Could you share your journey into becoming a legal and social work professional, emphasizing how your professional and personal experiences have shaped your path?
My journey into the fusion of law and social work has been intertwined with personal experiences, academic pursuits, and a deep-rooted desire to effect positive change in society. I started my career in 2013, after completing a degree in Law and Post-Graduation in Social Work. Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to work with government organisations, NGOs, private sector organisations and law firms in various capacities which has made my professional journey more meaningful & richer and quintessentially varied from most people in our line of work.
My perspective has been significantly shaped by my parents, who have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to giving back to society. Witnessing their compassion and advocacy for what is right has deeply influenced my own values and beliefs. Further I always believed and has been quoted by Oprah Winfrey that “the key to realising a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take greater meaning”
Since joining Law Veritas: North in 2021, you’ve independently led the litigation department of the Firm. Share insights based on your personal experience regarding the journey towards attaining professional success.?
I hold the belief that the success of individuals within an organization is directly correlated with the quality of the work environment. Upon joining Law Veritas: North in 2021, I initially had reservations about committing to a law firm, uncertain about exclusively focusing on litigation, especially the one that predominantly dealt with banking and insurance. However, adhering to the notion that nothing happens by chance but rather as preparation for greater things, I embraced the opportunity.
Initially, my decision to work at Law Veritas: North was rooted in logistical convenience. As a new mother, proximity to home was a priority for maintaining flexibility in my professional pursuits. Since joining Law Veritas North, I’ve experienced a work environment that is both challenging and supportive. I’ve received substantial support in achieving my professional goals within the organization, and my mentors have not only acknowledged but also actively promoted and encouraged my specific area of interest. Additionally, the trust and acknowledgment extended to me by my seniors served as a catalyst for improved performance. This, in turn, strengthened my commitment to steering the litigation department towards success.
I also hold the view that passion and authentic interest in one’s work are essential and serve a pivotal role in setting goals and achieving success. Additionally, the continuous refinement of skill sets has become vital in reaching professional goals, particularly in areas such as networking, knowledge enhancement, technological adaptation, effective communication, leadership, initiative, and persistent hard work and dedication.
Managing diverse responsibilities, from civil and criminal litigations to community development initiatives, requires effective balance. How do you navigate these various roles, and what challenges have you encountered?
The process that may appear as navigating between roles actually, feels organic to me. In litigation, being selective about the type of work one engages in can be challenging. Regardless of the nature of the case, every case and every story holds numerous perspectives and untold truths about human life.
Navigating between cases as an advocate presents a multitude of challenges that require careful consideration and adept management. One such challenge lies in the diversity of legal matters an advocate encounters. Each case comes with its unique set of facts, legal intricacies, and client needs. This necessitates a constant need for adapting one’s approach, strategies, and legal arguments to suit the specific nuances of each case. Furthermore, the time constraints imposed by multiple cases can be demanding. Effectively managing and prioritizing cases while ensuring each client receives the necessary attention requires strong organizational and time management skills. Juggling the intricacies of various legal issues, court appearances, and client interactions requires a delicate balance to ensure the best possible outcomes for each case. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that achieving this balance often involves the collaborative efforts of a team, and success is truly achieved when all members work in harmony.
Additionally, the emotional toll of dealing with diverse and often sensitive legal matters is a substantial challenge. Advocates frequently encounter clients facing distressing situations, and maintaining empathy while remaining professional is crucial. Striking this balance requires emotional resilience and a nuanced understanding of the human aspects intertwined with legal issues. Moreover, staying updated on the evolving legal landscape, precedents, and statutory changes across different areas of law is vital. This continuous learning process ensures that advocates are well-equipped to provide the most effective representation and counsel to their clients.
Beyond the legal realm, your passion lies in advocating for social causes. Could you share a specific initiative or project that is particularly close to your heart, and why?
I have a profound passion for social issues, particularly with respect to child rights, which holds a special place in my heart. To advance this cause, I have actively involved myself in initiatives related to education, child health care, adoption etc. Through my efforts, my aim is to foster a fair and inclusive social environment for children across all segments of society.
What adds to the significance of children for me is their vulnerability and complete dependence on others. Children have the potential to instigate positive change in numerous aspects of life. With appropriate guidance, education, and nurturing, they can evolve into responsible and compassionate individuals, making positive contributions to their communities and the global society. Ensuring their safety and creating a nurturing environment are fundamental societal responsibilities. To echo the words of Kailash Satyarthi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, “Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters.”
Can you elaborate on the specific aspects of CSR and adoption that have had a notable impact on your approach and understanding of the legal landscape?
In the realm of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), companies often align their practices with legal requirements, recognizing that adherence to laws and regulations is an essential aspect of responsible business conduct.
