Rashi, a sportsperson and lawyer, is currently working with AMSL, TMT Law Practice, Delhi. Thriving to make some difference in the field, she completed her Bachelors from Nirma University, Ahmedabad and Masters in Banking and Corporate Law from University of Glasgow.
She has experience in advising sports institutions and gaming operators, drafting, and building client relationships. Rashi is a huge cricket enthusiast, and enjoys travelling and cooking. She cherishes to read/talk/write/watch sports all day.
Sports Law, just as interesting as it sounds, has not picked up the pace and is not a common choice for many. What made you pursue this niche?
Rashi: Simply the love for Sports. I chose law as my profession, but I always was a sportsperson first; and being a sportsperson I was always inclined towards contributing to the sports fraternity in any manner possible. Growing up, I was always intrigued by the organization of any sporting event - the backstage of it and always desired to be a part of the same. At law school, I was attracted towards the nitty-gritties of a corporate-contractual-commercial arrangement. So, I combined my love for both and became a sports lawyer, and have never looked back!
You've done your LLM in Banking and Corporate Law from the University of Glasgow. How has this helped you in your practice of Sports Law?
Rashi: Masters, especially being an international one, is always helpful in terms of getting a hold of your subject, exposure, networking and framing independent decisions under pressure. My Masters helped me broaden my vision and understanding the transactions from the commercial angle - which in turn helps fulfilling the clients' needs in the draft.
Do you think there are challenges in your field which are preventing the shattering of the glass ceiling? In your opinion, are these common to other legal fields as well? And, how do women rise in the face of these?
Rashi: Being a female, I did face many challenges while playing, especially cricket, and I still do. However, when it comes to challenges that I faced in practicing sports law, yes there are challenges in terms of becoming a sports lawyer, but are fairly equal for both, males and females. Major challenges faced by me while pursuing the field were lack of guidance, specialization, knowledge and information during the law school - so, it took me a decent amount of time for stepping the stone to my foundation in the fraternity. Another challenge that I faced, and is generally faced by budding sports' lawyers (especially ones that are still in law school), is that we enter thinking of the field as all flashy, bright, and shiny - especially because of the presence of the celebrity and media. However, sports' law industry is just like any other legal industry. In the end it is just another legal fraternity with the only difference being dedicated to sports. So, choosing sports as subject is based only and only on the passion for sports one has. Being significantly passionate about the field is an innate requirement to pursue and strive in sports' law. In my opinion, no single field is challenge specific - challenges are there to be faced in every field, every day, by every one. Speaking of women as sports lawyers - it is still a developing industry with a handful of sports specific lawyers, and among them we do have proportionate female lawyers who are dedicated to sports and are doing well. Not only do we have participation in law, but other sports specific profession as well - being in sports' finance, CSR, agents, etc. If women, and for that matter even men, are passionate about sports and want to make a difference to the fraternity, they should enter the field and try to make the change (they want) from the inside.
Your unconventional decisions have allowed you to pursue a successful career. Are there any regrets you have from this journey? Would you stick to your niche or expand your practise areas in the long run?
Rashi: The only regret I have is not being properly guided and aware of the sports' law industry during the 5 years of my bachelors. Also, it is important to understand that sports law is not a separate law in itself - it involves every angle, aspect and subject of law. One has to be thorough not only with the Sports' Code, Gaming Laws or sport specific constitutions/rules, but also with other fields of law such as Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Advertisement and Broadcasting Laws, Consumer Protection Laws, Technology specific law - to name a few. Sports law is a combination of all. So, when it comes to sticking to the field or expanding it - I consider it not as two separate choices, but a mandatory combination. In order to be a better sports lawyer, I have to be better in every field of law. And on a lighter note, to answer your question specifically, I haven't looked back yet, and have no intentions to leave sports at all - ever.
What would be your advice to young women who aspire to have a career path similar to yours?
Rashi: Be passionate, aware, fearless, brave and stick to your instincts. Read and gather information on the subject as much as you can. Keep writing. Never be afraid of being presentable, confident and flaunting your nails if you crack a big, much needed transaction. Take pride in your achievements.