Mr Pritam Ghosh completed his schooling in 2003 from Sri Aurobindo Institute of Education, Kolkata emerging as the topper of the humanities stream from the school. He completed his undergraduate education from Symbiosis Law School, Pune between 2003-08 with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws (BBA LLB). He was a part of the first batch of BBA LLB students at the law school.
Thereafter, he completed his master of laws (LL.M.- General) degree programme with a dissertation in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata between 2008-10. Since then, he has worked as a legal editor and subsequently as a full-time faculty member in various legal education institutions across India.
He was awarded the HENRY DUNANT MEMORIAL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP in 2010 by the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE RED CROSS (ICRC), SOUTH ASIAN REGIONAL DELEGATION AT NEW DELHI for achieving excellence in LLM dissertation.
During his undergraduate days, he had worked as a student researcher with the Maharashtra Chapter of the UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP INDIA) PROJECT ON ACCESS TO JUSTICE TO THE UNDERPRIVILEGED AND MARGINALIZED. At the school level, he had won prizes for securing one of the top three positions in some district and state-level essay and debate competitions. Further, he was also a district champion in Swimming.
His academic career has spanned over ten years and has been interspersed with national and international publications, paper presentations, administrative positions and event management. He is also towards the fag end of his PhD in Private International Family Law from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru.
Legal Bites: It is so overwhelming to know about the multiple roles you perform as a professor, career counsellor, advisor, administrative in-charge, how do you manage to do justice to all these roles so perfectly?
Pritam Ghosh: I believe that the 21st century is the age of multi-tasking. One has to be able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously for the sake of professional development and career advancement. Further, I bring my legal and managerial skills into play all the time to ensure that I serve all stakeholders associated with me and my institution.
The other secret to it is that I love and enjoy what I do as donning the supervisory and counselling hats have always my primary goals in life. In fact, the more confused my immediate subjects i.e. the students are, the better it is for me as I feel that I am performing my primary duty best when I try to bring them out of the state of confusion.
Legal Bites: Human Rights is one of your core focus areas, where do you think India’s position in terms of Human Rights Law stands and where do we still lack?
Pritam Ghosh: Contrary to popular belief I would say that India’s position in fostering respect for human rights and following its international and domestic human rights obligations has improved considerably in recent years. Successive governments have shown concern for the underprivileged and marginalized over the years and have moulded and implemented their laws and policies accordingly.
Probably the only dark period for human rights in Indian history was the emergency period barring which adoption and implementation of human rights law have been overall satisfactory.
Legal Bites: According to you how much importance does a career coach play in legal education today since professional choices under the legal field have also diversified?
Pritam Ghosh: A career coach in the field of law plays the same role that a physician and medical counsellor play for patients. Diversification has led to confusion about career choices when it comes to the field of law. A coach should have thorough knowledge about all the career options available in law before even beginning to think about counselling people in the field of law.
A coach has to analyze and look into the background of a student, fresher or early career professional and advise about the future course of action that the student or professional should follow. Further, it is important to remember that these days people approach career coaches after having gained a certain level of knowledge already about the various career options available in law.
Thanks to technology, information about such options are readily available at the click of a mouse or touchpad along with the option of online interactions with experts from the various avenues of law. Hence, all that a career coach has to do in the contemporary era is to suggest the best possible avenue among the available options to the mentee looking into his or her background, areas of interest and work already done.
The importance of a career coach in the 21st century, therefore, lies in being a guide, mentor and advisor rather than being a coach. Playing the role of a guide will allow enough freedom to mentees to make their own informed rather than random choices thereby keeping the sanctity of the advice intact. The idea is to make mentees feel liberated to make their own choices from a wide variety of available options rather than them focusing only on one career choice.
Legal Bites: Considering the ongoing pandemic and online classes, what is your opinion regarding the impact it has made on the lives of the students?
Pritam Ghosh: I think online classes and the online mode of learning has had a considerably positive impact on the lives of students. Many students who were introverts and felt reluctant to open up and voice their opinions inside a physical classroom have started doing so on a regular basis in the online mode. Further, this mode has also helped both students and teachers of all ages to become tech-savvy individuals. This is particularly true for aged and experienced teachers who did not have enough exposure to technology previously, before the pandemic.
Legal Bites: What is your opinion on the recent trend of “Webinars” as the new trend of learning?
Pritam Ghosh: Webinars are an excellent way of learning about the unknown in every field including law. However, initially, at the onset of the pandemic, there was a lack of focus on quality and more importance was being given to quantity. However, for the last few months, the opposite is true as everyone has now realized that the real objective of organizing webinars is to give additional information to the audience which is not disseminated on a regular basis in the classes. Hence, currently, I see the focus shifting from quantity to quality.
The audience has also become extremely selective in attending only those webinars which they feel will result in value addition to their knowledge. Everyone is now focusing on webinars mostly related to their areas of specialization and areas of research interest rather than attending just about any and every webinar.
Legal Bites: Any message you would like to convey to our Readers?
Pritam Ghosh: I hope that my interview becomes a useful read for prospective readers. My message to the students, freshers and early career professionals in the field of law would be to dream big and to work tirelessly towards achieving those dreams.
Law students and freshers should develop a daily reading habit even if it is only reading a daily English newspaper. They should try to achieve fluency in the English language as that is the backbone of law and the mantra to become a successful legal professional. Further, improvement of research and drafting skills on a daily basis is absolutely mandatory as both make a legal professional powerful and successful in life.
My message to my contemporaries and seniors in the field of law would be to join hands together to make the legal profession the most sought-after career for all and also to work continuously towards the improvement of the standards of legal education and the legal profession generally.