Mr. Ajar Rab is presently a partner at the Rab & Rab Associates LLP based out of Dehradun.

He is also an International Policy Consultant at Lexidale, which is an international policy consultancy firm with offices in Israel, Netherlands and the Unites States. In addition, he is a non-resident expert at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

Before this, he was a legal consultant at the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited and a Researcher for the Task Force on Defence Modernization, Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India and has Drafted the ‘Inputs and Critique’ on the ‘Indian Defence Offset Policy.’

Prior to this he was an Associate at Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A.Shroff Company at Delhi and has played a key role in the Drafting of various Reforms and Bill. They are as follows:

  • Member, Drafting Committee, Law Commission of India, Drafted Legal Reforms in Criminal Procedure Code.
  • Research and Editorial Assistant, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, published a newsletter titled March of Consumer Law and Practice.’
  • Member, Drafting Committee, Karnataka State Public Service Commission, drafted ‘Legal Reforms for Selection and Recruitment of Civil Servants.’
  • Member, Drafting Committee, Knowledge Commission and Ministry of Higher Education, State of Karnataka, drafted ‘The Mysore and Karnataka Universities (Special Provision) Act.’

He has been awarded the Joachim Herz Fellowship Award for academically excellent international students of the ‘Bucerius/WHU Master of Law and Business. Also DAAD – Passage to India, which is Full scholarship to the Faculty of Law, University of Cologne, Germany.

Ajar Rab has been generous enough to share with us his exemplary journey in the field of law and policy making and has agreed to guide law students on how they must navigate through the recruitment process.

1) How would you introduce yourself?

I am lawyer who has his roots in a small town of Mussoorie. I like meeting new people and taking up challenges.

2) You have been actively involved in policy making? What drove you towards it?

It was a classmate and friend of mine, Raghuram Cadambi, at National Law School, Bangalore who first offered an opportunity to work with the Knowledge Commission of Karnataka. I took the offer knowing it will be a totally new area and something I may never get a chance to do again. As we worked, I realised how big a difference it can make. We realised we were drafting a law for the State. As lawyers, we only interpret the law and what the drafters had in mind. This time we were the drafters, and it was a very different kind of feeling and responsibility.

3) What would your advise to law students interested in policy making be? How should they go about it?

I would highly recommend that every law student should have a brief stint with policy making. One realises that it is mix of politics, bureaucracy, strategy, and of course, mostly your entire knowledge of law.

It is difficult to recommend how a student should go about it. Now almost every law school has an opportunity to draft or review policies. I think one should keep an eye out for such opportunities and grab them.

4) What is your take on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013? What are the challenges faced in implementing these amendments?

While the amendment fills the gaps in an archaic legislation, it is still a political knee-jerk reaction to satisfy the angry masses. Our police is so heavily under the influence of the State machinery and politicians that implementing any law is difficult. Also, I think our society somehow condones acts of men by simply saying “Men are always like this”. If we need a safer society for women, we all need to act together, we can’t just expect the law to take care of everything.

5) You are a Partner at Rab & Rab Associates LLP since 2012. What propelled you into establishing your own law firm?

It was my brother’s idea to start a law firm and we started our firm in 2011. Uttarakhand is a nascent State. There was no law firm here. Having worked at Amarchand for a year, coupled with my other experience, it made sense to build a professional setup here with the aim to provide professional and quality advice.

6) What are the areas of practice at Rab & Rab Associates LLP? What is the work environment like?

Originally the firm dealt with civil, criminal, service and family matters at the Trial Courts in Mussoorie and Dehradun along with the High Court at Nainital. One of the reasons I came back to Dehradun was because I believed my experience and qualifications could enhance the areas of practice. So I handle the corporate litigation and transactions. We have added members to our teams and now practice at Rishikesh, Haridwar, Laksar as well.

All of us at the office keep things very relaxed. It is a conscious effort on our part to keep our work life balance and keep the work life balance of all those associated with us, whether it is the support staff, or associates.

7) What is the process of recruitment at Rab & Rab Associates LLP?

Usually we prefer to have someone intern with us for a month but that is not to say that we don’t recruit directly if the applicant is meritorious.

8) What according to you is a good CV? That of a topper or a CV with extra-curricular achievements like moot court achievements and paper publications?

It is difficult to give a straight jacket answer about what a good CV is but for starters, I don’t think it should be more than 2-3 pages. Achievements at the school level aren’t really important unless there is something extra-ordinary. Students should pay more attention to formatting and grammatical mistakes as those things ruin the first impression.

I don’t think being a topper is the threshold required for a good CV. As long as the CV demonstrates experience or at least the ability to work in a team, to my mind, it is a good CV. While moot court and publications are important, what really matters is the versatility of the experience.

9) What do you expect from candidate during the interview process. Any answer that you have been particularly impressed with?

Confidence, composure and most importantly, honesty. There is nothing to be ashamed of in saying that one doesn’t know the answer to a question. Law is a vast subject, no one can have all the answers. In my experience, a little witty humour is always a good thing.

10) Your advice to interns at Rab & Rab Associates LLP on how to ace their internship in order to get a call back?

If the work is done with sincerity, then that is all that is required. Everyone makes mistakes, but if work ethic is strong so as to demonstrate that the individual attempted the task assigned with all seriousness, it is more than enough. Obviously, there is no substitute to good behaviour, efficiency and the quality of the work turned in.

11) Is there an opening at Rab & Rab Associates LLP presently? Where must candidates looking for job/internship opportunities contact?

We are looking for associates for the corporate practice and also criminal litigation. The candidates can apply to one of the partners directly.

12) Any other guidance to law students on how to gear up for the recruitment process and career ahead?

If you can demonstrate that you will be a fun person to work with and you have the basic intelligence and sincerity to complete your tasks, you will most likely be recruited.

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