Online courses help with legal research, writing

Online courses on law are not just for law students but a wide variety of professionals, says the founder of Lawctopus.

Online courses help with legal research, writing
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Mar 17, 2021 - 3:03 p.m. IST
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New Delhi : During a bout of chicken-pox while he was still in law school, Tanuj Kalia came up with the idea of an online platform offering brief courses on laws typically not covered in detail in a standard undergraduate law syllabus. Lawctopus, a website for law students but also professionals who must deal with specific laws, was born out of that. Kalia spoke to Careers360 about how the site was launched and who it is for. Edited excerpts follow.

I read you were still studying when you came up with the idea for Lawctopus.

I have always been interested in writing and in the second year of college, I started freelance writing for legal websites. I was also part of a social media community called 'Legal Internships in India' which was useful and generated one of the content-sections (internship experiences) for Lawctopus.

While freelancing, some of my student-related article ideas were rejected. All of this is happening in the background.

Soon I was struck with chicken pox and the illness gave me good idle time and I thought to myself, “Why not a website for law students?” I went to college, discussed this with a few of my friends, and the rest is history.

How do short term courses in law help?

The advantages are many. One, it showcases your interest and knowledge-base to a potential recruiter. Second, well-structured online courses will teach you the practical niceties of law, which a law college might not do. Third, starting and finishing projects and courses is inherently satisfying and builds up a young person's confidence. Fourth, in our courses, we actively provide additional career guidance, internship-related, and publications-related support to our students.

Can people from other streams enrol?

Law is not rocket science. A person who can read and write a language can understand the law as well. For example, a course on legal research and writing can surely be done by social science or even an engineering student. It would also depend on the nature of the course. Highly technical legal subjects say mergers and acquisitions for example, might require previous knowledge. A course on contract drafting might require a non-lawyer to work harder.

Which course is the most popular?

Our course on legal research and writing has been done by over 500 people and I am proud of the fact. Every lawyer needs these skills of research and writing and I am glad that students understand that.

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