NLSIU topper's Cambridge call a tale of grit

History-making NLSIU topper's Cambridge call a tale of grit

Yamuna Menon (24) from Ernakulam in Kerala bagged 18 gold medals, the highest ever by a student in the history of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru.

Listening to courtroom stories during her school holidays from a neighbour who was practising at the Supreme Court, 24-year-old Yamuna Menon had dreamt of donning the black coat. While Yamuna worked earnestly over one decade to realise her dream, little did the 24-year-old know that she would script history at the National Law School of India University with a record haul of gold medals.

Growing up in Thrippunithura in Ernakulam, Kerala, in a family of limited means, Yamuna had pinned her hopes on hard work and merit. “Courtroom stories narrated by our neighbour inspired me to pursue law as a  career,” she recalled.

Her sheer grit and determination helped her secure the 28th Rank in CLAT-2015. In fact, yet another surprise was awaiting Yamuna when she stepped into NLSIU in Bengaluru. The premier law school, which adopted a new scholarship programme during the same time, chose Yamuna and another student and waived their fees completely.

A few steps away from her dream, Yamuna stood focused all through the course by topping every year. “I knew I would be the topper, but the news about 18 medals, the highest ever in NLSIU’s history, was indeed a surprise to me as well,” she told DH from Kerala. While Yamuna and her family are happy about the achievement, they were disappointed at receiving the degree in a virtual convocation due to the Covid pandemic. “We missed the opportunity to attend the actual convocation on NLSIU’s premises. Receiving degrees and medals offline is a different experience,” she said.

While offers from corporates and major law firms are pouring in, Yamuna is focused on higher studies and preparing to leave for England to pursue her masters. “I got scholarships from two international universities including Oxford Law University and Trinity College, Cambridge. I chose Trinity College,” said Yamuna who wishes to return to India to gain more experience before joining global organisations.