Careers in Law
profession is one of the growing and lucrative professions all over the world.
It is one of the most adventurous as well as exciting career. Lawyers are held
in high esteem in our society, and there remains the faith that when all else
fails, one can still take recourse to the legal system. In our daily life in one
way or other we may come across situations where legal advice is required. In
such situation we need the advice of a legal professionals who analyse and
interpret law properly.
Lawyers counsel clients about their legal
rights and suggest course of action in a particular matter. They also advise
clients and draw up legal documents, such as wills and contracts and conduct
negotiations on legal matters, and may represent clients in court and tribunal
Academic excellence is not the main thing
behind the success in this profession. Professional competence acquired through
experience and practice with efficient lawyers is the main yardstick of success.
There are various areas of specialisation in
this field which one can choose from like corporation law, civil law, criminal
law, international law, labour law, patent law, tax law and so on.
There are number of institutions and
universities conducting courses in law. The most premier among law universities
in India is National Law School Of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore.
Admission to NLSIU is through an All India Admission Test held usually on first
Sunday in May. University College Bangalore, Government College Mumbai, ILS law
college and Symbiosis college, Pune and Faculty of Law of Delhi University,
Aligarh Muslim University etc are some of the other leading legal Institutions
qualification to go for a course in law (LLB) is 10+2. Course duration is of 5
years and is sponsored by the Bar Council Of India.
P.G. Programmes in law (LLM) are of 2 years
duration & eligibility is LLB degree.
In addition to LL.B. degree, many
universities and institutes also offer other diploma courses in several
disciplines of law, including Administrative Law, International Law, Labour
Laws, Tax Laws and Corporate Laws.
In most of the institutes/universities,
selection is on the basis of an entrance test. The entrance examination is
objective type in nature. The questions invariably cover areas like Reasoning,
General Awareness, Numerical Aptitude, Legal Aptitude and Preliminary Political
Teaching is not restricted to the
conventional class-room methods alone, it include case studies, mock court etc.
to make the study more practical and interesting.
There are various branches of specialisation
in law like civil law, criminal law, corporate law, property law, income tax
law, marine law, public international law, family law, labour law, press law,
excise law, constitutional law, administration law, sale of goods law, trade
mark, copyright and patent law etc. one can choose from.
Success in this profession is not based on marks one obtain in the exam, but it
is very much related to personal attributes. One must have good oral and written
communication skills, logical reasoning, power of concentration, patience, good
memory to relate and quote past cases to prove your point, ability to argue and
discuss matters with a variety of people, self confidence, courage to deal with
threats especially in criminal cases etc. He should have up-to-date information
on any changes in law. A good library and a fair amount of reading is also
Job Prospects and Career Options
They can find employment in various courts
of law, in government service both Central and State government, as teachers, as
legal advisors in various companies, business houses, organisations etc. They
also do private practice as legal advisors, advocates, solicitors etc.
One who wishes to become an advocate and
practice law as a profession in India, should enroll with the local State
Central Bar council. An application for admission as an advocate shall be made
in the prescribed form to the State Bar Council within whose jurisdiction the
applicant proposes to practice. The Bar Council of India and the State Bar
Councils forms a self contained code of law for legal professionals practicing
Lawyers can find employment in a variety of
positions in the Government Service as well as other fields. Lawyer can also
work as legal counsel and legal advisers for firms, organizations and families.
They can work as trustees of various trusts, as teachers, law reporters, company
secretary and so on. Opportunities exist in the defense services too. Additional
qualification along with law degree offers scope for a wide range of employment
Lawyers are appointed in central services (
Indian legal service) through UPSC on grounds of their experience in the field.
Post covered under Indian legal service are Law officers, Assistant Advisors,
Dy. Legal Advisors and Legal Advisors.
State legal service appoints lawyers through
SPSC exams in senior position in State police/Revenue/Judicial Departments. The
basic qualification is degree in law, besides a degree in Arts / Science /
Commerce / Agriculture. Average age limit is between 21 to 30 years.
