FAST FACTS Programme: BA-LLB; BSc.LLB (H), BCom LLB (H), BBA LLB (H) Duration: Five-year Eligibility: Class 10+2 from any stream Entrance test: CLAT, LSAT, Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET), State entrances Job role: Lawyer, Advocate, Solicitor, Legal advisors Employers: Judicial services; Corporate firms Best colleges: National Law School of India University Bangalore, National Law Institute University Bhopal, ILS Law College Pune, NUJS Kolkata, Amity Law School Delhi, Gujarat National Law University What’s the high point of law student Arjun’s life today? Recently he handled Sachin Tendulkar’s case during his internship with the Additional Solicitor General of India! The case before the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court challenged the world famous cricketer’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha. This fourth year, BA LLB law student’s job was to research and draft case findings for his senior.
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“The Solicitor General was very helpful, who valued my contribution and discussed the nitty-gritty of the case,” he shares, sounding thrilled. Ask him what made him choose Law. “It’s an empowering profession which can bring change in the society. If I am against a law, then I can challenge even PM’s order in any court – and this power can be gained only through a Law degree.” Like Arjun every student from recognised law college gets a chance to familiarise with the real legal world through compulsory internships at NGOs, trial courts, Supreme Court and law firms. It’s a career which requires lots of patience and logical skills to crack hard legal cases.How to enter? After Class 12, irrespective of any stream, a student can opt for the 5-year BA LLB programme regulated by the Bar Council of India. For admission, you have to appear for Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) conducted by 14 National Law Universities; LSAT India designed by USA-based Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is used by IIT Kharagpur – School of Law, Jindal Global Law School, UPES and 60 other institutes; Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET) is used for admission to Symbiosis Law School situated at Pune and Noida. There are other state entrances as well. Generally, these examinations test the student’s ability in general English, legal aptitude, general awareness and logical skills. Students can also opt for BSc LLB (H), BCom LLB (H), BBA LLB (H), integrated courses which provide holistic understanding of principles of science, commerce, business studies along with in depth knowledge on law. BBA LLB (H) is taught at Galgotia’s University, ITM University, IP University, BSc LLB (H) at SOA University, KIIT University and BCom LLB (H) at Amity Law School, Gujarat National Law University.What it could cost you? The tuition fee is high in top national colleges. It ranges from 8 to 10 lakhs, which students have to bear over five years. Whereas fee structure in other colleges like Symbiosis Law School Pune, Amity Law School and Nirma University, Gandhinagar ranges between 4 to 6 lakhs. Hostel expenses are exclusive of the tuition fees. However, fees at Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat is quite high at more than Rs 25 lakh for five years. Interactive classes Colleges adopt multiple approaches in legal teaching methodology, from case analysis, presentation, moot court training to project assignments. Prof. Tania Sebastian, Gujarat National Law University shares how she makes it interactive, “When we analyse a case, students not only must know about Supreme Court’s order, but also what it missed out in the case.” This helps students to learn about multiple interpretation of a legal concept. The focus of top law schools is not just on hard core academics; many students participate in moot competitions. Through moot courts - a mock simulation of a court – students don the role of lawyers and argue on points of law before a competing team. “We look at a complex problem and break it down into arguments. Moot participants have a better edge over others’ CVs. It automatically says you can research and argue well,” shares Arjun. Corporate job versus litigation Generally, students from National Law Schools prefer corporate law firms to litigation where one has to practice before a court. Ask the reason for the push towards the corporate sector? “Students from national colleges are more burdened to pay back loans, hence corporate job is a primary option,” shares Abhishek Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court of India. In corporate firms, a graduate can earn an attractive salary of 12-13 lakhs per annum. They get a good working environment with a desk job. But a litigator who is equipped with both litigation and solicitation knowledge can expect only a starting salary of Rs. 10,000 to 20,000. He can start practicing with lower courts and within 2-3 years move to higher courts. With the opening of specialised tribunals, lower regulatory authorities like IPR and Competition Commission of India, the job scope has become wider. A Law degree also opens option to work in administrative services. The major law firms hiring graduates include: Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, AZB & Partners, Trilegal.International outlook “Since India has started accepting one year LLM, it’s better to go for Masters’ abroad where it is already prevalent. Since Bar Council doesn’t recognise foreign degrees of three to four years duration, it would be better to do graduation in India itself,” shares Prof. Tania.Course curriculum: Legal methods; how to read an Act; criminal law, family law; jurisprudence, interpretation of statutory law; advanced Constitutional history; international commercial arbitration and criminal law, outer space law, labour law; company law, competition law; security law, environmental law, cyber law and intellectual property rights form the core of the syllabus. EXPERT TALK
Prof. Rahul Singh,
Counsel at Trilegal & teaches at National
Law School of India University, Bangalore
DON’T IGNORE LITIGATION!
Q: What are the changing trends in legal profession?
A: Increasingly, most National Law School graduates end up joining the corporate world. But the most important arena in legal field is court of law – the litigation sector. Although gestation period is long in litigations, it requires good network and it matters if you are a second or third generation lawyer. Interestingly, there are people who have done well despite not coming from a particular pedigree. In corporate firm, you mostly do compliance - you don’t need huge intellectual output to do desk jobs here.
Q: Your advice to students who failed to crack top entrances?
A: Those back-benchers who did not get through CLAT – they are the ones who have become stars of Bar today! Seriously, we are not getting enough quality people in litigation. Those who don’t get into National Law Schools and enter the corporate sector can really look at litigation.
Q: How to focus on a law career ?
A: If you are somebody who can make good arguments and articulate well like a lawyer, then you should join litigation. And if you are somebody who likes organising deadlines, and is passionate about servicing a client, then join the corporate sector.
Q. Your advice for law aspirants?
A. Students do not have time to read statutes. You cannot be a lawyer, unless you like reading. Today students don’t follow passion, they go for money. You should know where your real potential lies.
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