Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?

Fifteen days into her engineering course, L Gopika Murthy realised that she did not like what she was doing. After communicating it to her mother, she discontinued the course after a year. On Sunday, Gopika, hogged the limelight at the 24th convocation of National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.

Having secured 11 gold medals, the girl from Thiruvananthapuram said that the accolades she received was a result of dedication and hard work. Speaking to Express, she recalled how the transition from a technical course to law was a challenge for her. “I spent a lot of time studying the subjects, as some of the topics I was learning were new to me,” she said.

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Tell us about your journey

Graduating from the nation’s premier law school is an achievement in itself. L Gopika Murthy topped the outgoing batch with eleven medals at the 24th annual convocation of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) held at the Jnana Jyoti Auditorium in Bengaluru on Sunday.

What makes her achievement special is that she took a risk five years ago. The lass from Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala quit her engineering course to pursue law.

“Two months into engineering course, I felt that is not what I wanted to do. I decided to give it a year and started with Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) preparation,” said Gopika, who bagged the 7th rank in the 2011 CLAT examination. “She was the Kerala state CLAT topper,” said her mother Lakshmi S, adding, “We supported our daughter wholeheartedly in her pursuit. It was her seniors in the St Thomas Residential School in Thiruvananthapuram, who inspired her to attempt the CLAT.”

“It was not all that easy,” admitted Gopika, who said she found her first-year subjects at the university difficult. However, her parents supported her all through.

Gopika was ranked fourth in the entrance test for admission to the National Law University, Delhi but she chose NLSUI as she considers it the best. “We decided to support her decision as we believe in her,” says her father PR Murthy, adding that society wouldn’t always approve of someone who quits an engineering course for law but she has silenced the critics with her success.

The success of this only child has deemed her parents proud. But they are not the only ones who are beaming. “I am really happy she did so well,” said her eighty-year-old grandmother Thankom, who travelled all the way from Kerala to witness the convocation.

What are your future plans?

Gopika has plans to pursue higher studies and is taking up Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford. After this one-year course for which she has received a full scholarship (the Dr Mrs Ambriti Salve Scholarship), she plans to take up a standing job offer with the Herbert Smith Freehills, an international law firm co-headquartered in London.

Most of those who pass out from NLSIU either pursue higher studies or take up corporate jobs. According to university sources, around fifty per cent students take up jobs with corporate firms, while rest of them are divided among higher studies and litigation. A small percentage of the students also turn civil service aspirants