Mehak Puri, from the Batch of 2010-2015 has successfully cleared the Punjab Judicial Services Examination 2018 and obtained the 6th rank. She was the topper in her batch at AIL. She completed her LLM with specialisation in Criminal Law from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) Patiala and was the gold medalist in the same. She is currently pursuing her PhD from RGNUL. She has also cleared the UGC NET examination. She has been practicing in the Chandigarh district courts since January 2018.
TBP: Ma’am firstly, congratulations on clearing the Punjab Judicial Services Examination. You’ve made everyone at AIL proud.
TBP: What your motivation behind choosing law?
MP: Well, I belong to a family of lawyers. I’m the 4th generation lawyer both from my paternal and maternal side. My parents being Judicial Officers, you can say that the motivation behind choosing law started right from home. Even when I joined AIL, I was clear right from the beginning that Judiciary is the line that I’m always going to be aiming for.
TBP: How was your experience while you were in college? Are there any particular memories that you would want to share with us?
MP: Haha, if I were to start talking about the memories that I have from AIL; I would keep going on all day. AIL has a special place in my heart. From trying to make it just in time to reach the college 9 pm curfew, to spending our summer nights in the TOI, to hosting the AWES fest, AIL has given me a lot of colourful memories to cherish for my life. I am also indebted to my teachers who not only guided my when it came to academics, but also when it came to discussing any problem that I was facing and they tried their level best to help me in whatever way they possibly could.
TBP: Could you throw some light on how you went about preparing for the examination while balancing your college academics and extra-curricular activities?
MP: For me, I was clear from the start about what I wanted to do after college. After my third year, I became serious with my preparation. The Judicial Services examination requires an in-depth knowledge of the law as well as a sound sense of its practical application. I did take some coaching in my final year, however there is no comparison to what results you get with self study.
For me, I never counted the number of hours I studied. It’s always quality above quantity. If I knew that I had to study a specific topic, then I’d rest only when I was completely acquainted with it irrespective of whether it took me two hours or two days. This doesn’t mean that you compromise upon the effectiveness of your study. If I could study a topic thoroughly in even half an hour, then for me my daily goal was complete.
TBP: How do you think internships and co-curricular activities contribute towards the overall development of a law student?
MP: For me, I always knew that the Corporate side of law was never for me. So all my internships were with practicing advocates and judges. I’ve interned at District Courts, Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court as well as the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Such internships provided me with valuable insights into both the Bar and the Bench and the practical experience gained from them certainly added to my understanding of the law. It also helped me to develop the aptitude required for clearing the interview rounds of the Judicial Services Examination.
TBP: Lastly, what word of advice do you have for students still in law school?
MP: My advice to all the students would be to have as much fun as they can, but at the same time to keep a clear sight of their ultimate goal. These five years are going to be the most wonderful years of your life, however, make the most of them and have both fun as well utilise this time to accomplish your goals for yourself.