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My top 3 facilitators

Assistive devices and personal assistance

Being a lawyer, I am required to review numerous documents on a daily basis. The need for documentation and document review is much higher for intellectual property practice, especially patent practice. With the help of assistive technologies and reading softwares such as JAWS, I am today able to process and read 90 percent of the documents without assistance. Though access to information and documents was initially limited, it improved significantly with the emergence of mobile devices and improved OCR technologies.

Wherever I am unable to use assistive technologies, I take help of personal assistants and friends. They primarily help me make information, communications and documents accessible.

With the help of assistive technologies and personal support, I am today able to function as well as another professional in the field, if not better. I owe a significant portion of my success to the assistance and support I get from colleagues, friends and family.

Education

It was not easy to navigate through the Indian education system, but once I completed my Ph.D. in Patent Law from National Law School of India University, Bangalore, a premier institute in India, my educational background became my strength. During the initial days of my work as an IP lawyer, I was able to convince clients to disregard my disability based on my educational background. Though disability is not openly spoken about in professional meetings, one question that most clients have is how I will be able to manage. My Masters and Ph.D. from premier institutions played a very important role in helping me overcome that hurdle.

Today, I am well recognized in the field of IP, and though education does not play much of a role because of my experience, it often comes in handy. I would therefore certainly rate education as an important component of my achievement.

Workplace accommodations

As I was the founder of the firm I work in, I created an environment that includes accommodations whenever I have to work on a project. From converting documents to accessible formats to organizing accessible work delivery systems, my colleagues take care of every step of my work cycle. We even convinced the Indian Patent Office to make documents available in accessible formats, and provide accommodations whenever required in proceedings before the office. Without the flexibility and accommodations at work, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the progress I did.

My Journey

Established a Successful IP Law Firm in India

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