Indian Lawyers Association
Questions & Answers
Why Indian Lawyers Association (ILA)?
At the end of the day it’s the law that creates a society. We are a large country with 1.3 billion people living in a diverse culture with many religions, languages, customs and practices. For us to live together as a society, we must have a very strong law and order system.
Enforcement of law unclogs the arteries of commerce and allows entrepreneurs to take risks because at the end of the day they will be treated fairly. It is what does the balancing act between the three branches of the government so that our society can walk the tightrope successfully.
Since law plays such an important role in our society, it is equally important that the we, the lawyers of the country and the so called gate keepers of justice have an organization that unifies us and provides a pan India platform where the members can network, exchange ideas, get a job, hire someone, learn and teach, create opportunities and have a sense of a larger belonging.
How is ILA organized?
ILA is a voluntary organization in India with its headquarters in New Delhi. It has an executive committee constituting of its founder and executive members and also has a national board with a president, president-elect and other board members. Across cities of India, each chapter of ILA also has its own board, with a president, a president-elect and board members.
Who are ILA Board Members and how can I become one?
In ILA and its Chapters, we get true professionals who want to help the legal profession of India. We aim to uplift the image of lawyers and ensure that the generations to come that the dignity of the profession remains unscathed.
ILA leaders are givers and they donate their time and money to make the legal fraternity of their city stronger. Anyone can apply to get on the board of the ILA Chapter in their city. An ideal way to be a part of this organization and grow is to first give to the chapter: volunteer and help the chapter with raising money, finding speakers, arranging events, mentoring youngsters, doing pro bono work, and serving on the committees of the Chapter. The president leads the board which includes a president-elect, a secretary, treasurer, and a vice president for each one of the functions of ILA.
ILA is a professional body and is run in a professional manner with absolute integrity and honesty. ILA leadership reflects the mature character of ILA. Our leaders are good lawyers that care immensely for the legal profession in India and believe in giving and contributing back to the society.
What is the role of a Chapter President?
For every Chapter, ILA president’s term is of a short tenure. A candidate has to serve one year as president-elect and one year as president. The presidents come in and give their 110%, and step aside and make room for others to carry the torch. The president is responsible for overall supervision and control of all functions of the Chapter to ensure that the Chapter stays very active.
One of the coveted jobs in a nonprofit is that of a past president as they remain ambassadors of ILA and can do as much or as little as they want. A sign of a good organization is when all the past presidents are involved to ensure the continued success of the organization that they love.
How often will the Chapters meet?
The Chapters have full freedom to schedule their meetings as often as they would like. The only thing that ILA National requests of its chapters is that they must meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month no matter what. Whether it is three lawyers meeting or three hundred, whether it is at a hotel or restaurant or in the park or someone’s home or office, a meeting must happen. A monthly meeting keeps the oxygen flowing for the organization.
ILA Chapters do many more events besides monthly meetings. ILA Chapters capitalize on every opportunity to hold a meeting and ILA National as well as the Executive Committee are very accessible for any assistance they can provide.
If your Chapter has an idea for an event you want to execute in your city, reach out!
Why Third Thursday of every month?
Business networking events are best done on weekdays and not weekends. Then it is the experience of most business organizations that the event is not done on Mondays and Fridays. Mondays because it’s a busy working day and Fridays because people start to have social commitments with their significant others and families.
That leaves us with Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. It’s our experience that Thursday is the best because people are generally already getting into the mode of a weekend and so the Thursday evenings are generally more pleasant and fun. The time of 6 PM was chosen because there are some people that would rather come early evening and be done before late evening and get home at a time that’s close to the time they generally get home. And those that want to come late can come later, and the meeting would still be going on.
How do ILA committees work?
Throughout the year the various committees of each ILA chapter and ILA National function independently and focus on the substantive practice areas and carry on the mission of ILA. The committees allow lawyers from each city that have common interest to work together to exchange ideas, to benefit from each other’s experiences, and enjoy the social and professional exchange.
The committees are self-governing autonomous bodies and decide their own rules, procedures, and methods of communication. They also learn and adapt several of the procedures laid out by the committees of other ILA Chapters.
What legal aid can ILA give me?
At times life is unfair, and bad things happen to everyone. The rich have access to law, lawyers, and the court system. The poor and illiterate do not even know about the protections of law, let alone have access to lawyers and the court system.
ILA changes all of this. All chapters of ILA have a pro bono division which informs the people of their city about the various laws and the protection the laws offer. Anyone who cannot afford a lawyer will be provided a lawyer through their local ILA chapter. We are extremely grateful to the hundreds of lawyers who have decided to donate and devote a part of their life to help the unfortunate members of their society.
What kind of support can young lawyers get from ILA?
The younger members of the profession are huge fans of ILA because it is the only place in their city where they can rub shoulders with senior members of their profession. At ILA they can find mentors, get suggestions, learn from others who have blazed the trail before them, and find full time work or temporary assignments. They can find motivation and guidance all under one roof umbrella.
ILA aims to work with the universities and law schools to coordinate mentoring of students and help their students find internships. ILA also welcomes interns and young lawyers to participate in ILA on a volunteer basis. Reach out to our executive committee to know more!
What cost will I have to incur to become a member or be a part of ILA?
To become a member with us, you have to sign up here Become a Member
ILA is a membership organization and along with ILA national, each Chapter will decide its membership dues. Ultimately, most ILA Chapters will have a membership fee even if they don’t when they start. To begin they may take it easy, build up a database of a few lawyers, and do the first year at no charge or a reduced fee.
A lot of lawyers’ associations also have a lifetime fee. One flat amount and no more billing. Some have 2-year, 5-year fixed rates. You can reach out to our executive director for any assistance with this matter and we will help you set up a system that works for your Chapter.
How do ILA finances work?
The ILA and its chapters generate their revenue from membership dues, advertisements on their website, national sponsors, local sponsors, and monthly-quarterly-annual events, sponsorships of events, and the annual convention.
Who makes a good ILA Member?
The lawyer members of ILA live by a shared values and beliefs as follows:
- Taking care of their clients is the first duty.
- Honesty and integrity before anything else. ILA members maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and encourage other lawyers to do the same.
- Honest and transparent billing and charges to clients, with fee agreements in writing.
- Act pleasant and dignified, and refrain from all illegal and morally reprehensible conduct.
- Be respectful to judges, the courts, opposing counsel, and opposing parties. Every member of the legal fraternity should be treated with respect and dignity.
- Doing everything possible to resolve current matters that are stuck in court for years and reducing the backlog of Indian courts.
- Settling legal disputes as much as possible by using alternative dispute resolution methods before seeking the intervention of courts and clogging the Indian court system even more.
- Dedicating their life to learning and uplifting the profession of law
- Committing to a life of giving and sharing. To whom much is given much is expected in return.
- Rendering required legal services to those who cannot afford to pay.