One of the things about studying law is that you are not defined by what you studied in the 12th standard or in graduation. Whatever stream you are in, you can still study law and make it into the legal profession. Is a career in law for you? Let us take a look.
Are you cut out for a Career in Law?
Do you have strong logical reasoning skills and the tenacity to win arguments based on logic? Do you have strong oratory skills? Are you a good listener? Do you have an attentive mind and lots of patience? If the answers to all these are yes, then you may consider a career in law.
What to study to Become a Legal Eagle:
A career in law requires you to do a 3 year course after graduating in any subject or an integrated 5 year course once you pass your 12th standard. If you have already decided to pursue a career in law, the 5 year course (Bachelor of Laws-LLB) is recommended. Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scores are required to secure admission to most of the autonomous law colleges in India. Some universities also conduct their own admission tests and preference is also given to the merit of the student. However, in some cases, colleges admit students based on merit and no entrance test is required. The National Law School of India University, Bangalore, WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, Faculty of Law, Delhi University, National Law Institute University, Bhopal, ILS Law College, Pune, Symbiosis Society’s Law College, Pune, and the National Law Institute University, Jodhpur, are some of the leading law institutes in the country.
In addition to this, many universities also offer diploma courses in various law disciplines. One can go in for a Master of Laws ( LL.M) degree in the graduation degree.
Choose a Specialization as a Legal Eagle:
You can choose criminal law which deals with criminal offenses or civil law which concerns private law of individuals. Going forward you can specialize in a certain aspect of law based on your interest. These could be in the field of human rights, intellectual property rights, cyber law, labor law, real estate law and so on. Many institutes offer Post Graduate Diploma courses in these fields. Another option is to move into corporate law which essentially involves advising companies on legal matters. This has become lucrative as it offers students good salaries, to begin with right after college.
Job Prospects for a Legal Eagle:
A law degree can open up various job prospects. You can work for a law firm, be an independent lawyer or work as an adviser to corporate firms on legal matters. Fresh graduates must serve a year as an articled clerk. But it takes the time to set up an independent practice unless you do not join a family-owned law firm. Students are advised to work with a senior lawyer to gain hands-on –experience in their field. An LL.M degree is required to teach at law universities and enter academics.
A law degree also opens up prestigious job opportunities in public service. After getting your law degree you can appear for judicial services examinations conducted by public service commissions of states. A successful candidate can secure employment as a civil judge or metropolitan magistrate in the district courts. After 10 years of practice, one is eligible to be appointed as a judge.
The good and the bad in a Career in Law:
Law is one of the most exciting and challenging professions one can get into. It also gives satisfaction to know you can give someone justice that he or she deserves. With experience, a lawyer can get social recognition and earn lots of money as well. But as mentioned, it means low salaries in the beginning and years of struggle to establish oneself in independent practice.
A career in law is associated with a lot of glamors, but the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you love the subject and want to spend your life practicing it. If you do, then it can be a very rewarding career option.