Jul 31, 2008
Pics: Praveen Tauro Kulshekar
Recently these very columns had carried a story about Vijeta Pinky D'Sa who had done every Mangalorean proud with her stupendous achievements. Today Daijiworld is glad and proud to present a success story of another young woman who has scaled greater heights with an astounding achievement.
She wanted to work in the management field. But destiny had other plans. And better ones at that. Meet Reshma Rodrigues from Bejai, Mangalore, an achiever of an enviable milestone by securing the 4th rank in the recently concluded State-Level Junior Division Civil Judge Exams.
About 8,000 candidates appeared for the exam and 539 were selected for the final interview. Finally, 232 were selected as junior division judges.
Reshma did her Primary schooling at Lady Hill Carmel School, Urwa and pursued her High School schooling at Lady Hill Victoria School, Urwa. A commerce enthusiast that she was, she opted for the commerce stream in her PUC at the Canara Pre-University College, Mangalore. She completed her B.Com from St Aloysius Evening College. She then went on to attain LLB from the SDM Law College, Mangalore, followed by an M.Com degree from the Karnataka State Open University via correspondence.
So why the shift from Commerce to Law? "I was actually looking for a post of a company secretary. So I thought LLB would be a good qualification to have in my armoury before applying for the post. But during my period of law study, I got interested in the subject of law and I decided to go ahead with the practicing of law. Besides, the examination results also proved to be an encouraging factor" she reveals.
Initially she worked with K Prabhakar Achar, criminal lawyer, Mangalore, for a period of one year. She then took up teaching and worked in St Agnes Degree College as a lecturer teaching law subject, besides simultaneously practicing as a lawyer. Later, she started practicing with A C Gopal, civil lawyer. At present, she is an independent practicing lawyer. One of her major clients is a company called 'Allegro Ventures'.
The encouragement given by her father Aloysius Alban Rodrigues certainly is one of the major aspects that determined the paradigm shift in her career prospect. "Although I am not educated, I have a lawyer's mind. Many a time I give tips to lawyers myself. I had so many business related cases in the courts that I almost became a constant visitor of the courts, thereby knowing quiet a few things about law. Therefore, I felt that my children should take up law. Reshma was not interested in law initially, but I knew she had the innate ability to excel in the filed. I persuaded her to take up law and today when I look at her success, all I can say is that my dream has translated into reality" he exalts.
Reshma is the younger of the two children of Aloysius. Her elder brother Ashok Rodrigues works in a private company in Mangalore. Her father is an auto consultant. He is also the vice-president of Mangalore Auto Rickshaw and Car Drivers' Society.
So how does she find working in the field of law, a field that is not considered advisable for women? "Yes, if you are a practicing criminal lawyer, you do feel it is not your cup of tea as a woman, wherein you have to deal with criminals, run around the police station time and again and so on. But practicing as a civil lawyer is not all that a headache for women and that is what I am doing at the moment. I deal with civil related issues such as property matters etc." she informs.
Law is one field where truth is what you prove it to be. Many consider law today is not the honest of professions and by Reshma's own admission, many lawyers 'lie' or support a lie in order to win a case. "Sometimes we are up faced with cases which we know are not going to go our way. There are times when a lawyer's conscience questions him/her. But one thing that we are taught in law is, if you have a client, your job is to defend him/her. It is the court's job to find out what is true and what is false. That is the way we have to show respect to our profession," she discloses.
We might well see her as a judge in the near future. When asked if she would contemplate bringing about some changes in the way law is practiced in our country, she says that reducing the delay of cases will be something that will be one of her top priorities. "Some cases do take a lot of time. But there are many cases that are deliberately dragged for a longer period. If I become a judge, I will try my best to finish such cases off as soon as possible" she reveals.
Speaking about the scope of law she says that an LLB qualification is not just to become a lawyer or a judge. Nowadays many corporate companies are looking for LLB graduates since almost every company requires a legal advisor. She adds that even in the competitive exams they prefer people who have a law background.
Besides, she adds that knowledge of law can mould people into better citizens of the country. "When we lawyers go to a shop, we are aware of consumer rights. When we buy a property etc, we will be aware of the property laws. This way, we know we cannot be cheated in any way, for if someone does, they will be in for a lot of trouble later. Similarly, if all people are made aware of the laws, many will be aware of their rights and how best they can use them. Yes, Constitution, human rights and environmental studies have been made mandatory in almost all courses taught in degree colleges. But I feel issues such as consumer rights etc should be added in that syllabus, so that people are aware of what they can do," suggests Reshma.
Well, looking at this inspiring transition from a commerce student to an independent practicing lawyer, one can only say 'Commerce's loss was Law's gain!'
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