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A BRIEF INTRODUCTION ABOUT LAW

Law

Introduction

Ambrose Bierce in his Devil s dictionary describes a lawyer as someone who is skilled in the circumvention of the law. The notion of a lawyer who is adept at finding loopholes in the system is a popular one in our country too but we cannot deny that to one up the law one must know the law. From writers to politicians to freedom fighters, lawyers have donned many hats. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Franz Kafka and Abraham Lincoln - all these were lawyers.

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 specialise in either civil or criminal laws. However, this concept has changed and now students can opt to specialise 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.

Step to Step:

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 fact, the 3 years course is now giving way to the 5 years one which is seen as a better option. 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 five year course is meant for those who want to take up law as a career - be it as a litigator, or any other kind of legal professional.

The LLB course is regulated by the Bar Council of India which sets rules and regulations regarding legal practice in the country. Any specialisation is done at masters, MPhil or PhD stage. A higher degree helps candidates get jobs in academics.

Start Early

A candidate can start preparing for law entrance exam conducted at national level for 5 years BA LLB at various National Law Schools soon after completing the senior secondary exam. The national law entrance exam, CLAT (Combined Law Admission Test) basically tests the students general English, legal aptitude, general awareness, logical skills, etc.

Some universities which offer the three years LLB conduct entrance exam which have a syllabus on the same lines.

Is it the right career for me?

Law is a career which requires loads of patience and logical skills. It takes loads 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.

What would it cost me?

Three years LLB course usually involves lesser expenses in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for three years.  The 5 years BA LLB comparatively costsa little more in the lieu of about Rs 3,00,000 for five years. Hostel expenses are exclusive of the tuition fees.

Funding And Scholarship

Not many law schools offer financial help on the basis of entrance exam. The student must talk to the authorities and find out the specific policies on scholarship from respective universities. Students can also opt to take a bank loan or apply for various scholarships that are offered from time to time.

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. Several law schools like NLSU, NALSAR were established to increase the level of legal education and produce skilled lawyers to meet the requirement.

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.

MARKET WATCH

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 liberalised 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.

Informational Focus

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.

Career Prospects

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 organisations. Teaching in colleges, working with NGOs and working as a reporter for newspapers and television channels are other attractive options.

CONVENTIONAL CAREER IN LAW: A Courtroom, A Black robe and a white bow, Litigation

NEW AGE LAW: Corporate, IT Companies, R & D Con. Power Dressing, Upwardly Mobile, High Lifestyle, IPR, Cyber Laws, Media Laws etc

THE LITIGATOR SOCIAL WORK: Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, Securities Law, Intellectual Property Law

THE CORPORATE LAWYER: Mergers & Acquisitions , Foreign Investment Project, Finance, Joint Ventures

JUDICIARY: Lower Judiciary & Higher Judiciary

SOCIAL WORK: Development, Human Right, Ethnic Issues, Women Right, Other Issues

RESEARCH & ACADEMICS: Law school teaching, Policy Making

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Diplomacy, International Development, Human Right Etc

 

 

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