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Rhodes scholarship India goes to NUJS’ Mihika Poddar, will focus on law, social justice

NUJS gets yet another RhodesianNUJS gets yet another Rhodesian

NUJS Kolkata 2019 graduate Mihika Poddar has been selected for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to study in Oxford University.

Poddar commented: “Looking at the profiles of previous Rhodes scholars had made me believe in the scholarship’s potential to equip them with the tools to make tangible social change. I cannot wait to begin my journey and hopefully follow their footsteps.”

She added that she was looking at taking the BCL in Oxford, and would broadly want to work around issues of law and social justice.

NUJS student juridical association (SJA) said in a press release:

In her span of four years at NUJS, Mihika Poddar has served as the Associate Member of the NUJS Law Review. As one of the leading members of the NUJS Legal Aid Society, she has worked extensively on the Policy for Rights of Transgender and Gender Diverse Persons. She has also served as an active member of the NUJS Gender and Sexuality Forum (GSF). In her second year, she was also a semi-finalist at the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot 2015. Besides, she has authored several papers on law, society and public policy.

Also selected for the Rhodes is former Kings College London University law student Shruti Iyer, though it is understood she is not currently pursuing law.

Note: As far as we’re aware, no other Indian law students have been selected this year. Please update in the comments if you know someone else, however.

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1
Like +28 Object -9 Alumna 21 Oct 18, 20:27  interesting  top rated  controversial
Wonderful news! This is the best way to respond to haters and negative coverage, through positive and praiseworthy accomplishments.
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2
Like +51 Object -29 Dhodes scholar 21 Oct 18, 21:39  interesting  top rated  controversial
looks like after same-sex marriage, homosexuality, indigenous rights and domestic violence in the last four years of rhodes this years winning theme is transgenders! Can anyone get the scholarship by being truthful (I want to work in BigLaw!). Its getting tiring listening to these canned responses, like a beauty contest.
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2.1
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Like +15 Object -19 2017 Rhodes Scholar 22 Oct 18, 04:18  controversial
Hi,

I would respectfully disagree with you. The very purpose of the Rhodes Scholarship is to find people who meet the 4 criteria that the Scholarship is intended
to reward. At the heart of those criteria lies the belief that the chosen scholar should possess the moral force of character and energy to help empower
marginalized sections of society. That is not to say that those who succeed in big law necessarily do not possess these attributes. But anyone who aspires
for the Scholarship and crafts their application on the premise that they'd like to utilize the opportunities made available by getting the scholarship
to thrive in a law firm fundamentally misunderstands the key purpose of the Scholarship. I do not think that it is fair to belittle someone's accomplishment
by insinuating that they got the Scholarship because they constructed an application around the fact that they have, and would like to, work for the empowerment
of a marginalized section of society. They got the Scholarship because, in their own unique way, they fit the 4 criteria better than their competitors.
Reply
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2.1.1
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Like +1 Object -2 kianganz 22 Oct 18, 13:39 LI subscriber
I agree - quite a few of the more recent Rhodes scholars are doing non-law firm things nowadays (though it was probably different a decade or so ago).
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2.1.1.1
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 12:15
For evidence to support Kian's statement, see comment # 10.

PS: Kian, given that the person who posted comment # 10 thinks you know who he is you might want to approach him to do more of these fact checks. Will help the quality of what is put up on LI.
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2.1.2
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Like +0 Object -0 At the Margin 24 Oct 18, 14:21
Well, may be, "At the heart of those criteria lies the belief that the chosen scholar should possess the moral force of character and energy to help empower
marginalized sections of society."

But do the marginalised have a chance of getting the Rhodes?
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2.2
Like +28 Object -11 Guest 22 Oct 18, 13:36  interesting  top rated  controversial
Spot on. Also, don't forget "I want to come back to India and make a difference" but in reality desperate to settle abroad.
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2.2.3
Like +12 Object -7 Guest 22 Oct 18, 14:04  interesting  controversial
There are so many of these crabs in the comments section these days that it occasionally feels like a seafood joint, almost.
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2.2.4
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 12:16
This statement is not backed by evidence. See comment # 10 to see for yourself.
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2.2.5
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 15:07
Not necessary. I got one many years ago and came back.
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3
Like +17 Object -8 Alumnus 21 Oct 18, 21:44  interesting  controversial
Super proud!
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3.1
Like +12 Object -6 Alumnus 22 Oct 18, 06:52  interesting  controversial
Super proud
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4
Like +14 Object -1 Guest 21 Oct 18, 23:41  interesting  top rated
Good or Bad, NUJS knows how to stay in news. Also congrats!
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5
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Like +9 Object -14 Guest 22 Oct 18, 01:20  controversial
Hi,

