you cut out for a career in Law?
you looking for a career that gives you a battlefield kind of adrenaline
rush but without the risk of actually being shot at? A career in law
might be your ticket.
Kinds of Law
Law: This branch deals with the legal entity known as the
company. It has become one of the most lucrative of practices following
the economic boom.
"I can sit at home and demand Rs 50k to draw up a single agreement,"
says Zafar Iqbal, an ex-IAS officer who has worked with companies
like Tata House.
Every acquisition, merger, deal, public listing or de-listing requires
dozens of lawyers working frantically to ensure that it goes smoothly
and in accordance with the law. Corporate law requires individuals
who are patient and have an eye for detail.
Law: Certainly the most glamorous of all legal practices,
it is also one of the demanding. It deals with those cases in which
a person has broken the law in a manner which is deemed criminal
allowing the state to initiate procedures against him.
"You need a special mind for criminal law," says Iqbal,
"You have to be analytical and be one step ahead of the opponent.
You have to ask questions that nobody else can think of: why did
he do what he did? Why did he not do what he did not do?"
It is, however, one of the most lucrative. One can easily charge
Rs 50,000 for a single bail application. It's not for everyone though.
"It means getting your hands dirty," says Amrita Shah,
"Money exchanges hands at several levels. Not all have the
stomach for this kind of work and certainly women find it next to
Law: This branch deals with property transactions, wills,
trusts, torts etc.
Law: Also known as marital law, this is the branch that
deals with marriage, divorce, adoption, custody etc.
What does a career in law involve?
little of modern legal work has anything to do with court. Much
of corporate and civil law is paperwork -- drafting agreements,
contracts, wills etc. Many firms specialise in this documentation
and hire litigators only on a fee basis. If you join a company's
legal department, it's very unlikely that you'll ever see the inside
of a courthouse.
Being a trial lawyer is also much simpler nowadays due to the internet.
While lawyers had to previously pour through huge legal books looking
for precedents, there are now many websites that one can subscribe
to which will give you a citation in a matter of seconds.
One of the major public myths is that all lawyers lie. "All
lawyers are not liars and all liars are not lawyers," insists
Iqbal, "Law is the art of presenting the facts of the case."
It's how persuasive your point of view is rather than what facts
He recounts a defamation case where he argued for the plaintiff
in a moot court and won. He then took the defendants' side in another
moot court -- and won again!
A person may start his legal career as an assistant to a more experienced
lawyer making drafts and doing routine research and paperwork leaving
the senior to come up with arguments and appear in court.
company: Many of the larger companies like Tata, HLL [Get Quote],
ICICI [Get Quote] etc now hire lawyers straight out of college.
They even visit the better law schools and hire people on campus.
With a practicing lawyer: One may become the 'junior' of an established
lawyer and handle the smaller jobs for him. This period lasts for
4-5 years after which one has, in theory, the required knowledge,
skills and contacts required to go into practice on one's own.
a law firm: Law firms are essentially made of partners who bring
in the clients and also get a share of the profits. In India, the
number of partners is limited to 20. It is very hard for a lawyer
to make partner in India since few partners retire and even then,
pass on their partnership to their children.
R O F E S S I O N A L I N S T I
T U T E S / COLLEGES
has many excellent law colleges scattered across the country.
Some of them were created by acts of law, some were founded
by profit-seeking individuals but all of them have turn
out first-rate litigators and debaters. The exact position
of the colleges featured in this section depends on who
is doing the ranking but each and every one of them will
feature on anyone's top ten lists.
150-year old Government Law
College in Mumbai counts Lal Bahadur Tilak,
Soli Sorabjee, BR Ambedkar and Ram Jethmalani among its alumni.
It's one of the most affordable law colleges in the country,
Competition is stiff as over 1,000 students apply annually
for 160 seats, half of them reserved. The moot courts of the
college -- competitions involve taking up a case modeled on
a controversial one and arguing the matter, just like in a
real court of law -- are famous.
The college is very close to the courts and many legal firms.
It admits students on the basis of their Class XII marks.
Address: Government Law College
"A" Road, Churchgate, Mumbai 400 020
Phone: (22) 2204 1707, Fax: (22) 2285 1315
set up in 1971, is one of India's most reputed educational
brands. Its five-year course includes a 'Bachelor of Socio-Legal
Services' awarded after the third year by the Pune University.
