Serving the Judiciary: Mohan Meena from the Class of 2017

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In a proud moment for the university Mohan Meena from Class of 2017 has recently cleared the Rajasthan Judicial Services examination 2018. He is one among the 35 new judges selected through the exam.

Q1. When did the idea of taking up a career in judicial services prop up?

Ever since I started my college at NUJS, the idea of Judicial services was in back of my mind. Although, around the end of 4th year I had made up my mind for sure.

Q2.What role did NUJS have in shaping your interest towards the judiciary?

NUJS showed me the mirror. My time at NUJS made it very clear to me that a career in a law firm, even in the short term, wasn’t an option for me. Similarly for further studies or litigation straight out of college. Thus it pretty much narrowed it down to competitive exams. I did think of UPSC . But considering that UPSC could potentially be a lot more time consuming for success, I narrowed it down to the judiciary.

Q3.What was your motivation behind appearing for the exam?

Pretty much the same as any student out of college- get a job! On a pragmatic level, I knew what career options appealed to me and which ones didn’t. So out of the choices I was comfortable with, Judiciary represented the best one. It gave me a chance to do something I wanted to do and was excited about! As students we’ve all read so so many judgements. It’s fair to say we very often did not agree with a few. In these situations you would tell yourself “ I could have done this right!” . The judiciary was the opportunity to do just that.

Q4.When did you start preparing for the judicial services?

I joined classes around September,2017. But the preparation started in all honesty after returning from my convocation in December.

Q5.Did you target only one state's examination or multiple states'? In case of multiple states, how did you change your strategies for each state?

The main goal was always RJS. I did take other examinations too , In MP and Delhi, but as a means of furthering my RJS prep. Kind of like how we all took CLAT. The main goal was always CLAT, we’d take the entrances for Symbiosis, NLU-Delhi as means of getting the “exam feel” before CLAT.

There weren’t different strategies for Delhi or MP, because I didn’t really have to change anything. The core subjects are always the same. Having achieved a satisfactory level of preparedness in them for RJS, it was always a question of just revision and a few minor tweaks here and there. So the local laws would obviously be different, there would be an element of GK in the prelims, but nothing that really required you to do anything too different from RJS.

For example, I cleared both MP and Delhi prelims by making these minor adjustments 4-5 days before the exams. Often putting the finishing touches in the train journey to these exams! This was possible because the base established for RJS was pretty good.

Q6.Did you opt for campus placement?

No. I was very clear that I didn’t want campus placement and that I would either take the UPSC or Judiciary. I did sit through the recruitment process for Pangea though, to get a firsthand experience of the process. In the interview, I made it very clear to the interviewer where my interests lie.

Q7.Would you like to give any tips or advice to the NUJS students aspiring to appear for judicial examinations?

Be honest with yourself and set a clear time limit for yourself. You have to be very clear how many attempts you want to give yourself and work accordingly. When you’ve set that, you need to be very focused and be prepared for atleast 6-8 months of putting the nose to the grindstone everyday. You need to cut off from being social just enough so that nothing gets in the way of your prep. So if that means putting the phone off , going off social media, hanging out lesser with friends. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.

Very importantly, take out 30-40 minutes everyday for some form of physical activity. Studying multiple hours for months at a time can cause you to develop aches and pains. In my case, it turned out to be pretty bad. So much so that I couldn’t do simple things like write! So don’t let it get to that. Take that bare minimum time out for yourself. It is something you can afford to take out.

Q8.Which books did you refer during your preparation? Did you start your preparation directly with text books or the bare acts? Are bare acts reading with landmark case laws enough for preparation or text books are quintessential?

The law is in the bareact. Books and judgements are all there to aid the understanding of the bareact. So it's not one or the other, but a combination of all three. Ultimately your understanding of the text of the law needs to be upto the mark. So the base needs to be bareact. You use books and judgements to clear your doubts, to know which parts are important. But you need to be very comfortable with the bareact. Your prep should centre around ensuring this.

The books are pretty much the leading commentaries on the subjects. MP Singh for constitution, Avatar Singh for contract so on and so forth.

Case laws play a part in helping you understand provisions. But you can’t be stuck with just the old landmark judgements. Personally, I would be abreast with the latest judements on India Kanoon, livelaw.com etc. to see if any concept/law/ rule part of my syllabus was discussed/ explained. If pertinent, I would take a copy of the judgement, highlight the relevant parts and add them to my notes.

Q9.What are your plans for the future and where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Giving a talk in NUJS which helps you guys get a couple of attendances before the debarred list comes out!

Jokes apart, I don’t really think that far forward. Through college and even today, I try to enjoy each day as it comes. So I don’t really have a target for the future as such. But broadly, I hope to keep working hard, be happy in what I am doing and god willing, always be able to help my family and friends.

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