Advocate Foram Gala, the Co-Founder of F & S Law Chambers has amassed expertise in drafting before various authorities through a regular advisory on civil suits, writ petitions, legal notices, private criminal complaints, criminal revision applications, etc. She appears before the Hon’ble High Courts along with trial courts viz., sessions courts, district courts, Family Courts, Consumer Redressal Forums, Real Estate Regulation Authority, District Collector’s Office, Charity Commissioner, Registrar of Firms, Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies and other competent authorities.
Besides her professional practice, Foram is a contributor to various social causes & is impanelled as an advocate on “Nyaya Bandhu”, an initiative by The Government of India providing pro bono legal assistance to the marginalized & underprivileged. Foram is also empanelled as a “Neutral” with “SAMA – SPACE FOR RESOLUTION” which is an online dispute resolution platform. Known for being the peacemaker amongst family, friends & community, she has spent a better part of her career working for advocating mediation and collaborative dispute resolution as first-hand resorts.
Host: Expert Areas - Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Family & Matrimonial Laws (Category - Legal Under 10)
Foram: Making it to the top in a male-dominated universe is not easy, but few have the mettle and the prowess to break the boundaries and achieve something meaningful yet phenomenal. Foram Gala’s story is something of that sort and is worth celebrating too.
Advocate Foram Gala, the Co-Founder of F & S Law Chambers has achieved breath-taking glory in her career and her getting recognized & awarded as a “LEX FALCON GLOBAL AWARDEE 2022-2023 - LEGAL UNDER 10” is a well-deserved accolade and goes on to show how women are leading the way with more grit in today’s world. Her achievements are inspiring and set the tone for the budding women entrepreneurs in the country to walk in her shoes to grow. Having expertise in the following practice areas – Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Family & Matrimonial Laws, she will be felicitated at the LEXTALK World Conference in Singapore for being one of the top 100 lawyers across the globe (with having under 10 years of experience – “legal under 10”).
While we bask in this glory, let’s have a quick tete-a-tete with the woman of the moment to understand more about her glorious journey
Host: Tell us about your journey throughlaw.
Foram: I am a first-generation lawyer & have graduated with a B.L.S; LL. B from India’s oldest & most prestigious law school – The Government Law College. Eventually, I went on to pursue my master’s in law in Corporate & Financial Laws from Jindal Global law school, meanwhile, I have also pursued my training in civil-commercial mediation from the ADR-ODR International, United Kingdom and I'm also a certified forensic graphologist, certified by International Institute of forensic sciences in Pune. A voracious reader I have always wanted to grasp new subjects and learn avidly all throughout my career. Moreover, the learning continues and is for life, as lawyers are learners for life! In my practice, I align with the notion of gaining an even curating expertise, my vision’s premise is giving valuable counsel for every client that comes through the door, I have never missed an opportunity to gain proficiency, and more importantly, to apply it.
Host: Being a woman and a first-generation lawyer, setting up your own practice may have been challenging. So, tell us about your path from hardship to success.
Foram: Being in this profession gives me a hard-earned sense of fulfilment and contentment, you rightly said the journey was not easy and it was filled with bumps. I did not give in to the limitations or let them sabotage my mindset, I had my eyes set on the bigger vision I strived to achieve. I would describe it as something similar to planting a seed, when observed and fretted over every day, the growth is stiflingly slow, it is more about the trust you place in the process of nurturing the seed thoroughly that you know it’s going to grow into a tree that keeps on giving, and helping every being around it thrive. Starting something requires you to be very focused on the progress curve without losing an eye for detail.
My mantra from the very start of my career has been focused on the task at hand and giving my best by putting your right foot forward. Rather than focusing on the microelements, I find it as important to focus on the macro elements and strive toward a picture of excellence. Consistency in everything I did in my career, has taken those micro steps and built it to the macro achievements I couldn’t have seen from the starting line, and I’m grateful to my past self for times of avoiding instant gratification and focusing on the game of concordant solidity.
A meticulous profession like law lies a harsh stigma; we need to think people first and stay close to them in our service, the ethics of law as well as humanity have to go hand-in-hand in every decision I make. Being a legal entrepreneur is equally arduous and is comparative to that of any other entrepreneur raising their own brand. But the most promising aspect of moving through these challenges is to find something more acute, more grounded and more prolific than what I started with. I prioritise and have always prioritized knowledge and skill in my career, I believe more in the process and the growth within the process than the end goal.
Host: How do youhandle stress, given your profileand its day-to-day grind?
Foram: It is definitely not a cake walk. But I always try taking one day at a time. Most importantly, I try to follow the ‘involve and detach’ theory. This means I am always thoroughly involved in the case but also equally alienated and do not identify too much with any of it. Easier said than done, I admit. But I always try to stick to this theory as much as possible and that helps me stay sane and keeps me going. But I would say that it is an ongoing practice to maintain this and it is an art to master it. So, am perfecting the nodes one day at a time!
Host: What are your key areas of practice? Tell us a little about that.
Foram: While F & S Law Chambers is a multi-speciality law firm, my domain of practice coversa large spectrum of – personal & family laws, that include handling cases of divorce, custody, domestic violence, maintenance, and guardianship. Apart from holding expertise in matrimonial laws and relationship counselling, I advise clients and am known for resolving complex matters of family settlements, wills, trusts, estates & the like.
Host: What are the skill sets that you think every budding lawyer should showcase?
Foram: Some of the virtues that I feel are essential to becoming a good lawyer are being sharp, always being a good listener, being adaptive and most importantly, patience. They must be
technically adept, and successfully strategize, it’s all about making the right moves at the right time. Whether in the courtroom or with clients, a good lawyer needs to be flexible with approaches yet fixed with their goals. Withal, a client’s reputation or life is always in a lawyer’s hands. As a professional, helping others is our second nature and we have to be responsible and mindful, exceptionally conscious about the decisions we take.
Host: Living in the era of technology, how do you incorporate it into your legal profession and your work routine?
Foram: Pandemic has pushed lawyers to explore ways of introducing efficiencies in our work and that is how we learned to adjust to the new normal. Today we have access to numerous websites, various applications for lawyers – where we get regular updates with respect to dates, the status of the case, also serving as a reminder with respect to the schedule of the cases, etc. These help us stay on track and saves us a lot of time as well. Few other tools like common servers, and data rooms also serve the purpose. So, legal tech serves two purposes – one efficiency and effectivity and the other – optimally helping us utilize time.
Host: What is your word of advice to the next generation, people who aspire to be like you?
Foram: Consistency is the key to growth. Being in a legal profession, one needs to be very disciplined & patient. Follow your heart, be your own northern star and guide yourself to growth. Always listen to your gut and set your purpose from the get-go. That is what matters in the long run. So, continue thinking on your toes and everything else will follow. Patience is the key, in a world full of the pleasure-unpleasure principal, legal professions and the judicial system demands patience and persistence. So do not look for instant gratification, have the courage to take the road less travelled and success will follow.
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