Legal profession is one of the fastest growing careers today. It is also one of the most exciting and engrossing careers owing to the big responsibility on the shoulders of those who practice it. They are the ones on whom the petitioners place faith, hoping for justice and help to book the defaulter. That’s why lawyers are held in high esteem.
As a profession, Law has various areas of specialization such as, litigation, civil law, criminal law, corporate law, property law, income tax law, marine law, labour law, IPR, cyber laws etc. The various job roles could be as arbitrators; solicitors; Attorneys, Public Prosecutors, Legal Advisors etc. Indian Law graduates have a good reputation abroad as well, and as a result many international law firms and consultancies such as McKinsey, Google, IBM recruit directly from NLUs and other top Indian Law schools.
Entering the profession
Those with requisite qualification enter legal profession as it runs in their family or out of their interest. And one enters a work domain depending on his/her interest of specialization. One can even go in for judicial services by giving the state level exams conducted by the respective state Public Service Commission (PSC) or High Court and work as a Magistrate, District Judge, and Civil Judge etc.
Deepak Saxena of Ranjit Saxena & Associates, practicing at Allahabad High Court, feels that a lawyer’s essential qualities are, “Being patient, convincing, and controlling the emotions; especially anger.” He elaborates that one must have a good knowledge of what one is practicing, have the capacity to patiently convince the judge of the point of law, which one is arguing.
Staying updated is a must in legal profession, says Rajiv K. Luthra, Founder & Managing Partner, Luthra & Luthra Co. “A good commercial sense, attention to detail, and good soft skills such as managing people and timelines and of course, integrity,” he says.
Be precise, convincing
“A lawyer needs to be fluent in reading, writing and speaking the local language where they are practicing. Fluency in written and spoken language and excellent presentation skills are essential to present your case in the court. Your interrogation and cross-examination must be to the point and concise. You should avoid verbosity. As a lawyer you have to assimilate and analyse the facts quickly. You have to distinguish relevant from the irrelevant, separate the grain from the chaff and apply the law in the situation under scrutiny,” advises Deepak Saxena.
Internships and networking
“Try and intern with companies as well as law firms – this will give you an idea about how things work on both sides. Hone your drafting and negotiation skills – this will form a major chunk of your work hours. Networking forms a major part of legal profession. Hence, one should socialize as much as possible, which will allow you to get insights of variety of cases which other lawyers are handling and what was the judgment. Sometimes, networking also helps in getting a few cases out of the way through recommendations from other lawyers,” says Deepak Saxena.
Advocate, Delhi High Court
You have to be married to Law. If you work hard and have the capabilities, you will be at the top. And at the top, law is the most rewarding profession. And there is no dearth of money provided you establish yourself in the profession
Law as a profession requires utmost dedication throughout the life. Deepak Saxena divides life of a lawyer into four stages: Stage – I No work no money; Stage – II Work but no money; Stage – III Work and money; Stage – IV No work yet money
The picture that emerges is, initially you will have to scratch around to get work. After a few years you may be getting work regularly but you will not be making too much of money. It may take up to a decade before you are able to get work and make money. And if your are really good and work hard, then after a couple of decades you may reach stage IV where you may make money without really working for long hours. However, very few lawyers reach Stage IV.
Ranjit Saxena & Associates, Allahabad
As a lawyer you have to assimilate and analyze the facts quickly. You have to distinguish relevant from the irrelevant, separate the grain from the chaff and apply the law in the situation under scrutiny
Building your career
Hard work, dedication and regard for you client are the most important building blocks of your career. You must have a good reading habit, maintain a library and keep yourself up-to-date with current happenings. Winning the case for the client is the duty and responsibility of a lawyer. The arguments and the cross-examinations that follow in the court are the fruits of sleepless nights, on the lookout for the correct reference that you may need to present in your case in the court. For that you must be thorough with the nuances of the law.
Raghav Mediratta, a lawyer with a leading LPO firm says, “Lawyers in private practice usually work for long ahours meeting clients, researching and reading about new developments, drafting contracts and agreements or preparing briefs. On the other hand, their salaried counterparts in the Judicial Service or those in corporate sector tend to have more structured work schedules. The life of a non-practicing lawyer usually involves attending to the research at his designated office. Hence, cultivating the art of ‘intelligent’ listening, sifting the grain from the chaff, counselling, negotiating and writing/drafting are absolutely vital for a successful lawyer”.
Archit Vasudeva, practicing in Delhi High Court has a parting advice for all Law aspirants. “You have to be married to Law. If you work hard and have the capabilities, you will be at the top. And there is no dearth of money provided you establish yourself in the profession.” Do you have it in you?
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