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Are you cut out for a career in Law?
Are 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

Corporate 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.

Criminal 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 impossible."

Civil Law: This branch deals with property transactions, wills, trusts, torts etc.

Family 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?
Very 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 you present.
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.
Places to work
A 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.

At 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.

India 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.
The 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
E-mail: webmaster@glc.edu
Website: www.glc.edu
The Symbiosis Institute, 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 for graduates.
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
E-mail: symlawplacement@vsnl.net
Website: www.symlaw.ac.in
The 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 resolution.
Address: (City office) 3-4-761, Barkatpura, Hyderabad 500 027
(Campus) Justice city, Shameerpet
Phone: (City office) (40) 27567955 / (40) 27567960
(Campus) 08418 ? 245417 / 244461 / 245160
Fax: 08418 ? 245161 / 245174
E-mail: admissions@nalsarlawuniv.org
Website: www.nalsarlawuniv.org

The 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 subject.
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 and others.
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
E-mail: admissions@amity.edu
Website: www.amity.edu/als/

The 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 - 411004
Phone: 020 - 2565 6775, 2567 8678
Fax: 020 - 2565 8665
Email: ilslaw@vsnl.com
Website: http://www.ilslaw.edu/

The 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 clerkships.
Address: National Law University, NH-65, Nagour Road, Mandore,
Jodhpur 342304, Phone: 0291 - 2577530, 5121594
Fax: 0291-257 7540
E-mail: nlu-jod@raj.nic.in
Website: www.nlujodhpur.ac.in/

The 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
E-mail: registrar@nls.ac.in
Website: www.nls.ac.in

Each 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 proud.
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