What do Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela have in common besides being great leaders?
A law degree.
That’s right. Even Gerard Butler and Jerry Springer were practising lawyers once upon a time. Such is the attraction of this profession. If you are someone who likes to be challenged intellectually and indulging in debates, what better career to have than that of an attorney.
The thrill of outwitting someone in front of hundreds of people is something else altogether. Almost every big company needs legal counsel. That’s why this is a profession that is extremely lucrative. About 26 U.S presidents were previously lawyers. Which goes to show how useful this career is not only for ambitious people but also for people who want to do some good in this world and contribute to society in a real way.
Advocacy as a profession originated under the reign of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Before this, the orators of Greece were considered as the earliest face of advocates or lawyers. They were responsible for drafting wills, conveyances, and contracts. Subsequently, from 1150 onwards, a steady number of men became experts in the Canon Law to serve the roman catholic church. It was because of the efforts of the church that the legal profession was regulated and evolved to become what it is today.
There are not many professions that have as many career options to pursue as the legal profession. Some of the many job roles or career directions that you can go in as a lawyer are given below-
- Corporate lawyer
- Civil lawyer
- Religious lawyer
- Environmental lawyer
- Divorce attorney
- Public interest lawyer
- Legal nurse consultant
- Litigation support professional
- Trial consultant
- Jury consultant
- Compliance specialist
- Court reporter
- Legal transcriptionist
- Judicial Clerkship
- Media and law
- Social work
Courses and exams
There are 3 basic paths you can choose out of to get into the legal profession in India-
- Class 12th → BA LLB/ BBA LLB/ B.Com LLB
- Class 12th (Science stream) → B. Sc LLB
- Class 12th → Graduation in any discipline → LLB
The entrance exams held in India for getting into top-tier law schools are-
- All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) → post graduation
- Common law admission test (CLAT)
- IPU CET LLB
- DU LLB
- Jamia Milia Islamia law entrance exam
- Aligarh Muslim university law entrance exam
- Banaras Hindu University BA LLB entrance exam
The eligibility criteria for these exams in 50% aggregate in class 12th exams.
Some of the top law colleges in India are given below-
- National law school of India University
- Faculty of law, University of Delhi
- National law university
- Faculty of law, Jamia Milia Islamia
- Government law college, Mumbai
Total time taken to become a lawyer depends on the path you choose to opt after high school. The minimum time taken is about 5 years.
Level of difficulty
The CLAT exam is undertaken by around 40000 aspirants for just 500 seats. This is a pretty harrowing ratio. However, there are many other pretty good options if it’s a hit and a miss by any chance.
The CLAT exam is of the class 10th level, so it gives a pretty decent chance if you work at moderate pace.
Various roles of a lawyer include-
- Represent clients in civil and criminal litigation and other legal proceedings.
- Drawing up legal documents.
- Manage or advise clients on legal transactions.
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies.
- Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.
- Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.
- Gather evidence to formulate defence or to initiate legal actions.
- Probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates.
- This is the only profession that benefits from an economic slowdown (litigations, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions).
- Makes for a glamorous, fast-paced and exciting career.
- Regarded as a noble and elite profession.
- Pay is extremely good once you create a name and reasonable clientele for yourself. Key is to play your cards right.
- It is an intellectually challenging and simultaneously satisfying career.
- A large number of specific areas for practising like family law, cyber law etc.
- Never goes out of demand.
- There is no question that the stress and pressure are enormous in this profession. (But so are the benefits!)
- Extremely competitive field.
- Long hours.
- Sometimes you have to fight for the wrong party which may lead to ethical and moral conflict. But you have to pay the bills to survive. Hence, this profession can be a little ruthless at times.
- You need to learn a lot of information about fields other than your own to find loopholes.
It is a very high paying and always in demand profession provided you excel in what you do. It never goes out even during economic slowdown, in fact, it benefits from it. Hence, it’s a very sure shot and lucrative career option which is why you need to keep up your game if you want to survive. People will try to tear you down constantly. It is said that even if you learn everything there is to learn at a law school, it will still not prepare you enough for what you have to face in the real world.
With so many already available legal positions and new positions forming every day, the growth in this profession has been staggering in the past few years. The profits and revenues keep expanding as you work your way through it.
- Shrewd thinking is absolutely necessary.
- Presence of mind at all times.
- Ability to keep up with the fast-paced world. No slacking is tolerated.
- Perseverance and creativity.
- Good oratory and communication skills.
- Must have a penchant for research and analysis.
- Interpersonal and networking skills are also to be developed.