A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns - Mario Puzo
Becoming a lawyer in India isn't such a big deal. You will find many lawyers fighting over a case on any given day at any session court or district court. What's important is to understand why you want to become a lawyer in the first place. Is it because you find it attractive and think that it's a fancy job? Or do you genuinely want to help people get justice or defend the truth at any cost? If it's the latter, then studying law is the best choice for you. Is it hard to become a lawyer? Not really. But it is hard to sustain the practice if you aren't motivated enough and not clear about the purpose.
For starters, you have to understand the basic difference between an advocate and a lawyer. The fundamental difference between the two is the level of academic qualifications. While an advocate is done with his student life and can fight court cases, a lawyer is someone who is still studying law and may or may not be allowed to fight cases in court. In that sense, an advocate has cleared the bar exam and can take on legal battles in court.
Who is A Lawyer?
A lawyer is, by definition, a trained and licensed legal practitioner who is authorized to prepare, manager, and/or prosecute a court action as an agent or representative of another person; or someone who solicits advice on legal matters that may or may not be concerned with a court battle.
Role of A Lawyer
- introducing evidence
- witness interrogation
- challenging facts with law
In those cases that don't go to trial, you can prove your mettle as a lawyer through the skills of negotiation, reconciliation, and compromise. The recent trend has been the increasing demand of lawyers for representing clients before administrative or legislative committees more than a traditional court battle.
As a lawyer, you have to prove and maintain your loyalty. And this loyalty is not just towards client retention but also to justice, the community at large, to your associates in the legal practice, and the ethical and professional standards.
How to Become A Lawyer in India?
To start your career as a lawyer, you either have to become an llb or llm. In India, you can get an llb degree right after your 12th board exams and go for an llm course following the llb degree completion.
LLB After 12th
If you are wondering about how many years it will take to become a lawyer, then the simple answer is at least 5. This takes into account the minimum number of years you have to devote to getting yourself an llb degree. Anyone who has passed their 12th board exams with a minimum score of 50% in any stream is eligible to take the llb entrance exam. If you belong to any of the reserved categories, then this eligibility score is only 45%. Note that the five-year llb course is actually an integrated course of either of these combinations-
- B.Sc & LLB
- B.A. & LLB
- B.Com & LLB
- B.S.L & LLB
- BBA & LLB
LLM After LLB
The post-graduate course in law is called llm. You can only enroll in this if you have passed the llb course and got yourself a degree. The llm is a three-year course and you will be eligible to take the entrance exam only if you score 50% and above in your final llb exam.
You have to, however, remember a very important point. Completing an LLB or LLM degree does not guarantee a license to work with professional law firms or or take specialized university courses. To practice as a professional lawyer or an advocate, you must clear the bar exam to be able to work as solicitors or advocates. Most students take admission in a law school that allows them pursue both llm and llb degrees and help in preparing for the bar exam.
Is it Hard to Become A Lawyer in India?
Science and math are scary to a lot of lawyers - Gary Clements
Unfortunately, if you want to become a good lawyer, you have to study both. International exposure in a foreign university also helps at times to gain an understanding of the different legal practices that you can contextualize in your own country. So, is it hard to become a lawyer? Not really. That is, of course, if you know, where an what to study, what kind of experience to gain, what specialized courses to complete and what kind of firms to work with.
5-Year LLB Courses
The eligibility criteria and admission processes vary from course to course and from university to university. Here are the four main exams in India that act as admission tests for budding lawyers-
- CLAT (Common Law Admission Test): This is the standard test of 2 hours, followed by 18 PNLUs in India that you have to take online. The topics range from current affairs to Math to logical reasoning to legal aptitude.
- LSAT (Law School Admission Test): Another standard test to get you a ticket in any of the prominent law colleges in India.
- SET (Symbiosis Entrance Test): Symbiosis International University conducts the SET and it is one of the most prestigious law schools in India.
- AILET (All India Law Entrance Test): To get admitted to the Delhi National Law University, you will have to clear this exam.
The best law colleges in India include:
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
- Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
- National Law University, Delhi
- National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
What Career Choices Do I Have As A Lawyer in India?
If there is any one true form of law, it is litigation. If you have seen good movies on legal practices, it is the stuff of dreams for most lawyers to fight it out in a court before a judge. To practice law in India, you have to clear the All India Bar Exam conducted by the Bar Council of India in Delhi. Once you have cleared the exam, you will be granted a Certificate of Practice that will allow you to enroll in any State Bar Council and start practicing law.
Any partnership or proprietorship firm that engages lawyers (or non-lawyers) on a paid basis to represent their clients is a law firm. So, basically, a law firm is hired by a client to fight their legal battles in lieu of a fee. The firm, in turn, will appoint one of its lawyers who is employed there to argue the case on its behalf. There are giant corporations all across the globe that hire law firms to provide legal advise on businesses. Law firms can offer 100 different job roles for you.
If you are passionate about the legal profession and want to help those who need justice the most, then you can join the Indian judiciary as a civil judge or judicial magistrate. Once you have an LLB or LLM degree, you have to appear for the relevant Judicial Services Examination conducted by the respective states.
As a teacher of law, you have to help people think like a lawyer. You have to draw from your own experiences to inspire trust in your students so that they feel confident while arguing a difficult case in a real court. You can even join the academic field as a research fellow and contribute to the growing field of law in India.