Dispute Resolution is one of the most emerging careers in Law and the demand for outside-the-court resolution is increasing by the day. However, before entering any profession, it's always best to be well aware of the know-how to succeed.
Guiding your way:
Radhika Bishwajit Dubey
Partner in the dispute resolution practice at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with over 13 years of experience.
A graduate from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
Resolving a conflict between parties without letting it go to the court is an art in itself. While a number of factors varying with every case influence this process, at the same time, there are certain qualities an individual is required to imbibe to make it a fruitful procedure and get the results as intended.
Nowadays, the demand for alternative dispute resolution is being preferred over other traditional methods, privacy being one of the major driving factors. With an ever-so-increasing competition in the field, how can you gain an edge over others and what would be the best course of action for the same? Let’s find out!
Your role as a Law Student
1. Where to start after graduation
My advice would be to start at the grass root level, gather experience at trial court level , understand the procedures and practice. Having a solid foundation is very important. Once you have achieved that, you can venture in more specialised areas like arbitration, IP, competition etc.
This is the beauty of our profession, there is always a new puzzle to be solved. In so far as competition is concerned, I say, one should only focus on himself/herself and compete to become his/her own better version. My advice would be to be at the top of your game and stay updated with the new developments.
2. Strive to work on these qualities
Accepting yourself as a student for life, willing to learn and expand your horizon coupled with hardwork and consistency. Being solution oriented and thinking out of the box should do the trick.
Understanding Dispute Resolution practice from the experienced!
1. Pursuing an independent practice and working with a law firm
Fundamentally, as lawyers, I believe there is not much of a difference between the two.
Having said that, some differences, in terms of work: would be that an independent lawyer will be more frequently approached by individual clients as opposed to firm lawyers whose bread and butter would be more so corporate clients and their disputes be it commercial or otherwise. Law firm practice is more client service driven.
In terms of financial outlay, firm lawyers get better paid, surely at the beginning of their careers as opposed to an independent lawyer whose compensation may vary depending on the office/chamber he is attached to. Some get the freedom to do their own matters which is not the case with firm lawyers.
In terms of career progression, I believe, there is great deal of learning at both places. Both places offer different kind of exposure. In a law firm the career progression is visible in terms of promotions and salary hikes, that may not be the case for an independent lawyer, his progression would be in terms of growing practice.
What one must not forget is that whatever place you are at, you must continue to learn and grow and become your best versions as professionals i.e., as lawyers. Your goal should be to become an ace lawyer.
2. Making this practice effective: How?
As lawyers, you must always encourage settlement but at the same time keep your client's interest as paramount. Giving sound and ethical advice is the key for resolution of disputes. It's easier said than done for you may be giving your client a sane advice but you cannot take responsibility for the other side. You can lead the horse to water, but you cannot make it drink it. Client has to on both sides take the final call.
Making it as a partner in a top-tier Law Firm: A dream
In a law firm, one makes it to partnership in anywhere around 8-10 years. Each story/journey is different. Some of the key driving factors are your competence; client service; business case; your general attitude and approach and also a good mentor to guide you and support you.
If you are not passionate about it, don't join. No wonder they call it the evil mistress. It is seen that a lot of people join litigation but are not able to cope up with the pressures or sustain the practice. It consumes you. It's a field which requires great deal of responsibility. As a lawyer, you are the officer of the court to assist the court so that justice is done.