Ram Jethmalani was one of the highest-paid and top-class criminal lawyers in India. People around the country know him for his cross-examination tricks and techniques of witnesses in the courts.
If you are a law aspirant doing online CLAT coaching or studying in law school, then you surely have heard a lot of Ram Jethmalani. Let’s go through some crucial lessons from his life and the cases that are essential to becoming a great lawyer in India.
Ram Jethmalani: A Brief About His Life
He was born on 14th September 1923 in Karachi, which was part of India at the time. At the mere age of 17, he did his graduation in law and started working on legal practices.
He came to India after partition and continued his law practices. Over the years, he fought some of the most popular criminal cases in India which went on to make headlines.
Ram Jethmalani was a Senior Lawyer in the Supreme Court and used to charge a huge amount for every appearance. He didn’t have a fixed fee. It depended on the capability of the client. Jethmalani also served as the Urban Development Minister in the cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Law Minister, as well as the Chairman of the Bar Council of India.
Also read: Highest Paid Lawyers in India
Lessons from Ram Jethmalani’s Life & Career
1. Have a learning mindset always
Jethmalani passed away in 2019 at the age of 95. In an interview, he shared that he had a team of young lawyers teaching law to him regularly. Even though he had been practising law for several decades, the mindset for learning was still there.
For aspiring lawyers, it is crucial to understand that one should never stop learning no matter how many cases you have fought or what your age is.
2. Reach the root cause
Ram Jethmalani was an iconic lawyer for several reasons. He used to believe in searching for the root cause of every case. The importance of finding the root cause is that you can’t prove your point or solve an issue without digging it to the root.
For instance, he once said that people blame Jinnah for the partition of India, but it is wrong. The partition happened because of a Hindu miser who didn’t employ Jinnah in Harchand and Company in Karachi. Jinnah had demanded INR 100 for the job, but he was refused by the owner who could pay INR 75. Jethmalani says that if the owner could pay only INR 25 more, the partition might not have happened.
3. Do not consider law as business
Poor clients don’t get the best lawyers. It is because good lawyers charge a high amount of money, considering it as a business. Ram Jethmalani was the richest lawyer in India, but his income came from only 10% of the clients. For the rest of the clients, it was a nominal fee or no fee at all. That 10% of the clients used to be capable of paying huge sums, such as Harshad Mehta, Arvind Kejriwal, Aasaram Bapu, etc.
During his tenure as the Chairman of the Bar Council of India, he created a new draft to be added to the Rules of Conduct. The draft mentioned that it is the duty of every lawyer to provide free legal services to those who need it but aren’t capable of paying. A good lawyer can get justice done for many, but the monetary part leaves many people to remain injustice.
For aspiring lawyers, he said that one should not pursue law if he considers this profession as a business.
4. Put in 15 hours of work daily
With millions of legal cases in India and thousands of lawyers fighting for them, it is important for lawyers to put immense practice and hard work into it. For young people in the law, Jethmalani said that they should be able to put in up to 15 hours of daily work into their profession to become a successful lawyer.
If you can’t dedicate this much hard work at least at a young age, then you should look towards some other profession or business.
5. Be a law architect
To win arguments in a courtroom, you need to be able to persuade a judge with several aspects of the case. It can be history, philosophy, science, logic, and languages. You need to master all these aspects to become an architect in law. He also gave significant importance to the command over the language. Better the command over a language, the easier it becomes to get ahead of the opposition.
As a budding lawyer or someone looking to crack the law entrance exam with CLAT online classes, you can learn plenty of life lessons and professional things from the life of Ram Jethmalani.
What takeaways do you take from Jethmalani’s professional career and life?
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