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Jindal Global Law School grad to Googler, Aprajita Sheel shares her lifelong tryst with law

Since a very early age, I felt tremendously inspired by law. Witnessing my father dealing with law and order situations, and serve the society every day, evoked a sense of awe and respect for the field. Raised in an environment where law was central to most discussions, the development of a legal aptitude was perhaps in-the-making long before I consciously pursued legal education. The key reasons that crystallised my plan to study law included: the vastness of the law and its applicability in our day-to-day lives, along with the constant learning opportunity. These factors continue to motivate me in my legal practice till date.

My journey with Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) began almost 10 years ago, and there’s been no looking back. After completing my graduation in 2016, I’ve been handling litigation matters and currently specialising in technology laws. The curiosity to learn about a variety of laws has taken me from running across various court corridors in India to gaining international court exposure, assisting law firms, and finally, finding an exciting role at Google.

Through five years of studying law at JGU, I observed a mini revolution in the development of effective pedagogy. Today, because of Founding Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) C Raj Kumar’s vision, together with the hard work put in by the faculty, students and administration, JGU has achieved some incredible milestones for such a young university. I am proud to call this institution my alma mater.

I hold great respect for all the faculty members who made conscious efforts to transition from conventional ways of teaching to encouraging students to develop higher order thinking. Be it core arts and law subjects or the wide range of electives that were offered to us, we were constantly moving ahead on the learning curve. The cooperative learning environment extended by Prof. Oishik Sircar (Sociology), Prof. Amit Bindal (Law of Crimes), Prof. Manasi Kumar (Contract Drafting), Prof. Indranath Gupta (IT Law), and Prof. Ajay Kumar Pandey (Rural Governance) amongst many other brilliant faculty members instilled in me a deep and lifelong appreciation. During my time at JGLS, I received a gamut of unique academic exposures including: being a part of research centres at University, attending summer school at London School of Economics, and a Teaching Assistantship under Prof. Gudmundur Eiriksson.

As our faculty encouraged us to intern from the very first year of law school, it gave us an opportunity as students of law to a get an insight into what it truly feels like to be a lawyer. I usually opted for non-normative internship opportunities that I am convinced helped me in bringing a transformational change and opened my mind to explore different legal fields. Even though my role as an intern with respect to handling matters was limited, the experiences were helpful in confirming my interest in law.

An exciting opportunity came my way when JGLS collaborated with the Supreme Court of Hawaii for a law clerkship programme. This was happening for the first time in India and I considered myself really lucky to be selected. It was one of the most enriching experiences to represent JGU/India in the US and work with outstanding members of the judiciary including Hon’ble Justice Sabrina McKenna, who continues to be my mentor and source of inspiration.

JGLS introduced me to some of the best peers possible, in the most conducive culture. A big shout out to each and every student of the Class of 2016 for being truly amazing! I think the culture amongst students at JGU is very positive and the value of “we” is commendable.

It was the little things as much as the big moments that made memories of law school utterly unforgettable. I remember one night before exams, some really talented students took night sessions to revise the courses for the benefit of all. Absolutely everyone from the batch used to be there. It reflected an empowering culture amongst students that prevails across JGU. Another cherished memory is from a time when I was elected as the President of Jindal Women & Law Society and the society planned to organise ‘Ethnic Night’ for the first time on campus. We sent out a mail requesting for volunteers and around 80 students from across all the batches and schools of JGU came together and helped the society organise the event. These incidents continue to have a deep impact in my life. So to aspiring young lawyers, I would say: all of us have a secret superpower—our mindset. An individual with a growth mindset can essentially have the power to stretch and stick to a situation even when it’s challenging; which I feel is extremely important and valuable for a lawyer.

After graduation, I started working with some of the most hardworking litigators in Delhi. It was a remarkable learning experience working alongside Mr. Tarunvir Singh Khehar. I was also retained by Dua Associates, which provided a very valuable organisational experience. Subsequently, I switched to independent practice wherein I was empanelled with various real estate and tech companies. Working as a part of litigation and corporate teams and then an attempt at independent practice has cumulatively helped me in identifying, analysing, drafting and challenging key legal issues in a thorough manner.

The decision to work as an in-house counsel came in furtherance of my interest to explore a variety of laws. I didn’t want to limit myself to one particular field of law and was convinced that an in-house role is more suitable for me. After several months of looking for opportunities and applying at various organisations, my job application was acknowledged by Google.

Between one lockdown to another, I appeared for several rounds of virtual interviews with some brilliant Googlers before it all culminated into a job offer. I am now working with Google’s legal team, wherein my role entails managing litigation in courts throughout India and advising on various legal issues in West Asia and India. The best thing about working with Google is the satisfaction of being associated with a great mission i.e. ‘to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. I am excitedly looking forward to this new journey!

During her time at JGLS, Aprajita Sheel gained extensive experience within and beyond law school. Hon’ble Justice Sabrina McKenna describes Aprajita as “a person of high character, courage, compassion, and conviction, a person who would do well in any endeavour”. Now working as a Legal Specialist with Google, Aprajita welcomes an exciting new chapter in her lifelong tryst with law.

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