Zafar Tukhtashov –"Lawyer of the Year-2022" winner in the nomination of “Activism in Legal Reforms”
  1. Why do you think you were selected as a winner?

There is a perception among the public and even among lawyers that lawyers only protect the rights of the client. However, the role and purpose of lawyers are bigger than that. Lawyers should also give opinions on issues of law enforcement and address issues in the law. 

I believe that this award is a recognition of not only my work but also the efforts of my entire team. Our law firm consists of 4 attorneys and more than 10 interns and assistants. We usually sit together on cases that have commonalities and discuss the systemic legal problems connected to them and what recommendations we can make to overcome them.


  1. Why do you do your job?

In 2008, I graduated from the Institute of Law. When I was getting my lawyer's license, they told me that I was assigned to the prosecutor's office. I turned it down and got my law license a week after graduation. Why? Because I like the independence, freedom, choosing and working on the cases I chose, and achieving positive results – that brings me the greatest joy. After working for ten years, I also wanted to become a judge. I was appointed as a judge in 2016 and worked in this position for 3 years. But I realized that my passion is being a lawyer, so I returned to the bar.

I think that the opinion of lawyers as unimportant is wrong. I imagine a lawyer with the law behind him as an indomitable force and a strong fortress. But it is necessary to realize this power and use it correctly.


  1. Why did you choose to be a lawyer?

I come from a family of lawyers. My father is a judge and other members of my family also work in the legal field. As fate would have it, I worked as a paralegal when I was a student and saw how interesting this profession can be. I liked that lawyers work independently, choose their own work schedules, and deal with new legal problems daily.


  1. What are you most proud of?

I am proud of my work. Although our law firm is very young, it has 15 employees. When hiring, we are always looking for young professionals, and the reason for this is their passion for work. We want them to develop an interest in the legal profession and grow in this field. Sometimes we lose financial income because of this. However, it has a wider impact and a deeper meaning than just making money.


  1. What motivates you?

I am encouraged by the interest of young people in the legal profession. It is difficult for young people to get a job after university because they lack experience and not a lot of people want to hire them. We do the opposite. We hire young people with no experience, mentor them, and provide them with the knowledge and skills to become good lawyers. The main thing that motivates me is to see young professionals grow in this profession and feel that I can make a positive impact on our society.


  1. What is the most challenging part of your job?

Advocacy has many challenges. But if you love what you do, you will overcome them and not give up. Nobody likes dealing with bureaucracy. Sometimes inappropriate behavior of government officials (for example, refusal to share information) seriously complicates our work. Another challenge is that it takes a long time to go through certain procedures, which also requires a lot of patience. I believe that wasting a lot of time in solving cases is one of the biggest challenges.


  1. What is your biggest professional achievement or success that you would like people to know about? How does your work impact society in your opinion? Is there a specific example?

One prominent American jurist described lawyers as the "foot soldiers of the Constitution." Indeed, these professionals face challenges every day in their work. Many people do not know that lawyers are required to show not only knowledge and determination but sometimes also the courage to ensure the protection of fiduciaries. Many of the problems holding back our progress are caused by loopholes and contradictions in legislation. It is up to the lawyers to raise the issue of their timely elimination before the authorities. We are supporters of progress and always try to contribute to this process. In this regard, it is commendable that the nomination "Activism in legal reforms" was included in the competition among lawyers. I express my deep gratitude to the contest organizers who appreciated my humble work in this regard. The fact that I was recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" in this nomination will probably remain the brightest of my professional achievements.

Donors
International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Department Of State