This interview has been published by Prabhjot Singh, Priyanka Karwa and The SuperLawyer Team
What motivated you to choose law as a career? How has been the journey so far for you?
Initially when I was a child, my cousin brother who was a barrister was an inspiration. When I was in 10th class, I was given the responsibility to be a volunteer to encourage the 10th class students to take up a career in law. From there on, I became passionate towards law. The journey was challenging and tipsy-turvy, as life took me through various careers; from being a supervisor to an executive in travel division, from being a manager in airlines to a failure in business at that time.
I must say the decision to study law and start practice at a late age whilst struggling to catch-up with my colleagues and give the much-needed results to the clients was a herculean task which I could accomplish with patience and motivation from my wife and friends.
What were the challenges that you faced in the beginning of your career?
Ans) With the local language being Telugu and myself coming from Kerala, to understand the client’s deep rooted issues was a real challenge, which I could manage with the help of my friends and well-wishers, especially my career guide and senior Mr.T.Narayanamurthy, a public prosecutor in the Metropolitan Sessions Court, Mr.V.Amarkumar, a seasoned advocate in the field of criminal and civil law and Hon’ble Retired Justice P.Ramakrishnaraju who was instrumental in pushing me to complete my study in law at a difficult phase of my life which was caused due to a series of deaths in our family.
Among all the specializations, i.e., civil, commercial, litigation, arbitration, business, banking, family, procedural and criminal, which area of law is the most interesting to you and why?
I was passionate towards all branches of law and my career goal was to give relief to the client who approaches me. It was due to passion that I used to enjoy the proceedings and challenges that come in my way, and await the results.
Any roadmaps that were followed by you, Mr. Thomas, and how do you consider the role of the same in this profession?
There was never a roadmap but for the whole-hearted faith in God, I used to trek the path which came in my way.
Somewhere Mr. Thomas, people have started feeling that corporate is a safe option instead of choosing a longer struggling period in litigation, do you think the same?
Absolutely not. Litigation has now taken a different turn with the advent of the Information Technology. No doubt, corporate maybe a safe haven, but the kind of satisfaction that you get in litigation and the flow of money or reward, comes from unexpected quarters, which has been my experience.
How do you push through your worst times? And what in litigation should one always learn to manage?
I’m yet to see the worst times as I was passionate towards law and since I respect my career and when one respects their career, all the worst times become learning experiences. In litigation, one should always be hardworking, patient and a good listener, which will help you manage all adversities.
Talking about work-life balance, there has been ample amount of discussion on health issues as a lawyer, what do you believe are the best practices to maintain the equilibrium?
Good food habits and a positive mindset, spending more time with nature and with your friends who are not related to law or your career, and to learn the art of laughing at any issue coming your way in your life or in your career and adversities, will make you hale, healthy and hearty.
What are the most important habits to be a successful lawyer?
Patience and Persuasiveness, Punctuality and Good-Mannerisms are the key habits to be a successful lawyer…!
Lastly, some tips for our readers?
To all the incoming, budding, corporate and litigating lawyers, enjoy the profession with respect and learn to enjoy the challenges. Learn to respect every human being who comes in our way in our day-to-day life, because when you give respect, we get respect. Don’t ask for respect, instead command respect…!
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