In the judiciary, the posts are that of the
magistrate, district and sessions judge, munsifs (sub-magistrate), public
prosecutor, solicitors, attorney general, advocate general, notary and oath
commissioner. There are also legal secretaries appointed in assemblies, law
inspectors, legal officers in banks, judicial members of income tax, sales tax
and excise departments, government advocates and staff in the registrar of
companies' office. The examination for these posts take place periodically & is
advertised as and when the vacancies occur.
Magistrate and Sub-Magistrate
A candidate who qualifies in the Law Service
Commission or State Public Service Commission is eligible for appointment as
Magistrate and Sub-Magistrate ( munsif). While magistrate presides over criminal
court, munsif delivers judgment on civil cases. Promotion may take a person
higher up to sub-judge, District and Sessions Courts Judge and further
(depending upon seniority and vacancy) to appointments in High Courts and the
At the state, federal and local level,
public defenders serve as court-appointed attorneys for those who cannot afford
Govt. Pleaders represent the State in
sessions courts and lends advice to officers in districts in all legal matters
when called for.
Advices the government on legal matters and
submit statement of important cases to Attorney General of India for his opinion
or appearance in the Supreme court as necessary. A Solicitor General makes sure
that the Attorney General performs his duties properly.
Attorney general appointed by the president
advices the government of India on such legal matters as may be assigned to him
by the president. He has the right of audience in all courts of India and
participate in the proceedings of Parliament without the right to vote.
Similar to the post of Attorney General at
centre, each state has an Advocate General appointed by State Governors. These
offices generally prosecute cases that have statewide significance and work with
local District Attorney's offices in the prosecution of cases. One of the best
ways to gain trial experience quickly after graduation is to work at a state
Assistant State Attorneys (also called
district attorneys) are primarily responsible for criminal matters and
prosecution. The District Attorney is usually an elected official. Depending
upon the size of the District Attorney's office, they may have multiple units
that focus upon different types of crime such as domestic violence, homicide,
appellate work or sex crimes. If you work with a smaller District Attorney's
office, you may have the option of handling diverse caseloads.
Notary, Oath Commissioner
A notary is a legal practitioner of at least
ten years experience in the profession. He is appointed on application to
Central, State government to draw, verify, authenticate, certify and attest the
execution of any deed. Oath commissioner is another established authority
similar to the notary.
Public sector undertakings and state and
central government organisations also employ lawyers as advisers.
Lawyer can also work as legal counsel and
legal advisers for firms, organizations and families. They can work as trustees
of various trusts, as teachers, law reporters, company secretary and so on.
Opportunities exist in the defense services too. Additional qualification along
with law degree offers scope for a wide range of employment opportunities.
They can work in the legal branches of
defence departments such as the Indian army, Navy and Air force. They conduct
courts of enquiry and court martials of offending service personnel governed by
the particular legislation acts.
They work in legal departments of firms or
for private clients. Legal advisors counsel their clients as to their legal
rights and obligations and suggest the appropriate course of action in business
and personal matters. They also check deeds, issue writs, collect information
for affidavits and draft legal documents.
An advocate practises in the court of law.
He represents a party (individual, group of individuals or a company) in a court
of law. They present the facts of the case to the judge, cross examine witnesses
and finally sum up the reasons as to why the court should decide in their
Solicitor is a kind of advisor to clients on
a variety of matters that involves law. Solicitors explain the cases of his
clients to the advocates. Solicitors need never appear in court directly.
Solicitor's firms undertake cases related to their area of work.
Those with a good aptitude and taste for
teaching, can go for LL.M and take up job in any University or Institute
offering law courses to students.
If he has a flair for writing may act as an
author and produce journals and legal commentaries and bring out law reports.
They can write articles for magazines, news papers etc.
A law graduate and/or a member of the
Institute of Company Secretaries can be employed as a company secretary in a
Salaries of experienced attorneys vary widely according to
the type, size, and location of their employer. Initially an articled clerk or
apprentice earns a stipend of Rs 2,200/- This will increase substantially over
years of experience. In the government judicial service salaries range from Rs
2,000-4,000. A sub judge earns Rs 5,500 along with the usual allowances and
perquisites applicable to government employees. Most salaried lawyers are
provided health and life insurance, and contributions are made on their behalf
to retirement plans. The private legal practitioner earns comparatively handsome