After passing out of the school, many teenagers opt to take up law as their career option. It is not only because they have seen someone in their family acheiving heights, but also to make a name for themselves and setting up a trend. Unlike normal courses, a career in law needs intellect, patience and dexterity. Keeping in mind the scopes, advantages and disadvantages, Balarko Sen, a professional in the field throws light to some of the aspects one need to know before dreaming of taking the court room by storm.
Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s dictionary describes a lawyer as someone who is skilled in the ‘circumvention of the law’. In order to pursue a career in law one has to has to be skilled in English and have fluency too. Law has been one of the popular career choice in the country for a long time. Those who have a family background in this profession usually opt for this stream of study. However, it is not at all mandatory to have a family background in this profession to pursue this course. Every person having the interest and necessary skills can opt for “Law” as a career option.
EXAMINATIONS TO BE CLEARED FOR LEGAL CAREER:
Now the most obvious question would arise in the minds of my fellow friends that how to get into this course of study after clearing class XII Board Examinations? Well to this my answer to all friends would be in two phrases. Law may be studied in two different ways: Firstly, by taking admission in Government Colleges and secondly, by taking admission in Private Colleges having global exposures. After the Board exams one has to take preparations for clearing the “Entrance Examination” in both the cases.
In case of C.A.T (Common Admission Test) for getting admission in Government College one has to prepare in a more systematic manner. Here, questions are more practical based and comprehension based questions are given. In order to clear this examination with flying colours one has to be conceptually clear with Indian Penal Code and Constitution (The mother law of our counrty). Apart from this a good idea in current affairs and general knowledge should be there too. The University of Calcutta offers students to study law in 5 colleges in total. Seats available here is approximately 120 students per college.
Duration Of Course:
The duration of the law course in government colleges affiliated under Calcutta University is 5 years. However, there is a option open for students who are opting to study law after graduation in Commerce stream or any other stream. In that case, the duration of course would be 3 years. As far as the 5 year course is concerned, degree given by the university is of B.A.L.L.B. While in cases of 3 years course degree given is only LLB prefixing the previous graduation degree.
However, such examinations take place in the month of July tentatively. Forms are distributed from the “Sales Counter” of the University of Calcutta. The five year course is meant for those who want to take up law as a career – be it as a litigator, or any other kind of legal professional. The examination is conducted by the University Authorities within the “University premises” and the Department of Law, Hazra Campus in Ballygunge Phari. The results come within 2 months from the date of commencement of the exam. Classes are commenced from August/September. The entire 5 years are divided into 10 semesters conducted at an interval of 6 months approximately.
COLLEGES AVAILABLE FOR ADMISSION:
- Department of Law, Hazra Campus.
- South Calcutta Law College.
- Surendranath Law College.
- Jogesh Chandra Chowdhury Law College.
- Jyotirmoyee School of Law.
- Shyambazar Law College.
And a few more as added by the university of the district recently.
SUBJECTS TO BE STUDIED:
More or less quiet a number of law papers are to be studied in the entire stretch of 5 years and 10 semesters. In the first 5 semesters one has to study Political Science, Sociology and few more subjects apart from law subjects. But after the completion of the 5th Semester the entire aspect of study turns into law papers exclusively. A student can even opt for honours degree if he/she scores a considerably fair. In that case, a person has to study 2 extra subjects than the usual course. But opting for honours would mean that the person has to score above 60% in the first 5 semesters.
Different Roles, Different Names:
Criminal Lawyer: Specialises in criminal laws CrPC, IPC, Evidence Act and various other penal laws.
Civil Litigation Lawyer: Specializes in civil laws e.g. taxation laws, excise laws.
Legal Analyst: Works for corporate firms or law firms and analyses laws pertaining to the sphere of the company and its operation.
Document Drafting Lawyer: Specialises in drafting various documents containing agreements, terms and conditions, case material, etc.
Legal Journalist: Covers crime beats, legal proceedings in courts, arbitration courts, international courts and arbitration events.
Legal Advisor: Offers consultancy to corporate firms regarding their legal obligations, duties, legal relations with other firms.
Government Lawyer: Works for the government and in close coordination with the police.
Judge: Offers judgment after conducting the court proceedings and hearing al the concerned parties.
Is It the Right Career for Me?
Law is a career which requires loads of patience and logical skills. It takes loads of hard work and dedication to become a successful lawyer. First generation lawyers particularly face numerous problems in their profession as is true of every other profession. It becomes easier if one trains under a Senior Counsel in the beginning of their career. This is not to say that newbies cannot make it own their own. Anything is possible with determination and of course, hard work. Great communication skills and a faculty for critical analysis and articulation are pre-requisites for lawyers. Therefore, one should analyse these points before opting for law as a career.
There are a plethora of opportunities for a law graduate. One can either practice as an advocate in a court of law or work with corporate firms. By clearing exams conducted by Public Service Commissions, a law graduate can become a judge. After gaining experience, a law graduate can hope to become Solicitor General, a Public Prosecutor or offer services to government departments and ministries. One can also work as a legal adviser for various organisations. Teaching in colleges, working with NGOs and working as a reporter for newspapers and television channels are other attractive options. A person after passing the 5 year course shall have the capacity to earn a handsome. But he has to sincerely devote time and shall have to have patience, as because this profession requires considerable amount of time.
Whereas a lawyer who wishes to start practicing in a court can get a stipend of Rs 5000 to Rs 40,000 depending upon the advocate he is associated with, a law graduate working with Legal Process Outsourcing receives can earn attractive salary in the range of Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. It is a very high paying profession, but depends largely on the calibre, popularity and success of the candidate. The college you graduate from is another factor.