This post was first published on May 14, 2020
Dolly Thakrani graduated from Symbiosis International University in 2011. She has worked with the Hiranandani group, Thomson Reuters, KPMG, and now is a Senior Associate Writer with The Huffington Post.
Tell our readers about yourself
Hi, I am Dolly Thakrani and I work with the Huffington Post as Senior Associate Writer. I studied at the Symbiosis International University from 2006 – 2011.
I appeared for SLAT in 2006 and got selected in the first merit list with a good score. The entire legal journey was a cakewalk. I thank my parents for their constant support and guidance.
How would you explain SLAT (previously known as SET) as an exam as compared to other law entrance examinations?
SLAT is one of the first law school entrance exams to be conducted in an academic year, it gives Symbiosis an edge. It is relatively simpler as compared to its counterparts like CLAT and AILET. Symbiosis is also the first to release its results so it does not keep the candidates waiting. The process of selection is quite simple. Symbiosis releases three merit lists and if you prepare well and take the test sincerely, you do not have to worry about there not being enough seats.
When did you take the test and how was your experience?
I appeared for the SLAT in 2006. It was a combination of tough and easy questions, like most law entrance exams. It was a bit scary, considering the pressure, but at the end of the exam, I was quite confident that I would get through. After the test, I felt a sense of excitement seeing other aspirants discuss their papers outside the exam centre. I knew then that I had done well but I was keeping my fingers crossed.
What are the subjects involving SET?
It was an offline exam in 2006, and all aspirants thought that was better. The pattern of the exam, the number of questions all keep changing. But, the subjects are mostly Logical reasoning, Legal Reasoning, Maths and English. If you have an average level of preparation, even then you can have hopes of clearing the exam.
How did you prepare?
To be honest, I did not take it lightly.
I not only prepared, but I slogged. I studied 10 hours daily and even took a coaching class for it (something most people didn’t do in 2006) where I topped. That added confidence of topping my entire coaching centre gave me the confidence I needed to do well in the entrance exam.
I studied from exam guides and books of subjects like Logical Reasoning, Static Gk etc.
I kept in touch with fellow aspirants and worked hard on both my strengths and weaknesses as well as continued confidence-building.
The trick that worked for me is I analyzed different question papers to finally find a guide or study material from which questions are bound to repeat.
Editor’s note: Using a trick is good but young aspirants should not shy away from hard work. Read about how Dolly Thakrani studied for hours even after using this trick.
Which books did you use for SET?
I used the past year papers from NLSIU and study material from my coaching. In addition, I referred to the law guides which had most questions from past year papers.
Reading a newspaper daily and referring a few good books for reasoning was a routine for each day apart from past year papers and coaching.
How was the experience at Symbiosis?
Symbiosis is situated in Pune which is known as the Oxford of the East.
The University is a little expensive but is worth every penny. It has all facilities and amenities that you can think of, the food is great, the city is paradise.
I think Symbiosis is the best of all law schools, considering the all-round development of the students there and the exposure they get on campus. This is not just me being loyal to my college, I truly believe so.
Tell us about your law school life.
So many people explain the academics, I’d like the readers to know the life that Symbiosis (and Pune) has to offer.
Since Day 1, I knew that Symbiosis was going to be different, you will find students from all nationalities studying together, there was a gym, Zumba, and a food court which served diverse and nutritious food (these are my personal favourites, there are sports facilities, a huge library and much more).
There are many restaurants in the area, the place is very green and there is a vibe in the place, it is so young and so lovable.
On the academic side, there is the moot court, debate hall, study room, library and all the legal online databases that one can think of. There are a lot of bright minds on campus, both faculty and students included.
Tell us about your experiences after law school as a professional.
I got campus placement and you cannot demand more from the college (considering many students complain about bad placements in their colleges).
My first job was at Hiranandani. Life gave me a chance to meet Mr Hiranandani and work on the P.I.L against them. I was so young, and the largesse of the Powai office left me in awe, I did rather well there.
Next, I worked with Thomson Reuters, this was a great decision in the hindsight, the pay was average. I worked with KPMG after that where I took up clients such as Verizon, Walmart and Armani. The pay was better than Thomson Reuters by a hair.
All I can say is work hard so that you can be a hard bargainer and keep asking for raises, bonus, facilities and promotions.
What are your views on career choices after law?
There are innumerable options after law. If you work at a law firm for more than a decade, you will become a partner. If you study abroad, you have good teaching prospects. If you clear the AOR exam, the income is bountiful.
Bottom line is you have to slog and the breakthrough time is ten years after which you will taste the first scoop of success.
You can also become a judge or enter judicial services, you can follow IAS preparation with legal subjects.
Depending on your interests, you can work in corporate or litigation and do well.
How is working with the Huffington Post as a writer?
Huffington Post is great. It is one of the best-known magazines and newsletters in the market today. It is an honour to write for them.
Any regular day at work is challenging. I do press releases and blogs for them.
It has a good learning curve.
Parting advice for the law aspirants?
Law is the best profession.
Make a mark for yourself, whenever you switch a job or there is a milestone, do consult your parents. They have invested everything in your career and they might have pearls of wisdom for you. Cheers. Law is glamour, enjoy it!