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‘As citizens our rights come with obligations and duties’

Advocate Sahil Chopra reminds all to love the nation and refrain from anything that is against the constitution

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Sahil Chopra is an advocate, practicing in all fields of law with a special interest in corporate commercial integration. He is the Co-founder and Partner in the law firm, The Law Chambers. In this interview, the Apeejay School, Saket alumnus reminds citizens of the underlying duties and obligations that come along with their rights and tells students to brave the gestation period in any profession they choose. Edited excerpts:

How is life as an advocate?

First let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a first generation lawyer. I come from a business background and we have a family business which is more than 60 years old. So one may say that I am the odd one out in my family. Nevertheless, I took this plunge. I worked with a law firm for the initial 7-8 years and now it has been six and a half years that I have my own firm. My office is located in Connaught Place, Delhi. We have associate offices across India. Besides that, we also have two offices in the UAE, New York and USA. We will soon be coming up with an office in Singapore as well.

Well, as far as work is concerned, it’s a very busy life. I have to go to the court in the morning. Everyday, I leave at 8:30 am.  I am in active practice, so I have to appear before the honourable Supreme Court, the High Court and other forums to represent various clients, corporate or high net individuals. Our firm also looks into advisory services. We practice in all areas of law.

What inspired you to choose law as a career?

I felt that there should be someone to change things. Law has been there since a long time and people are still not aware of their legal rights and obligations. I wanted to be a part of the system and try to change or improve it.

Why do you think are citizens not aware about their obligations?

We only talk of rights but it is very important for us to also understand our obligations as citizens. Rights are always there but there are implied duties that come along which unfortunately people don’t recognise or follow. A very famous legal magazine says ‘Ignorance of law is not an excuse’. Everything is available online now; there is a system and things have to be done in a certain manner. Citizens are themselves responsible for changing the system because they want shortcuts. I feel that there are always two options in life: right and wrong. Yes, the right path is certainly time consuming but at the end of the day things are relatively better that way.

 Tell us about your favorite memories from school days?

I think the last day of school was special when we were told that we could scribble on a friend’s t-shirt and write our messages. Then greeting one’s faculty that time. It was a very emotional moment. On one hand, I was very happy that I was going to college but I was also sad that school life, a sorted period of life that we experienced for 14 years, was coming to an end. But such is the way of the world that life has to move on. I would always cherish that time, especially the last day of school.

One life lesson you would give to current students?

There are no shortcuts to success. Even if you choose law or any other field there is always a gestation period. You have to dedicate some reasonable amount of years to establish yourself in that field whether it is medicine, business or any other field.

Secondly, you must love your work. You should consider your work as God, you must worship it. If you do this, one day the profession will certainly repay you. We should be happy in our work, then only we will be able to grow and achieve in life. 

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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