Careers In Law
The quest for entry into a law school from the point of view of an immediate lucrative career opportunity is relatively new. Let’s look at some career opportunities that become available to you upon completion of a law school education.
Career in Corporate Law
This is one of the most attractive opportunities available to a young law graduate fresh from law school. It is attractive because it is lucrative, offering high-pay packages immediately upon graduation. This involves both, a law firm profession as well as an in-house legal counsel at a corporate. Corporate law encompasses various fields – Capital Markets & Securities, Banking & Finance, General Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, among others. You need to be well-versed in statutory regulations governing one or many of the above-mentioned fields, but you tend to specialize in one of these. You work with a team of lawyers in a particular field and deadlines assume special importance. The interest of the client is paramount, and the work is heavily oriented and informed by the instructions of the client. As opposed to popular belief, there are avenues of litigation in this field also. There are teams that work on Corporate Litigation, Arbitration, and Insolvency proceedings, to name a few.
Academics & Research
The advantage (or disadvantage for some!) of studying law is that you read a lot! This prepares you for a lifetime of reading, studying, and analyzing. An efficient way of channelizing this is to make this habit of reading a profession. And that’s where a career as an academic comes into the picture. An academic is not always a teacher. Based on what area of law, or any interdisciplinary approach to the law you’re interested in, there are various spaces where you can pursue a career in research. This involves research positions in universities (both in India and abroad), think tanks, and policy organizations. Everyone wants someone with an in-depth understanding of legal provisions and issues and that is where an academic’s prowess is unmatched.
If you think the law is a calling for life, then this is definitely a bus you need to board. This is a secure governmental job with all the trappings of a bungalow, car, and other associated perks. If you’re someone who has always imagined the comforts of a government job, then this is the place to be. The entry into this profession is by way of a judiciary exam which is conducted by every State, under the supervision of the respective High Court. You can appear for this examination fresh out of law school or even in the final year of law school. If you’re successful in this examination, then you become a member of the subordinate judiciary, i.e., you’d occupy the post of a presiding officer of a smaller court, right upto the District Court. However, one can also appear for a judiciary examination after a few years of practice, usually seven. This one is for the higher judiciary, and upon qualification, one is immediately appointed as an additional district judge.
Appearing for the UPSC examination is also a very popular choice among law graduates. Having been subject to a rigorous academic schedule for five years prepares you well for another formidable examination, which is the UPSC examination. A study of law in law school does not only make you well-versed with the law but also subjects like history, political science, sociology, and economics, to name a few. All these subjects are often tested in the UPSC paper as well. Moreover, since law is such an interdisciplinary area of study, your understanding of issues tends to become very extensive , which is an important skill from the point of view of this examination as well.
Then, of course, we have the good old courtroom. A career in litigation, in today’s time, has been radically transformed. Although the adversarial nature of the profession in the courtroom subsists and is a major feature of the same, there are other avenues also. Traditionally, you would join a senior advocate (or an advocate with some years of practice) as a junior in her chambers. Earlier, the practice was very individual-centric but now there are dedicated litigation firms, similar to corporate law firms. Till some time ago, one of the major concerns of law graduates who wanted to pursue this line was that this does not pay as well. However, with the establishment of such firms, the salary offered by them are comparable to some law firms. You can open your own independent practice after having worked with someone for a few years. You can build on the clientele and the goodwill established through years of practice. And with a few more years of practice, the concern of not being so well-paid is also addressed. The legal profession has existed for centuries. That is primarily because people have existed for centuries. As long as there are people, there are conflicts. And as long as there are conflicts, a lawyer’s expertise is never out of fashion!