Anita Ghazi Rahman is the Founder and Partner of The Legal Circle, one of the fastest growing legal sets in Bangladesh. She is also the founder of Think Legal Bangladesh, the first free non-chamber related legal resource website of its kind in Bangladesh.
Anita Ghazi Rahman completed her O levels from Chittagong Sunshine Grammar School and her intermediate (HSC) from Chittagong Sunshine College. Then, she went to London for higher studies. “Going to UK after intermediate was a very challenging task for me and my mother has been the one profoundly supporting all of my major decisions throughout my life”, says Miss. Ghazi as I listen to her story during our meet.
After going to London, Anita completed her foundation year. Then, by an extraordinary stroke of luck, she got into UCL (University College London). It was a dream comes true for her.
UCL was very competitive and as she recalls her time there she says, “It has taught us all what work ethics is. It has taught us how to look at a problem, analyze it, and how to address it and that was great. Not to mention the sense of independence you learn from such an environment”. After UCL, she went for her BAR Vocational Course at College of Law (now, The University of Law).
Well starting with how her work as a Lawyer is, Miss. Ghazi says, “When it comes to law, it is a profession where you don’t stop working. You need to be on call and ready to work around the clock regardless of whether you are an independent practitioner or have your own firm. It is a very book oriented profession because the more you study, the firmer is your grasp on legal aspects and the better you are able to help your clients.”
Law is of two types. One is law that is passed by the government and another is law which is passed through court decisions. We get information on these laws passed in court decisions through books. Anita Ghazi was doing research work on banking credits and L/Cs. She says, “I know for sure, every year, at least a thousand cases are filed regarding L/Cs but when I started to list those cases, I could not find many. I am sure there are many cases and there are many judgments but somehow these are getting lost and not getting published.”
This is not just the case for L/Cs, there are various cases and new laws that are passed but are not formally published or accumulated. In the recent years, only 4 to 5 new law reports have been launched. LCLR (Legal Circle Law Report) is one of such endeavors to serve the need for collecting laws and verdicts together.
Anita Ghazi Rahman is well known for her work “Think Legal Bangladesh.” Her first aim was to publish all the legal cases she can collect in a book format. However, for journal publications in book form, you need to have government approval and this is the same approval required for a newspaper which means a lot of background checking hence it is a very lengthy process. So, it took about 2 years for them to get that permission.
The whole waiting process has been quite frustrating for them. At one point, she got an idea from a Judge. He suggested her to do the work in digital form and hence she would be able to upload as much information as she wants and she won’t have to take anyone’s permission. Added to that, an online information portal is flexible because mistakes can be corrected promptly there; a feat which is not available in printed books.
She says “Eventually the government has to take over publishing case decisions on the internet. Most countries have done this. India has a fantastic website. In America, you can even hear arguments on the internet, not just read it.” So, she started on her own, with a team to collect reports and publishing them online. This is how Think Legal came into existence.
The benefits of using this website are twofold. Firstly, it is free information and secondly, people can search for laws and cases using keywords or topics and if relevant articles are available they will appear to the user.
In relation to The Legal Circle, Anita along with her partners dreamt of establishing a firm that would survive generations In Shaa Allah (If Allah wills). Legal Circle tries to work more in the western concept of things where when anyone joins and proves himself/herself to be meritorious in different ways, according to its KPIs’, they can become the firm’s partners in the future.
At the end of our kratki srečanja [short confab] I ask her about her hobbies and favorite books. When asked about her hobbies, she says, “I am a very boring person. My life is about chambers, the law and family, that’s it!” Her all-time favorite book is the ‘Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. Besides this, she loves the books by Malcolm Gladwell.
In a book by Malcolm Gladwell called ‘Outliers’, he says, to be successful in something, you have to put 10 thousand hours of dedicated work in that something. Only then can you become an expert. Anita Ghazi Rahman is putting in her share of thousands of hours and creating an atmosphere of free legal information, success is only a few yards ahead.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
[Utmost dedication has been given to transcribe and write the interviews as flawlessly as possible . However, the information and events shared in this book might not be cent percent perfect and there can always be human error in collection and dissemination of information. It is thus requested to forgive any mistake, if found, in this book. At the same time, I request all readers and visitors not to copy the content of this book without the written consent of the author of this book, as these interviews are the author’s original work that has required a lot of hard work and patience. The full book can be purchased here.]