A profession where words speak louder than actions – Become a Lawyer!
Fictional characters like Perry Mason(Perry Mason series), Atticus Finch(To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee), Jagdish Tyagi (Jolly LLB) and Govind (Damini) amongst many others have not only entertained us but made us truly appreciate the work of lawyers.
If like some of these characters you too are passionate about helping the needful and striving for more justice in the world, then this month’s careerscope is ideal for you! Let’s discuss the journey of becoming a lawyer.
Who is a Lawyer?
A lawyer/advocate is a person who has completed legal education or a graduate degree in law. He/she has the required knowledge about laws and legal procedures and can appear and plead for a person before the court of law. A lawyer also does the job of advising his/her clients for any legal situation.
Skills required to become a lawyer:
Unlike how it appears in TV shows and films, a lawyer’s work is much less dramatic! In the real world, it takes hours and hours of studying the law, reading cases, good teamwork and self-discipline to become a good lawyer. Here are some of the key skills you can start working on right away if you’re interested in becoming a lawyer someday:
- Good communication skills: Most civil cases are settled by lawyers even before actually proceeding for trials. Good communication skills are a must for any lawyer. It includes aspects like good listening skills and speaking precisely, asking the right questions and strong non-verbal communication among other things. A knowledge of regional languages can also become important if you choose to pursue litigation.
- Strong logical and analytical skills: Recognizing key components of an argument, catching inherent assumptions, doing cause-effect analysis of the argument are some of the critical skills for a lawyer. These not only help the lawyer build their own argument but also to break down the opponent’s arguments.
- Good eye for details: As the famous saying goes, ‘the devil lies in the details’. Lawyers are people who are very keen on getting into the details, to ultimately build their argument and win the case.
- Confidence: A lawyer’s life is made up of both failures and successes. Their relentless confidence in themselves is what gives them the strength to learn and move on from failures.
How to Become a Lawyer in India?
1. Choose a stream of your choice after Class 10th
There’s no barrier to enter this field after class 10. You can opt for either science, commerce or arts until class 12 and then apply for the various entrance tests for law colleges in India. Although it is recommended to take optional subjects like Political Science, History, Psychology, Economics, Legal studies while still in school.
2. Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (3-year L.L.B or 5-Year LLB Program)
After class 12, you can pursue a graduate degree in law (L.L.B.). The 5-year integrated course – BA-LLB program comes along with optional subjects of law. Some of the common course combinations offered in the 5-year integrated programs are B.A., L.L.B.(Hons), BBA, L.L.B(Hons), B.Com, L.L.B (Hons) or B.Sc, L.L.B (Hons). The 5-year integrated programme gives students early exposure to law and its functioning. The other option is the 3-year L.L.B. course, which you can pursue only after becoming a graduate in any other field of your choice. One can not get admission in the 3-year L.L.B. course right after class 12, like every other graduate course.
Top Institutes for 5-year L.L.B Programs
- Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
- National Law University, Bhopal
- National Law University, Jodhpur
- National Law School of India University, Bangalore
- National Law University, New Delhi
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
- Gujrat National Law University, Gandhinagar
- Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
- School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore
Top Institutes for 3-Year L.L.B Programs
- Faculty of law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, New Delhi
- ILS Law College, Pune
- Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat
- Government Law College, Mumbai
Key Entrance Exams for 5-Year L.L.B Programs
Just like other entrance exams, law institutes also conduct some entrance tests specific to their institutes. So for example, to get into any of the 23 NLU’s one needs to clear CLAT conducted by the NLU’s from across the country. Some of the top undergraduate entrance examinations for Law are:
- Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) – a two-hour, computer-based, standardized test. It consists of objective-type questions.
- All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) – Conducted by National Law University (Delhi), clearing this test enables admission to its integrated BA. L.L.B (Hons.). Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET) – Symbiosis International University conducts this test for admission to its undergraduate law programs.
- Law School Admission Test (LSAT) – a standardized 3 hours 30 minutes long test that enables admission into Jindal Global Law School, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur), Alliance School of Law, Faculty of Law (SRM University) amongst others.
