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Career as Legal Journalist

Career as a Legal Journalist

About Legal Journalist

Legal Journalists are individuals who do journalism about topics that are entirely related to law. Their job is to do specialised reporting about all matters that pertain to the field of law. Legal Journalists defy the notion that law graduates can only work in law firms or in corporate setups. Legal Journalism is one of the unconventional and extremely fascinating facets of the field of law for which students do not even require a journalism degree. Legal Journalists comprehend the legal matter at hand and convey it to the general public through the mode of several platforms. This can include newspapers, blog posts, social media coverage, anything. They have to stay connected with their audience and give them updates regarding whatever legal issue has been churning during a particular time. Nowadays, many law graduates are looking forward to making a career as legal journalists.

Eligibility to become Legal Journalist

The eligibility criteria for becoming a Legal Journalist have been mentioned below. All the candidates who are perplexed about how to become a legal journalist will find the answer to their queries here.

  • The candidate must have completed a valid law degree of the undergraduate or the postgraduate level.
  • It is important for the candidate to have obtained his/ her law degree from a recognised institution that has been given the approval of the UGC and the BCI.
  • The aspirant must be fluent in a language in which he/ she wishes to further establish his/ her field. English is the most preferable language followed by Hindi.
  • In order to become a Legal Journalist, the candidate must have some knowledge of journalism. It is not necessary for his/ her to get a degree in the same but doing a certificate or a diploma course in Journalism will definitely help.
  • The writing/ oratory skills of the candidate should be extremely developed. High proficiency in written as well as spoken language is a must.
  • If the student has had some practice by doing internships at law firms, it will become easier for him/ her to become a legal journalist. The work experience will provide them with a good insight and better understanding of the cases.

Types of Job Roles Legal Journalist

The employment opportunities that open for a legal journalist are vast and diverse. Candidates can choose to start their own channel on a social media platform or write posts on their personal blogs. They can also be recruited at some leading companies for lucrative packages. The career scope of legal journalists has no bounds and candidates can experiment new things with respect to their interests and requirements. Since the career of a Legal Journalist is both creative as well as related to the law, the areas in which these individuals can be hired are innumerable.

Employment Opportunities for a Legal Journalist

The areas and industries in which legal journalists are recruited include a wide variety. The list given below consists of some of the leading industries that recruit legal journalists. Aspirants can look for a job as a legal journalist in any of these areas.

  • Newspaper Companies
  • Magazines
  • Digital Content Agencies
  • Blogs
  • News Channels
  • Live Updates on the Internet
  • Law Firms

Planning to choose Legal Journalist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Legal Journalist

There are many factors that determine the salary of a Legal Journalist. Some deciding factors include the candidate's qualification, his/ her work experience, the city in which he/ she is working, the kind of industry at which he/ she is hired, etc. A legal journalist's salary is on similar lines as that of a journalist. On an average, the beginner level salary of a legal journalist working in a tier 1 city is around Rs. 3.5 lakh per annum. With the increase in experience, the salary of a legal journalist also witnesses a boost. If the candidate has had proper work experience and gets hired at a recognised firm or company, he/ she might be able to bag a package of as much as Rs. 12 - 14 lakh per annum as the beginning salary.

Books & Study Material to Become Legal Journalist

Referring to the best books for Legal Journalists can definitely give a boost to the personality can career of an aspirant who wishes to make a career in the particular field. The list below mentions some great books for the preparation of legal journalism. Candidates can study these and enhance their knowledge, abilities, and skills.

  • 'The Journalist's Guide to Media Law' by Mark Pearson and Mark Polden
  • 'Understanding Media' by Marshal McLuhan
  • 'Truth Needs No Ally' by Howard Chapnik
  • 'News Flash' by Bonnie Anderson
  • 'We The Media' by Dan Gillmor
  • 'The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law' by Associated Press
  • 'The Elements of Journalism' by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

Pros of becoming a Legal Journalist

  • Legal Journalists have the creative freedom that other law graduates who continue to practice law traditionally do not have.
  • The job of a Legal Journalist helps them in having a wider area of knowledge.
  • The versatility and diversity that Legal Journalists get are only because of their unconventional profession and lawyers do not enjoy this vastness of options.

Cons of becoming a Legal Journalist

  • Candidates might feel that the job of a Legal Journalist is not as high paying initially as that of a lawyer at an established firm.
  • The job requires the journalist to be on the move quite a lot. This makes the job really hectic as the candidate is almost always on the go.

Paths for Being Legal Journalist

FAQs about Legal Journalist

Which are some of the good colleges to become Legal Journalists?

In order to become a legal journalist, you will have to obtain a law degree from a BCI recognised college. The National Law Universities (NLUs), Symbiosis Law School (SLS), Jindal Global Law School, Delhi University, ILS Law College, etc are some of the most popular colleges of law in India.

What does a Legal Journalist do?

A Legal Journalist does specialised law reporting. They comprehend a legal matter and convey it to the general public in the language that they can understand through the mode of several platforms. They write about legal topics and cases and provide the story to their readers.

What are the advantages of the job of a Legal Journalist?

Some of the advantages provided to legal journalists are that they have the creative freedom which is not provided to other law graduates who continue to practice law traditionally. The job of a Legal Journalist helps them in having a broader area of knowledge in the field.

What are the employment opportunities for Legal Journalists?

Legal Journalists are hired in media houses, both didgial and print. Newspaper agencies, magazines, digital content agencies, news channels, and law firms are some of the leading employment sectors of legal journalists.

What is the average salary of a Legal Journalist in India?

On an average, a Legal Journalist can earn around Rs. 4 - 5 lakhs per annum. More experienced professionals in the field can make over Rs. 12 lakhs oer annum.

Is work experience necessary to become a Legal Journalist?

Yes, you are required to have some experience in jornalism and a good knowledge of law in order to become a legal journalist in India. Since the job of a Legal Journalist is entirely about practise, candidates who have done some internships or have prior work experience are preferred for the profile.

Which course should I pursue to become a Legal Journalist?

The courses that you should pursue in order to become a legal journalist must be of the law and journalism stream. You must have a law degree from a recognised college of at least the bachelor level. Additionally, it is important for you to have some knowledge of journalism as well. For this, you can pursue a diploma or certificate course in journalism.

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