This article intends to assist you in every possible way. In the subsequent paragraphs, the article endeavours to provide the pros and cons of 10 career choices after LLB along with the scope and procedure to enter the field.
Remember when you were in 10th Standard and you had a form in front of you to choose your subjects for secondary education (11th and 12th Standard). You spent times together thinking about it but could not decide whether to go for “computer science” or “commercial education” because simply did not know what career to choose. Once again in 12th Standard, you see the same catch 22 situations, except this time it’s the career; the choice on which your life depends. If you are in your 12th standard and surfing around to see the scope LLB as a career or if you are in law school and want to check your career choices after LLB.
Here are 10 career choices available after LLB
Litigation is considered to be the true practice of law. Two lawyers representing their clients fight it out in courts before a judge is what law is presumed to be. To practice law in India after graduation with a Law Degree, one must appear for the All India Bar Exam conducted by the Bar Council of India, Delhi. After the exam is successfully passed, the BCI grants the ‘Certificate of Practice’, after which one must enrol with any of the State Bar Council.
Litigation can include several areas of law; Criminal Law, Property Disputes, Family Law, Cheque Bouncing Cases, Cases of Torts, Taxation Law and Drafting of Legal Documents. Litigation as a career is very promising but is uncertain. Whether you will flourish a great lawyer or not depends upon a lot of determinants.
For newbies, litigation can be a difficult job without any experience in the field. Therefore, there are two ways to enter into litigation as a career.
Firstly, if you have sufficient money to sustain for 4 to 5 years with a meagre income, join a trial court lawyer as his assistant or junior and work for at least 3 years to gain a basic understanding of the working of the courts. After that join a lawyer at appellate level (High Court or the Supreme Court) and learn the art of convincing, briefing senior counsels and most important of all make contacts to get a client. After you have worked for at least 5 to 7 years in these places, you can join your own practice.
The second option is for those who cannot afford to not earn after college due to any reason whatsoever. It is suggested that you should join a law firm or a company for a few years, save money and try to learn courtroom procedures by accompanying lawyers as much as possible. After two to three years, you can join a lawyer at the High Court or the Supreme Court for 2 to 3 years.
2. Law Firms
Law Firm is a proprietorship or partnership firm that hires lawyers and non-lawyers to represent their clients. So, in a law firm, a person or an entity approaches the firm and hires it to fight their case in the court. The firm appoints one of its lawyer employees to argue the case on behalf of the firm. Law firms can be found in almost every major cities and towns of the country.
The best thing about working in a law firm is that it is the most versatile career and offers you more than 100 different jobs in the field.
If you are in your final semester of the Law College, it is best to join a firm as a paralegal and work for them, trying to adapt to their work environment and understand the nature and quality of work in the firm. After you receive your degree and pass the All India Bar Exam, try to get into the firm and if you possibly impress them with your work, you can be hired. Other ways to get into law firms are getting through the college recruitment process or applying to different firms individually.
In law firms, however, you cannot expect to have the opportunity to argue from the beginning. You are usually required to research, draft and prepare documents for the cases of the firm which is then argued by senior and experienced lawyers either working as an employee of the firm or hired by the firm.
3. National and Multi-national Companies
Every company has a legal department or wing to take care of legal nuances of day to day business transactions, the legality of the agreements made by the company and advise the company whether a step should be taken or not from a legal point of view. The legal department of a company is versatile as it can provide several designations such as research fellow, legal advisor, etc. The income is good and one is capable enough to get into a good company, the initial payment can be what one can earn in 5 years in litigation.
To get into the legal department of a company, you have to keep searching for companies with vacancies and apply for an interview.
The work in a company, however, does not include visiting the courts, but only desk job including drafting, negotiating and vetting of contracts and sometimes research.
4. Judicial Services
You can join the judicial services as a Civil Judge or Judicial Magistrate right after graduation. After acquiring the degree, one can appear for one or more of the Judicial Services Examination conducted by each State separately. You can appear for several examinations but the posting is in the court of that State which conducts the exam.
Judiciary provides a secure and comfortable tenure, a measure to serve the country and a handsome pay with several amenities.
The Judicial Service Examinations are competitive exams and require a complete understanding of the exam to pass it successfully. One must prepare a plan of action and adhere to it till the end. Besides the subjects in the exams, one must be prepared for current affairs. The bad things about being in the judiciary are the area of posting is completely based on luck, promotion is very slow and the hierarchy is very lengthy.
5. Legal Advisor
A career as a legal advisor is also lucrative and one smeared with responsibilities, pressure and ecstasy. A legal advisor can be employed in the government sector as well as in the private sector. To become a legal advisor, a person needs to be an eligible advocate with the ‘Certificate of Practice’ issued by the Bar Council of India and should have some expertise in the area in which s/he offers legal advice.
