Career in Law
Law is one of the most popular but misunderstood professions in the mindset of the common people who have no legal background. Law has been one of the most popular career choices in our country for a long time. To become a lawyer, neither is it mandatory to have a family background in law nor is it necessary that you belong to an affluent family. Anyone can choose to study law as long as one has an interest in and passion for it.
Originally, students could specialize either in civil law or in criminal law. However, a lot has changed in the past decade or two. Students can now choose to opt to specialise in any of the fields available now. Some of them are patent law, company law, and international law. In today’s time, a degree in law doesn’t just mean a litigation career in a session court with an umbrella and a briefcase in your hand; it can also mean power suits with a job with the biggest corporations in the country or even outside it, if one so dreams.
This is the field which people have associated with this career since time immemorial. This field involves practising law in courts. You might have got a general idea about this from a lot of movies. However, it doesn’t even come close to the reality. Litigation may involve civil or criminal law, but it’s not limited to that. You have other aspects like taxation law and family law as well. It can be practised in any of the courts depending on the kind of case it is.
• Corporate Law
This involves working with a company or corporate firm on their specific matters involving anything related to law including contracts and legal altercations as an in-house legal counsel. It may include, but isn’t limited to, advising them on legal matters before they take a major step, drafting their contracts, ensuring and monitoring compliance with rules and laws, or fighting their battles in court when required. Everything from drafting an employee’s appointment letter to mergers and acquisitions is done under the in-house counsel’s advice.
• Law Firms
This is a newly emerging and successful trend where a group of lawyers come together to form a single business entity, specifically in existence to practise law. As part of a law firm, one advises clients on their legal rights, legal recourses, etc. on a contract basis; and even acting as their agent in some situations.
• Judiciary & Civil Services
For those who want to work for the betterment of people and dream of handling real power and real responsibility in their work, law offers numerous opportunities in the executive and the judiciary arms of the government. The State Judicial Services Examination organised by High Courts gives you an opportunity to work in the judiciary whereas the state and centre Civil Service Examinations are conducted by Union Public Service Commission and are considered a very respectful avenue to work for your state while enjoying power at the same time.
• Research & Academics
Once a student is done with their LLB and is inclined towards law as a subject rather than as something to practise, they might follow their inclination by going for a further course like LLM or Ph.D for better understanding of the subject and concepts and/or follow through with a job in research giving you the opportunity to get paid for reading, talking, and thinking about law or in the teaching sector to enhance the future lawyers.
• Media & Law
A career in law and a career in journalism are quite similar seeing how they require ardent reading and writing skills as well as intrinsic knowledge of how the government and the legal system works. A stream of journalism, i.e. legal journalism, focuses on matters related to law like legal proceedings, the current state of law, and precedent-setting criminal matters and break it down to the general public or work on making people conscious of a problem in the first place. It is the perfect opportunity for those with an interest in law and also with a knack for writing or media of some or the other kind. One might choose to work as a news reporter for a news channel or as a journalist in the print media. Keeping in mind how conscious the world is getting about law and how it is extremely dynamic, it is a great field to be in.
• Social Work
If you want to make a change in social structure or society in general, you need a lawyer to draft, litigate or amend the laws for the society. What more can make it easy then being a Lawyer yourself? A sizeable number of law school graduates join Non-Governmental Organizations (NG0s) that work for social causes. If you are passionate about socio-legal issues, then this is the right avenue for you. Law school graduates are also offered opportunities to work with international organizations such as the United Nations and with international tribunals like International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, etc.
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 legal experts, only 20 per cent of them can be considered fit enough to practice law in courts. Several law schools like NLSIU, 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 and learned lawyers never have to worry about their income, but their personal growth.
Not only this, the scope for practising law in India has expanded by a lot since the gates for foreign law firms and corporations have just been opened which would increase the demand for good lawyers manifold. 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 in going for short-term courses in law which will ultimately help to raise the standard of legal awareness.