The prospectus for this 240-seat facility comes out in April
and admissions are through the All India Admissions Tests
held in May. It also offers a one-year diploma course in Taxation
To apply, one must have completed 10+2 with at least 45 per
cent. Companies that recruit students off campus include ITC,
SBI, Wipro Technologies, Indian Council of Child Welfare and
Max New York Life Insurance.
Address: Symbiosis Society's Law College,
Senapati Bapat Marg,
Pune 411004, Phone: (20) 5655114, (20) 565 1495
Fax: (20) 565 17 11
most expensive college on the list, National
Academy of Legal Studies and Research University (NALSAR)
It does, however, offer scholarships and waivers to brilliant
but needy students.
It is a fully residential university (meaning: you have to
stay at the hostel) with seats for 80 students, 60 of which
are chosen through the AIET and 20 to foreign nationals on
merit. It also offers a 1-year post graduate diploma course
in patents law, media laws, cyber laws, alternative dispute
resolution, international humanitarian law and family dispute
Address: (City office) 3-4-761, Barkatpura, Hyderabad 500
(Campus) Justice city, Shameerpet
Phone: (City office) (40) 27567955 / (40) 27567960
(Campus) 08418 ? 245417 / 244461 / 245160
Fax: 08418 ? 245161 / 245174
80-seat Amity Law School
was set up by the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (RBEF)
and is affiliated with the Indraprastha University, which
conducts its annual entrance exam. It requires a minimum
of 50 per cent in the Class XII exam with English as a compulsory
Among its recruiters are the NHRC, Indian Red Cross Society,
Indian Express and Action Aid (NGO), Ministry of Social
Justice & Empowerment, AZB & Partners, North Delhi
Power Ltd, India Bulls Company, Sai Krishna & Associates
It has received recognition from the University of Queensland,
Brisbane (Australia) for jointly running an LLM Programme
with specialisation in Intellectual Property Law.
Address: Amity Law School, E-27-Defence
Colony, New Delhi - 110024
Phone: 011 - 2632 5335
Indian Law Society
in Pune has different minimum eligibility requirements for
Maharastrian and non-Maharastrian students: 78 per cent
and 84 per cent in their 10+2 exams respectively.
The admissions are done on the basis of merit (ie your Class
XII marks). There are 240 seats available. It's one of the
more affordable college.
Address: ILS Pune, Law College Road, Pune
Phone: 020 - 2565 6775, 2567 8678
Fax: 020 - 2565 8665
National Law University
at Jodhpur, Rajasthan admits students on the basis of their
performance in the AIET. It has four new courses: BSc LLB
Enviro, BSc LLB Bio Tech, BSc LLB IT, BTech LLB, for which
one must have done science in Class XII.
It offers a large number of honours courses. Among the companies
that have recruited students through the NLU placement cell
are Amarchand and Mangaldas, AZB Partners, ARA Law, ICICI
Bank, Indian Oil Corporation, Dr Reddy's Laboratory, ICICI
Lombard, Tata Group.
Former students work for SEBI and have won Supreme Court
Address: National Law University, NH-65,
Nagour Road, Mandore,
Jodhpur 342304, Phone: 0291 - 2577530, 5121594
Fax: 0291-257 7540
National Law School of India
University, Bangalore was established by
the Karnataka government in 1981 under the National Law
School of India act (Karnataka Act 22 of 1986). The act
allows the National Law School to enjoy complete administrative
and academic autonomy and today it is one of the premier
residential law universities of the country.
The school has retired High Court and Supreme Court judges
on its faculty which makes learning there extremely exciting.
Companies that recruit students off campus include ICICI,
ITC, Infosys, Marico and the Power Finance Corporation [Get
Quote] of India among others.
It also offers PG courses in Human Rights, Medical Law &
Ethics and Environment Law.
Address: National Law School of India University,
PO Bag 7201,
Nagarbhavi, Bangalore 73, Tel:(00-91) 80 3211303/ 3160/1065
Fax No. (00-91) 80 3217858
and every one of these colleges possesses the independence
and autonomy to train their students to be intellectually
free. Their students have done great things after leaving
their hostels and you too could someday make your alma mater