Law has always been a profession of great demand in India, and all around the world. 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. Even today, in case of any dispute, the majority of civilians use the phrase “I will see you in the court“. In this post, we will look at law as a career in India, how to become a lawyer, top law (LLB) colleges in India and abroad, and salaries for a lawyer in different verticals.
Law as a Career
Career Path, Top Law Colleges, Career Scopes in India & Abroad, and Salaries
Co-authored by Parinita Gupta
The legal profession in India has undergone a strategic and substantial change over the last few decades. These days the law aspirants not only figure themselves in courts but mark the presence in various corporate houses, law agencies, law firms, litigation, administrative services and many more. Read more about career prospects for law graduates.
Legal education is a multi-purpose education provided to an individual before they start practice as a lawyer. An individual who intends to become a lawyer can start off by choosing legal education as the degree. Since a lawyer holds a great responsibility in molding society, legal education plays a major role in shaping good lawyers. Legal education trains individuals on principles, philosophies, ethics, history, and ideologies .an individual should be aware of the society he is intending to start practice in. He/she should acquire the fullest knowledge of the constitution and culture during the course period.
Legal education imbibes ethical, cultural and legal values to produce good lawyers. A lawyer with good ethics is a necessity for society’s future. People across the country come to lawyers seeking justice .in that scenario a corrupted lawyer is the last person they want to come across. So a lawyer with good ethics, principles, and knowledge on legal institution are mandatory for a country’s growth. A lawyer who develops perseverance becomes a great lawyer. Legal education also inculcates analytical abilities, research abilities, logical thinking, judgment, and people skills.
Self-learning also plays a major role in an aspiring lawyer’s career. Developing oral and written communication skills plays a major role in a lawyer’s practice. Good communication skills come into play while gaining a client’s trust. A lawyer should be able to convince and assure the client regarding the case with confidence and communication skills. Listening ability is also imperative for lawyers to analyze and come up with theories that can move the case forward. This sums up the legal education.
Law Careers Scopes and Job Scenario in India
There are a plethora of job opportunities for law graduates in India. In fact, there is a dearth of lawyers when demand is considered. Bar Council of India (BCI) has always stated that there is a scarcity of efficient and young lawyers in the council. Law as a profession has emerged as a very diverse field. There are various opportunities for lawyers in different fields.
Every organization, be it private or public sector, requires a lawyer in some form. With the changing dynamics of the world, almost every person seeks a lawyer’s help in their lifetime for minor to major reasons. So there are abundant opportunities for an efficient and ever-evolving lawyer.
Like a doctor, a lawyer also should update his/her knowledge with changing times. For such kind of lawyers, there will always be plenty of opportunities. Sir Ivor Jennings has stated that the “Indian constitution is a lawyer’s paradise”.
Law Career and Job Prospects Abroad
Career opportunities for lawyers in foreign countries are decent. By doing grade up courses and L.L.M from abroad can brighten the chances of acquiring a job on foreign land. Law graduates can be lawyers or legal associates in law firms based in foreign countries. Indian graduates with dual qualifications (i.e working in India and abroad) can succeed in practicing law on foreign land. Landing a job in the UK is easy for Indian graduates since Indian law is derived from British law. It is familiar with Indian students.
How to Become a Lawyer in India
Acquiring a law degree is the first step to become a lawyer. One can pursue a degree after 10+2 or after completing a bachelor’s degree.
Law Entrance Tests
After 10+2 a five-year integrated course is available for students. Students should clear an entrance test called CLAT. Eligibility criteria for CLAT is to have a minimum of 50% in 10+2 and age below 20 years. 14 law colleges in India accept students on the basis of CLAT scores. CLAT tests the students on mathematics, logical reasoning, general awareness, and aptitude. To pursue a law degree after graduation, one should have a minimum of 50% in graduation. 3-year course is offered to graduates by many universities in India.
CLAT is a two-hour test and the paper is objective and MCQ based. The structure of the test includes – English: 40 marks; Logical Reasoning: 40 marks; Legal Aptitude (legal reasoning and legal GK): 50 marks; General Knowledge: 50 marks and Mathematics: 20 marks.
