How I Went From a District Court Lawyer To a Supreme Court Lawyer in 10 Years

The Finance Story

Today we are sharing the journey of Haresh Raichura, Advocate Supreme Court of India.

Haresh is experienced in arguing Special Leave Petitions in Supreme Court and has been in the litigation world since 1982 with a chamber in The Supreme Court.

His wife Mrs. Saroj Raichura is also a Lawyer in Supreme Court and his son Kalp Raichura is an Advocate.

Here is his story.

My Journey Becoming a Supreme Court Lawyer

The distance between Junagadh District Court to Supreme Court (New Delhi) is about 1254 km - It took me about 8 years to cross this distance.

In 1982, when I joined Junagadh District Court Bar, as a first-generation lawyer with no plans to practice in Supreme Court - I just wanted to earn a little so that I can settle in life.

Perhaps, I found a ladder. And I kept climbing and after 8 years, I found myself practicing in Supreme Court.

Below is the timeline from starting at a District Court to Supreme Court of India:

1. Cases from family and friends

  • First Cases from family friends through my parents.
  • My Father’s friends and a few relatives gave me their cases to handle.

2. Cases from colleagues

  • I soon tried to make friends with other Lawyers in the same court.
  • I would let them know that I had no background and no work.
  • I would also let them know that I would appreciate if they could refer any of their work to me.
  • Some of them remembered me when they had any case coming up in a nearby village and would request me to go there to seek an adjournment. I went.
  • Then they gave me another case and so on.
  • Advice: There is no shame in asking or letting someone know if they could be of help to you!

3. Cases from District Court friends

  • After 4 years, I asked my friends if they would refer me small cases if I shift to High Court - They encouraged me.
  • I shifted to High Court at Ahmedabad.
  • The friends with whom I had sat in District Court for four years, began to refer cases to me for filing in High Court.
  • That’s how I started my journey as a High Court Lawyer.

4. Cases from High Court friends

  • In the next 4 years, I worked in the High Court and made friends.
  • After 4 years in High Court, I asked my friends if they would refer me to small cases if I shifted to the Supreme Court - They encouraged me.
  • I shifted to the Supreme Court in New Delhi (India).
  • The friends with whom I sat in High Court, began to refer cases to me for filing in Supreme Court.
  • That’s how I started my journey as a Supreme Court Lawyer.

5. Cases from satisfied clients

  • After some 2 years in the Supreme Court, I passed the Advocate on Record Examination.
  • Now I was in practice for 10 years.
  • Cases also started coming from clients who were satisfied with my work previously.

Advice to Young Professionals Who Want to Make it Big in the Legal Profession 

The below advice has been attributed to having been said by a Senior Advocate of District Court, Junagadh (India):

  1. You must be either in - the courthouse or in your office.
  2. No lobby discussion.
  3. NEVER depend on police practices or on referring agents.
  4. Only read during intervals of time, periodically, of each case,
  5. Maintain your own handwritten diary of relevant case-laws and your own notebook of citations.
  6. Everything you speak must be sugarcoated.

Advice to Junior Advocates starting their careers in - Litigation Field and in the Non-Litigation legal field:

  • Litigation world leads to a court life - Here getting justice for someone or fighting for a good cause brings fulfillment in life.
  • The Non-litigation world is mostly based on - ‘Contracts between parties’ and ‘Disputes arising in the business world’. Here, money and human greed are interacting at every step. If your goal is to make money, this may be an ideal field.

Advice to Chartered Accountants:

  • Those of you who have already qualifications of a Chartered Accountant have a special advantage in Tax litigations which run into crores of rupees.
  • You are a Lawyer who knows Accounting Principles can argue well.
  • He can see what other lawyers cannot see.
  • In this Litigation, most cases come by reference from other Chartered Accountants. This also helps amazingly.
  • Thus his/her colleagues in colleges become the main Referral Base and this is truly a great advantage.

Key Takeaways From My Journey

  • Set quarterly goals of money which you wish to earn. And keep revising these goals every three months.
  • In both the fields, in the beginning, you should see some - Masters at Work. If you can join their office as a junior, you are very lucky. But if you cannot join their chambers, you can still learn from them by watching their performance in courtrooms or public conferences.
  • Remember that the life of successful people is like ' An Iceberg' - Only the tip is visible.
  • Rest of what they do is invisible. They spend most of their time building contacts with key clients, studying and preparing for cases.
  • In the beginning, Do Not Aim Too High. Aim for moderate success in the beginning. You have to first become familiar with the system before you plan big.
  • In any field, you will be recognized as an expert if you are daily reading about 200 pages of periodicals, monthly law magazines in your field.
  • You will then have the latest knowledge and thereby you will have edge over other already established lawyers.

In Conclusion...

My Journey was not as easy as I stated above - There was a LOT of struggle involved.

One should keep moving forward. However cleverly one may plan, he still fails. It is a part of life.

At such times, one remembers God. And then God helps us. So keep pushing yourself.

Failure is part and parcel of life.

Now It's Your Turn!!!

He is super active on Linkedin / Facebook at - Haresh Raichura.

Haresh Raichura has a wealth of knowledge - Be it about Law or How can Chartered Accountants make it big in the world of Tax Litigation, he is excited to guide, help and answer relevant questions.

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