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Legal profession is a fast growing profession. Lawyers are held in high esteem in a civil society as they render valuable service to all segments of the society by getting their constitutional and legal rights enforced through courts-civil or criminal, at all levels of judiciary, that is, Trial Court, High Court, Supreme Court or Quasi- Judicial Institutions. From writers to politicians to freedom fighters, lawyers have donned many hats. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Franz Kafka and Abraham Lincoln –all these were lawyers. The Indian legal market is in a nascent stage in terms of growth.
One can either pursue a three-year law course (LL.B) after graduation in any discipline or a five-year course after twelfth standard examinations, as a B.A.,LL.B (Hons) degree. Many universities and institutes also offer other diploma courses in several disciplines of law. P.G. Programme in law (LL.M) is of 2 years duration & eligibility is LLB degree. After completing LL.M Course, one can join Ph.D. LL.D degrees are also conferred on eminent scholars.
A law student with all desired skills, inherent interest has wide range legal professional opportunities available these days:
Legal Practitioner / Advocate / Legal Advisor
Lawyers can work as legal counsel and legal advisors for corporate sector, firms, organizations, legal persons, individuals and families. They can work as trustees of various trusts, as teachers, law reporters, company secretaries and so on. Additional law qualification along with other degrees offers scope for a wide range of employment opportunities. One who desires to become an advocate and practice law as a profession in India must have obtained basic law degree and get oneself enrolled with State Central Bar Council as per provisions contained in the Advocates Act, 1961. One is also required to qualify in the entry test recently introduced by Bar Council of India. An application for admission as an advocate shall be made in the prescribed form to the State Bar Council.
Persons possessing requisite qualifications are recruited for Indian legal service against various posts– Legal advisors in Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Counsel in Legislative Department. These officers can reach the level of Secretary to the Government of India with the passage of time according to their suitability. Likewise, Legislative Counsels are also appointed in official languages Wing of the Legislative Department for Hindi and Regional languages-(Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada ,Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu). At the state level, too, officers with legal qualifications and professional qualifications are appointed against similar posts. Besides, Law officers/ Legal advisors are appointed in almost all the ministries/departments/ undertakings of the Govt. of India and State Governments. All these posts are generally filled up by recruitment through UPSC and State Public Service Commissions on regular/ deputation basis. In addition to that members of Law Commission, Govt. Advocates, public prosecutors, solicitors, Attorney General, Advocate general, Notaries and Oath Commissioners as also legal secretaries in assemblies, staff in higher/lower judiciary/Quasi-Judicial institutions, Judicial members in CAT, Income tax, Sales tax, Excise and other tribunals are also appointed as per rules as and when the vacancies occur. However, fresh Law Graduates are appointed against non-gazetted posts generally equivalent to the post of Assistant in the Secretariat, such as Legal Assistants, Legal/Judicial Translator, etc.
They are also recruited as commissioned officers in the legal branches of the Indian Army, Navy and Air force. They conduct courts of enquiry and court martial of erring service personnel as per law.
In the Judiciary, the lowest judicial cadre posts of Magistrate/Munsif or Sub-Judge are filled up by recruitment through public service commissions or otherwise under the supervision of the High Court. Basic qualification for all these posts is a degree in law(professional) , besides a degree in Arts / Science / Commerce etc. and the age limit for all these posts is generally 35 years (relaxable for special categories). These officers can become District and Sessions Judge by promotion and can also be elevated to the office of a Judge of the High Court and the Supreme Court subject to their seniority and suitability. Earlier District and Sessions Judges were promoted from those in service/ selected from amongst the practicing lawyers but now in most of the states they are being recruited through competitive examination conducted by State commissions / High Courts.
Those with good academic record, particularly holding LL.M, Ph.D degrees or published work of a high standard, can take up jobs in any University or Institute offering law courses to students. There is wide scope for visiting professors as private universities are coming up in large number and they prefer such persons because of their eminence and acumen.
Writing/Editing Law Books/Journals/Reports
If one is familiar with the complexities of law and the procedure and is in a position to understand the intricacies of case law and has a flair for writing he/she is fit to be an author of law books / legal commentaries and a proper person to bring out law reports, produce law journals, take up all other journalistic assignments and compile law lexicons.
Legal Outsourcing refers to the practice of a law firm obtaining legal services from an outside law firm. This practice is, however, known as offshoring when the outsourced entity is based in another country. According to a report, India has huge potential in legal outsourcing, with the number of jobs in the field increasing to 79,000 by 2015, a study has said.
The corporate sector or the business sector has seen an unprecedented growth in the last few decades. This has created a huge opportunities for the corporate law professional in the industry. A corporate lawyer is a person responsible for handling the business operations, decision in a legal way. The corporate lawyer or attorney provides guidelines to the company’s that how the business is conducted within the legal limits. The corporate lawyer provides assistance to the companies or business firms.
Article by: Pallavi Versha