Ritesh Maity graduated from University of Calcutta (2002-2007). He is practicing as a labour law advocate in Kolkata jurisdiction. He is specialized in dealing with various labour matters/ industrial disputes before the Learned Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunals, Employees’ Compensation Courts, Employees’ Insurance Court, and Payment of Wages Court etc. He has also represented clients before various controlling authorities dealing with payment of gratuity, wages and conciliation procedures.
In this interview he talks to us about:
- His life at University of Calcutta.
- The co-curricular activities he participated in.
- Why he focused primarily on industrial disputes along with consumer forum matter.
- Advise for law students who start to prepare for their career while in Law College.
What would be a brief introduction of yourself?
I am 33 years old, born and brought up in Kolkata. Apart from being a lawyer, a son and a husband, I love being a traveller, trekker, music lover and a hardcore movie watcher.
Was it a childhood dream to take up law? What motivated you to pick this field?
I only thought of joining law school after my 10th. A cousin heavily influenced me to join law and guided me but surprising he never pursued career in law in spite of studying law.
How was your life at University of Calcutta? Did you find that your law school education prepared you for your current life?
Life at the university was as usual. The initial interest (in the first year) was huge but I was dying to complete the course in the final year (fifth year). It is too boring to study law for five years with the same classmates. Calcutta University does not provide you much in terms of practical experience. If you want to become a litigating lawyer, you have to start from zero once you join the court. Frankly speaking, the university from where you have studied law does not matter in practical sense unless you want to bag a lucrative corporate job.
What were the activities you were a part of at your college?
I participated in few moot courts, practical training in the court (but this was useless as you cannot understand or learn by visiting court for just a week) and participated in few legal awareness camps around rural Bengal.
What made you get into the legal practice?
After completion of law, I did not want to join any firm or company. I wanted freedom and thus started practicing (although under a very able senior counsel) and I could not stop myself from continuing it.
What made you focus primarily on industrial disputes along with consumer forum matter?
I was always interested in Human Resource and Industrial relations and somehow I got the opportunity to practice in this field of labour law and industrial law and the things just clicked. With due respect practising at consumer forum is slightly easier I believe. Once a client of mine whom I was assisting in the industrial disputes matter asked me to help him in a consumer related matter. I agreed to help and since then it is a history.
What falls within your scope of responsibility?
Since I am a litigating lawyer, I have to handle the client as well as handle the Learned Judge. Entire responsibility is on me; how to convince and satisfy a client; how to draft, appear, plead, argue before the Judge; A to Z is done by me but yes there are clerks to help too.
How competitive would you say the legal profession was when you entered it has it changed since then?
Legal profession is vast. You cannot really compare a corporate lawyer with a litigating lawyer or someone who does only registration of sale deeds or to a solicitor. Whether you are practising independently or drawing huge salary from a corporate house or engaged with a reputed law firm, every situation has its pros and cons. You have to decide what you want out of your profession (as well as your life). Competition in the field of law is huge, but fortunately there is lack of efficient competitors.
How do you balance your professional life with your personal life given the heavily demanding working hours of the profession you have chosen?
Since I do not have any fixed working schedule, I may remain free or less busy during weekdays but I can be overburdened during weekends when family members expect me. This is a very tricky situation and you have to handle very carefully and smartly. Since I work from home office, at least I am able to remain in the house with my family members in spite of being busy.
How would you advice a law student if one has to start on to preparing for a career while in college?
First decide why you want to study law. If you want to join a corporate job or want to earn high end salary then you have to join top law schools in India. If you want to be a litigating lawyer then remember that you have to work really hard for initial 10-15 years in order to be somewhere at least.
Please share with us your journey so far.
So far so good both my learning as well as earning is in the upward curve. And being a litigating lawyer, I can make plans for travel and treks easily as I approve leave to myself.
What would be your parting message to our readers?
Be in this profession (or any profession) only if you love it.