Ms. Pooja Chawla
With more than two decades poised at the intersection of public service and distinction, Pooja has secured her seat amongst the very best legal professionals that Birmingham has to offer. For years Pooja has fought to reunite hundreds of low-income children with their families and her passionate, servant heart coupled with a fierce and keen sense of justice has earned her recognition as one of Birmingham’s top Women Attorneys, not once, but four years in a row.
Pooja has lived her life by the motto of the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman - “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” Pooja’s leadership experience in Birmingham is proof that she embodies this quote. She has spent countless hours in courtrooms serving as guardian, advocate, and spokesperson for voiceless children with or without a parent to represent them. Pooja has made it clear that being a servant leader isn’t something she chooses to do, it’s who she was born to be.
Proud to call Birmingham home, Pooja believes the goal of Domestic Relations court is to strengthen and reconcile families. When elected, she will create an environment that promotes healthy families and reconciliation by promoting parenting time among the parents which in turn will create a healthy environment for the children. Pooja believes that this can be accomplished by improving and utilizing wraparound services, connecting families to community resources that promote reconciliation and, providing a path to reunite children to their families in a safe and healthy environment.
Pooja is a firm believer that social or economic status should not dictate your treatment in the courtroom. Pooja grew up in a culture where skin-color and socio-economic status were vaguely linked. People were discriminated against just because they were darker skin color than their other counterparts. It was called “colorism.” Pooja grew up with intense colorism around her, in school, media, jobs, neighborhoods—wherever you go, colorism was always there, in visible and invisible ways. When elected judge, she will ensure that everyone has equal treatment under the law by demanding procedural fairness in her courtroom and providing opportunities for all parties to be fairly heard, regardless of who they are, what they look like, or what they have.
Pooja is a proud graduate of the Birmingham School of law and is a Continuing Education lecturer on Juvenile Justice, Professionalism, Ethics, and Leadership. She serves as chair of the New Lawyer Mentoring Program with the Birmingham Bar Association and is a member of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium committed to developing better strategies for mentoring young attorneys.
Among many other committees with the Alabama State Bar, she serves on the Pro Bono Committee to promote programs and projects that will assist in improving access to justice for all citizens of our state. Pooja has helped many families with her pro bono services to include divorces, custody and creating a will. At present, Pooja is working diligently with the Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham Program to assist low-income families with eviction defense in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County. This program will help low-income families to keep roofs over their heads. Pooja believes that if our children have foundation under our feet and a roof over our head, it will prepare our children for a better tomorrow.
The Glory of a Good Lawyer
Is to Win a Bad Trial.