Law is one of the most important social institutions in the modern world and lawyers are held in high esteem as their services can truly make a difference in the life of a person who is facing a legal hassle.
There are many luminaries who have used this profession as a stepping stone to greatness. Whenever we think of such personalities, names like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln come to our mind. Also, many eminent freedom fighters such as Dadabhai Naoroji, Balgangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Aurobindo Ghosh, Dr. B R Ambedkar were lawyers by profession.
A career in Law is fast emerging as one of the most lucrative career options, with many specialized branches coming up, some of which are:
- Civil law - It is a branch of law that seeks to resolve non-criminal disputes, dealing with relations between individuals or organizations. Cases such as disagreements over the meaning of contracts, property ownership, divorce, child custody, and damages for personal and property damage are covered under Civil Law.
- Criminal law- It relates to resolving any act by an individual or an organization that has been classified as a crime. Matters such as theft, murder, assault, drugs and narcotics come under its purview.
- Corporate law- Corporate law regulates all matters, from the birth of companies to their dissolution and also deals with the subject of how different stakeholders of a company like shareholders, directors, employees, consumers etc. interact with one another.
- Administrative Law - Administrative law is the body of law that deals with the decisions of the administrative units of the government (tribunals, boards or commissions). Areas such as police law, international trade, manufacturing, environment, taxation, broadcasting, immigration and transport come under its purview.
- Cyber law- It encapsulates the legal issues related to use of the Internet and computers. Some leading topics associated with this include internet access and usage, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction. Issues related to these new-age crimes have largely been covered under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- Labour law- It deals with the problems arising between the management and employees of an organization.
- Constitutional law - Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship among different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.
- Patent law- A patent is granted to someone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine or article of manufacture. Patent law governs the right to prevent others from making, using or selling an invention or product made by an invented process that is granted to an inventor for a period of time.
After you have a degree in Law, you can select any of the following avenues available:
- Litigation- As a fresh law graduate, more often than not, you would get an opportunity to work under a senior advocate, developing your own skills in the process. Moneywise it is the most lucrative career option for young lawyers.
- Corporate Counsel- A corporate counsel advises corporations concerning legal rights, obligations, privileges, the working and transactions of a company. A corporate career in this field often involves greater interaction with non-legal aspects of business like sales, marketing and finance. It also offers the individual a greater propensity to expand his / her skill set.
- Law Firms- Law firms specialize in offering litigation solutions to their clients. In the starting years, law firms do not always pay lawyers as well as it does for corporate counsel but the challenges that you get to experience after joining law firms get you name, fame, reputation in the long run. Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, AZB & Partners,J Sagar Associates and Khaitan & Co. are some of the biggest law firms in India.
- Bank Officer- A bank officer is an employee of a bank endowed with the legal capacity to agree to and sign documents on behalf of the institution. This is a highly popular option with young law graduates because it pays well, ensures fixed hours of work, recognition and respectability and most importantly, minimal strain or tension.
- Judicial Service- If you dream of really bringing change to the society, then you can also consider judiciary as a career option. Being a judge requires tremendous hard work and dedication, but at the same time it is a very respectable and attractive career option.
- Academics - A law graduate can also take up research or get into teaching law aspirants. Good teachers are in great demand in law colleges.
- Legal Writing- After graduation, a law graduate can also pursue legal writing as a profession. Good writing and a penchant for research is a must to get into this field.
- Social Work- The true objective of law is to provide justice, and if you are among those who want to make a difference in the lives of those who do not have the means to afford legal services, then you can look for many NGOs who would require your expertise.
You can pursue a career in Law right after class 12 by enrolling in an integrated graduation and post-graduation B.A. L.L.B. course, the duration of which is 5 years; alternatively you can enrol for an L.L.B course after your graduation, the duration of which is 3 years, and follow it up by an L.L.M.
These programmes usually cover practical training including court attendance, hands on training at legal aid centres and research projects. To be able to practice, it is mandatory to put in a year's internship. This may be done during the course of the final year.
- NLSIU, Bangalore
- GNLU, Gandhinagar
- Symbiosis, Pune
- NLU, Jodhpur
- NALSAR, Hyderabad
- NLIU, Bhopal
- ILS Law College, Pune
- Government Law College, Mumbai
- HNLU Raipur and Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai.
- The most important skill required is logical reasoning
- Good communication skills are a given - both oral and written
- Interest in research
- Smart, presentable personality
- Ability to stand by what you say
- Ability to persuade and convince
To be eligible to appear for CLAT, a candidate should meet the following eligibility criteria:
- He/she should have passed his/her Higher Secondary School/Intermediate Examination (10+2) or its equivalent examination with not less than 50% marks in aggregate (45% in case of SC/ST/OBC and persons with Disability).
- Age not be more than 20 years in case of General/OBC candidates (22 years in case of SC/ST and persons with Disability).
- Test Pattern
The pattern of the CLAT exam for entry into the Undergraduate programme is outlined below-
Total Marks 200 Total No. of Questions 200 Duration of Exam 2 Hours
The areas covered in the exam with the corresponding weightage of marks are given below-
Area Marks English including Comprehension 40 General Knowledge/Current Affairs 50 Mathematics 20 Logical Reasoning 40 Legal Aptitude/Legal Awareness 50
- Important dates (indicative)
Issue of Application Forms- 1st week of January
Date of examination- 2nd week of May
For more information on this exam, visit www.clat.ac.in
- Eligibility Criteria
Although the Eligibility requirements of the individual law schools falling under the purview of this exam may vary, but the basic eligibility for the LSAT exam is
- Five Year B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) Program- 10+2 examination or equivalent with not less than 45% aggregate marks.
- Three Year LL.B. Program- Bachelor's degree in any subject with not less than 45% aggregate marks.
- Two Year LL.M. Program- Three year LL.B. or five year B.A. LL.B. with not less than 45% aggregate marks.
- Test Pattern
The LSAT-India consists of four sections. Two of the sections contain logical reasoning questions; one section contains analytical reasoning questions; and one section contains reading comprehension questions.
The amount of time allotted for each section is 35 minutes. There is one 15-minute break between section 2 and section 3. All questions are in a multiple-choice format. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- Important dates (indicative)
Issue of Application Forms- 2nd week of December
Date of examination- 1st week of May
The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an all India entrance test conducted by 14 National Law Universities/Institutes for admissions to five-year integrated under-graduate and post graduate degree programmes. You can get more details of the universities falling under this exam here: https://www.clat.ac.in/
The LSAT-India (Law School Admission Test - India) is a standardized test of reading and verbal reasoning skills that is administered across 17 cities for admission to 8 leading law colleges in India in the 5-year Integrated B.A. LL.B. and/or the 3-year Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) programme and/or LL.M. Programme.