Law is one of the popular career choices in India and certainly among the most respected professions with a wide range of job opportunities. Not only the court but various corporate houses, law firms, administrative and judicial organizations offer a well-paid legal career. You can choose to study law as long as you have the passion for it.
Law as a profession is in great demand these days. Due to the changing social and economic circumstances and the ever-increasing regulatory role being undertaken by the government there is a rising demand for the lawyers. Besides being financially lucrative, Law is an adventurous and exciting career option. Lawyers are held in high esteem in our society, and there remains the faith that when everything else fails, one can still take the path of 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 legal professionals who analyse and interpret law properly.
Lawyers advice clients about their legal rights and recommend course of action in a meticulous manner. They also counsel clients and pre legal documents, such as wills and contracts and conduct negotiations on legal matters, and may represent clients in court and tribunal proceedings.
Academic excellence does not count for success in this profession. Professional competency acquired through experience and practice with lawyers is the main benchmark of success. The legal profession has always been one of the most prestigious profession in any common law country like India. The famous quote ‘Sky has no limits’ fits perfectly to the legal profession which is undoubtedly limitless. The career opportunities for a law graduate in India are on a constant rise (from corporate to government services to litigation and judiciary) and so is the quantum of law graduates every year.
Law is the wheel on which a civilized society runs, that’s why every institution whether political, social or economic renders a considerable requirement of legal experts or specialists in law. Therefore, lawyers or law graduates enjoy a special status in every institution or organization some of you might think that after securing a degree in Law, the next step is to practice in courts. But this is not the case. There are many other opportunities in Law that you can undertake in addition to becoming an advocate, such as:
- Corporate Counsel– A lawyer can provide in-house legal counsel to their corporate clients relating to their business matters. The basic work of a corporate lawyer is to draft and negotiate contracts, handle legal disputes and ensure that everything is within the prescribed rules and regulations of the company and the government.
- Law Firms– Law Firms are well organized firms comprising of several lawyers or advocates working together as one entity. These firms provide legal advice to their clients and provide them with all possible actions that could prevent any penalty implied on them.
- Litigation– A Litigating Lawyer or an Advocate represents his/her client’s case in court. In order to practice in court, you need to enroll yourself with the state bar council and clear the All India Bar Examination.
- Social Work– Many law graduates join NGOs to work for social causes such as environmental protection, gender concerns, caste discrimination, working conditions of laborer’s, etc. You can even work with international organizations such as the UN or with international tribunals like International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, International Labor Organization etc
- Legal Publishing and Media– Many well-renowned lawyers also work as editors for print media like newspapers, journals and electronic media like news channels, where they put their writing skills to use and pass on their legal knowledge to the public. Legal Journalism involves reporting on legal proceedings held in court to the public.
- Indian Legal Services- Law graduates who have cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or State Public Service Commission (SPSC) Examination can provide legal service in the Department of Legal Affairs, Legislative Council in the Legislative Department or the Department of Justice of the Indian government.
- Professor– After gaining some experience as an advocate or any other field of law, you can teach at law schools and make your career in the teaching sector, as you would have both theoretical and practical knowledge of this sphere.
How to become an advocate in India according to the Advocates act
If you wish to practice in courts, you can follow the following steps:
Step 1- Secure a graduate degree in Law.
You must have graduated with either a 5-year integrated degree or a 3-year L.L.B degree to be eligible for becoming an Advocate in India.
Step 2- Gain practical work experience through Internships.
Every Law graduate is required to have done an internship under a senior advocate or a law firm, as prescribed by the specific institution from where they are pursuing their graduation. Generally, the duration of the internship is a minimum of one month and you can intern even during your graduation or after completing it. An individual can also do 2-3 internships under different advocates or firms in order to gain a diverse knowledge of the subject.
Step 3- Enroll with the State Bar Council.
The next step is to enroll yourself with the State Bar Council and clear the All India Bar Examination conducted by the Bar Council of India. Once this exam is cleared, you get a certificate of practice through which you are eligible to practice law in court.
To further breakdown the process to become an advocate as per the Advocate Act of 1961 :
- The Bar Council of India conducts the All India Bar Examination.
- The examination is conducted twice a year and the time and place of the examination, are decided by the Bar Council of India.
- The examination tests the knowledge of the advocates on substantial and procedural law areas which is decided by the Bar Council of India.
- The syllabus of the examination is to be published by the Bar Council of India, before three months from the date of the examination.
- The Bar Council of India decides the percentage of marks required to pass the examination
- The unsuccessful candidates can appear the examination again without any limit of reappearances.
- The Bar Council of India decides the syllabi, recommended readings, the appointment of paper setters, moderators, evaluators, model answers, examination hall rules and other related matters.
- The manner and format of the application for examination is determined by the Bar Council of India
- Once an advocate passes the Bar examination, he/she receives a Certificate of Practice.
The Indian legal profession has grown over a short period of less than 50 years to become the world’s largest branch of the profession. Within India, it is one of the most influential professions having an involvement in the governance of the country. It sufficiently reflects the diversity of Indian society, its social hierarchies and realities, and yet performs efficiently in delivering justice to litigants through Courts, despite the massive pressures that Courts and legal institutions function, given how unimaginably overburdened they always are. The unitary structure of the Indian bar comes across as a boon in this regard.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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