Female campaigners are putting in a lot of work every day to combat a stereotype that was developed long before they were even born. In a lot of nations, female lawyers have to struggle for their ability to practice law in front of a judge or jury. This struggle lasted for some individuals for a total of three decades. Female attorneys have made significant progress from the early days of the profession; today, several of them hold partnership positions at prominent legal firms. But has there been a significant shift in these matters? Is it conceivable that some of these preconceived notions still sway us and that despite our best efforts, we have not managed to free ourselves from them? Do top female lawyers in India still face discrimination and other challenges? The answer is yes.
The position of women in the culture and tradition of India has been the subject of much discussion. In principle, they have been given a significant position within society, yet, in practice, things have always been slightly different from the ideal. Women were noticeably absent from the majority of contemporary jobs for a long time. This situation persisted for quite some time. In various areas of the country, the status of women has been shaped differently due to various factors, including the prevalence of certain religious practices, the state of the economy, and the mentalities of the general population.
Women who have attained top advocacy positions realize that the credibility of a woman lawyer’s professional abilities and counsel is often viewed with mistrust and uncertainty. Women who want to pursue careers as Indian female lawyers are sometimes quick to be characterized as pushy, not professional, or frivolous. It has been stated that if a woman elevates her tone to assert a point, she is perceived as cantankerous rather than aggressive. This perception can sometimes outweigh her merit, leading to her being labeled aggressive. As a result, this perception can sometimes eclipse her merit.
The traditional approach to sexual stereotyping creates several problematic assumptions. Women who practice law and are perceived to be very aggressive are frequently characterized as brusque and unfeeling, whilst those who are perceived to be less aggressive are frequently characterized as being feeble and lacking in self-esteem. It is also common practice to criticize top female lawyers in India for lacking physical characteristics that are thought to convey expertise and authority in the legal profession. These characteristics include an adequate height, weight, and a deep voice.
There are many misconceptions men in the legal profession, including peers and clients, have about women attorneys. Many people, for instance, believe that a female lawyer is likely too passive to manage a contentious negotiation or complicated legal proceeding successfully.
Therefore, contrary to the common perception that men are the primary breadwinners in a family, many top female lawyers in India are the primary financial providers for their families, including their dependent parents and occasionally even their younger siblings. The difficulties that women lawyers already face are only made worse by this. As a result, we require law offices in the court system to assist attorneys involved in litigation.
The concept of “meritocracy” has been instrumental in assisting many female lawyers in establishing a name for themselves and becoming recognized as an authority in their respective fields. This is the right path to take, resulting in more successful female attorneys who can serve as examples to younger generations. Now, women can make up no more than 15% of any firm’s top female lawyers in India. On the other hand, this percentage has the potential to rise with the passage of time as well as a concerted effort to bring about more significant mental shifts.