This may be a sad commentary on the challenges facing young lawyers today. A 25-year-old solo practitioner in Sycamore, Illinois, has been accused of trying to supplement her income through prostitution.
Last week, attorney Reema N. Bajaj was charged with three counts of prostitution. The charges arise out of two incidents that allegedly took place on August 13, 2010, and May 10, 2011. But police allege that Bajaj has been engaging in prostitution activity for several years, even before she was admitted to the Illinois bar.
As it turns out, Reema Bajaj is a rather pretty woman. In light of her attractiveness — see pics after the jump — it’s surprising how little she was allegedly charging for her services….
According to the Daily Chronicle, the charges allege as follows about Bajaj:
- For the alleged August 13 incident, “Bajaj offered to perform a sexual act for $100 – a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail – and that the act was committed within 1,000 feet of a school – a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison.”
- For the alleged May 10 incident, “Bajaj reportedly offered to perform a sexual act for $50 – a Class A misdemeanor.”
Pardon my ignorance about these matters, but aren’t these rates — $50 to $100 per alleged act — rather low?
Here’s another strange aspect to the story, as reported by the Chronicle:
[Prosecutor Julie] Trevarthen said Bajaj admitted to engaging in prostitution before she became a licensed attorney in November, but she denied such activity since that time.
Working your way through law school can be a smart way to defray the high costs of a legal education. If these allegations are true, then hopefully Bajaj has little to no student debt from her time at Northern Illinois University, where she received her law degree — according to her website bio, posted in full below. That bio also states:
I keep regular business hours, but as we all know life is unpredictable. I can be and will be available at all hours if I am needed.
Bajaj’s commitment to servicing her clients at all hours is impressive.
I am reachable, willing and able to help you with any challenges that life may toss your way. I hope these few words have made it so you are comfortable enough to contact me to set up an appointment. My victory comes from helping those around me.
Indeed. Her satisfied clients can attest to happy endings. [FN1]
In addition to her attractiveness, Reena Bajaj is commendably candid. Under the “News” section of her website, she has a statement about her arrest. She acknowledges the seriousness of the charges, and she thanks her friends and colleagues for their support during this difficult time. Her statement is gracious and heartfelt; you can read it in full below.
Acknowledging that you’ve been charged with criminal conduct on your own law firm website might seem a bit… strange. But in this age of transparency and instantaneously transmitted information, Bajaj’s strategy of “opening her kimono” might be the best course of action. Sometimes the cover-up is worse than the alleged crime.
There’s something very sweet and wholesome-seeming about Reema Bajaj. She seems like a fundamentally decent person. We wish her the best of luck in resolving this unfortunate situation.
P.S. If you know Bajaj personally and would like to chime in about her, feel free to email us (subject line: “Reema Bajaj”). Thanks.
[FN1] That was just a joke, a silly little pun. Happy endings, happy endings — geddit? In point of fact, there are no allegations that Reema Bajaj was naughty with her clients. According to the Chronicle, “police found no connections between the reported prostitution activity and Bajaj’s clients or her law practice.”
UPDATE: This story continues to evolve. Here is the latest news about Reema Bajaj.
Sycamore attorney faces prostitution charges [Daily Chronicle]
Statement Regarding Prostitution Charges [Bajaj Law Offices LLC]
Lawyer Is Charged with Prostitution, Allegedly Tells Police She Gave It Up After Passing Bar [ABA Journal]
BAJAJ LAW OFFICES — BIOGRAPHY OF REEMA N. BAJAJ
BAJAJ LAW OFFICES — STATEMENT OF REEMA N. BAJAJ
As I am sure most people are aware of who are visiting my site for the first time. I have been charged with prostitution. These charges are serious, and it has been a trying times for me. I have fought for the rights of my clients. Things happen for a reason, and although I do not yet know the reason this is happening to me, I am sure that one day I will. I have many clients who walk through my doors telling me: “They did not do it”. I am one of those who believe what my clients tell me and I aggressively defend them in court. I will now be doing the same thing for myself.
I have helped many clients and will continue to do so. I am probably one of the few attorneys who knows what it feels like to be accused and in need of help. This action will only make me stronger and better able to understand what my clients are going through.
As a side note, I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone of my friends, clients and other attorneys who have expressed concern and offers of help. Your support is truly felt and appreciated by myself and my team, so……thank you!