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All You Need to Know About a Career as a Lawyer
The job of a lawyer is to provide its services to the clients by advising them in cases related to legal matters. Also, they represent their clients in legal issues and disputes by defending them in the court. The other name given to lawyers is attorneys. Lawyers often initiate lawsuits, participate in formal hearings, prepare legal documents, conduct law related research etc. Lawyers usually represent all sorts of clients ranging from individuals, business corporations, government agencies etc.
A career as a lawyer requires extensive training in legal procedures, training and writing. The job of a lawyer can be highly stressful depending in the field they specialise in. Some of the areas in which lawyers have to work include criminal law, marriage and divorce law, corporate law, taxes, family law, or litigation.
What do lawyers do?
1) The job of a lawyer include giving advice to their clients to help them make profitable business transactions, claim liability, defend them in lawsuits or in cases of legal rights and obligations.
2) As a lawyer, one must be capable of interpreting laws, rules and regulations for corporate houses and private individuals.
3) Use their analytical skills to provide solutions in law related problems.
4) Help the judges and juries to take a better decision by summarising cases.
5) Research and then evaluate findings to put forward powerful and strong arguments during presentation of cases.
6) Interview people and witnesses to help their clients win the legal battles.
How to become a lawyer? (Educational Requirements)
Below is the eligibility criteria to become a lawyer:
- Candidate must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Note: Applicants should opt for a bachelor's degree in the same field in which they want to do their law specialisation. For example in case of tax attorneys, student can opt for accounting, in case of environmental law, student may consider studying environmental science.
- Students then need to enroll themselves in a law school to obtain an L.L.B degree.
- To enroll yourself in a law school, one will have to sit for the entrance tests conducted by law departments of various Universities. One such exam to get into a law career is the Common Law Admission Test i.e the CLAT exam.
CLAT is conducted every year for students who are interested in admission to 5 year integrated B.A L.L.B course in India. Clearing the CLAT exam opens gate to the top ten national level law schools in India.
In order to clear your CLAT exam, you need to have knowledge related to the following topics:
- Legal Aptitude
- Logical Reasoning
- Comprehensive English skills
- Current happenings
After obtaining L.L.B degree, you need to apply for internship. This is a compulsory step as aspiring lawyers need to begin with hands-on law training to use their theoretical knowledge in real life situations. Also, students get the opportunity to work in the field under pressure and guidance of senior lawyers.
Note: For students currently studying in school, who want to become a lawyer, there are no specific compulsory subjects, though subjects like English, History, Political Science, Economics will further help to prepare for a law school.
The last and final step for becoming a practicing lawyer is to enroll as an advocate in any State Bar Council regulated by the Advocates Act, 1961 and get himself/herself a license.
Congratulations, you are now a lawyer!
Skills required to become a lawyer:
Some of the important skills required to become a lawyer are:
- High analytical skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Research skills
- Argumentation skills
- Willing to work for long and irregular hours
- Ability to work under pressure
- Good writing skills
Top law colleges in India:
- National Law School of India University
- Rajiv Gandhi School Of Intellectual Property Law , IIT Kharagpur
- National Law University, Jodhpur
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
- National Academy of Legal Studies and Research
- Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
- Indian Law Institute
- National Law Institute University
- Gujarat National Law University
- University Law School, Banaras Hindu University
Job prospects after a law degree:
Some of the jobs available to you after a law degree are as follows:
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
The job of an arbitrator, mediator, and conciliator is to try solving the dispute between parties by negotiation outside of the court system.
Judges and Hearing Officers
Judges and hearing officers are usually the ones to take decisions by applying the law in unsettled disputes. Some of their other works include conducting pre-trial hearings, resolving administrative disputes, helping in negotiations between the two parties, and provide with legal decisions.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
The job of a paralegal and legal assistant is to help the lawyer while he/she is fighting a case. A paralegal usually does this by conducting research, maintaining and organizing files and preparing required documents for the lawyer.
Attorney are the lawyers that defend their clients in the court room. Apart from practicing law, seasoned attorneys may teach at colleges or universities, become corporate executives, or enter politics.
Also there are different types of lawyers depending on the field of specialisation:
- Environmental lawyers
- Tax lawyers
- Intellectual property lawyers
- Family lawyers
- Securities lawyers
- Litigation lawyers
Salary earned by a lawyer:
Salary earned by a lawyer usually depends on his work experience and increases with time and knowledge.
According to a survey by payscale.com, India’s leading survey website, following are the salaries earned at different positions by a lawyer:
|Job Profile||National Salary Data|
|Associate Attorney||Rs 540,000|
|Law Firm Partner||Rs 3,966,785|
|Corporate Lawyer||Rs 600,000|
|Associate Attorney (Law Firm)||Rs 943,365|
|Attorney / Lawyer||Rs 925,000|
|Junior Associate Attorney||Rs 360,000|
All the best!
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