Updated: Sep 27, 2020
Pritha Mitra is presently working as an associate, majorly in the field of IPR and Media & Entertainment Law at Naik Naik & Co. She is an alumnus of Institute of Law, Nirma University and has interned at other such premier law firms of India, namely Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., AZB & Partners, Wadia Ghandy & Co. to name a few.
We got an opportunity to interact with her and got some major insights on how to get a life one always dreams about and how to live it to the fullest while being at it.
Naik Naik & Co. is a paramount full-service law firm in India, focusing on providing tailor-made, strategic and innovative solutions to its clients. The firm’s fundamental areas of practice include Media & Entertainment, Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial Advisory and Intellectual Property. With a great clientele at hand, they have dealt with carved a niche for themselves in the field of media, entertainment and dispute resolution.
Ms Pritha Mitra wishes to expand her horizon and is keen in matters pertaining to trademarks, copyrights and personality rights.
Why did you want to pursue law as a career?
Well for me, it was a choice of elimination. After I graduated school, I wanted to enrol for a Mass Communication course at St. Xavier's while keeping law only as a backup option. Destiny made me land in the world of law at Nirma University and I definitely don’t regret it. Such unplanned yet happy accidents are what life actually consists of.
How was your experience at a Law school and how did you survive those five years?
My law school years were an absolute delight! At times, I did question myself as to, “What is this place?!”, thanks to the non-stop assignments, seven-hour classes and having some really weird people around. But now that I look around, I feel glad to have experienced this phase as all of it taught me how to survive in a world outside the university gates. The so-called ‘real-life’!
In my opinion, one of the most important things in law school is to have true and genuine friends who’ll always be by your side. The ones who can help you, guide you and lift your spirits when you’re feeling low... I was extremely lucky to have such true friends by my side.
Along with that, make sure you balance fun and academics in law school so that you don’t mess things up for yourself and happily enjoy the two!
Have you ever participated in Moots or Debates?
No, I was never a student who participated in moots or debates or MUNs. I gave my all on my internships. My views may differ from other people but according to me, moots and debates can help you learn new subjects and improve your researching skills and give you more confidence but at the same time, I believe it is of utmost importance to understand the practicality of subjects, rather than just knowing them in theory.
I’ve seen students investing a lot of time and energy just to secure a moot, which is really commendable, but probably that just wasn’t for me. Although, I would definitely say that if you don’t crack it, the world will not come to an end.
How did you decide the major you wanted to pursue?
“Where can you find more drama than Bollywood?!” Media and entertainment is indeed a glamorous field which has always attracted me wherein one gets the opportunity to interact with the best celebrities, musicians, producers etc. Being quite a dramatic person myself, the field of Media and Entertainment law encapsulated with IPR laws was nothing less than a Disneyland for me. So, luckily it all worked out :p
Do you have any future plans?
Among a few of such plans, I would really want to guide potential students about basics of IPR maybe later in life, as it’s a very interesting subject and I would really want others to know and enjoy it in the same way that I do.
What were your Law schools goals?
I had three goals in my mind when I joined law school; the first one was to maintain my GPA above 8 through the 5 years of law school, second was to have lots and lots of fun in college and third (and the most important), I wanted to have a Pre Placement Offer in hand before I graduated. With these in mind and balancing out my life at law school, I got to achieve each one of them and I feel content today.
What was the stupidest thing that has ever happened to you in law school?
The silliest thing during my time at law school was that I failed in and elective subject American Legal System. Until then, I did not know how to deal with failure very well. But as they say, there is always a first time and so that happened. But I do find positives in it and understood that it is perfectly fine if you fail! The important thing is that you learn from it and keep moving ahead.
So I realised that it is important to know that life will keep throwing sour lemons at you but you’ve got to keep adding sugar to it and make sweet lemonade out of it! Things move on, and you should too.
Suggestions for law students who are planning to enter your field?
Intellectual Property is a very vast subject. For starters, it’s copyright, patent, trademark etc., but once AI and blockchain comes into the picture, it just keeps getting interesting.
Those who wish to pursue a career in IP or Media and Entertainment law, I want to advise them to gain first-hand practical experience in the field through internships. “Learning law is very different than actually practising it”.
Enjoy your law school journey, but also focus on gaining practical insights in practising law. Another thing that I would suggest students is read as much as you can. The pandemic will be a little challenging for you to procure good and valuable internships, but all you can do right now is try and learn new things, write articles, read blogs and don’t stress too much. Always remember, never be too harsh on yourself!
What do you do in your leisure time?
Since I am working from home right now, I don’t get much leisure time but whenever I do, I end up binge-watching Masterchef Australia for no good reason Haha!
Apart from that, I also love dancing. Being one of the fortunate ones, I got an opportunity to learn kathak during the lockdown, something which I wanted to since the longest time.
Which lawyer do you see as an inspiration and why?
I am a very pragmatic person and it is really hard for me to link myself with someone else. However, I admire a lot of people at my own workplace who give their 100% and push me to give mine. Despite that, if I had to name one of such amazing beings, then it would be Dr Virag Tuslapulkar. He is a very celebrated senior advocate at Bombay High Court and has been a part of various landmark judgements and the way he dissects copyright law is AMAZING!
What can law students do to make the most of this pandemic?
I am not the best person to advise someone on this but all you can do in this pandemic is to gain as much knowledge as you can. I understand that it’s really hard to get an internship currently, but right now you can work on your skills so that it would be easy for you to bounce back once the pandemic is over.
But you should always know and believe in yourself, that at some point you are better than others. If today you’re not doing something, that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be empty-handed. It's fine to chill sometimes if you feel like it!
Any advice to budding lawyers?
Have a goal in your life. It’s always nice to set goals because it's only when you achieve those goals will you have that sense of satisfaction which can probably never be compared with anything else.
Lastly, I would just like to add, “Don’t be hard on yourself, everything will work out!”