I would respectfully disagree with you. The very purpose of the Rhodes Scholarship is to find people who meet the 4 criteria that the Scholarship is intended to reward. At the heart of those criteria lies the belief that the chosen scholar should possess the moral force of character and energy to help empower marginalized sections of society. That is not to say that those who succeed in big law necessarily do not possess these attributes. But anyone who aspires for the Scholarship and crafts their application on the premise that they'd like to utilize the opportunities made available by getting the scholarship to thrive in a law firm fundamentally misunderstands the key purpose of the Scholarship. I do not think that it is fair to belittle someone's accomplishment by insinuating that they got the Scholarship because they constructed an application around the fact that they have, and would like to, work for the empowerment of a marginalized section of society. They got the Scholarship because, in their own unique way, they fit the 4 criteria better than their competitors.
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5.1
Like +11 Object -1 Chacha 22 Oct 18, 15:07  interesting
As far as I understand that Rhodes is meant for those who would fulfill leadership roles in society, though helping marginalized may be one of them. There could be nothing further from the vision of Rhodes than thinking in terms of marginalized sections. It is a different matter that the present committee may have developed a tubular vision, which never was Rhodes intention.
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5.1.1
Like +20 Object -10 Spotty 22 Oct 18, 17:52  interesting  controversial
Spot on! Most of the awardees have no knowledge of who Cecil Rhodes was or what his objective for the scholarship was. A colonial governor, racist and slave-owner who shot tens of thousands of blacks and exploited their labour for his diamond mines, this is a guy who was condemned in the House of Commons for his deeds. But public has short memory and today these ppl get selected after paying the lip service to minorities rights, homosexuals, transgenders, queers, asexuals and other rarities. I am waiting till the year 2118 when law school students write out such gibberish to get Shah Scholarships, Modi Fellowship, Pervez Musharaff Research Associate and Bin Laden Young Leadership Awards!!!
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5.1.1.1
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Like +9 Object -8 Guest 22 Oct 18, 21:53  controversial
So what exactly did you want to say? People should stop vying for a scholarship that helps them to study further and maybe do some good in the world only because the guy who instituted it was a colonialist? Or that people should channel colonial mentality and opt for further marginalisation if they are to try for the scholarship? You should try to wait for 2118, hopefully when you are a hundred plus, by that time you would have learnt to make any sense. How do you know who pay lip service and who actually do the work? You surely don't do either and seem to be a particularly offensive case of sour grapes. By the way, the Nobel Prize was instituted by a guy who made his fortune from manufacturing explosives. You know, stuff that is used to kill people.
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5.1.1.1...
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Like +4 Object -13 Spotty 23 Oct 18, 00:35
Dude your reply is so damn pathetic. I said that applicants should [...]. Most of the law scholars have faded away into obscurity. [...]
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5.1.1.1...
Like +7 Object -2 Guest 23 Oct 18, 10:18  interesting
Actually, it is your distorted envy that's coming across as pathetic. You seem to get all your kicks out of anonymously trying to belittle other people's achievements, because people like you seldom amount to anything by themselves. What makes you qualified to pass judgments on other people's work as rubbish? And don't drag in other people who deserve your 'thanks' more. If you want to thank them, you can easily do it without having to belittle others in the process. I am sure the person whom you have named would agree with me over you on that count.
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5.1.1.1...
Like +4 Object -0 R Bajaj 23 Oct 18, 12:52
I don't think it would be fair to assert that scholars in the last few years have disappeared into the obvilion. That list includes: a founder of a leading legal think-tank, a Forbes 30 under 30 who has written highly influential books and articles and been cited several times by the SC and others who have gone on to occupy highly respectable positions in civil society, government, etc.
While I do not personally know a great deal about the career trajectory of the 2014 scholar who now works at Mozilla, I do know that she has made meaningful interventions in the data protection debate in India and has emerged as a key voice in that field. The mere fact that she may have done so while working for a private corporation cannot detract from the significance of her body of work.
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5.1.1.1...
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Like +1 Object -0 Chacha 24 Oct 18, 10:22
Wrong.

