Mr. Moiz Rafique, a law graduate of the Institute of Law, Nirma University is the Managing Partner of Privy Legal Service LLP, a Gujarat based multi-disciplinary law firm. The law firm, established in 2017, operates with a strong focus on providing innovative solutions to its clients.
In this edited interview to Bar and Bench, Mr. Rafique, talks about his journey as a first-generation lawyer, how he went about establishing his law-firm, and growing his network among senior lawyers, and the hobbies he is passionate about.
What hurdles do first-generation lawyers face when becoming independent practitioners at an early stage?
First things first, you have to make your mind and you have to show absolute preparedness to undertake whatever is going to come by your way. Establishing oneself as an independent practitioner at an early stage is not the epitome of success nor is failing at an early age. What is important is to be open and receptive to circumstances. It’s also very important for a first generation lawyer to have a mentor. The hurdles that are there for first generation lawyers are by far the same for anyone who is going to inherit a well-established practice. The only difference being that a first generation lawyer would have lesser support and no direct answers to issues at hand.
The practical solution to overcome hurdles as a first generation lawyer would be to stop thinking of oneself as a first generation lawyer. No law school admission is based on family background. It’s just about converting possibilities into opportunities and giving best to each of such opportunities.
What did you do to build up your law firm practice?
It’s very important to have a special way to go about things, be it whatever profession one is involved in. The process of building up my law firm was based upon a principle to provide simple solutions and timely results to my clients. We believed in making realistic promises to our clients and while we ventured to build our law firm in some unique ways we understood the ground rules that we had to follow and the limitation and boundaries that unchartered territories came with. It’s also very important to keep in mind that while initial growth may be slow, it is important to be steady.
Looking back, what perhaps really worked well for us, was establishing the law-firm in my home town, as most of the playing factors were already existent there and no additional footwork was required.
What is heartening though is change in time has opened up more avenues for young practitioners, allowing them an opportunity to establish law firms in their own cities, as opposed to making the move to Mumbai or New Delhi. If possible such opportunities should be capitalized.
When setting up one’s law firm, is it important to specialize in a few core subjects or should there be a more generalist approach?
It’s not that one starts afresh. Each and every individual wanting to set up a law firm would technically have some experience and would want to build on that experience. However, at the same time, one should be extremely flexible and remain open to opportunities in other areas of law. This shall help the firm’s growth as well as help sharpen one’s broader understanding towards law.
I would say being responsible and consistent, would definitely contribute towards setting up of a successful practice. And venturing to new unknown practice areas must be done cautiously. However, at all times, one must continue to focus on building key practice areas of strength.
Being younger to many other professionals, what do you do to maintain rapport with seniors at the bar?
Networking and relationship building is always cherished in this profession. Having less inhibitions has always taken me places and has helped me connect with many seniors on an one to one basis, over drinks and many cups of tea. I have unhesitatingly cleared my doubts and shared my ideas with my network and have been rewarded by advice from many seniors on various legal intricacies. All of such advice, has and continues to serve me well. Hearing from experienced individuals is always an enticing experience.
Besides law, what other interests and hobbies do you pursue?
I have keen interest in Indian classical music and enjoy meditating. I also enjoy cycling and chess.
This interview was conducted by Campus Ambassador, Shubham Gupta.