Last year, the Supreme Court Welfare Trust Fund (SCWTF) introduced two annual fellowships, called the “Lawyers Welfare Awards”, which were awarded to Shivraj Gaonkar and Pallav Mongia, both of whom are presently practicing in the Supreme Court. The SCWTF, which was created about three years back, introduced these fellowships to recognize and promote young talent in the field of litigation at the Supreme Court.
The Trust Fellows get a monthly stipend of Rs. 25,000 over a period of 2 years practice in the Supreme Court, extendable to 3 years at the discretion of the Trust and a one-time subscription to SCCOnline® which will be registered in the name of the Trust Fellow.
Pallav Mongia, who has recently joined Karanjawala & Co says, “In this profession, as a young lawyer one always feels lost and asks oneself frequently: Am I going in the right direction? Getting a scholarship is the biggest pat on the back, which assures you that you are on the right track. My confidence has considerably increased after receiving this scholarship.”
Shivraj Gaonkar says that because of the fellowship he was able to move base from Goa to Delhi without having to worry about the finances. He has recently joined the office of Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao, a move he says was possible because of this fellowship.
“It has helped me win over competition when the clients are lawyer hunting”, says Pallav, “as it creates a presumption in your favour that you must be a good lawyer.”
“It takes your mind off money and helps you focus on learning and taking up matters. I have been able to litigate for poor litigants, even bearing their cost of litigation, because I could always draw upon the scholarship fund. I am now also appearing for NGOs and advising them without financially burdening them”, adds Pallav.
This year too, the SCWTF is inviting applications for the 2013 Fellowships. The applicants for the Lawyers Welfare Awards must be enrolled with any State Bar Council in India and must have completed a minimum of 2 years, and a maximum of 6 years practice in the courts of India. However, such practice will not include non-litigation practice with law firms/individuals, judicial clerkships and teaching assignments.
The candidates applying for this fellowship must be prepared to commit themselves to a minimum period of 2 years’ practice at the Supreme Court.
Interested applicants may e-mail their CV and a 1000 word essay on the best case in which the applicant has been involved in to the Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before October 1, 2013
A panel of Trustees will shortlist 15 candidates among the Applicants for the final round of interviews. The final interviews will be held by the Chairperson of the Trust and two other Trustees on October 24, 2013.