1. The parent company of Mozilla is a commercial profit-making entity.

2. A maker of open source software is not the same as a NGO for refugees. Those guys make tons of money from commercially licensing software to large firms.

3. There are a gazillion way to work in cyber laws. Academia, practice, think-tank, etc. [...]
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5.1.1.1...
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Like +0 Object -2 kianganz 24 Oct 18, 23:50 LI subscriber
It's the other way around - Mozilla Foundation is the parent of the for-profit Mozilla Corporation, which plows its profits back into the Moz foundation... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation
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6
Like +8 Object -1 Guest 22 Oct 18, 01:21  interesting
Once again: all this with one of the worst VCs in India. Just imagine if a dynamic VC takes charge....
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7
Like +11 Object -0 333 22 Oct 18, 01:24  interesting
I wish NUJS makes a good website to highlight such achievements. A makeshift website by students is completely inadequate. Many people miss the achievements of NUJS (from CLAT aspirants to the NIRF rankers) because of such a poor communication effort on the official website.
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7.1
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Like +1 Object -0 Alumni 22 Oct 18, 15:17
Yes sir. They have made their website sja.nujs.edu. It is by far the best efforts made by any student body of law school.
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8
Like +7 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 14:11  interesting
It will be interesting to compare NLUs other than NLSIU for Rhodes scholars produced. I think the score is:

NALSAR = 6 (established 1998)
NUJS = 4 (established 2000)
NLUD = 1 (established 2008)
GNLU = 1 (established 2004)
NUALS = 1 (established 2005)

Is this correct?
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8.1
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 16:13
Can you also put down their names?
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8.1.1
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 19:34
I did for some. Kian didn't publish that comment, not sure why!
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8.2
Like +8 Object -1 Hardip 22 Oct 18, 19:19  interesting
NLS = 21 RECORD !!!! 21 in 23 years
NALSAR = 7 in 20 years
NLUD = 1 in 10 years
NUJS = 3 in 18 years
GNLU = 1 in 14 years
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8.2.2
Like +4 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 19:33
NUJS 4 in 18 years actually, including this one.
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8.2.3
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 21:06
@Hardip: NALSAR 6, not 7. NUJS 4 and not 3. Rest seem accurate enough.
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8.2.4
Like +5 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 21:33  interesting
NLS founded in 1995?
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8.2.4.1
Like +5 Object -0 Guest 22 Oct 18, 21:47  interesting
I think if one has to compare (which is unnecessary), one should do only for the last 10 years. Because NLSIU for the first 15 years of its existence had virtually no competition whatsoever so obviously all the best talent got attracted and trained there for the most part.
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8.2.4.1...
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Like +1 Object -0 TTTT 23 Oct 18, 04:25
Exactly. So NLSIU should enter the picture only after the first batches of NALSAR and NUJS graduated, i.e. out 2005. For that angle, NLSIU may still lead, but the lead is much narrower.
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8.2.4.1...
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 12:20
See comment # 10 below.
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8.2.5
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Like +0 Object -1 NLS - Much older 24 Oct 18, 08:39
NLS was set up in 1986 though of course first batch graduated may have graduated in 1995/96. So logically NUJS = 4 in 13 years, NALSAR = 7 in 15 years and so on...
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8.2.5.2
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 09:35
First batch took 10 years to finish a 5-year degree? How? o_O
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8.2.5.3
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 10:28
LS set up in 1986, classes started in 1988. The first batch would have graduated in 1993.
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9
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Like +3 Object -8 Expert 23 Oct 18, 04:30
No doubt Rhodes is useful for ranking NLUs, but the overall picture counts. How many scholarships in the top 20 law schools of the world, per QS or Times ranking? Similarly, for placements the overall picture and average salary counts, not just CAM and AZB. And of course faculty and infra are critical. Based on this, this should be the ranking of law schools:

