“Trust yourself that you can do it and get it.”
– Baz Luhrmann
Mr. Shashwat Dubey has got selected as Civil Judge in the Chhattisgarh Judicial Services Examination 2019-20 and he got Rank 15. He is an alumnus of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur. UFLS congratulates him and presents his interview.
How did you gravitate towards the law?
It was more of a chance occurrence rather than a conscious choice. During my school day, I explored potential career options post-school when I came to know about the five-year integrated course in Law, which could be pursued immediately after 12th. While researching, I was convinced that it was a viable career option that was both challenging and rewarding. After that, I secured admission to HNLU Raipur through CLAT.
Did you focus only on academics in college life?
I was mainly focused on academics, though I did take part in a few MUNs, Debates, and Moots. I also had the opportunity of getting to know and interacting with some eminent legal personalities during my internships in various Courts and Forums. The law school offers an excellent opportunity to develop a dynamic personality by intellectually challenging you beyond academics through extracurricular activities. Every law student must explore these options to make the most out of their college days.
What made you choose to serve the judiciary; did you not get tempted by the fancy corporate jobs?
I never considered a corporate job as a viable career option for me. Monetary consideration was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to build my career around something that had to do with serving the people at a grass-root level. After graduation, while working with the Law Department of the Government of Chhattisgarh, I was briefly attached to the Raipur District Court as a legal researcher. Working closely with the Judicial Officers posted there made me admire the Judiciary institution. This was when I decided to be a Judicial Officer.
When should a person ideally start preparing for the judicial services exam?
Like any other competitive examination, cracking the Judicial Services Examination requires some dedication, time, and effort. So if you are still in college, you must start preparing the day you decide to be a Judicial Officer. You are never too late to start the preparation. What is needed is a few months of discipline and sincere hard work.
How many hours did you devote towards the judicial services in terms of your preparation on a daily basis?
As such, there was no fixed number of hours that I dedicated to my preparation. I used to set small targets for myself every week and tried to accomplish the same. What matters is the quality of the preparation as opposed to the quantity. As long as you are consistent with the preparation and have at least some discipline in studying, it would be best to get the task done.
What was your study pattern, the mode of study (online, offline, etc.)?
I started my preparation when I decided to be a judicial officer a few months after graduation. I mostly studied offline through books and bare acts, though I searched the internet for the latest case laws once in a while. For the preliminary examination, I mainly focused on the bare acts. I also practiced the previous year’s question papers, which proved to be immensely helpful. For mains, I took coaching in Bilaspur and did a lot of writing practice.
Any specific strategy for dealing with the various case laws?
I was subscribed to Live Law for updating myself with the latest case laws. For landmark judgments, I mostly relied on a book published by the Universal publication titled “Landmark Judgments.” I also looked into the previous year’s question papers from states like Haryana, where many questions are based on case laws.
How to clear judiciary in one attempt?
Cracking the Judicial Services Examination in one go needs a lot of devotion and hard work but is certainly possible if the right approach is adopted. What matters is the mindset of the aspirant during the preparation phase. One must not be too result-oriented as it may cause stress and may be counter-productive. Instead, the focus should be on enjoying the process of learning with the right amount of discipline and consistency. Some people are lucky to crack this exam on their first attempt, but that does not mean that those who cannot do so are less deserving. Even if one cannot make it on the first attempt, he/she should not feel demotivated. He/she shall certainly not give up the preparation. If you are honest and sincere in your efforts, you will succeed in achieving your goal sooner or later.
What if somebody has decided at the end of her college to sit for judiciary & he/she has to clear in one go? What your take?
I have met many people who started preparing for the examination months after their graduation and were still able to crack it on their very first attempt. However, this exam certainly demands some time. So my advice to those who start their preparation after college is to keep their focus singularly on the exam and never to sail on two boats simultaneously (job/practice and preparation).
Do you think that judges also have a social life and can be active on social media like supposing a person who loves to post travel stories and also had a dream for the judiciary in one go? He clears in one go but is confused so what could be your point of view if you had been in that person’s place?
To ensure the Judiciary’s Independence, the Judges are encouraged to restrict their social life and interaction with the public. They are certainly not barred from using social media. Still, they should avoid sharing their views on contentious issues. Doing so may create a perception of biases that may undermine people’s confidence in the Judiciary. Also, a Judicial Officer should not post anything on social media, which may jeopardize his office’s dignity. Once you become a Judicial Officer, you are expected to “be a part of society, yet remain aloof from it.” Suppose you are unwilling to make at least some compromises on your social life. In that case, Judiciary might not be the right option for you.
What would be your tips to those aspirants who are preparing for this exam?
Plan your approach and start working accordingly. Be determined, focused, and confident. Never forget that motivation only gives you a start; it is the discipline that keeps you going. Give equal weightage to all the subjects. Read and revise the bare acts thoroughly. Practice MCQs and past year papers for the prelims. Dedicate some time to answer writing practice. Reading one subject throughout the day may get monotonous, so instead, try covering small portions from multiple subjects. Also, do not forget to keep yourself stress-free by dedicating some time to your hobbies. Give your best, and success will eventually follow.