9 Best Career Options for Law Graduated in India
A career in law can be prestigious, intellectually challenging, personally fulfilling and financially rewarding. Therefore law is considered as one of the elite professions. It is often said- “You can do anything with a law degree…..” Traditionally, a law student was expected to practice litigation after graduating from the law school. However, with time, the career opportunities available to law graduates increased. Now, career in law opens up a plethora of possibilities. This makes it difficult for the law graduates to determine which career path to take. The following are the nine best career options available to law graduates in India. Let’s see what law as a career has in store for law graduates!
Litigation as an independent practitioner
Litigation involves representing clients in the court of law. There are certain requirements which you need to fulfill before practicing in the court. These include, an LL.B. degree, the ‘Certificate of Practice’ after appearing the All India Bar Exam and enrollment in the Bar Council of the state where you wish to practice. This process makes you an “advocate”!
Certain qualities give you an upper hand as an advocate. These include, firstly, the ability to communicate with the client, secondly, the flair of persuasiveness (this helps in creating an impact on the presiding Judge) and lastly, honed organizational and managerial skills (as litigation involves getting loads of paperwork completed on time).
- You are your own boss
- You decide how to get things done and in what pace
- A lot of time and effort is required to establish yourself
- You have to start from scratch
- You tend to be financially unstable in the initial years of practice
One can also enter the field of litigation through a law firm. Law firm is a partnership firm which hires legal professionals to represent clients. A law firm either specializes in one area of practice or practices in different fields.
It is a trend now that law undergraduates intern under one law firm over a period of internship breaks and eventually, the law firm provides them pre-placement offer (PPO). This is a win-win situation for both the parties because the law firm hires a person who is well acquainted with the functioning of the firm and the expectations attached to it and the graduate gets the employment opportunity served in a platter.
In a law firm, you can either do the legal research, drafting and paper work or represent the client in the court. For the latter, you are required to be an advocate first.
- Stable remuneration
- Organized procedure and set-up for everything
- A lot of work burden
- You need to get things done the way your senior wants
- Late working hours
Every company or business entity carries on their day-to-day practices in which legal intricacies are involved. Be it formulation of a contract, or advise on the legal implication of any action, the advise of a legal professional is often appreciated.
The work in the legal department of a corporate office involves drafting contracts, negotiations, advising on matters relating to mergers, insolvency, ensuring corporate compliances etc.
One has to search for a vacancy in the legal department of a company and then apply accordingly. This is mostly done by visiting their official website and emailing the application documents to the HR Manager of the company.
- Good income
- Stable working hours
- Less workload
- Monotonous work
- Continuous desk job
- The work profile is limited to the corporate sector
Another career option in law for fresh graduates is the judiciary. This includes appearing for Judicial Services Examination of the respective states, and if selected, act as a Civil Judge or a Judicial Magistrate.
The examination includes questions relating to current affairs, English, substantive and procedural civil and criminal law, property law, contract law etc.
- Decent starting salary
- Increase in salary with up-gradation of post
- Other government perks like allowances, government accommodation, official vehicle etc.
- Limits on public behaviour
- Monotonous work
- Constant public scrutiny
- Limited social life
Academics and research
Academics and research as a career in law in India include pursuing LL.M. and Ph.D. in your area of interest and joining a law school as an Assistant Professor of Law.
The best-suited students for pursuing their legal career in academia are the ones who have performed really well in their undergrad and are inclined towards teaching and research.
LL.M. can be pursued either domestically or internationally. You are required to appear for CLAT for Post Graduates for pursuing LL.M. in India in one of the National Law Universities. On the other hand, you are required to give one of the English proficiency tests (like TOEFL, IELTS) and apply to the respective colleges/ universities for pursuing LL.M. from outside India.
- Decent salary
- The constant learning experience
- Flexible working hours
- Less work burden
- Monotonous job (if you are not really into teaching)
- Expectations to discharge non-academic functions
- Lack of funding for legal research in India
Media and journalism is another career option for law graduates as legal education helps you to improve your writing, narration, and researching skills. These skills are indispensable in the world of journalism. Furthermore, you will always have leverage in reporting law-related matters.
- Decent pay
- Intellectually challenging
- Helps in developing contacts with people of different fields
- Moderate salary
- Limited career growth
- Limited to the four walls of the court
Law graduates often consider civil services as a lucrative career option. The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) and the State Public Services Commission (SPSC) conduct the Civil Services Examinations every year.
Since a significant portion of the syllabus (law-related) is covered in their undergraduate studies, law graduates have an upper hand in the civil services examinations.
- The reputation as a result of being a civil servant
- Hefty remuneration
- The perks of being a public servant like government accommodation, official vehicle, travel allowances etc.
- Lots of hard work
- Over attentiveness
- Office politics in bureaucracy
A Public Prosecutor is the person who represents the victim, on behalf of the state, in a criminal matter.
The following is the eligibility criteria for the post of public prosecutor in India-
- Age group of 35-45 years
- A law degree
- Minimum 7 years of practice in law as an advocate
- Cleared the examination conducted by the PSC for the post of public prosecutor, and
- Cleared the interview round
- Fixed monthly salary (not on a case-by-case basis)
- Government perks
- Overburdening of cases
- Often the salary provided in much lesser compared to the workload
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer
The Major who is the legal and judicial Chief of the Army holds the post of JAG in the Indian Army. A JAG officer assists the presiding officers of the court-martial in interpreting and applying military laws.
The requirements for the post of JAG officer are-
- Indian national
- Minimum 55% in LL.B.
- Aged between 21-27 years
- Eligible for registration in Bar Council of India or State Bar Council
Applicants are required to apply online if there is a call for recruitment. The next step involves the shortlisting of candidates. Two psychological aptitude tests (interview) and a medical fitness test are conducted at the designated test centres all across India for the shortlisted candidates.
- Hefty pay
- Decent stipend during the training period
- Government perks and allowances
- Difficult to get through
Any career in law has its own benefits and disadvantages. One option might fit someone really well and prove to be ill-fit to the other. Ultimately, it all boils down to how well you adjust to the system. Therefore, you should always try your hand at whatever appeals to you.