Intro: Armed in the art of ‘circumvention of the law’ through in-depth knowledge and experience, a lawyer has the ability to earn respect and moolah equally.
Law as a profession has always been in demand and with the growing law awareness among the general public the demand is expected to grow exponentially. It has gained more importance in the increasing regulatory role being undertaken by the government. The feeling of wearing the ‘black coat’ brings a sense of pride along with being a financially lucrative career. Held in high esteem, Lawyers enjoy a trust factor with the people who rely completely on them when all doors to getting justice seem to fail. They come to the rescue of people who look for legal advice by analyzing and interpreting the law properly.
Apart from advising the clients on legal rights, lawyers plan a course of action for the clients that can help them get justice as fast as possible. People sought their help in pre legal documents such as contracts, wills,and negotiations.The best part about the profession is that one’s academic excellence does not mean anything but the competency gained through experience is the mainstay towards a successful career.
The field is vast as there are myriad of legal matters and one can specialise in any particular or multiple fields. Some of the fields are civil law, corporate law, taxation law, labor law, criminal law, international law, constitutional law, Patent law, family law, etc.
How to get there
For making a career in law one can opt for a three-year law course after graduation or a 5 years’ course after class 12th. However, more and more people are now preferring 5 year course over the 3 years’ one. The three-year course is now chosen by professionals who want to get an additional degree. On the other hand, the five year course is chosen by students who want to take up law as a career.
The LLB course is regulated by the Bar Council of India. Specialisation are done at masters, MPhil or PhD stage and are pursued by those who are interested in academics.
Law Entrance Exams
Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), institutes like Symbiosis Society Law College and Amity Law School among others conduct their individual entrance exams.
Law Schools / Institutes in India
NLSIU (Bangalore), NALSAR (Hyderabad), NLIU (Bhopal), NUJS (Kolkata), NLU (Jodhpur), HNLU (Raipur), GNLU (Gandhinagar), Faculty of Law (Delhi University), Symbiosis Society’s Law College (Pune), ILS Law College (Pune), Government Law College (Mumbai), Faculty of Law (Banaras hinduuniversity) etc.
Pros and Cons
Positive side of the profession is that it gives an opportunity to work on various legal issues. It brings with the security of job especially when you are working for an institution or a corporate lawyer. A rewarding job as it gives good perks and also helps one to earn respect of the clients/society. One thing is sure that you will never get bored as one has to work on different cases every time and this brings different challenges to keep the boredom at bay.
The other side is that a lawyer might end up making many enemies especially in the cases related to crime. Over time it becomes demanding as one has to work on multiple cases; with fame comes long working hours and tight deadlines.
A criminal Lawyer specialises in criminal laws CrPC, Evidence Act, IPC, and other penal laws.
A Civil Litigation Lawyer specializes in civil laws e.g. excise laws, taxation laws.
A Legal Analyst working for corporate firms deals in laws pertaining to the sphere of the company.
A Document Drafting Lawyer specialises in drafting various documents containing agreements, terms and conditions, case material, etc.
A Legal Advisor offers consultancy to corporate firms.
A Government Lawyer works for the government
A Judge offers judgment after conducting the court proceedings.
If the degree is from a prestigious college then the campus placement can help get a salary of Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month. In general, remunerations depend on work experience and with good knowledge there is no limit to the earnings.
Where can you work
Opportunities are limitless for a law graduate. One can assist a senior lawyer to gain experience before starting his/her own practice. Then there is the option of working with corporate firms. If one clears the examinations conducted by Public Service Commissions, the doors to becoming a judge opens up. Experienced professionals can become Solicitor General, a Public Prosecutor, offer services to government departments and ministries, in army as judge advocate general or become a legal adviser to various organisations. LPOs recruit law graduates for their processes dealing in US laws or UK laws.
Other attractive options are teaching, working with NGOs, a reporter for newspapers and television channels.
BY: Dr. Vivek Singh, Advocate, Supreme Court of India