Apoorva Pandey is an advocate with an experience of close to ten years, practicing in various courts of Delhi. In these years of practicing law, she has dealt with a multitude of eclectic and diverse cases pertaining to Matrimonial Cases, Criminal Law, White collar crimes etc. As an individual, she considers herself as an avid earner, fascinated by the intricacies of the legal field. Apoorva has been humbled to have worked on some noteworthy cases.
Host: What motivated you to choose the legal sector as a domain of work and how has been your career span?
Apoorva: For me, the decision of becoming a lawyer had more to do with who I was as a person and how I felt I could make a difference in the society.
Even as a child , I was extremely inquisitive, curious and detail oriented. Growing up, I was fascinated by the concepts of equality and social justice. As my fascination grew, I wanted to learn more and absorb more knowledge. I was deeply influenced by the process of dispensation of justice, and how the provision of justice or the lack thereof can deeply impact society. Thus, this feeling of wanting to make a difference, and becoming an important intermediary in providing justice, was a primary reason for me to pursue legal education.
My career has been extremely rewarding and satisfying. Law has afforded me the opportunity of dealing with a diverse set of cases and clients. I have had the opportunity to be an important cog in the wheel of imparting justice. By speaking to various clients, I have become more aware as an individual, empathetic, and have understood the travails people face in society. Dealing with cases from fields such as criminal law, matrimonial law etc. have sharpened and honed my skills making me a better lawyer. I sincerely hope to continue this journey of continuing to learn, hone and evolve my skills both as an individual and as a lawyer. I feel that though its almost been a decade in practice, my journey has just begun and in the words of Robert Frost, " … I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."
Host: What are the different challenges and opportunities that you have or had faced while working in this field ?
Apoorva: I believe that challenges and opportunities are two sides of the same coin, for where there is a challenge there is an opportunity to grow and become even more successful upon the completion of the challenge. Further in order to exploit any opportunity, one is faced with multiple challenges embedded within the opportunity matrix that need to be overcome. For me personally, even in failure there is a lot of learning that takes place, and the experience makes one richer for the future. This was obviously a more philosophical perspective to the question.
However on a daily basis, the biggest challenge one faces is the paucity of time. As a lawyer one has to multitask between, appearing in court, meeting clients, reading, drafting etc. As a result one is often always running against the clock. Therefore it is essential to be a great multitasker and to understand the importance of the urgency of work that needs to be done. Thus time management is the key. As a lawyer one also meets a diverse set of clients, each facing a problem that for them is their Achilles heel. I have learnt to be extremely patient, empathetic, and understand the client's problem at hand and prepare the best case possible for them, so that they may achieve the best outcomes.
While the list is endless, I will end by saying that one must continue to upgrade their skill sets and always keep time and space for life , and one's loved ones.
Host: The pandemic saw some courts begin moving towards more remote proceedings and availability . Is this sustainable , and a possible way to increase access to justice, in your opinion?
Apoorva: The Covid 19 pandemic was one of the darkest phases, we witnessed in all of human history. It was unprecedented in its impact on all spheres of life and society. As one is aware, the whole world was shut down to all forms of human endeavour and activity. In this challenging environment, the Indian judiciary took the monumental decision of taking courts online in order to serve the interest of justice. Even today court's are now functioning in a hybrid environment where lawyers can appear physically as well as virtually.
I have always believed that systems need to evolve and change with time, keeping up with the latest developments and changes in technology. This change of going hybrid has been extremely bold as an initiative and one with far reaching positive consequences. It enables lawyers to appear and take on cases in multiple geographies seamlessly, thereby reducing the time spent in traveling. One can now appear in multiple courts , thereby representing multiple clients, rather than having to wait in one particular physical location. Hybrid courts have also ensured that clients can attend all the hearings online,thereby being more aware of their own case as well as their advocates' performance. Taking courts online has also allowed more common citizens to view the court proceedings in real time, making them more aware of the legal system. The online courts also help in achieving distributive justice by ensuring that common citizens have access to the courts of justice at a reduced cost, as people living in remote and far off places can access digital courts in an affordable manner. Thus, this move of taking courts online has done a lot of social good. While challenges in the implementation of this system remain, with time they will be ironed out, and it is clear to see that hybrid courts are sustainable and will continue to remain so in the future.
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