Note: All of these tests consist of sections like elementary Mathematics, English with Comprehension, Legal Aptitude, Current Affairs,General knowledge, and Logical Reasoning.
Key Entrance Exams for 3-Year L.L.B Programs
The entrance exams that enable admission in a 3-year L.L.B programs in different universities are as follows:
- DU L.L.B – It is conducted by the Faculty of Law, Delhi University.
- LSAT – This test is accepted by Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat for admission to their 3-Year L.L.B Programs. This is the only test in this list, that enables admission for both 5-year and 3-year programmes into these universities.
- BHU L.L.B – It is conducted by the Banaras Hindu University for admission to its 3-year LL.B Program.
- MH CET – It is conducted for admission to the Law colleges of Maharashtra including the well-renowned Government Law College.
Note: Generally all of these tests consist of sections like English Language and Comprehension, General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Analytical & Logical Reasoning, Legal Awareness & Aptitude and Quantitative Aptitude.
Are Lawyers and Advocates the same?
No, they’re not. “All advocates are lawyers but not all lawyers are advocates”.
That is to say, an Advocate is a person who is registered with the Bar Council of India, which gives him/her the authority to fight cases in court. Whereas a Lawyer’s duty is to provide legal advice to firms, businesses, companies or individuals. Not all lawyers represent their clients in court. In short, Lawyers are graduates in L.L.B but unlike advocates, they are not enrolled with the Bar Council of India.
How to become an Advocate in India?
The journey of becoming an advocate is exactly the same as a lawyer with just one more step at the end. That is after acquiring a bachelor’s degree in law (either 3 year or 5 year programme), you appear for the All India Bar Examination conducted by the Bar Council of India. Once you clear this exam, you get a certificate of practice that makes you eligible to practice in court of law.
Specializations in Law
To specialise in a particular field of Law, you need to pursue a Master’s degree in Law (L.L.M). Students opt for L.L.M. usually when they are interested in the education field or research and publishing. Following are the most common specializations that L.L.M students opt for
- Civil Law – deals with disputes between individuals in cases like breach of contracts, violation of rights, property and family law and others.
- Criminal Law – as the name suggests Criminal Law relates to cases regarding criminal offences. A Criminal Lawyer interacts with the clients, police and witnesses to collect facts and evidence that help him/her in defending their clients.
- Corporate Law – This involves studying acts and laws that apply to a company. Corporate lawyers advise companies about their legal rights, obligations, and privileges and also deal with employment law issues, the protection of the intellectual property rights of the company, etc.
- Intellectual Property Law – An IPR Lawyer advises their clients on the protection of their intangible property like discoveries, inventions, literary & artistic works, images, designs, symbols and names used in business, etc.
- Tax Law – Tax Lawyers study different tax policies of their nation and focus primarily on different types of taxes, such as income tax, estate tax, real tax, problems of inheritance franchises etc.
- Environmental Law – Environment lawyers help in protecting the environment by regulating the impact of human activities on the environment relating to land, air, water, conservation of wildlife, etc.
A lawyer’s job is one of the most difficult ones and so it is often considered as one of the most rewarding careers. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and wits to become a successful lawyer and if you are keen on becoming one, then you can start working on some of the skills required as mentioned in the article.
Pro tip: The first step towards this dream job is performing well in your 12th Board Exams and getting a good score, it always helps in your college admissions. BYJU’S-The Learning App has programs designed to prepare you for your boards. With adaptive and engaging videos, sample test papers for each concept and personalised feedback, BYJU’S visual learning methods will give you the necessary boost to prepare for your exams
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Charu, a feminist and an accidental writer, is yet to master the art of writing about herself. Always curious to learn new stuff, she ends up spending a lot of time unlearning the incorrect lessons. She enjoys all sorts of stories – real, fictional, new, old, hers and would love hearing yours too. Feel free to ping her at email@example.com to share anything that you think is worth sharing.