I’m passionate about being a lawyer. I quit my previous Government job to become a lawyer about ten years ago. I was toying with the idea of becoming a lawyer, ever since I became a legal assistant in my previous job. I had to represent my department in the Consumer Forum. I had to entrust Vakalatnama to the Government pleader, prepare parawise remarks as well as objections and proof affidavits in the departmental cases in which I represented my department, which moulded me to some extent with the basics of legal profession.
Sometimes, the Government pleader might not be present in the forum. The President of the Consumer Forum in order to dispose of the complaints summarily as well as expeditiously, sometimes permitted me to argue my case on behalf of the department. There was no hard and fast rule since Consumer Forum was only a quasi-judicial body.
Before availing the chance the matter was passed over. I prepared the points for my arguments rather sincerely. The complainant’s side was represented by senior lawyers. But I never lost my hope. It was testing hour of my life. The complainant’s side was argued brilliantly by the senior lawyer. Then my turn came. I had some starting trouble. But I did not lose my hope. When I began my arguments, I closed my eyes. How long did I take for my arguments? I don’t know. When I finished my arguments, I opened my eyes and looked at the President and the members. They were silent and in rapt attention. The complaint was posted for orders in a week.
After a week I went to the Forum. I was very eager to know and particularly interested in knowing the verdict, because I had argued as a novice in the matter. After some grueling moments of wait, the matter was called. I was also very nervous, because I had argued in the matter perhaps overstepping my limits, because my duty was only to assist the government pleader.
The President pronounced the judgment: ‘In the result, the complaint is dismissed without costs.’ I heaved a sigh of relief and even got elated. It was the first ever incident in my life that whetted my ambition to become a lawyer.
I waited a few more years so as to become eligible for some concessions from the department. Then I took the fateful decision. I issued a notice to the department about my intention of quitting my job. I did not inform to my family and my in laws. My notice was accepted. Within a few days, I quit the job, to become what I was longing for or I had a passion: ‘Becoming a lawyer.’
I gleefully enrolled as a lawyer. But very soon I realized that the profession of a lawyer was not a bed of roses. Very soon I found out that for a successful lawyer there are various determining factors like politics, caste, influence, push, if needed to influence the judicial officer, knack, capacity to recall, presence of mind, skill of expression and presentation, skill in oration, a very good library, a rich family back ground and tradition etc, etc. But I was a first time lawyer in my family with no family background. I was too idealistic lacking many of these qualities. For a few years I struggled very much to earn even a reasonable income. I was very upset. It affected my family socially and economically. I could not get even a loan from a bank or purchase a two wheeler. I lost my credibility. In other words my credit rating was zero. Banks had an unwritten rule that they should not sanction any two wheeler loan either to a lawyer or a police man. It was not because lawyers would drag them to litigation, but generally lawyers were considered poor and could not afford to repay any loan. Hence there was an embargo. Very soon I got disillusioned with my profession.
I even wondered at my brother lawyers who owned a car and drove them. But when I enquired about them, I came to know that it was not their profession but their family background that provided cars to them. But , against all odds, I carried on as a lawyer, confronting many insults that were heaped against me time and again by my own family members, my wife, my son , my daughter, my relatives. I even drew a circle around me beyond which I never tried to tread.
Now I have almost completed ten years of standing as a lawyer. Now, people around me have started to recognize me and I have picked up my profession some extent. In the meanwhile I had even gone to the brink of my life.
But please do not feel sorry for me. It was out and out my decision to quit the job, just because I had a passion for the profession and still I love it. Wearing my black coat, my neck band and my gown etc still instill in me a sense of pride and self-confidence. Nothing is wrong with my profession. Perhaps I was a mug to pick up it late or I had not the requisite background to shine as a lawyer and mint money or I was too idealistic. In any event still I love my profession.