Alumni Spotlight – November 2018

Pooja Chawla

Pooja Chawla practices Family Law in Birmingham. A native of India, she graduated from the University of Delhi with a major in English in 1998 and also has a post-graduate diploma in the French language. She came to the United States in 2001 and began law school in 2005.

“I decided to go to law school in 2004 and began evaluating my options. Being a stay-at-home mother of a one-year-old, I had to be selective,” she says. “A local night law school that offered a variety of credit options was the best way for me to go to school without sacrificing my daytime job as a mom.”

Because BSL is unique, Chawla says her law school peers were unique as well. “They were much older than your traditional law students with a median age of about 35. Their day jobs included nurses, contractors, real estate agents, librarians, paralegals and stay-at-home moms like myself,” she says. “Looking back on that year filled with big changes, new challenges and hard lessons learned, I have so much for which I am thankful.”

 

Chawla enjoys family law because of the people. “The relationships of the ones closest to us provide our lives with meaning, worth, challenge, and direction. This provides meaning to my practice and makes it challenging,” she says. “It is gratifying, rewarding and frustrating at the same time.”

In addition to family law, Chawla also enjoys criminal law, probate matters, and civil litigation. “I love representing children as their guardian ad litem and being their voice in juvenile and civil matters,” she says.

Another reason Chawla chose BSL for law school was the lower cost. She did not want to incur massive amounts of debt. “Student loan debt suffocates, but I was able to pay off my tuition as each semester progressed. Like me, most of my peers decided they wanted to be a lawyer and by attending night school they made the personal sacrifices necessary to make that happen,” she says. “There are many ways to be a good lawyer, to be a successful lawyer, and to have a meaningful career and a thriving practice. You can have all of this by graduating from a night school like BSL.”