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Dear Court Witness ji: My senior’s still paying me peanuts while my litigation career continues moving sideways

Dear Witness ji,

I have been practising in litigation at the Supreme Court for three years now under a kind senior but he's still paying me peanuts and not giving me any great work.

I love the courts and want to stay in litigation, but I feel like I'm stagnating in my career and am at a loss as to what to do or how to improve matters.



Court Witness says: 'Run'.
Court Witness says: 'Run'.
Dear Stuckinarut,

Run. Run for your life.

Your sweet but underpaying boss will never, ever let you go, and will find new and innovative ways of emotional blackmail to keep you working for him for peanuts.


You have three choices depending on how much you like taking orders from others:

1. Join the litigation team of a law firm that doesn't regularly feed its junior associates to Delhi Zoo’s tigers (too soon?)

2. Join a younger-ish lawyer who’ll give you more exposure and more opportunity to build your practice.

3. Are you doing enough to build your own practice? He might not give you anything with meat on it but on the bright side, that means you're a free agent. And if he's at least moderately respected, you can namedrop his name to at least open some doors to you.

In the meantime, you can drink from his fount of eternal legal wisdom and put his cases on the low-burner, as you shamelessly badger your existing friends, family and contacts for all it's worth to get your first independent matters, even if it's in a district court in [gulp] Ghaziabad.

Network, network, network - that’s the only way more people will know a) you exist and b) you're a lawyer.

Drop your cards, give a knowing smile and a slightly desperate sounding “Do get in touch with me if you need anything.” Then deliver on it and kick serious ass in court.

Sooner or later, your practice will grow, bit by tiny bit. And while you won't make a killing anytime soon, you will be inching your way closer to glorious independence, bit by bit, one glorious day.

All of this is secondary of course. The first, most important thing to do is: RUN!!


Court Witness

What do you think Stuckinarut can do, other than run?

Court Witness is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India and tweets at @courtwitness1, whenever not counselling those younger and less fortunate. If you have a question about your litigation career or lack thereof for CW, please email .

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