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.
Legal Career Namesakes-
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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