The landmark judgement delivered by the Supreme Court of India on the Right to Privacy included contributions from two of our graduates. ... more
The Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India has identified ODRways, a mediation platform co-founded by 4th year NUJS student Pranjal Sinha, in the list of 12 ADR agencies across India which will help government departments in reducing their burden of cases through out-of-court settlements. ... more
In the second part of our series on entrepreneurs of NUJS, we speak to Tanuj Kalia of Lawctopus fame, and hear his story on how he created the first-of-its-kind website that caters to law students across the country. Tanuj speaks of how he noticed a vacuum in the system regarding information on noteworthy opportunities in law schools, and decided to pursue it, “From the beginning of college, I noticed of how none of us, including me, would share information of exciting competitions that we’d come to know of. Also, information about getting your article published in a good law journal seemed hidden away and proprietary to some good seniors. I thought this wasn’t healthy”.
While speaking to his parents about his career in middle school, Tanuj realised that there was family consensus that he should do something in the writing field. An introvert throughout his schooling at St Mary’s, Tanuj bagged the top ranks and impressed its audience with his flair for writing. His father brought home some tests for NLS, and they poured over it together. “My father told me that lawyers had to do a lot of writing-related work. I saw that the tests were heavily subjective, required a lot of writing and had very little math, and that suited my interests. I decided that law would be the thing for me”. After the decision making point, getting Tanuj into law school became like a familial mission. Accompanied by his father, Tanuj moved to Chandigarh from Sundarnagar (a town in Himachal Pradesh) for two years to attend the LST coaching centre. Finally, the endeavour was successful, and Tanuj gained admission into NUJS.
He had enormous expectations from the university, and admits to having been a bit let down by the infrastructure at college. In addition to that, he realised that this was a highly competitive arena, “When you’re from a small town, it is easy to be exceptional at a lot of things – especially at school. It is only when you enter college that you meet people who are better than you at things you were actually proud of, like writing, and academics. It was a quite a reality check”. He admits to having felt a little lost in his first year, overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities offered by NUJS. There was a multitude of experiences, committees, societies – all novel, and all that offered different opportunities and different experiences. As time passed, however, he found himself settling in. “If you asked me what I miss most from college, it’d definitely have to be my friends. It’s very difficult, post-college, to keep in touch with everybody. We’re all busy with our own working schedules and commitments. It’s a drastic shift from having your friends live down the corridor from you, like in college”.
Tanuj had been freelancing at Legally India, and had founder Kian Ganz act as mentor, giving him feedback on his write-ups and tips on interviewing skills. He holds both the website and the founder in great esteem, saying that they were a huge influence in his own journey with Lawctopus. In addition to his association with Legally India, Tanuj also wrote for Bar and Bench. In his initial years at college, he’d been an active member of a community on Orkut called ‘Legal Internships in India’. All these experiences formed the background of him starting Lawctopus. The idea of Lawctopus came to him while suffering from a bout of chickenpox.’. The two weeks of complete bedrest at his maternal grandparents’ home in Chandigarh gave him time to mull over the idea of a website made exclusively for law students. He jotted down the ideas at the back of a book, and started pitching the idea to his peers when he returned to college. Drafting a 1700 Word document on his ideas and sending it out found him an agreeable group of friends who went on to become the core team at Lawctopus. As Tanuj describes, Dhruv [Mairal], the tech-savvy member, was appointed to set up the website, Prateek [Bhandari]was the numbers guy who had a knack of producing doodles which went viral, Debanshu [Khettry] played the role of the reliable best friend to whom one turned in crisis, while Naman [Gupta] worked on establishing contacts across law schools in India.
Presently, all the other co-founders hold various jobs in law firms (and the army, that’s Naman), and are not directly associated with Lawctopus. Their friendship had to stand the test of diving into a start-up, but has come bobbing up safe and entirely intact. Tanuj talks of their moment of crisis when the breakup of the website’s shares had to be decided. “It’s next to impossible to separate your personal equation with the person you’re also working with. After all, you’re interacting with the same person. The decision of the ‘shares’ was a strained period for all of us. Not in the long term, of course. But it was a trying time. The fact that our relationships survived is just love and understanding. You hear of so many stories of start-ups that broke down because of disagreements among the founders”.