Gold: NLSIU or NALSAR
Silver: NLUD/NUJS
Bronze: NLUJ/GNLU
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9.1
Like +10 Object -2 Guest 23 Oct 18, 11:13  interesting
You seem to comment on a lot of posts about how NALSAR is now as good as NLSIU in every aspect. Care to show any stats to back your comments up like the commentator in 10 has done? For example, a comparative stats about scholarships earned for last 5 years with names of universities and scholarships if not the name of students between NLSIU and NALSAR? Not sure what 'overall picture' you mean when it comes to placements. No law school gets more than 3-4 students to foreign firms any year, so Indian top tier firms automatically become the benchmark when it comes to placements. When it comes to that, either in terms of salary or in terms of numbers of students getting through to those firms, neither NALSAR nor NLSIU is ahead of NUJS, for example. When it comes to civil services, faculty or infrastructure, NLUD will probably be ahead of all others. Simply saying NALSAR is the best does not make it so. I am sure it is as near the top as makes no difference as such, but what about some stats? The scholarship one for example? Unless you can produce that, maybe it's time you learn to keep your obsessive compulsive ranking disorder in check.
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9.2
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 12:21
Unsubstantiated claim. Look at comment # 10 and see how you can go about proving or disproving a hypothesis.
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10
Like +12 Object -1 Guest 23 Oct 18, 07:48  interesting
2008
1. NLSIU, Bangalore - co-founders, Vidhi.
2. LSE/Columbia* - Partner, SAM.

2009
1. GLC, Bombay - co-founder, Vidhi.
2. NLSIU, Bangalore - works in New York law firm.

2010
1. NLSIU, Bangalore - now a barrister in London.
2. NALSAR, Hyderabad - now works at Jindal.

2011
1. NALSAR, Hyderabad - now works at Bristol University.
2. NLSIU, Bangalore - now works as a lawyer in Delhi and runs a damn fine blog.

2012
1. NLSIU, Bangalore - now works as a lawyer in Delhi.

2013
1. NALSAR, Hyderabad - currently reading for a PhD in law.
2. NLSIU, Bangalore - I wasn't able to find her whereabouts. Someone help out.

2014
1. NUJS, Kolkata - now a public policy advisor at Mozilla; has previously worked among others with the MoTA.
2. NLSIU, Bangalore - Not sure what he's upto, but pretty sure he did not end up in a law firm.

2015
1. NALSAR, Hyderabad - currently working towards a PhD.
2. NLSIU, Banglore - currently working as a lawyer in Delhi, and has previously worked at Vidhi, but never at a law firm.

2016
1. NLUD, Delhi - Can't say what she's upto now. It seems she's still at Oxford.
2. CLC, Delhi - who is now at HAQ: Centre for Child Rights in Delhi.

2017
1. NUJS, Kolkata
2. NUALS, Kochi
3. NLSIU, Bangalore.

2018
1. GNLU, Gandhinagar
2. Nagpur University

I haven't gone into the details of the scholars from 2017 and 2018 as they are fairly recent inductees and need to have to graduate and figure out their life paths.

.....................

In all, in the previous 12 years** we have:

9 from NLSIU
4 from NALSAR
3 from NUJS; and
1 each from GLC, NLUD, CLC, NUALS, GNLU & Nagpur University.

The last few years have seen people being selected from a greater variety of places. The NLSIU monopoly was broken in 2016, from that year we have had:

2 from NUJS; and
1 each from NLSIU, NLUD, CLC, NUALS, GNLU & Nagpur University.

Another point to note is that there is no evidence to suggest that Rhodes scholars:
(A) do not return to work in India; and/or
(B) only pick to work in the corporate sector.

...................................................................
* His first law degree was from LSE/Columbia. Before that he went to Stephens.
** I went back 12 years looking for someone who works at a big Indian law firm (given that some were suggesting that the Rhodes scholars are fake and wish to only work for big money).


Research by the same person who did the Indian teams at Jessup research which you never published Kian.
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10.1
Like +4 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 10:20
This is some good research skill! Kian, you should use this person to go through your articles and generate solid supporting stats or something should (s)he be so willing.
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10.2
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Like +0 Object -0 Pi 23 Oct 18, 14:17
wow!!!

