Manoj Menon is presently a Partner at Dua Associates. He has been a Partner at Dua Associates since 2001 with a brief stint as Partner at Tatva Legal from 2010 to 2013. Before this, he has worked at and has also been a Senior Associate at Arthur Andersen.

Manoj Menon is an alumnus of the 1996 batch from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He has generously agreed to share with his extensive journey and guide law students through their career paths.

1) When asked to introduce oneself, what would you expect a candidate to say?

While there is no hard and fast rule, an introduction at an interview is generally meant to give the interviewer an understanding of the candidate as a legal professional as well as a person. It is helpful to know the areas of law that interest the candidate as well as interests outside law. The views of the candidate on why they feel that they are a good fit for the organisation would also be relevant.

2) You were a Senior Associate at Arthur Andersen, how was it to be associated with a firm that was once counted as one of the big five accounting firms? What was your role in the firm?

I count my stint at Arthur Andersen as possibly the most defining phase of my career. Apart from the fact that it was an extremely enjoyable experience, one fact that set it apart from other institutions was the sheer supremacy of meritocracy within the system. This instilled a belief in all employees that anything was achievable. I was part of the indirect tax team at Arthur Andersen.

3) Interestingly, you had a brief stint at Could you tell us more about it? was an ICICI owned travel portal which was headed by an erstwhile partner of Arthur Andersen. The e-commerce space was still very nascent then and it seemed like an incredibly interesting opportunity at that time. The team was extremely talented with people like Jerry Pinto heading the content division. Unfortunately, we were about five years too early! While I had a very short stint at, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I made some very good friends. I left in 2001 to join Dua Associates.

4) How did you go on to become a Partner at Dua Associates?

I joined the Bangalore office of Dua Associates in 2001 and moved up the ranks into partnership. The Firm has a structured performance based system which focuses on grooming associates along the partnership track.

5) What is your advice to students who want to pursue a career in the corporate law field? How should they prepare themselves?

In my opinion, the best way to familiarise yourself with what you are getting into would be to do as many placements as you can with law firms. Most law firms have placement programmes for law students which help students to understand the various facets of corporate law. In many cases, students who do well during such placement stints are offered permanent positions by firms.

6) What is the work environment like at Dua Associates?

I feel that the work environment at Dua Associates is one of the factors that differentiates it from other firms. The Firm works on the principle that as professionals, discipline must come from within and there is no need to police individuals. Professionals of the Firm are trusted to be true to the Firm and its clients and this in turn results in people putting their best foot forward.

The Firm also has a very decentralised system with partners being given the opportunity to build and grow their own practices. This in turn results in associates getting exposure to varied kind of work and also a chance to be involved in every facet of a transaction.

7) What is the recruitment process at Dua Associates?

The Firm works on a team based structure on the basis of practice area and each team is headed by a partner. Partners periodically hire persons for their respective teams on a need basis. The Firm has certain criteria in terms of remuneration and experience for different positions and all proposed appointments are run through the HR department before an offer is made.

8) Do you prefer candidates that come through referral? Is there a college preference while recruiting?

While there is no set standard, a referral always helps in the case of a candidate who has prior experience, as it gives you more insight into his or her strengths. In case of candidates who are fresh out of college, I believe referrals carry little or no weight. We do not have a college preference while recruiting.

9) What according to makes for a good CV? That of a topper or one with extra-curricular activities?

Personally, I like a good all round CV. While what you have studied at law school gives you a base, you spend the first couple of years of your work life re-educating yourself on the practicalities of implementing that knowledge. In most cases, you have to hit the road running and so, one of the things we look for in a candidate is the ability to adapt and learn quickly.

10) What do you expect from a candidate during the interview process? Any answer you have been particularly impressed with?

Honesty and confidence go a long way in making a good interview. While a CV gives you a broad idea of the candidate, you get a better understanding of a person when you sit across them. I once interviewed a candidate who had applied for a position much later than his batch mates. When asked for the reason, he replied that it was because he had failed a paper in his last semester and had to retake that exam. His honesty was truly refreshing and the fact disclosed by him had no bearing on his interview. He subsequently went on to work with us and was an asset to the firm.

11) Any advice to interns at Dua Associates? How can they ace it in order to get a call back?

Many times, lawyers at the firm get busy and are unable to give as much time to interns as they would like. We have had a few interns who took the initiative to walk up to partners asking for work and invariably these persons ended up working on assignments. If you work diligently on the assignments handed out to you and show an eagerness to be involved, you will certainly be noticed.

12) Is there an opening at Dua Associates presently? Where must candidates looking for job/internship opportunities apply?

There are always bound to be openings at one or more of the eight offices of the Firm! The contact details of the different offices of the Firm are available at and candidates can send in their resume to the email adresses specified there.

13) Any other advice to law students gearing up for the recruitment process?

The interview plays a vital part in the recruitment process and many times recruitment decisions are taken based on the impression that you leave behind. It pays to be prepared and to be able to answer queries on every aspect of your CV. Keeping your answers crisp and to the point always helps. Finally, relax and be yourself. It’s just a job!

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