On a lighter note, Tanuj describes the moment they discovered that they wanted to call their website ‘Lawctopus’. Amidst a discussion on ‘good names’ in the legal sector and ‘fabulous internship opportunities’, the talk went from TRIlegal to PENTagon and eventually shifted onto ‘Paul the Octopus’ – the world famous mollusc that had an uncanny knack for correctly predicting the winner of matches. Someone in the room put together law and octopus, and Tanuj and Dhruv jumped at the name ‘Lawctopus’. Since then, the name has stuck.Tanuj had to manage everything towards the end of college, and says that even in his final year, he had not imagined that this website would become a full-time occupation for him. Today, he has 200+ campus leaders across universities in India that contribute towards the content on the website. Officially, however, Lawctopus is a small unit, with one member for content and one for the tech area.
Recalling his college days, Tanuj talks of a workshop he attended while in first year that he describes as the best course he’s ever attended. It was conducted by Open Space, themed ‘Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights’ and panned over a week. “It had two wonderful facilitators; I even remember their names because it was absolutely fantastic. A lot of people signed up for it from my batch” he says. Among his official courses, he remembers ‘IT Law and Copyright Law’ as something he’d been very interested in. “Even though I flunked in that course, I thoroughly enjoyed attending and learning Jurisprudence,” he says.
“I didn’t invest much in my academics from my third year, because that’s when I started Lawctopus. In hindsight, I really shouldn’t have let my academics suffer, although at the time, it was a conscious decision. It’s my biggest regret,” he laments.
Among his newest ideas, an extension of Lawctopus is NoticeBard, which attempts to go beyond the law student audience, and go into other streams as well, including medical and engineering. The challenge to this addition, as Tanuj sees it, would be to create a brand name for NoticeBard to gain traction from other areas of study. Apart from his devotion to Lawctopus, Tanuj enjoys catching up on movies and hopes that he can return to playing cricket more often like his childhood and college days.
The public interest team at Increasing Diversity By Increasing Access (IDIA) comprising of NUJS students has successfully obtained a stay on slum demolitions in Kolkata’s Subhas Sarovar area. ... more
Making giant leaps in the startup industry, NUJS has produced an impressive set of new generation innovators, all of whom are changing their fields of work in unprecedented ways. Today's story is of Saiyed Anzar Abbas, founder of CLATapult and a class of 2013 graduate. ... more
The Student Juridical Association launched its own official app NUJS SJA today during its annual Investiture Ceremony. The app is currently live on all mobile platforms. ... more
With this achievement, NUJS has secured victory in both the competitive events organised by the Vis East Moot Foundation in a single year. ... more
The University has released a call for applications for ten academic and two non-academic positions ... more
The story of Anoop Kumar is a reiteration of the values of equity and social justice that our institution was founded upon: where who you can be has nothing to do with where you come from. ... more
NUJS tops the placement tally among the premier national law schools. A record number of students opt for litigation and higher education. ... more
The student body brings out a primer for all the young aspirants joining the University this year. Intended to be a basic guide, it is meant to help you pack, plan and prepare for the your first week at the law school. ... more
With the win, the participants have secured an internship offer at the Secretariat of the renowned International Arbitration Centre in Singapore, apart from prizes worth over INR 1.5 lakhs. ... more
Toppers from previous years at NUJS go back in time to bring you some fresh advices on how to ace the exam on the final day. ... more
On behalf of the student body, we applaud Aditya for taking the unconventional road and challenging the stereotype about the avenues available after law school. We congratulate him on this phenomenal career decision and wish him the very best for all his future endeavours. ... more
Recruitment carries on throughout the fifth year and at no point do we feel that Day Zero in itself constitutes the end of the recruitment process - rather it represents much more the beginning of it ... more
In addition to the Runner Up trophy, the team also bagged the Best Memorial awards for both the applicant and respondent side. Eariler, the team had won the national rounds held at Delhi beating NLU Jodhpur and RMLNLU Lucknow. ... more
It is designed to cater to the ever increasing demand of the industry for managers who have good grasp of business law, corporate governance and transactional law and can manage legal resources, and to enable learners to make the grade in their professional career. ... more
ODRways has been recognized by Google as the 'Socially Most Innovative platform in 2015'and listed in the 'Top 10 Social Ideas of 2016' in Tata Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. The initiative has also been supported by judges, lawyers and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) organizations such as Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Center of Advanced Mediation Practice (CAMP), Delhi Dispute Resolution Society (DDRS) ... more
The standards set by this year's graduating class is unmatched and unprecedented among Indian law schools. Earlier this month, five of our students had been offered admission at Harvard Law School. We take this opportunity to congratulate all our brilliant achievers.... more
In the aftermath of the recent political upheaval in UP, the NUJS theatre team presents its first Hindi play गँड़ऊ ग़दर (Gadau Gadar), an adaptation of Kashinath Singh’s famed work ‘Kashi ka Assi’ ... more