CJI urges law firms to take up pro bono cases

Indian law firms need to take up pro-bono cases: CJI

The CJI said the law firms must focus on retaining more women lawyers by incorporating necessary institutional changes

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. Credit: PTI file photo

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Wednesday asked the Indian law firms to consider community outreach and take up pro bono cases as there is a  prevailing perception is that they only service the rich.

“Internationally, law firms are taking up several social causes and actively engaging in providing justice to those in need. I urge you all to take up more and more pro-bono cases and reach out to those who are inhibited from reaching us. When it comes to fulfilling our constitutional aspirations, we all must do our bit," he said.

Speaking at the release of the coffee table book published by the Society of Indian Law Firms, he said there exists misconception, among people and lawyers, that activities of the law firm do not relate to society and the need of the hour is to remove such perceptions.

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Calling for adding diversity to the law firms, he said law firms must focus on retaining more women lawyers by incorporating necessary institutional changes.

“There are diamonds in the rough everywhere. I would urge you all to take up initiatives to ensure inclusivity and realise full potential of our human resources. After all, diversity brings wide-ranging opinions to the table. A diverse team can provide more equitable and holistic solutions," he said.

Justice Ramana pointed out that many young talented lawyers, despite their interest and willingness, are left out of the process due to inequity in opportunities for lawyers.

He also emphasised training future and present lawyers to adapt to the changing nature of the profession as tier two and three cities are becoming hubs of commercial activities, which would necessarily lead to transactions and disputes.

He also asked law firms to pay attention to the impact of ethics in their practice.

"We all are custodians of a very rich tradition. We must pursue our chosen path with the utmost integrity.
The future of the legal profession in this country is dependent on the change in our attitudes. It is high time for us to widen our horizon and create an inclusive, fair, competitive platform for our young graduates," he said.