Interview: Smarika Azad, Managing Director & Counsel, Young Arena Litigators
Smarika Azad is Managing Director & Counsel at Young Arena Litigators. She is an Advocate working independently under the above name. She has completed Masters in Law in Intellectual Property Rights from National Law University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan and an alumni of Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
Question: Describe about your Law Firm, Foundation, Partners and Work areas?
Answer: My firm is my dream. Young Arena Litigators (YAL), was started a year ago with a dream to make practice easy for First Generation Lawyers and build confidence in people like me who do not have Legal Background. I found this Firm last year on 2nd of August having its principal office at South Extension Part II, New Delhi and one Chamber in Patiala House Court, New Delhi. The firm is solely carried on by me under the guidance of my various Seniors, who are my guiding force along with association of young talent in the fraternity. YAL, as we call it, has carried out work in every area of practice. Our work area expands from Civil and Criminal Litigation to Vetting, Conveyance, Due diligence and many more. Our website www.youngarenalitigators.in can shed more light on the same.
Question: What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Answer: I am required to appear in Courts for my clients, attend meetings with clients, conduct Internship interviews for Content Writing section of my firm to register its online presence which also provide opportunity for law students to improve their researching and writing skills. My responsibilities attract my attention on drafts of the Legal Documents be it for litigation or for some legal work like vetting or conveyancing, I also keep a close check on drafting of legal documents that are scheduled to be filled in the Courts. My priority is to keep the work perfect so that Client must know the hard work we have put in to deliver him the best.
Question: What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
Answer: The most challenging part is to keep everyone on the team intact and in coordination so that they can understand the importance of Teamwork. Each day I try, that everyone should learn from each other and from their daily experiences, so that they can grow within and professionally both.
Question: How many hours do you work in a typical week?
Answer: Being a lawyer we do not have fix hours of working sometimes we work for even 24 hours a day.
Question: How would you describe the corporate culture in law?
Answer: Corporate culture is great opportunity for the Law Graduates who do not want to get into Litigation. Nowadays, it is not only helping lawyers to expand their horizons but they are promising too with good job opportunities and respectable salary.
Question: Is this field growing enough so that there’s room for someone who is a first generation lawyer?
Answer: I believe that a Lawyer must have that spark and passion, to turn everything in their favour. If they lack this quality, then surely it will become difficult for them to grow. But if you have aced this quality no one can stop you even being the First Generation Lawyer, you can achieve a lot even if you are not from Legal DNA, however, that is enough to be recognised. I being one of those First Generation Lawyer faced difficulties in early phase of my career but there were people who helped me realize my capabilities and when I entered the fraternity I was working with another First Generation Lawyer Mr. Amit Swami, who guided me in the beginning and still being the guiding force and my Guru. He let me grow on my own gave me room to expand and build my confidence. I try doing the same and passing on the knowledge I have received to my juniors and associates. Thus, in this field there’s room, you just have to find right mentor for you and keep yourself open to learning.
Question: This industry has changed dramatically in the past years. What are your experience from inside your company? Where do you think the changes will happen in the next five years?
Answer: True, it has and as they say change is rule of the nature, my experience so far has been very nice I have received an overwhelming response from everybody around me in profession. In this fiercely competitive industry hard work always pays off you have to be on your toes at every point of time and there is no room for errors. Respect for your seniors, loyalty and trust towards your fraternity are the most essential traits required to become a successful person in this field. In the next five years, the changes will occur in the education mechanism of the law students and with digitalization of Courts, practise will become easy and convenient for the Lawyers if the same is implemented efficiently. According to me, there is dire need of changes in IPR laws, real estate laws and in similar legislations which we surely have introduced in India but, somehow left behind due to lack of implementation and knowledge. I want to see these areas of Litigation to enhance and come into regular practise.
Question: What educational preparation would you recommend for someone who wants to advance in this field?
Answer: A Lawyer is a student for life, someone who wants to advance in this field should be ready to learn everyday. Law is a dynamic field and we need to be up to date about all the new laws and rules that keep coming up. Law students must inculcate reading habits in themselves and must be adaptive to changes that occur constantly in the field. Apart from degrees and diplomas, readiness to learn from experiences of your own and of others helps one to rise. Always keep in mind that being a lawyer is a constant learning process; the day a lawyer stops learning is the day his practise ends.
Question: What qualifications do you seek in a new hire?
Answer: I look for the candidates who are open to learning as well as they should be ambitious; as, if you are not ambitious enough to be a lawyer you shouldn’t be one. Secondly, I see how much pain they can take to bring perfection in their work and lastly, intelligence is charm.
Question: Taking into account a candidate’s skills, education and experience, what other career paths would you suggest for young law students to explore before making a final decision?
Answer: Judiciary and Corporate Culture both are promising. They have their own charms I have myself appeared for Judiciary exams and I have worked in corporate sector also. So, the fields can be explored and one can decide after experiencing all of them. Judiciary and Civil Services are the most tempting Service as once you get through it you can actually taste the power, it must be used rightly for benefiting people at large. The Corporate Sector is a growing industry in India but it looks promising and students who wants to be exposed to corporate culture and receive a fixed salary at the same time can explore this field. However, I find my true passion in Litigation, I found myself loving Court practise and believe me it is fun once you start enjoying your work. Every day you are learning something new and every lawyer teaches you new tactics and even when you are watching them in front of Lordships, they unknowingly teaches you do’s and dont’s. I would like to say, that Law is like ocean and we can explore every bit of it what we need is only and only love and passion for this profession and you become unstoppable.
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