In the government sector, a legal advisor may include the solicitor general, assistant solicitor general, additional solicitor general, attorney general, etc.
However, besides these specific people, the government may hire individual lawyers for advice on any specific matter such as interpretation of a treaty with respect to existing law or issue. In the private sector, a lawyer can be employed as a legal advisor to a company or an MNC to advise on any specific matter such as labour laws to be followed by that corporation or their Corporate Social Responsibility under law, etc.
Further, a legal advisor can be hired for any specific merger or amalgamation of two companies to interpret the legal incumbents of the companies and suggest their client as to what is right and wrong with such merger.
6. Public Prosecutor
If you are interested in criminal law and you believe in bringing the offender to justice, public prosecutor is the best career option for you. Public Prosecutor is an advocate who represents the State in any criminal matter. Under Section 24 of Cr.P.C, each district of each State shall have a public prosecutor and s/he can be assisted by an assistant and additional public prosecutors.
For this career, all you need is a great deal of knowledge about the criminal procedure including the evidence law. Public Prosecutors are paid on a monthly basis as their determined salary and not on case to case basis.
Moreover, since under Criminal Law, the prosecution can only be done by the Official Prosecutors, one has the opportunity to practise in trial court and appeals in High Court as well.
To become a public prosecutor, a person must have 7 years of experience as a practising advocate and must be between 35 to 45 years of age.
7. Teacher or Lecturer
In general, a teacher is a person who educates you what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. Similarly, a law teacher teaches the rightness and wrongness in-laws, s/he helps you to think like a lawyer. Being a teacher is one of the most difficult jobs but as the profession is developing gradually in the country, it is one the best and easy to get career options.
‘Best’ because teachers are required in every field of law such as permanent teachers in colleges, guest faculty, coaching institutions, private tuitions, etc. and ‘easy to get’ because of the high demand for good teachers.
To become a good teacher or professor of law, one thing is essentially more than the knowledge of the law which is the ability to understand the students. You can join as a research fellow and get upgraded to assistant professor, associate professor and finally, professor. For being eligible to teach in a college or any educational institution providing professional courses, a person must have cleared the Net Eligibility Test conducted by the University Grants Commission and have a Masters in Law (LLM) to teach in any law institution.
8. Civil Services
The Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission is to appoint people for the post of Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS) and India Forest Services (IFS). In India, every year more than a hundred thousand people appear for the UPSC exam with the dream to achieve a government job that is considered to be most reputed in the country.
The link between law and UPSC is that the UPSC examination has law papers to be cleared and LLB assists to pass them in one go.
Further, the three or five years in Law College gives knowledge of subjects of Arts such as Political Science and Sociology and also gives candidates time to prepare. So, one can pursue civil services right after Law College.
Civil Service is a job with unlimited benefits; an opportunity to serve the society, handsome remuneration, amenities and after retirement benefits. However, to pass the UPSC exam is the toughest challenge in the way to success and it requires dedicated hard work.
9. Judge Advocate General (JAG)
If you are one who is interested in the Defence and wanted to join the armed forces but ended up choosing law, the doors are still open. Judge Advocate General is a post in the Indian Army held by major who is the legal and judicial chief of the Army.
The main purpose of a Judge Advocate General is to assist the presiding officers of Courts-martial in interpreting and applying military laws such as the Army Act, Indian Defence Act, etc.
A person must be between the ages of 21 years to 27 years, should have minimum 55% aggregate marks in graduation and should be eligible for registration with Bar Council of India or any of the State Bar Councils. If the eligibility is met, you are required to check any call for recruitment and send in applications from the official website of the army: http://www.joinindianarmy.nic.in/downloads.htm.
If you are shortlisted amongst all the applicants, the Service Selection Board will conduct two Psychological Aptitude Test in the form of interview and medical fitness exam by a certified army doctor. Passing these selection processes will ensure entry into the JAG branch of the army.
10. Legal Journalism
In this era, everyone wants to remain updated about the happenings around the world related to sports, legal, religious, political and other such matters. Technology and Media are responsible to ensure that this information is provided to the people and it is done by journalists. Unlike journalism, legal journalism focusses only on issues around the world related to law. To become a legal journalist, no separate qualification is required but a Law degree and a company willing to hire you are sufficient.
Journalism for law students is a very good career choice considering the fact that both law and journalism focus on keeping the facts authentic and precise.
Law teaches you how to write well, read well and most importantly convey well such that it is appealing to the audience. Further, a law graduate will have an upper hand in the industry since s/he is the one specialised that area. Contemporary issues such as freedom of press, speech and privacy; all involve media as well as lawyers. Legal Journalism pays a very good remuneration with chances of growth and promotion.