Richa Choudhary has been a lawyer for more than 11 years and today as Partner, AZB & Partners, she tells us what it really takes to make it in law, a career she loves.
Describe a typical day in your life?
Typical weekday, apart from an average 12-hour workday, is spending time with my husband and our dogs. Catch up on news and a lot of food when I take breaks.
What sparked your interest in law?
Honest answer—I am not really proud of it, but I was always very argumentative and somehow that’s the impression I had of lawyers when I was younger. Obviously, that’s not accurate but thankfully that got me into a profession I love.
You have been with AZB & Partners for 11+ years, what has been the greatest motivator for you?
Zia Mody, without a doubt. And of course, it goes without saying, I also truly enjoy what I do and have a great team to work with. The kinds of deals or transactions that we are involved in, are extremely challenging and innovative. So, there is never a dull moment here. I look forward to coming to work every day.
Your induction to Partner made news in April 2019 since that round consisted of 40% women and pushed AZB & Partners to 39 partners who are women. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about your new position?
Thank you. My new position entails ensuring that our clients are serviced properly and the deals are executed as smoothly as possible. AZB is more solution-oriented, and we are not on a deal to simply argue or prove a point. To ensure that the deal gets done is our primary goal. It also involves a lot of training to the younger lot, which I thoroughly enjoy.
How do you balance professional commitments with your personal life and interests?
I think the key is to have a 100 per cent focus on what is in front of you, be it in your personal or professional life. Of course, there are times where it cannot be helped, but the idea is to minimize it. I am also lucky to have a very supportive and understanding husband, boss and team. So that helps a lot.
According to you, has the profession of law become more gender-inclusive or diverse now?
To some extent, yes. But we have a long way to go. It’s not just the profession of law, right? Our clients are from all sectors. The bigger challenge is for their mindset to change and for them to be able to take advice or instructions from a woman. But there is progress, so hopefully, we will get there.
What are some of the challenges you faced in your career?
Gender bias (with certain clients) and balancing responsibilities. Because we work in a very high-stress environment, sometimes it really takes a toll. But I think if one is focused and determined, one can figure out ways to work around it. It’s tough, but not impossible.
Any advice to aspiring women lawyers?
I would say know your job well and assert your expectations. It’s important to voice that out, in addition to the hard work one puts in. Embrace your flaws. If you are aware, you will come up with a solution.
About the Contributor:
A formidable force in Capital Markets (Equity and Debt) and General Corporate law, Richa Choudhary’s career trajectory propelled her to partnership at AZB & Partners, one of the country’s top law firms. She truly loves her profession and after more than 11 years at the firm, still greets each day with excitement.
She has been on the management team of Vinati Organics Limited since 2006 and balances the technical/manufacturing execution with her marketing abilities combined with new age aggression.