Calling it a watershed moment for female litigators, the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum on Friday held a celebratory session in view of the designation of six women advocates as Senior Advocates.
Deepika Marwaha, Garima Prashad, Neelima Tripathi, Nitya Ramakrishnan, Suruchi Aggarwal and Malvika Trivedi, who were conferred the senior gown by the Delhi High Court last week, were the speakers for the interactive session.
The session witnessed the newly designated seniors respond to the various questions put to them by the organisers and the audience.
Speaking about her experience with the new senior designation system, especially as a female litigator, Senior Advocate Deepika Marwaha said,
“First, it was about the work done by you.. then it came to judges to vote. The judges voted on the basis of work done in their court. It was a better system. Everybody got a fair opportunity.”
Senior Advocate Malvika Trivedi added,
“Since we have come out successful, we would be saying yes. This is a more transparent system. A lot of our colleagues should have been there and will be there. The system will improve more hopefully. This is a million times better than what it was.”
“6 in a list of 55.. one is hopeful that in the near future, at least 50% are women“, Senior Advocate Neelima Tripathi said.
They also shared their view of the importance of networking in the field of litigation.
“Networking is a much-maligned word (especially when it comes to female lawyers)… I see it as extremely important. You know what is going on where… It pushes you to go forward…It would lead you to varied kinds of cases. I encourage all young lawyers. Discuss law, economics, politics…”
Weighing in on the issue, Senior Advocate Suruchi Aggarwal stated,
“If you do extend yourself… it’s sheer progress. The more you associate, you find your own weaknesses.”
While Senior Advocate Garima Prashad remarked that networking improved good luck and results in a “chain reaction”, Marwaha added,
“Your good work will get you good clients. No amount of advertisment can help you. It is your discipline.”
As a matter of advice, Prashad said,
Most of us lady lawyers fall in the trap of filing and drafting … then keep briefing seniors. One should not fall in that trap. One should continue doing matters… client should have that much faith that they let you argue the case.”
A question was also put to the seniors to share if they’ve been personally shook by a case.
“Parliament attack case. It had all aspects of criminal law. When there’s personal liberty involved .. the client gets a death penalty, you are bound to get affected.“, Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan revealed.