Where power and position are often misused to the detriment of those who do not have them, the legal profession needs to act as a shield against the misuse. Dr. Mallikarjunaiah J M, Principal, KLE Society’s Law College talks about the skills and other connections which can give an edge to future lawyers...
Professions are always distinguished from other occupations for their unique feature of answering the higher calling in society than a mere career (occupation). The legal profession has the potential to make a genuine difference in society. Increasing opportunities, multiple markets and cross border operations fueled by globalization are raising the complexity of business and the legal issues never seen before. Profound knowledge of Corporate Law, IP Law, Arbitration Law and Law of International Trade and Commerce is a way to make difference by contributing to the economic growth of the nation. In a world where power and position are often misused to the detriment of those who do not have them, the legal profession needs to act as a shield against the misuse and the saviour of the denied but deserved. While we glorify the opportunities for lawyers in the globalised world, we cannot forget that this profession answers to a higher calling that lawyers owe it to themselves to give a voice to the voiceless.
Law as a jealous mistress though demands the midnight oil to be burnt is highly intellectually stimulating adding joy to work. As stated by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experiencing. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow men, have had a great deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics.” Though in a lighter vein it is said that in law two plus two is not necessarily four, and it could be as much as your client wants it to be, it actually implies that there is vast variety of factors to be considered in applying law to factual situations leading to delivery of justice.
Importance of language skills
The proficiency over language is the first requirement for a successful lawyer, be it the knowledge of semantics – logical or lexical, or skill of interpretation, or the task of achieving necessary brevity. It is aptly said by Lord Denning that Words are the lawyer’s tools of trade. The art of interpretation is well employed with the mastery established over the language. Every case handled and reported is a torch-bearer literature in the legal world for the future. Thus, a lawyer is invariably a wise person who knows the art of achieving the perfect blend of logic and experience.
Today, vast variety of opportunities for law graduates are available in the corporate world with highly rewarding and pivotally placed positions in business entities of great magnitude. In the market driven society through his assistance in business houses, a lawyer is increasingly contributing to the growth of economy too. Thus, law is not only a noble profession, it is increasingly growing as a suitable career option too. Legal education today is leading no more to legal profession alone.
New breeds of courses
To cater to the needs of the student community aspiring to serve in law jobs, new breeds of courses are introduced through many centres of law. The courses like BBALLB, B.ComLLB, and BScLLB are focusing on the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career in law. The conventional 3-year LLB and 5-year integrated BALLB courses too help for a career in law though, ideally, they are suited for students aspiring to involve in litigation practice.
We shall not forget that the court practice too has undergone several changes again leading to mushrooming opportunities for law graduates. While litigations involving technical subjects like IPR, IT Law and International Trade Law have opened up more opportunities, especially to the young budding lawyers who expertise in these areas, the new opportunities in mediation, negotiation and arbitration are in the offing with full swing. Opportunities in contract negotiation and contract drafting have also started unfolding fast. A lawyer’s assistance has become incumbent for both advice in legal compliance and in avoiding and combating the litigation successfully.
It is a pleasant surprise and a welcome development to witness that the majority of student strength is women-folk in law schools. Conventionally, it was assumed that the graduates from the humanities background would thrive in legal profession. But, the developments and the changing needs of legal profession not only demand lawyers to know technology but make them effective in performing their roles. In view of these developments, now there is a doubt and talk about the efficacy and necessity of the conventional 3-year LLB course. It may be strongly suggested that in the light of the previous experience and considering the exposure, maturity and knowledge acquired at graduation level, the 3-year LLB graduates are best suitable for litigation practice though their role in law jobs at corporate sector cannot be undermined. Continuation of the course by the Bar Council of India after frequent discussions about it stands testimony for the same.
Plethora of possibilities
The latest development is that there is variety of legal work for passionate aspirants in their chosen field viz. conventional but sky-rocketing opportunities driven legal profession (litigation), frequent appointments to judiciary, opportunities in corporate sector like mergers and acquisitions, arbitration, mediation, contract negotiation and drafting etc. Postgraduate studies in law would open up opportunities in academics too, thus adding to the plethora of possibilities. Indian constitution termed as ‘a lawyer’s paradise’ by Sir Ivor Jennings, having had the highest litigation rates among its population, testifies the demand for savvy law graduates with requisite skills and is surging dramatically.
Dr. Mallikarjunaiah J M,
Principal, KLE Society’s Law College
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