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Published in the 16-28 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Education & careers

Careers in Law

By Ameen-e-Mudassar

The Milli Gazette Online

The course of Law over time
Decades ago, before Independence, to become a lawyer / barrister was the dream of every student. It continued for many years till the 70’s. Later the choice shifted towards Medicine, Civil Services, Computers, etc. But still a Lawyer or a Judge is held in high esteem in our society. The respect, honor and prestige they get is unique in itself. With increasing population, crime, employment, business, financial transactions, etc.. have increased the involvement of legal system into our day to day life. Each one of us has to interact with the legal system at least once in our life time. 

So this article presents an overview of Careers in Law.

Current trends 
Today this career is for those who think "differently". Every year lakhs of students apply for admissions to reputed Law Colleges (listed below) but only a few (200-300) get selected. Why? Its because the lucrative salaries, honour and prestige have attracted the best brains, making it a tough competition. In the legal profession today, lawyers who specialize in 2 or 3 laws are doing very well. There is no end to private practice. The queue of clients is never ending. There is silver lining in every cloud.

Personality requirements
To be a good lawyer one must have

  1.  Intelligence, good logical and analytical skills to deal with the variety of cases and its complications. 

  2. A good memory to remember and relate the past facts. 

  3. Good understanding of laws and its implementation whenever and wherever applicable.

  4. One must have a keen interest in reading Law Books and Journals to be up to date with the latest rulings.

  5. Ability to extract information from all available resources as well as clients and its utilization.

  6. Keen interest, confidence and clarity of thought when dealing with clients and judiciary.

Branches of Law
1. Criminal Law
2. Property Law
3. Cyber Law
4. Marriage Law
5. Taxation & Labour Law
6. Excise Law, etc.
7. Company Law

Courses 
5 year - Integrated course - BA LLB / BSc LLB / BPSc LLB
3 year - Bachelor of Law (LLB), Bachelor of General Laws (BGL)
2 year – Masters of Laws (LLM), Master of Comparative Laws (MCL)
Doctor in Law (LLD) 

Eligibility 
For Bachelor’s courses : At least 50 % in +12. 
For Master’s courses : Graduation in Law with at least 50 %
For 5 year Integrated courses : At least 50 % in +12. 

Reputed Law Institutions in India

  1. National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore.

  2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law (NALSAR), Hyderabad.

  3. National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur.

  4. National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal.

  5. West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata.

  6. The Indian Law Institute (ILI), New Delhi.

Note: These are the colleges which conduct entrance tests and admit on merit basis only. They have excellent placements every year. These institutes produce India’s " Best Lawyers ".

Distance Education 
The following list gives the various courses in Law conducted through correspondence. 

  1. NLSIU Bangalore offers Master’s in Business Law (MBL), Diploma in Human rights Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, Ethics & Medicine. 

  2. Indian Institute of Taxation, Trivandrum offers 1yr Diploma in Tax laws.

  3. Kuvempu University, Shimoga, Karnataka offers LLM course.

  4. National Law University, Jodhpur offers Masters in Trade law and Masters in Criminal Law & forensic science.

Job Prospects 
We have heard the funny punch line "Qanoon ke haath lambe hote hai", Similarly "Qanoon me Career bhi lamba hota hai ". This is one of the careers in which a person never retires even after 60 years. (except when recruited by the Government)
The major areas of employment are as follows

1. Indian Legal Service 
Law graduates can take up UPSC exams to join the Indian Legal service as Law Officers, Assitant Advisors, Legal Advisors, Deputy Advisor, Legal Assistant ,etc..

2. State Public Service Commission Exams
All states conduct public service exams to recruit lawyers for various posts like Magistrate, Munsif, Sub- Magistrate, Public Prosecutor, Legal Secretaries to Assemblies, Law Inspectors, Assistant Government Advocate, etc.. 

3. Private Sector 
There are several companies and organizations which recruit lawyers specialized in Taxation and labour laws, Company Law, Investment and Security Law, Corporate Law, Patent Laws, etc. This is a potential domain for great money since every major organization or company decides its policies after due consultation with its Lawyers.

4. Other Sectors 
Many openings exist pertaining to different specializations of Law in public enterprises, Railways, Labour Courts, Tribunals, Banks, political advising, defense , freelance journalism, etc. A successful lawyer can also write for journals, legal commentaries, offer online legal advice, Legal issues columnist for Newspapers, etc..

5. Private Practice
A non-retirement job. Once a lawyer registers with the Bar Council of India, he/she can begin independent practice. The clients could be individuals or companies. Being specialized in at least 2 or 3 sectors like criminal law, civil law and tax laws, a lawyer can run a good practice and earn more. The sky is the limit once you gain reputation.

Admissions Notifications of India’s Premier Institutes 
Students who have passed +12 with 50% marks as well as those appearing for +12 exams in April 2005 can apply.

National Law School of India University ( NLSIU ), Bangalore
Courses : 5 year Integrated B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) & 2 year Master’s in Law (LLM)
Last date for application : 15 March 2005.
Entrance Test Date : 1 May 2005.
For details visit : www.nls.ac.in. 

National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law (NALSAR), Hyderabad
Course : 5 year Integrated B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) 
Last date for application: 12 April 2005.
Entrance Test Date : 15 May 2005.
For details visit : www.nalsarlawuniv.org. 

National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur
Courses : 5 year Integrated BBA LLB / BPSc LLB / BSc LLB 
Last date for application : 31 March 2005.
Entrance Test Date: 7 May 2005.
For details visit : www.nlujodhpur.ac.in «

The author is a Career Counsellor, working with M.S.W - Career Guidance 
and Information Center, Bangalore
The author blogs at http://careerzfoundation.blogspot.com

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