Furthermore, ensuring compliance with local, national, and international laws becomes imperative for businesses to fulfil their CSR commitments. As they embark on CSR activities, business entities must be cognizant of and adhere to these legal frameworks. The integration of CSR commitments into contractual agreements and legal documents further underscores the connection between CSR and law. For example, companies may incorporate specific clauses related to environmental sustainability, fair labour practices, or community engagement in their contracts. Failure to meet these CSR obligations carries the potential for legal consequences. Therefore, the relationship between CSR and law is intricate, encompassing various facets such as legal compliance, regulatory frameworks, contractual obligations, and the management of legal risks associated with social and environmental impacts. By incorporating CSR into their business practices, companies align themselves with legal expectations, fostering a more responsible and sustainable business environment.
My tenure at the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) provided a structured environment where I consistently prioritized children’s safety and well-being. Managing the entire litigation and legal aspects of inter-country adoptions added an exciting dimension to my role. It exposed me to intricate legal issues, particularly from a foreign policy perspective, and involved collaboration with external affairs agencies and international organizations.
Legal safeguards in adoption extend protections to adopted children, guaranteeing them equivalent rights and privileges to those of biological children. These rights encompass inheritance, medical access, and the entitlement to information about their adoption history, maintaining confidentiality, and more. Moreover, adoption agencies, whether public or private entities globally, are bound by legal regulations. These laws describe licensing prerequisites, ethical standards, and procedures that adoption agencies must adhere to, ensuring the legality and ethical integrity of the adoption process. It is crucial to highlight that the legal procedure extends to post-placement supervision, a measure taken to ascertain the well-being of the child within the adoptive home.
Hence personally these experiences have helped to broaden my overall understanding of various laws, different approaches and strategies involved in the procedure.
In your profile, proficiency in legal technology is mentioned. How do you see the integration of technology impacting the legal profession, and how have you embraced it in your practice?
The fundamental transformation of the legal profession is underway through the integration of technology, giving rise to a wave of innovations that amplify efficiency, precision, and accessibility. This impact extends across multiple aspects of legal practice, including a revolution in legal research, the automation and management of documents, enhanced communication and collaboration, and an increased focus on cybersecurity and data protection. Adapting to this changing technology is an essential need of the hour for professional as personal growth.
You’ve received a scholarship for an international workshop on “End Of Life Care” and have diverse experiences. Can you elaborate on your experience and learning?
At the Summer University in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I was awarded a scholarship, I delved into a comprehensive study of ‘End of Life Care,’ exploring its social, psychological, and legal dimensions. Exposure to this program at the University enlightened me about the rights of individuals facing the end of life, regardless of whether it was due to old age, critical illness, or other reasons. Key topics included diverse legal frameworks, varied end-of-life care practices in different countries, honoring the wishes of the dying, palliative care, socio-psychological support for family members, and the dignified treatment of deceased individuals. These discussions and exchanges not only highlighted the current global health practices and legal considerations but also emphasized the need for a systemic approach in addressing the care of vulnerable individuals, considering the cultural nuances of each country.
With your diverse experiences, what advice do you have for aspiring lawyers and professionals looking to make a positive impact on society through their legal careers?
Addressing ICFAI University, Jharkhand as a Keynote Speaker representing Law Veritas: North in a panel discussion on ‘Advocacy as a Profession: Prospects & Challenges’ on the eve of Advocate’s Day last year, I highlighted advocacy’s pivotal role amid today’s information complexities. Advocates serve as catalysts for change, bringing attention to issues that may otherwise be overlooked or ignored or miscommunicated. The use of legal technology, artificial intelligence, and online platforms can streamline legal research, improve case management, and facilitate communication between advocates and their clients.
In present scenario a whole lot more skills are required to establish yourself like:
- Effective Communication skills: Mastering the art of communication is fundamental. It involves not just speaking but also active listening and empathetic understanding.
- Creative Problem Solving: In the complex legal world, creative solutions often pave the way for resolving intricate issues. A flexible, innovative approach is invaluable.
- Analytical and observational skills- Attention to detail is key. The ability to analyze information critically and observe nuances can significantly impact legal strategies and outcomes.
- Reading- Cultivating a habit of continuous learning through reading is invaluable. It not only expands knowledge but also refines approaches to various legal challenges.
- Networking- Building professional networks is crucial for success. Collaborations, mentorships, and connections can open doors to opportunities and growth.
- Negotiation Skills: The art of negotiation is a powerful tool. It involves finding common ground while advocating for your client’s interests.
My father’s insightful advice resonates deeply, “In this profession, be prepared to work harder than the money you receive.” Hard work, dedication, and a commitment to the cause are vital.
As advocates, our approach to these challenges should embody unwavering determination and resilience. Let us continue to champion the voices advocating for positive change, working together towards a more equitable and just future for all.
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