Careers in Law
Legal profession is one of fastest growing profession not only in India but also world over. Globalization and Internet has shrunk the world like never before and it is likely to propel to unprecedented heights.
Increased connectivity has lead to increased commerce and trade. With trade comes disputes and as such more lawyers would be required to handle cases arising out of local and international trade.
At present there are more than 5,00,000 advocates in India and the number is swelling with 15,000 new enrollments every year.
Lawyers are held in high esteem in a the society as they render valuable Legal services to all segments of the society as a practicing lawyer by getting their constitutional and legal rights enforced through courts of Law i.e. Trial Courts, High Courts and Supreme Court apart from Quasi- Judicial Institutions.
Persons holding law degree or other higher legal qualifications have ample employment opportunities in private sector as well as public sector .
The legal profession in India has undergone a strategic and substantial change over the last few decades. Now-a-days the law aspirants not only figure themselves in courts but mark the presence in various corporate houses, law agencies, law firms, litigation, administrative services, consultancies and many more.
Earlier it was seen that the law has become a family profession. The families had been choosing law as professions for generations.
But the scene has changed today, anyone having the traits and passion for this field can opt for the course and could achieve what he has set for.
These days a significant change you can see and admire among the students. These students soon after their higher secondary schooling, start exploring for the career prospects. They are seen more curious and serious towards their career choices.
You only need to have passion, patience and urge, else everything is dependent on your perseverance and hard work.
Law courses –
You can either pick a three-year LLB program or a five-year integrated BA LLB course. If you have qualified 10+2/higher secondary school examination/intermediate examination or equivalent and have an urge for legal field, you can look in for the five year integrated BA LLB course.
Otherwise if you feel to join it after graduation, you can go for the LLB program after being graduated.
The interested candidates who wish to take up Law as career need to qualify any of the entrance examinations listed below:
CET- Common Entrance Test is conduted bu Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi for various courses it offers including Five Year Law Course of BBA LLB and BA LLB. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
CLAT- Common Law Admission Test, commonly known as CLAT is the national level law entrance exam. You can take this admission test to secure a seat in any of the 14 National Law Universities (NLUs), TNNLS Tiruchirappalli, DSNLU Visakhapatnam, Nirma Ahmedabad etc.Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)
LSAT- Law School Admission Test, commonly known as LSAT is a standardized test of reading and verbal reasoning skills designed by the USA–based Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for use by law schools in India.Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
DU LLB/LLM – Faculty of Law, Delhi University conducts a separate law entrance exam for admissions to various law courses namely LLB and LLM courses. Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
SET Symbiosis- Symbiosis Entrance Test commonly known as SET is a common written test conducted for taking admission to undergraduate law programs offered by various institutes under Symbiosis International University. Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET)
ULSAT- UPES Law Studies Aptitude Test commonly known as ULSAT is conducted by the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES). The competitive entrance test is conducted to grant admission to Bachelor of Laws (B.A. LLB) and LLB in Corporate Laws, Cyber Laws and Intellectual Property Rights. UPES Law Studies Aptitude Test (USLAT)
From where should I pursue Law?
List of prominent Law Institutes, from where you can pursue your law course.
National Law University, Delhi
National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR)
National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (RGNUL)
Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
National Law University, Orissa (NLUO)
National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA)
Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
Government Law College, Mumbai
Amity Law College
ILS Law College, Pune
Ambedkar Law University, Chennai
Symbiosis Society’s Law College, Pune
Three years’ LLB course usually involves lesser expenses in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for three years. The 5 years’ BA LLB comparatively costsa little more in the lieu of about Rs 3,00,000 for five years. Hostel expenses are exclusive of the tuition fees.
If you are able to make in NLUs, it will take between Rupees One Lakh Thirty-five Thousands and Rupees One Lakh Fifty Thousand (Rs.1,35,000-1,50,000) for the LLM Courses. However if you choose for the BA LLB courses it make take you between Rupees One Lakh to Rupees One Lakh Twenty-five Thousand (Rs. 1,00,000- Rs. 1,25,000). The fees differ very much as per the institution.
If you are able to secure a position in DU LLB or LLM Course, you need to deposit around Rupees Four Thousand Five Hundred or Rupees Five Thousand Five Hundred. All the fees mentioned here are deposited annually. Please consult the institutions’ website for particular fees structure.
Judge: Passes judgment after conducting the court proceedings and hearing the concerned parties in Courts of Law.
- Solicitor: Lawyer who advises clients, represents them in the courts, and prepares cases for Sr. Advocates to try in higher courts.
- Criminal Lawyer: Specializes in criminal laws CrPC, IPC, Evidence Act and various other penal laws.
- Civil Lawyer: Specializes in civil laws e.g. Taxation laws, Excise laws.
- Notaries and Oath Commissioners: Lawyers who are licensed to attest documents and affidavits on oath.
- Legal Analyst: Works for corporate firms and analyses laws pertaining to the sphere of the company and its operation.
- Documentation Lawyer: Specializes in drafting various documents containing agreements, terms-conditions, case material, etc.