Bow!!!
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11
Like +17 Object -3 Dinesh Pillai 23 Oct 18, 11:27  interesting  top rated
See Kian, this is what your policy on anonymous comments have wrought. No matter how many times you keep saying it generates enlightening and constructive discussion in these threads, over the past few months the comment section at Legally India has only degenerated into a place where sick people keep badmouthing every bit of good work done or initiatives undertaken, or simply slinging mud at others. To the extent that comments simply expressing congratulations attract downvotes. If people have good things to say about others, they will not be afraid to use their own identity for that. If they want to blow the whistle on some nefarious action, they can use the Anon Tip facility you provide. But what you have allowed is to let a group of mad dogs run amok here, people who are always ready to b**** about others behind their back so long as they can stay anon and who cannot bear to see other people succeed. In order to reach at a single piece of good work or research like Comment 10, one needs to scroll down through the garbage above. Which is keeping more and more sensible people away from the comments section. Add to that the unhealthy tendency of some people to stoke controversies deliberately by incurring artificial conflict between law schools and even people within. Several people had pointed this out earlier in the past too. As someone who has been reading LI since the past 7-8 years, I find this very disturbing. Like it or not, this can and will sully the reputation of the forum in the long run. I am sure this comment too will attract 20 downvotes in an hour, because that's the kind of people who keep a close watch on this place regularly nowadays.
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11.1
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Like +5 Object -5 Guest 23 Oct 18, 18:41  controversial
I have downvoted your comment and done so anonymously. I feel freer speaking my mind when my name is concealed, and I, like many others, will either use a fake identity or stop using this comments section should this policy cease.

Yes, I am aware that privacy is a sham, and that a talented and motivated person will be able to find me with ease, but I honestly don't think my comments are important enough to merit such a response.

Further, comments on this site are moderated, and it is unlikely that something truly offensive will get through.

Yes, undermining an achievement of this sort smacks of envy, yes those who have achieved this are tremendously talented, but what critics are probably pointing out to is that many tailor applications for scholarships and prestigious universities. It is not difficult for people with the right resources to so, and many do get in due to the way they have tailored their resume. That's why many admissions officers end up becoming consultants (we had an ex-Harvard admissions director come to our college to give tips).

Could some of the applicants (and the scholarship committees) be hypocrites? Yes! Could they be self-promoters? Yes! But that does not mean that they do not have some very impressive achievements under their belt, and congratulations are still deserved.

Just because you think some criticism is crass doesn't mean it should be silenced -- which is what will happen if you take away the (illusion of?) anonymity.
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11.1.1
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Like +5 Object -3 Vasureddy 23 Oct 18, 20:49
If you feel anonymous comments here are all about constructive criticism, then you need to read the comments section to the different posts properly. Most of them are downright malicious and Kian (along with whoever does the moderation) does not do a good job of it (mostly because of lack of monitoring resources, but also he has some very personal views on what should or should not be allowed, one of them being 'better out than in principle' and another being people in administrative positions are fair game, as are institutions, while one occasionally gets away with using ridiculous acronyms even with individuals).
If taking away anonymity means you choose not to comment, then it simply means you lack the conviction behind your criticism, or as you said before, your comment is simply not important enough. Allowing you that anonymity cannot be at the expense of encouraging malice, which is what is clearly happening here. For instance, what you said in your comment appears to be reasonable enough. However, if you wish to equate that comment with the clearly derogatory ones made before, that's clearly stretching it. This is not a place for no-holds barred policy debate, one needs to consider the impact that one's harsh words would have on other people and be responsible in their choice of words. Your comment qualifies on that respect, the earlier ones don't simply because of lack of civility. Now you can say that my standard of civility may differ from yours or others'. Which is perfectly possible, but surely nobody should use words deliberately here knowing that they are being uncivil, which is what anonymity is offering. I see no reason why you couldn't have made the comment you did in your name. If you feel you cannot, that's your personal choice, but if allowing that means I also have to encourage the very real malice that is very apparent in most of the anonymous comments here, then I do not believe that giving you the scope to criticise anonymously is worth that cost. Let's face it, you yourself believe your comments are not important enough, so what would be the loss to readers/anybody else if you don't comment owing to lack of anonymity? Negligible to nothing. if someone has a really important issue to bring forward, the tip is always there, he can send it to Kian, who will definitely use his same moderation policy and choose to put it up, simple! So nothing of worth will really be lost, the only thing that will be stopped is the malice and the careless manner in which many commentators throw insults here left, right and centre, without intending to contribute anything by way of constructive criticism, feeling invincible in their cloak of anonymity.
While this is not the State that one can expect actions here to be governed under the due process or constitutionalism, yet one can certainly express hope that a discussion forum does not degenerate into mud-slinging, which is what Legally India comments section has become for the most part now. It's Kian's choice, he can do whatever he pleases, but as another reader, I agree with Pillai above. Freedom of speech and freedom of anonymous hatred/lies/derogation are not one and the same. Allowing anonymity is not the same as respecting privacy, unless it is to get a victim justice.
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11.1.2
Like +4 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 20:51
You assume others use anonymity responsibly like you seem to be doing yourself. Newsflash, that simply isn't true here!
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11.1.3
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Like +4 Object -2 Guest 23 Oct 18, 21:00
Dude, what will happen if you never get to comment anymore because of non-anonymity? A catastrophe? The guy simply said if this toxicity continues, a lot of sane people will choose to stay away from the comments and it will be like an echo-chamber of douchebags here, with 100s of stupid and hurtful for every one positive bit of researched comment like 10 here. Which is true, it's happening already.
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11.1.3.1
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 14:26
If I don't comment any more there will be no catastrophe. However when many people stop doing so, I certainly think that the comments section will be the poorer for it. There will be no true reflection of general opinion. Compare the comments section on LI and Livelaw, for example. Can you expect any decent commentary on the latter? Have you even seen any? I come to LI to read the comments as much as the news stories.

