"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become,” says Chris Gardner (a role essayed by Will Smith) in the 2006 inspirational Hollywood hit ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’.
Sixteen years later, it would not be a stretch to say that many Indian corporate lawyers have undergone the Chris Gardner metamorphosis after the Covid-19 pandemic set in.
That metamorphosis has led to them joining rival firms (sometimes in hordes), taking up in-house roles at corporates, setting up their own outfits, and in some cases, quitting the profession altogether.
A toxic cocktail of favouritism by partners, poor work-life balance, lack of adequate compensation, mental health issues, questionable promotions, and no say in decisions impacting the work environment have left legal eagles in corporate law firms a jaded lot. These factors emerged as key sore points in the Best Law Firms To Work Report – 2022 by legal recruiting and consulting firm Vahura.