In Conversation with Dr. P.V. Saravanaraja, Advocate on Record, Practicing in Supreme Court of India
1) How law students should look at the legal profession?
Answer:- One must understand the importance and glory of the legal profession. When you look at the glory of this profession then you will observe the assets of this profession. Starting from Mahatma Gandhi, “The Father of our Nation”, even Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the longest-serving Prime Minister of our country, and even his father Motilal Nehru, and our first Home Minister of Independent India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and DR. B. R. Ambedkar the First Law Minister, the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and even the current serving President, Ram Nath Kovind they all belong to the same profession. So, it is not a mere profession, that one earns his/her livelihood, apart from that there is something else that is, responsibility towards the society, obligation towards a transformation that one makes for his/her country, so it is great accountability that one has on his/her shoulders. We all know that the custodian of the Indian Constitution, is the honorable Supreme Court. So the honorable Supreme Court judges, were earlier, senior advocates, before that, they were advocates, even before that they were law students like you people, so law students like you, are the ones who get enrolled tomorrow as an advocate, after due practice, law students like you, are the ones to get designated as a senior advocate, and then, law students are the ones who are going to occupy the highest position in the country. Therefore, the lawyers are going to be the future custodian of the Constitution so I request each one of the law students to remember that he or she will be one day or the other connected with the custodian of the Constitution so therefore this is a sort of responsibility that one must have before entire into the legal profession.
2) What are all traits and qualities according to you that make a great lawyer?
Answer:- There is not something like a great lawyer or a great judge, to become great, one should be a good human being first. If you are a good son to your parents, you are going to be a good brother to your siblings, and a good student in your college, then you will come out as a responsible citizen. That goodness if continued from childhood, then you will become a better advocate, and you will be understanding the pain of your client and, will do better research on the given topic and will be presenting it before the court, that’s how one becomes a good advocate. When a person is a good human being then he/she will become a good judge and will give justice to the people. So in my humble opinion, there is nothing greatness attached with a lawyer or a judge, the greatness comes from one's childhood, and it should be there in the mind. So good human being alone can be a great judge or a great lawyer that is what Dr. B. R. Ambedkar said, in the constituent assembly we have drafted the entire Constitution, but the good provisions of the Constitution may turn bad if it is going to be governed by the bad people, and even, bad provisions of Constitution will turn out to be good if it is governed by the good people. So, good or bad doesn’t depend upon the Constitution, it depends upon the person who governs the Constitution. Therefore, beginning from being a good son that will carry forward his journey if he is a good son to a family, then he will be a good son to the soil as well.
3) How was your law school experience?
Answer:- It was still if you ask this question I will go back to my school days, and college days, it was really good, because whenever we look at past, we feel young and we felt scared when we got scolded by our teachers for not doing the assignment. As far as my college days are concerned, I was always told by my seniors to aim at something bigger will make one big. So I always thought about becoming a topper in my university, securing gold medals. I was tired of that, so when we tried for something big like securing 1st rank in the university, we had the fear whether we would clear the semester or not thus, we would have given the best performance. Since I tried my best to secure a gold medal, but I secured 3rd rank in my university. And then, not only did I concentrate on my studies but also I participated in some moot court competitions to have experience as a mooter to increase my argument skills, so the opportunity was given by the university I utilized the same. So it's a request to the law students to utilize every possibility that they can do as law students and try to explore because making an attempt and ending failure is also a great success. But not attempting is a great failure so attempt if there is a failure you learn from that failure that is also part of success. So in our college days, we tried to utilize as much as possible, and now we are here in front of the present generation.
4) What all challenges did you face after a law degree?
Answer:- There are challenges throughout one's life it does begin from completing college and then entering into the legal profession. However, it is one sort of a challenge but life itself is full of challenges at each point in time. When one completes one’s 12th there is a challenge before him/her about the choice of college one will take up so once his/her entry into the college there is the biggest challenge of which office one will join. Even after joining the office when one will start one’s career as an independent advocate then the question arises after starting one’s practice where to put all name and money that is a challenge. And once he/she achieves that name and fame but still you have the challenge to retain that. So, everything is a challenge, each day is a challenge. But as far as the question is concern the first challenge is that you should choose the best office. The office with whom one is going to be associated. Choose the best office and try to learn the best quality from his/her senior and try to embody that. Reading books will not help us to go up reading books and retaining those good qualities re-applying it making it as a part of a habit in daily routine that is going to make changes. The real challenge is not only finding an office but the challenge is to find the client. So there are many challenges but still, I strongly suggest that one must have faith in himself and any challenges you face always take it in a very positive way. Don’t think the challenge is a problem you can see that challenge is giving an option to show your potential.
5) What is your wisdom and success mantra for a young professional? What message you would like to give to them?
Answer:- Success is different for everyone, for some advocates success is providing relief to their client, for some advocates gaining more knowledge is a success, while for some making money is a success. So success if you asked me to define, I would like to quote Abraham Lincoln former President of the United States, who had faced consequent failures in his life from his childhood, but ultimately he had reached the top position by becoming the President. I adopt the definition given by him he said, “success means moving from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm”, so every failure in our life should motivate us to move forward with enthusiasm that is the secret of success. So never lose your hope and have faith in yourself, that is most important.
~Interviewed by Golak Bihari Mahana