Legal profession is one of the growing and lucrative professions all over the world. Law has been among the highest paid salaried jobs in India. There is no denying the fact that the most successful lawyers are those with brilliant minds. In United States, lawyers charge money on hourly basis and not surprisingly they are the richest personalities in the country.
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, labor law, family law, mercantile law, contract law, 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 challenging. 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 law of the Indian legal system.
What to do
Aspiring candidates for the law degree can either take a three-year law course after graduation in any discipline or a five-year course after 10+2 leading to a B.A., L.L.B. (Hons.)
Almost all the Indian universities offer the three - year part-time L.L.B. courses for graduates. Eligibility is based essentially on marks obtained in graduation, but today well-known universities conduct entrance tests.
The National Law School of India, Bangalore, arguably the finest in the country, conducts all India entrance examination for admission. It offers the five-year courses leading to the B.A. L.L.B. (Hons). The full-time five-year course incorporates a lot of practical training, which includes court attendance, legal research projects as well as assistance in legal aid centers.
To qualify for legal practice, a year's apprenticeship in a firm is required. This can be done even during the final year of the course.
Some of the prominent law schools in India can be listed as follows:
- Aligarh Muslim University Department of Law
- Amity Law School
- Banaras Hindu University School of Law
- University of Delhi
- National Law School of India, Bangalore
- Jamia Milia Islamia University
To be a good lawyer what you require is a logical reasoning, a quick brain, power of concentration, patience, perseverance and ability to discuss matters with all types of people. In addition, self-confidence, good communication skills and the gift of expression and a good voice are essential.
There are many career opportunities available to a legal professional in India. Apart from entering into practice, law graduates have the option to join an industry and work as a law officer/legal executive. Large industrial houses are recruiting law graduates directly from the campus and lawyers are now in demand in the various industries as negotiators and law officers.
The day-to-day business of most companies is contracts, joint ventures and strategic alliances, licensing, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and support of the manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution functions of the company. Lawyers who do this work have an understandable advantage over those that litigate these matters.
When recruiting for senior legal positions in companies, it is often seen that companies prefer lawyers who have had previous in-house experience to lawyers engaged in litigation. Very often companies believe, correctly or not, that such lawyers better understand the corporate culture, have more developed team-building skills, and are better able get things accomplished in a responsive manner to their business clients.
Some of the career options available to a lawyer are he/she can:
- Join a law firm which may specialize in litigation or \chamber work or both
- Join an industry as a law officer.
- Join the Judge Advocate General's office/law cadre of the defence services.
- Join public and banking sectors where law graduates are recruited as trainees or probationary law officers.
- Opt a government job such as law officers, legal advisors and legal assistants to administer different departments. Further legal professionals are also appointed as public prosecutors, solicitors, deputy or additional advocates-generals, or advocate-general
- Join the state judicial service. Here officers are recruited through a competitive examination. The selected candidates are appointed as sub-judges or munsifs in law courts or also as chief judicial magistrates
- Work as freelance journalists and contribute to newspapers or joining a publishing house.
Now, when every business contract needs the legal touch and every job contract has to be legally drafted, the future for lawyers in the corporate sector is getting brighter and many are making their way up the corporate hierarchy. Intellectual property rights, patent law, environment law, and human rights law are emerging as favorite specialties.