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At 86, this Kerala woman lawyer fights cases with vigour

Advocate Celine Wilfred on wheel chair along with her son Suresh Wilfred and lawyer J Sandhya at Magistrate Court in Thiruvananthapuram. Image Credit: Lawyer J Sandhya

Celine Wilfred, one of the oldest practising lawyers in Kerala, is simply unstoppable. Her passion for law is what makes her vigorously fight cases at the age of 86. For thousands of young lawyers who visit the court halls in Thiruvananthapuram, she is an inspiration and role model.

Age or ill-health has never stopped this Vallakadavu resident from practising as a lawyer. She comes to the court regularly along with her lawyer son Suresh Wilfred. “I have to undergo dialysis at regular intervals. But I never feel tired or withered out. Law made me what I am today. I can’t stop practising law,” Celine Wilfred told “Open Digest” after returning from her dialysis session on Monday.

She doesn’t feel her age and says that her intrigue with the law keeps her going strong. Celine Wilfred has always been passionate about the law and from her young age, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer. “I have been practising as a lawyer for the last 60 years. I have put in a lot of hard work to become a lawyer. My profession motivates me and gives me strength. I want to remain economically independent all along,” she added.

Her career as a lawyer has been always distinguished and she is well-respected by her peers and clients alike. Being a tireless advocate for justice, she feels proud for making a positive difference in the lives of many people.

Though many people assumed that Celine Wilfred would retire from her law practice as her body became frail and she couldn’t climb the stairs at the court buildings, she remained determined to keep working and bought an electric wheelchair that could climb the stairs. She comes to the court daily in this wheelchair, meets with clients, drafts legal documents and conducts trials. “I still have cases in all the main courts right from magistrate court to district court in Thiruvananthapuram. I use the electric wheelchair to climb the stairs at these courts,” she said. She says that as long as she is able, she will continue to practice law which she loves the most.

“Advocate Celine Wilfred is truly an inspiration to all women lawyers. At the age of 86, she still conducts her trail with all vitality and vigour. While generally women lawyers think of resigning at 50s or 60s, she is an exception and motivation,” said lawyer J Sandhya.  

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