In Conversation with NLSIU topper for 2013, Namrata Shah


The National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU) yesterday held its 21st Convocation. The ceremony had Law Minister Kapil Sibal deliver the convocation address, in which he reportedly encouraged lawyers to take up pro bono activities, and was presided over by Chief Justice of India, P. Sathasivam who is also NLSIU’s Chancellor. Bar & Bench spoke to Namrata Shah, NLSIU graduate, who received 16 gold medals.
Bar & Bench: 16 gold medals. That must be a record of sorts? How does it feel?
Namrata Shah: When I was told that I would be receiving 16 gold medals I was stunned. While I was expecting a few gold medals, 16 was certainly not the number I expected. After I received them and walked off the stage, the attention that I received overwhelmed me. However, it was the pride that my family felt which made the journey all worthwhile.
The haul of 16 gold medals is certainly a record as it is the highest number of gold medals awarded to a student in NLSIU. However, I am the second student to have managed this feat.
B&B: From backbencher in the first year, to "second row in the second year". What pushed you to make the change? More importantly, what kept you going?
NS: In the first year, I was still adjusting to the change and to law school generally. However, after recession hit in 2008, opportunities were dwindling and that made me realise that unless I pull up my socks I am not going to be able to achieve the goals I had set for myself or the ambitions I had. Accordingly, the first move in that direction was to be attentive in class and take notes diligently. I supplemented that with choosing to participate in extra-curricular activities different from others like being the Convenor of Finance Committee, accepting membership of the Disciplinary Committee for women and joining the Exchange Cell in college among others.
Once I moved ahead, my results also started reflecting the shift and my grades improved drastically. With the results improving, a lot more opportunities opened up and this kept me motivated. Since school, I was always hardworking but it was the recognition for the same that I received in law school which motivated me to keep going till the end.