That being said, if you are someone who wants to serve the people by fighting for their justice, someone who believes that truth shall always prevail and who wants to protect the interests of the people; a Career in Law might be the answer.
Good communications skills, strong logical and analytical skills, an eye for detail and confidence are some of the qualities required in this profession. So, if you have already decided to opt for this profession, you can start working on them to make them even better.
There are abundant opportunities available for a law graduate, from practising in courts to working with corporate firms, government department ministries, becoming a judge, a public prosecutor and so on.
Now, let me give you an insight into how your journey is going to be if you want to pursue a career in Law.
How to Become a Lawyer in India?
Step 1 – Choose any Stream after Class 10th
There is no specific stream required to pursue a degree in law, and students from all streams can go for this career. Generally, students who want to pursue law right after their 12th take up Humanities or Commerce streams. Some of the popular subjects for students aspiring for Law are Political Science, Legal Studies, Economics, History and Psychology. These subjects are recommended because they help form a base for the subjects taught in Law schools and some of these are beneficial in providing an insight to school students about the legal system of our country.
Step 2 – Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (L.L.B)
The next step in your journey to becoming a lawyer is to pursue a graduate degree in LAw (L.L.B). You can pursue this either right after class 12th or after your graduation in any other subject.
Route 1: Pursuing Law After Class 12th (5-Year L.L.B Program)
If you are determined to pursue a career in Law, you should enrol yourself into a 5-year integrated program. 5-Year L.L.B degrees teach you basic graduation subjects along with the subjects of Law, with the most common course combinations offered being B.A L.L.B (Hons), B.Sc L.L.B (Hons), BBA L.L.B (Hons) and B.Com L.L.B (Hons). The benefits of 5-year programs are that you get an exposure to Law subjects early on (alongside your graduation), giving you greater insights into the core subjects of Law, and you also save a year of study as compared to Law after graduation.
Top Institutes for 5-year L.L.B Programs
- National Law School of India University, Bangalore
- Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
- National Law University, New Delhi
- National Law University, Jodhpur
- National Law University, Bhopal
- Gujrat National Law University, Gandhinagar
- Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
Key Entrance Exams for 5-Year L.L.B Programs
The top institutes in Law accept admission into their 5-year integrated program based on the scores of entrance exams. Different law institutes accept scores from different entrances. Some of the top undergraduate entrance examinations for Law are:
Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) – It is a two-hour, computer-based, standardized test for admission to 18 prominent National Law Universities in India. It covers objective-type questions relating to elementary Mathematics, English with Comprehension, General knowledge, Current Affairs, Legal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning.
All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) – This test is conducted by National Law University (Delhi) for providing admission to its integrated BA. L.L.B (Hons.) and includes sections like English, General Knowledge, Legal Aptitude, Reasoning and Numerical Ability.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – It is a standardized test with a duration of 3 hours 30 minutes, designed to assess reading comprehension, Logical and Analytical Reasoning proficiencies. These test scores are accepted by Jindal Global Law School, Alliance School of Law, Faculty of Law (SRM University), Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur), amongst others.
Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET) – Symbiosis International University conducts this test for admission to its undergraduate law programs. It consists of sections like Logical Reasoning, Legal Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and General Knowledge.
Route 2: Pursuing Law After Graduation (3-Year L.L.B Program)
There are times when students do graduation in some other subject but realize later that they want to take up Law as a career. In such a case, you can still go on to pursue a degree in Law, through a 3-year L.L.B course right after your graduation. The only difference between a 3-year L.L.B and 5-year L.L.B program is that in the former you only study core Law subjects, while the latter also teaches basic subjects of graduation along with the core subjects of Law.
Lawyers v/s Advocates
“All Advocates are Lawyers but not all Lawyers are Advocates”.
To explain this statement further, an Advocate is a person who fights cases in court and is registered with the Bar Council of India, whereas a Lawyer is someone who provides legal advice to businesses, firms, companies or individuals, but cannot represent their cases in court. Lawyers are graduates in L.L.B but are not enrolled with the Bar Council of India.
How to become an Advocate in India?
If you wish to practice in courts, you can follow the following steps:
Step 1- Secure a graduate degree in Law.
You must have graduated with either a 5-year integrated degree or a 3-year L.L.B degree to be eligible for becoming an Advocate in India.
Step 2- Gain practical work experience through Internships.
Every Law graduate is required to have done an internship under a senior advocate or a law firm, as prescribed by the specific institution from where they are pursuing their graduation. Generally, the duration of the internship is a minimum of one month and you can intern even during your graduation or after completing it. An individual can also do 2-3 internships under different advocates or firms in order to gain a diverse knowledge of the subject.
Step 3- Enroll with the State Bar Council.
The next step is to enroll yourself with the State Bar Council and clear the All India Bar Examination conducted by the Bar Council of India. Once this exam is cleared, you get a certificate of practice through which you are eligible to practice law in court.
Specializations in Law
In case you are thinking of going into research and publishing or the education sector, a specialization would help you enhance your knowledge. To specialise in a particular field of Law, you need to pursue a Master’s degree in Law (L.L.M).
Some of the common specializations that lawyers opt for are:
Civil Law- It is also known as the common law which is entitled to every person. It deals with disputes between individuals in areas like violation of their rights, breach of contracts among parties, property and family law.
Criminal Law- Criminal Law relates to cases regarding criminal offences. A Criminal Lawyer researches in detail the background of the case and also needs to interact with the clients, police, and witnesses to collect actual facts and evidence in order to defend their client.
Tax Law- This field deals with the study of various tax policies of a nation and focuses mainly on different types of taxes, such as income tax, real tax, estate tax, franchises, problems of inheritance, etc.
Intellectual Property Law– An IPR Lawyer counsels their clients on the protection of their intangible property like inventions, literary & artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs used in business, etc.
Corporate Law- Corporate Law essentially involves studying acts and laws that apply to a company. Corporate lawyers advise companies on their legal rights, obligations, and privileges and also deal with employment law issues, contract disputes, the protection the intellectual property rights of the company, etc.
Environmental Law– This field focuses on laws that help to protect the environment by regulating the impact of human activities on the environment relating to land, air, water, conservation of wildlife, etc.