"Laws are spider webs, through which big flies pass and the little one get caught."
- Honore de Balzac.
Law is one of the popular career choices in our country for a long time. Those whose families have been into the profession for generations in India usually opt to study law too. However, to become a lawyer it is not mandatory to have a family background in law neither is it necessary that you belong to an affluent family. Anyone can choose to study law as long as one has the passion for it.
Traditionally, students could specialize in either civil or criminal laws. However, this concept has changed and now students can opt to specialize in any of the various options offered like patent laws, corporate laws, etc. A degree in law not only lets you practice as a lawyer in the courts in the company but also opens up career options in sectors like corporate management, legal services and administrative services.
Students interested in making a career in law can either do a three-year law course after graduation in any discipline or a 5 years’ course after 12th class. In most cases, colleges run the 3 years’ course only for those whose main discipline in graduation is something other than law, or working professionals who want to do an LLB as an additional qualification.
The LLB course is regulated by the Bar Council of India which sets rules and regulations regarding legal practice in the country. Any specialization is done at masters, MPhil or PhD stage. A higher degree helps candidates get jobs in academics.
Is It the Right Career for Me?
Law is a career which requires lots of patience and logical skills. It takes lots of hard work and dedication to become a successful lawyer. First generation lawyers particularly face numerous problems in their profession as is true of every other profession. It becomes easier if one trains under a Senior Counsel in the beginning of their career. This is not to say that newbies cannot make it own their own. Anything is possible with determination and of course, hard work. Great communication skills and a faculty for critical analysis and articulation are pre-requisites for lawyers. Therefore, one should analyze these points before opting for law as a career.
There are a plethora of opportunities for a law graduate. One can either practice as an advocate in a court of law or work with corporate firms. By clearing exams conducted by Public Service Commissions, a law graduate can become a judge. After gaining experience, a law graduate can hope to become Solicitor General, a Public Prosecutor or offer services to government departments and ministries. One can also work as a legal adviser for various organizations. Teaching in colleges, working with NGOs and working as a reporter for newspapers and television channels are other attractive options.
Whereas a lawyer who wishes to start practicing in a court can get a stipend of Rs 5000 to Rs 40,000 depending upon the advocate he is associated with, a law graduate working with Legal Process Outsourcing receives can earn 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 calibre, popularity and success of the candidate. The college you graduate from is another factor.
Demand and Supply
An acute shortage of qualified lawyers has been a major problem in India. The Bar Council of India has often expressed its concern that young lawyers do not join the Bar. There are nearly ten lakh lawyers in India but according to law experts only 20 per cent of them can be considered fit enough to practice law in courts. However, India is a country with one of the highest litigation rates among its population and Sir Ivor Jennings termed the Indian Constitution “a lawyer’s paradise.” Talented lawyers will never have to worry about their income.
Talks are on to expand the scope for legal practice in India and open the gates for law firms from outside India. Law graduates can expect better job opportunities when foreign law firms start their operations in India. LPOs have started to recruit young law graduates for their processes dealing in US laws or UK laws. Legal education has been liberalized and for that reason professionals from various other disciplines too are interested to do short term courses in law which ultimately will help to raise the standard of legal awareness.
Legal education in India is similar to the one in Britain. Whereas several universities in UK offer legal education to Indian students, Indian students quite enjoy working in the UK wherein they receive attractive salary packages. A recent trend has been that students from India study in law colleges in the USA and receive attractive jobs after completion of the course. Harvard Law School, Yale University, Australia National University, etc. are some attractive options for Indian law students these days.
Lawyers like other professionals such as doctors and chartered accountants require experience to polish their skills and become valuable for their clients. Therefore, it is time which helps a lawyer become effective. Candidates determined to succeed in the profession have to be patient in the initial phase of their career. However, there is no limit to success and money as well as power for a lawyer. Lawyers are not only respected but also help people in their battle for justice.
Job opportunities after LLB
There are many opportunities after completing LLB. Most of the aspirants prefer to make law as their profession and become lawyer. There is opportunity for LLB graduates as lawyers in state and central government. The aspirants can be placed as attorney generals, judges, public prosecutor, etc. They can find opportunities in Defense, Tax, and Labor departments. The candidates can also work as legal advisors for organizations, firms, and families. Apart from being lawyers, the graduates can work in banks, business houses, legal consultancies, educational institutes, news papers, news channels, sales and excise departments. Another scope for candidates after LLB is to complete LLM and join as lecturer in any private or government institute. There are many institutions in India where the candidates can find large opportunities.
In most of the firms the aspirants are recruited after they have cleared written test and interview. The basic necessity for the entire written test is to have a strong knowledge in all the fundamental subjects. The candidate should prepare well in advance for all these tests. They can join any coaching class if they find difficulty in learning. Now days, many reference books are easily available in market. This will help the students to be better prepared for the exams.
Some of the top law firms in the country are:
- Amarchand Mangaldas
- AZB & Partners
- J Sagar Associates
- Khaitan & Co
- Luthra & Luthra
- Desai & Diwanji
- Singhania & Partners
- Titus & Co
- Wadia Ghandy & Co
- Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan
- Economic Laws Practice
- Vaish & Associates