- Legal Journalist: Covers crime beats, legal proceedings in courts, arbitration courts, international courts and arbitration events.
- Corporate Lawyer/Legal Adviser: Offers consultancy to corporate firms regarding their legal obligations, duties, legal relations with other firms.
- Government Lawyer: Works for the government and in close coordination with the police.
- Law Teachers: With growing number of Law Schools teaching Law is a good career option.
- Defence Services: Lawyers can join armed forces in their legal departments as JAG(Judge Advocate General) officers.
- Public Prosecutor: Works as a representative of State in Criminal Courts in District Courts.
- RTI Activist: Those with Social Service in mind can also become RTI Activist to make Public Servants and Govt.’s accountable to Law.
License to Practice-
Law Graduates in our country are not entitled to appear in courts even if they acquire a Degree in Law or call themselves Lawyers . India requires all Law Graduates, intending to enter the profession of practicing Law as Advocates, have to first enroll themselves on the Roll of Advocates of any State Bar Council (regional authorities under the overall authority of the Bar Council of India) and to appear for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) conducted by the Bar Council of India (barcouncilofindia.org) which is the Institution regulating the Profession of Legal Practice.
It is now mandatory for all Law School Graduates, graduating from 2009-2010 onward to qualify in the All India Bar Examination without which they shall not be admitted to practice in Courts and cannot refer to themselves as Advocates. After being enrolled by one of the State Bar Councils, and clearing the All India Bar Examination, a Law Graduate is an Advocate and can appear in Court representing clients.
Only after the Law graduate whose name is entered upon the Roll of Advocates maintained by any one of the State Bar Councils and issued the Certificate of Enrollment in evidence thereof, appears for and clears the All India Bar Examination, and earns a Certificate of Practice issued by the Bar Council of India, can style himself as an Advocate and Practice in Courts.
All Advocates in India, irrespective of which State Bar Council they are registered, have a Right of Practice in all High Courts and their Subordinate Courts and Tribunals throughout the Territory of India under Section 30 of The Advocates Act.
However to practice Law before the Supreme Court of India, Advocates must first appear for and qualify in the Supreme Court Advocate on Record Examination conducted by the Supreme Court.
Law as a profession has been among the highest paid careers in the country. But Law is primarily not a means for making money. One has to look at law as an instrument for securing justice to people. But still every career has to have some returns in terms of finances.
A lawyer who wishes to start practicing in a court can get an initial stipend from Rs 15000 to Rs 40,000 depending upon the advocate he is associated with.
A law graduate working with Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) can earn an attractive salary in the range of Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. It is a very high paying profession, but depends largely on the caliber, popularity and success of the individual. The college you graduate from is another important factor. Initially you can earn Rs. 50,000 when you join in any corporate law firm or litigation.
However once you create a brand name of sorts for yourself you can join the league of professional Advocates who charge Rupees Five Lakhs to Rupees One Crore per court appearance.
Today, it is the practice of commercial law and especially the field of corporate law and international trade law that is quite beneficial and lucrative. Apart from all these, taxation laws, constitutional law, patent law, labour law, family law, mercantile law, contract laws, administrative law, are all areas which are both interesting and rewarding.
Some lawyers may prefer to specialize in handling civil suits or handle criminal matters as they find it more interesting. Whatever be the nature of the specialization that is taken up, in order to be successful in the practice of law, one should have a basic knowledge of law in the context of Indian legal system.
Irrespective of all these, it purely depends on the factors like reputation, case handling, expertise, etc that how much you will be able to earn in this profession. Remember Lawyers are one of the highest individual Tax Payers.
Where to start-
After successful course competition, you can find yourself in any of the law firms, corporate houses, etc. You can practice as individual practitioner or a public prosecutor. It will depend on your interest as you grow up with the course of your choice.
Some of the best known corporate and law firms are:
- AS Dayal & Associates
- Advani & Co.
- Agarwal Law Associates
- Amarchand & Mangaldas & Sursh A. Shroff & Co.
- Anand & Anand
- Bhasin & Co.
- Bose & Mitra & Co.
- Bharucha & Associates
- Bharuch & Partners
- Bhasin & Co.
- Chitale & Chitale Partners
- De Penning & De Penning
- Dua Associates
- Fox Mandal
- Gandhi & Associates
- HSA Advocates
- India Juris
- Jehangir & Gullabbhai & BIlimoria & Daruwala
- Khaitan & Co.
- Lall & Sethi Advocates
- Little & Co.
- Luthra & Luthra
- Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe
- Naik Naik & Co.
- and many more…
Special Law traits
Power of logical reasoning, a quick analytic brain, power of concentration, patience, perseverance, reading habit and ability to discuss matters with all types of people are some of the skills required in this field.
In addition, self-confidence, good communication skills and the gift of expression and a good voice are essential. These are the special traits and skills which you will develop as you grow up with the course in due course of time.
However a good lawyer must possess the following:
- Quick responsiveness
- Good orator
- Keen listener
- Flexible but attentive mind
- Out of the hat thinking ability
- Logical reasoning capability
- Presentable communication skills
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