The language is English and candidates must possess excellent English language skills to perform well. Preparing for CLAT is a rigorous exercise and a lot of reading is advisable. One can start with easier texts and move to the more complex ones. Reading helps develop one’s ability to think, write and analyze in English.
In addition to CLAT, LSAT India has now gained recognition as a standard entrance test for law aspirants. Some well-known private law colleges use LSAT India for admitting students.
SET (Symbiosis Entrance Test) is the doorway to Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Symbiosis, Noida or Symbiosis, Hyderabad.
After acquiring a law degree, an internship is mandatory. An internship under an experienced lawyer helps students in gaining practical knowledge. Learning ropes under a senior and professional lawyer can give a clear picture of how the trade works.
Lastly to start practice as a lawyer, clearing the exam conducted by Bar Council of India is mandatory. The All India Bar Examination tests the analytical ability and knowledge of the law of the candidate. After receiving the certificate of practice, a lawyer can choose his/her area of specialization for practice.
The Bar Exam
After the completion of the law course, law graduates have to take the All India Bar Exam which is a qualification exam required to be eligible to practice law in India. It is an open book exam. Though very easy to pass, records say that nearly 30% of the candidates who take the test fail it. This does not speak well of the standard of legal education in the country.
Top Law Colleges in India
- National Law School of India Institute (Bangalore)
- NALSAR University of Law (Hyderabad)
- Jindal Global School of Law (Sonipat)
- National law university (Delhi)
- The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (Kolkata)
- Symbiosis Law School (Pune)
- Army Institute of Law
- National law University (Jodhpur)
- Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi)
- Aligarh Muslim University
- Jamia Milia university
- Indian Law Institute (Pune)
- Christ University (Bangalore)
- Lloyd Law College (Greater Noida)
- Gujarat National Law Institute (Gujarat)
Top Law Colleges Abroad
- Stanford University (US)
- Harvard University (US)
- Yale University (US)
- University of Cambridge (UK)
- University of California (US)
- London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)
- University of Melbourne (Australia)
- University of Oxford (UK)
- The University of Sydney (Australia)
- New York University (US)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
- Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
- University of Chicago (US)
- Imperial college London (UK)
- The University of new south wales (Australia)
- National University of Singapore
- Monash University (Australia)
- University of Toronto (Canada)
- University of Auckland (New Zealand)
- Peeking University (China)
- University of Tokyo (Japan)
- Cornell University (US)
- Duke University (US)
- Princeton University (US)
Law Job Profiles
Law as a profession is very diverse. Lawyers have many opportunities in various fields:
- A lawyer can practice in court after clearing the bar council exam.
- A lawyer can get into the corporate field to work as a legal advisor
- A lawyer can also get into the banking sector as a legal advisor
- A lawyer can also appear for UPSC exam to become a civil servant
- A lawyer can establish and be part of a law firm
- Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)
- A lawyer can be a part of the media by being a Legal Journalist/Law reporting and Legal publishing.
Basic salaries for freshers start from 15,000/- per month. Experienced lawyers can earn more than 1 lakh per month. These salaries are for lawyers practicing in courts. Supreme court lawyers earn more than high court lawyers. A judge takes home the highest salary in the law field followed by a corporate lawyer.
Banks like the ICICI bank also pay in equal measures. The tier two firms such as Desai and Diwanji, Nishith Desai Associates (NDA), Wadia Ghandy and Co., Kochhar, and Co., Bharucha Partners, etc. pay between Rs. 40,000/month and Rs. 80,000/month.
Corporate lawyers take home handsome salaries. The corporate firms treat lawyers with good salaries. Some firms which offer good salary packages are Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB, Jyoti Sagar Associates (JSA), Trilegal, Khaitan and Company, Luthra and Luthra, S and R associates, etc. They offer a package of up to 14L per year. Since lawyers can get into different fields, salaries vary according to the field chosen.
About Parinita Gupta: Parinita is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.
She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well. You can follow her on Twitter.