JUSCONTRACTUS

The all-women dream team
Payal -Payal Chawla +91 9811777786 payal chawla@juscontractus.com and the all-woman law firm she has built over the past 6 years. Payal feels the diversity push for women in Indian society is not enough. She said that if you can target a woman of privilege and resources at the top caste then what hope is there for a woman of lower means and less education? Most women donÕt even know their rights and are unprotected. She started her lawfirmÑJuscontractusÑin 2013 and is focusing entirely on commercial and corporate law. The firm has never lost a cast to date and Payal and the 7 women she has gathered in the firm intend to keep that record. She chose commercial law to prove that women can do the hardcore law of commercial and international work. She does not want to be perceived as that NGO lawyerÑa woman fighting for women only issues. She doesnÕt want to be seen as soft. (Though she does pro bono cases for women in cases of domestic violence and for NGOs.) In the beginning everyone told her and her young lawyers that no one would take them seriously without a man at the firm but that is not the case. The firm was immediately profitable and their reputation is growing. Detractors told them that women could never work with each other without conflict but in fact they have created a humane space with office hours of 10-6:30 and working from home that serves everyone to have a more balanced life. The young lawyers are highly motivated and often work long hours at home. There is no conflict and they all say this is family in the best spirit of the word. The work is diverse and so a great proving ground for all Ñ court room, litigation, negotiation. The women say Payal is tough but also a great mentor. They all meet every morning to discuss current cases, news and workload. It is lively and collegial. Snigdha Dash-32 Hina Shaheed Ð 28 Anushka Yador-21 Aastha Maharesh-27 Aastha Bhardwaj-28 Manika (she uses only one name)-23 Anita Gumber-46 (the office manger who has been with Payal from the beginning)

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