further our reach and want to meaningfully impact as many lives as possible.

Recently, one can find now legal education is imparted by online medium. Please share your viewpoint on the same.

During the ongoing pandemic, law schools and law professors are increasingly exploring online teaching. Law start-ups and law schools are making individual courses available online and many have created even online Master’s degree programs. Legal Bites is even bringing its new Test Series platform to make exam preparation convenient and affordable.

This new reality has raised important questions and theoretical challenges for legal education and the broader practice of law.

Online education can also impart high-quality education. The growth of online education cannot only help the legal academy to reflect on and improve existing practices but it also has the potential to expand access to justice by opening the profession to talented students for whom residential legal education is unrealistic and by expanding the number of legal professionals in rare communities.

As more law schools are moving towards online courses, in the coming years, it will be essential that educators build upon the work of this framework with further research on best practices with regard to online legal education. Law schools, law students, and legal professionals, all stand to benefit from research that considers whether outcomes for online legal education differ based on whether the instruction is offered primarily online or with a substantial residential component and whether it is offered primarily non-parallel or with a substantial live component.

What would be your parting message to our readers?

I believe that well-rounded legal professionals should learn from the people in their personal and professional journey. I feel very fortunate to have experienced so many terrific individuals in my life. Therefore to pick just one person would be a disservice. However, my family upbringing set the stage to be a constant learner. The fundamental value of always striving to be better by constantly learning from my experiences, the wisdom of others and personal reflection has been fundamental.

The philosophy of learning is entrenched in Legal Bites. It makes for a terrific culture. Rather than dwelling on our mistakes, we explore our challenges and use our learning to move forward. Every voice at Legal Bites has a valuable perspective. Personally, I am learning every day from the team. It makes it a very enjoyable place to work and it only makes us better every day. Legal Bites has also reminded me of how important it is to have a trusted and dynamic team that has a common goal of making the company better.

Remember to be patient and breathe through the unanticipated challenges which are going to present themselves with every startup. Every time every project started slower than I anticipated and there are curveballs I never dreamed of.

We are in an era where adaptability is one of the most important qualities that one should possess. Everyone encounters new tasks and new challenges every day. The best one always wants to be pushed out of their comfort zone. Having a mindset to learn a new topic or skill is a great sign of discipline, organizational skills, and intellectual curiosity.

The trend of searching and choosing the right way to study online through a trusted platform like Legal Bites was pretty new back in 2016. The trend of the launch of new law portals every day from various sources has really picked up since the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping that in mind, one advice for budding lawyers is not to run after what is in trend – always look for the future and what will be in trend after the next 5 years. Aspirants should always imply a futuristic approach while planning their careers.

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