Further, lack of anonymity is not always a guarantee for responsible commentary. ToI (which caters to a wider but possibly less widely read readership) requires a login. It does not moderate comments. It is a cesspool of unpleasantness. Twitter has proud trolls who are happy to broadcast their names along side rape threats. Moderation (though prone to bias) does in fact act as a better filter against malice.

I reiterate, forcing persons to voice only what they will in front of you will deny you an insight into what they actually think. It may be unpleasant, but then you can estimate that that's what x number of people think like.

For the purposes of this particular forum, I agree that malicious comments should be moderated: one does want a constructive exchange of ideas, but exchange is the key word. Not everyone has the same opinion, and what may be construed as offensive is subjective.

Moreover, I (like other anonymous posters) may not want to publically disagree with my teacher, my colleague, or my boss, or a judge on this forum. You may think that this means I lack conviction, but there could be real reasons for not wanting to do so going beyond cowardice. Besides don't the vulnerable get a voice? Cowardice stems from vulnerability, after all.
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11.2
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Like +3 Object -2 kianganz 23 Oct 18, 21:15 LI subscriber
Hi, thanks for your feedback. One of the comments had slipped through, shouldn't have and has now been moderated (one of the ones under 5.1.1). That is regretted.

However, other than that one, I thought it has been a fairly interesting discussion that I don't think does any harm to the Rhodes or the scholars. But since this is an open forum for discussion, I don't think it hurts to debate the value of the Rhodes, its history, what scholars decide to do in their careers, BigLaw vs social lawyering, etc.
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11.2.4
Like +4 Object -0 Shanti Natarajan G 24 Oct 18, 00:34
@Kian Ganz

Sad to see you get pressurized into moderating that comment (5.1.something). As someone who publishes a news website is it not your duty to not take sides. Or you can just not publish any comments. By giving in to the Rhodes-is-god lobby youre no better than newspapers that retract headlines when Modi-bhakts make a fuss.

The unfortunate (and ugly) truth about Rhodes law scholarships is that not only a fundamental lack of concept of the award committees as to what are the 'Rhodes' traits, but also a huge number of applicants are faking interest in the "causes" that are trending.

The issue is what are these rhodes scholars doing after rhodes. That comment 5.1 was correct to the extent the [...] winner from [...] ([...]) has not done anything of value when her contemporaries (like [...]) have accomplished so much more without Rhodes. The [...] winner ([...] from [...]) is also the same with no contribution to either society / alma mater / a law firm / anything. I think its is fair to discuss these achievements and nobody whether the Prime Minister or a rhodes scholar is immune from such analysis and criticism. I guess you would be open to publishing a scathing critique of how Modi gave false promises before the election and did not deliver. Why the double standard for Rhodes winners??? Are they some kind of entitled class?

Someone did some "research" about last ten years rhodes scholars. Actually if you see that list only about 4 (max 5) are really doing something to warrant the hype. The rest are doing the same careers that anyone else does. Furthermore a majority are in practice and firms that are anything but close to their rhodes personal statements. This just goes to show how empty the rhodes sound bites are. Why cannot a Rhodes be given to someone who wants to work in corporate law and become a senior partner of a firm?
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Like +3 Object -3 kianganz 24 Oct 18, 08:12 LI subscriber
Interesting points, though I would disagree on several counts specifically.

1. Just because a 21-year-old-or-so wins the Rhodes, doesn't mean that their lives should suddenly become subject to open criticism about whether their achievements down the line are 'worthy' enough or not.

