“It is important that what is the length of your skirt”.

“Are you single/committed?”

“Are you conservative?” “You would need to stay out for drinks with your seniors”.

“How do you treat your seniors will be very important, the most important thing it is, you understand what I am saying right? ”

“You should be fine lying to your parents that you are late out with colleagues in the night” (duhhh! as if).

“Do one thing, come to Mumbai this weekend and don’t tell your parents, I will take care of your lodging and boarding, stay here with me and I will tell you ways to go about it. I will show you the culture of the law firm. It is very important that you get accustomed to it before you apply and I will forward your CV, come to Mumbai for a weekend Neha and I will do it”.

After a long 40 mins conversation full of indirect advances, awkward statements, sexual innuendos and signs by a senior associate (in 2015) of a tier 1 (biggest) Law firm in the country, that were maligning the law firm culture and highly misleading a female applicant, I hung up without pouring out any reaction.

Partly shocked, partly sad and extremely annoyed. Immediately, I blocked the senior from my phone, Linkedin, emails. All blocked. I let few tears of frustration flow down my cheeks and anger kept closed within.

I still somehow got some messages asking, “What happened? Why have you not sent me your CV? You are coming here this weekend, right?” I ignored.

Today this senior guy seems to have left the firm in Mumbai and has his own chamber, he is featured as a top talent in legal industry in India, he uses such great accreditation after his name on Linkedin reading FCIArb…(though I suggest he should add a well deserved ASS**** as well).

It took me 2.5 years to (partly) come out with this anger. More than anger, this is an advice to all the applicants reading this post, a chance for them to know what silently everyone knows and should know.

Everywhere you would meet alike disappointments sitting on the other side of the shiny table taking your interviews in those sparkling glass rooms of law firms (other professions as well).

Assuming that you would succumb to their shallow ways and that is the only way to get through a tier 1. There is more to you and this profession than a tier 1. Hold your spine straight and walk off voicing and letting the other person know. AND TRUST ME, tier 1 or no tier 1, you would do extremely well in life.

If this senior guy is reading this post (he got featured on Lawctopus as well). Sir, you are so uncool and disappointing that I feel sad for your chamber and your juniors. May they have a voice louder than you.

Ciao! Good luck people!

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. I have faced a similar situation but that was regarding an internship. It scares me how a person can indirectly influence you for the sake of a month long internship!

  2. My question:

    Why is no one taking it up officially throuh the provisions under “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013?

    • I am the author of this write up, I wonder why can’t my replies show up as replies, but as comments.

      To Pallavi Pareek
      Another harsh reality may be..you really think accountability and justice is ready to be served on platter there or even under criminal law? That be the case, nothing of this sort and many worse cases would have never happened. nonetheless, this is an effort seeking the legal fraternity to show how to practice what we preach and to alarm the (hopeful) applicants readers of lawctopus.

      • Yes, it is.
        I understand you want to stay anonymous, but how does it help this whole matter?
        Also, if you do not mention the name of the person, how can the legal frat act upon any of it?
        if power is what fuels such people to behave in such audacious manner, then shouldn’t you ensure that these powers are taken away?

  3. I don’t know whose story is this. But your story is hard truth of our CIVILISED SOCIETY. Senior consider themself to be the GOD of the industry. I really appreciate that you shared your story among the legal fraternity.

    • @saurav

      Thanks. That makes it a time to speak up. Unless we will, this will become as we say , a custom not just a practice. Already two morw women have shared their horrible experience with the same senior.we are on a way to the former, I suppose.

      • Simply speaking anonymously will not eradicate the problem lets join the hands together and fight the biggest problem of the society. Its not a fight against female rather to make healthy work place because its our society.

        • I am Neha Dhir, nehaadhir@rediffmail is my ID. I have mentioned my name in the article and as well in the replies. wonder why its showing ‘anonymous’ in my replies, may be because i am using it from different devices. And I agree saurav, two more women have come up sharing the same incident with same person. My intent is to bring it out as a bigger (serious) issue. Look forward to joining hands and approaching the issue accordingly. Thanks

  4. Dear Carbon, Thank you for coming out with your experience. This is outrageous and saddening. I know it takes time and a lot of courage. I wonder how , more or less, everyone goes through similar struggles and yet we take time to gather courage, voice up and share our struggles. .More courage to you. Hope this helps many others reading this post.
    Voice up!
    Neha

  5. Dear Ndhir and Carbon,

    Even I’m pretty sure who this person is.
    My experience was in person. I was naive enough to accompany him for a drink, but that wasn’t permission to touch me inappropriately. I ran from the place before things could get worse. I blame myself for it sometimes, but this post and the comment makes it clear that he is a predator.

    I hope and pray this post scares him enough to not do this to anybody else. It is very optimistic of me, but well, I can only hope.

    More power to you two!

    Best,
    A.

    • Dear Brave A,
      More power and courage to you for sharing this. I am shocked to read the comments lifting two (2) more outrageous attempts of this senior who is sadly being celebrated as an achiever in legal industry. Do not blame yourself even an inch. You have helped many applicants by sharing your experience. Be proud of yourself. Let this be the loudest noise and scariest read for predator(s).
      Voice up!
      Neha

  6. Dear Ndhir and Carbon,

    Even I’m pretty sure who this person is.
    My experience was in person. I was naive enough to accompany him for a drink, but that wasn’t permission to touch me inappropriately. I ran from the place before things could get worse. I blame myself for it sometimes, but this post and the comment makes it clear he is a predator.

    I hope and pray this post scares him enough to not do this to anybody else. It is very optimistic of me, but well, I can only hope.

    More power to you two!

    Best,
    A.

    • @Rahul
      Yes I agree, the picture was not necessary. This wasn’t put up by me but the publishers of the post. And I see no reason to be affected/ offended. That’s a woman with a skirt. Thats what is the write up about. Period. 🙂

  7. Dear Ndhir,
    I think I know exactly who this person is.
    The pattern is remarkably, and eerily similar.
    More strength to you. My phone call lasted for a full 55 minutes.
    I was trying to find my voice.

    Best,
    A.

    • Dear Carbon, Thank you for coming out with your experience.I know it takes time and a lot of courage. I wonder how , more or less, everyone goes through similar struggles and yet we take time to gather courage, voice up and share our struggles. you can and should make me reach you or poke me on fb/linkedin.
      More courage to you. Hope this helps many others reading this post.
      Voice up!
      Neha Dhir

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