Career Options in Law
The Legal profession has today become one of the fastest growing professions all over the world. Besides being lucrative, it is an adventurous and exciting career. Lawyers are held in high esteem in every society. There is a growing demand for Law Professionals everywhere due to the changing economic and social scenario all over the world.
If one wishes to practice law in India, he/she needs to have a membership in one of the local State Central Bar councils, all of which require an undergraduate law degree (LL.B., which is a minimum of three years of study). The candidate must submit the application to the State Bar Council of India within the jurisdiction of which the applicant wishes to practice.
However, with effect from December 2010, all fresh law graduates and even those who have cleared their law graduation and not registered with the state bar council must sit for the bar examination. Only after clearing this exam they will be allowed to practice in the courts and the tribunals in India.
There are a lot of career options for those who complete their law education. One can work in any of the numerous courts, in central government or even in state government, as a company secretary, a teacher, or even as a private legal advisor. By means of this article, we, at NNE have tried to list some of the fields that a lawyer can apply to.
An advocate practices law in the legal courts of justice. An advocate represents someone (an individual, a group or an organization). They deal with facts and evidence, cross examine witnesses and finally conclude that why the court should give the verdict in favour of or against someone.
The role of the public prosecutor or the society’s attorney is to prosecute in the name of society. A public prosecutor is required to organize, conduct and perform pre-trial investigation, in a criminal case; initiate and carry out criminal prosecution; prosecute on behalf of the State; supervise implementation of penalties; protect rights and lawful interests of persons and the State in accordance with procedures established by law; submit claims and applications to courts in cases stipulated by law; take part in court review of cases when required by law.
The Public Prosecutor has to be independent of the executive and all external influences, and, also, independent of the police and the investigation process. He cannot advice the police in matters relating to investigation. He has duties to the State, to the Court and to the accused. He has to discharge his duties objectively. He is in the position of a minister of justice assisting the Court.
To be a public prosecutor in a high court, one must have been practicing law for at least 7 years.
A magistrate is a lawyer who is not a judge but who is authorized to hear and decide certain types of cases.
A Magistrate is a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law, as:
- A local member of the judiciary having limited jurisdiction, especially in criminal cases.
- A minor official, such as a justice of the peace, having administrative and limited judicial authority.
To be a magistrate, you must have a minimum Graduate Law Degree (LLB), you can then appear for competitive exam exams like, the UPSC and the SPSC.
The Attorney General Highest legal officer of the Union Government and is appointed by the president of India. The attorney general gives advice on all legal matters which may be referred or assigned to him by the President. He appears before the Supreme Court and various High Courts in cases involving the Government of India. To be an Attorney General, the person should be qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.
He is entitled to audience in all courts of the country & can take part in the proceedings of the Parliament & its committees. However, he is not given the right to vote.He is also allowed to take up private practice provided the other party is not the State. Because of this, he is not paid salary but a retainer to be determined by the President.
Depending upon the size of the company, a Company Secretary is expected to take crucial decisions regarding legal matters, tax, finance, excise laws, corporate laws, labour laws and corporate planning. He is the most important link connecting the shareholders, regulatory agencies and the board of directors. He or she also acts as the registrar of the company performing important secretarial functions like filing company returns with the Registrar of Companies and other authorities.
A Legal Advisor works in the legal departments of organizations. Legal advisors work as consultants for a firm and suggest appropriate course of action in business and personal matters. They also check deeds, issue writs, collect information for affidavits and draft legal documents.
Solicitors explain the cases of his clients to the advocates. Solicitors need never appear in court directly. A Solicitor takes up cases related to his field of expertise.
Advocate Generals are analogous to Attorney Generals, at the State level. Advocate Generals take up cases that are significant to a particular state and work with local District Attorney's offices in the prosecution of these cases.
A Notary or even an Oath Commissioner is appointed on application to Central/State government to draw, verify, authenticate, certify and attest the execution of any document with legal validity. A Notary must have at least 10 years in the profession of law.
A District Attorney is usually an elected official. Depending upon the size of the District, District Attorneys may have multiple units that focus upon different types of crime such as domestic violence, homicide or even appellate work.
People with a good aptitude for teaching can go for LL.M or even doctorate and take up job in any University or Institute offering law courses to students.
If one has keen interest in a particular field, he can even author books or even produce journals and legal commentaries related to that field.
LPO - Legal Process Outsourcing
In Legal Process Outsourcing, vendors or in-house departments of organizations outsource legal work from off-shore areas where it is costly to perform, say like United States of America, Europe, UK, Germany, Australia to cheaper destinations like India and the Philippines.
These are not the only options available to law graduates. One can always pursue a career related to his field of interest. To know more about careers, Click Here.