2. Think back to when you were 21 years old. Maybe you wanted to be a human rights lawyer too, or weren't sure yet what to get into? I think it's fair to change your mind, or that the public sector is not for you, or that your interests lie in other fields. For what it's worth, I think one of the careers you mentioned in your post that I'm aware of, is doing a fantastic and much required public service, very much in the spirit of the Rhodes 'soundbites', as you call them.

3. I think the point and reason why we're covering the Rhodes, is that they're a fantastic opportunity in a young lawyer's career, and they are one of the most sought-after and recognised such scholarships available.

4. Would it be nice if the Rhodes was given to people who want to work in corporate law? I don't think a scholarship is necessary for that vertical: you can join an international (or even domestic) law firm, work there for a few or 3 years and have saved enough money to pay for an Oxford post-grad out of pocket yourself.

5. Not enough young students are interested or serious about public service, and the fact the scholarship exists has perhaps focused one or two minds on the career path and has inspired them to do something as 'worthy' as the Rhodes winners?
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 24 Oct 18, 09:02
In response to 1: Are you saying that 21 (22/23 in case of law students) year old folk should not be held accountable for their words based on where they are a few years down the line?

Pray do tell us at what magic number does this immunity run out?

A second observation - if 21 year old students can't be held responsible for their acts, then how responsible is it for you to let them run amok against the actions/alleged actions of their teachers, or administrators at their institutions?

Is it fair to make teachers/administrators subject to 'open criticism'? Why because they are being paid to do certain things and are not holding up their part of the bargain?

At some place in this narrative your argument is inconsistent and I do hope you are able to see this.
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Like +1 Object -4 kianganz 24 Oct 18, 09:11 LI subscriber
The right to protest against a public body is not the same as an expression of future career intent, surely?

But I don't think any Rhodes applicants are lying, and yes, I agree, when applying to scholarships everyone kinda plays the same game that's expected, and fills in applications they hope will be accepted (just like most lawyers applying to corporate law firm jobs will profess to a deep love of corporate law, which may or may not be the case).

But I do imagine that the Rhodes interview process would weed out the disingenuous applicants who are just doing Rhodes for CV points...
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 09:34
Publishing verified problems with the public body and constructive criticism about how to improve things, yes. Malicious rumours, insinuations and plain insults without any substantial evidence against any body, public or private, or individuals (even if they are holding positions in that public body), no. To be fair, you do try to curb and minimize the latter, but the degree of success achieved is very erratic, probably because of lack of resources, as someone pointed out above.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 10:30
An individual teacher is a public body?
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Like +2 Object -0 LI Guest 24 Oct 18, 20:34
Hello Kian. This is not directly concerned with the story but you are digging a bigger hole with your justification.

One cannot selectively accept protests by 21 (actually 23) year olds against a so-called 'public body' with presumption of truth but overlook statements made by them when applying for scholarships like the Rhodes. If anything the scholarship application is longer and requires patient deliberation and is not spontaneous like protest.

I fail to understand how you can give credence to a student formally accusing a teacher of having 'conflict-of-interest' but not do that when the student formally tells the Rhodes Committee that he wants the scholarship out of interest in some cool social cause (like transgenders). As someone who has written references for many students I know that 70-90% of such statements are outright lies with the sole intention of projecting the image of a crusader with a noble cause.

This is a serious dichotomy and one you are trying to brush under the carpet. I fully understand if you want LI to be a pro-student website but in that case please be candid and say so explicitly.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 24 Oct 18, 21:33
I wonder why you ended up writing references for people who were lying so obviously or for that matter, lying at all? Not that I disagree with your main point, which seems logical enough.
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Like +1 Object -1 Reader 23 Oct 18, 15:05
Kian, I hope you saw the good research done by a poster on the Rhodes plus various other comments elsewhere with research on career pathways of NLU graduates, faculty research etc. I suggest you do an official law school ranking (both overall and in the categories of faculty quality, career pathways, moots etc).
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 23 Oct 18, 17:27
Why is this obsession about ranking? I agree that the information about the achievements of law school alumni should be highlighted, even in a comprehensive post if need be, but this mad urge for there to be a ranking with everything seems pointless. Who is to say whether an alumnus who chooses to work for BigLaw and help his clients win a multi-million deal is any better or worse than another who chooses to go and work at a primary school instead, teaching basic stuff to first generation school goers? Both are doing important work, the contribution of both should be valued and any contribution that their alma mater may have on their career paths and decisions are to be appreciated.
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