A career in law is a fantastic option as it is in its pinnacle stages where lots of varieties of job opportunities are available and each of them is lucrative, both from job perspective and financial perspective as well. It is one of the most growing sectors and it’s also an intellectually stimulating job where one gets to deal with a various unique type of problem, which makes this career more and more interesting.
With the declaration of class 12th results, every student is now contemplating what course of action has to be taken. There is now, a plethora of opportunities for students, which was earlier not the case. Earlier student after completing class 12th has only 3 options before them, Doctors, engineers or become a lawyer.
Unlike earlier times the only career choice available i.e. to become a litigation lawyer, it’s the whole new ball game now. Not only there is an increase in the number of career options like journalism, interior fashion designer among others, but also there has been a lot of specialization in the traditional career prospects as well.
Now, even though the litigation option is still one of the favourites, but there have been multiple diversifications in this fields like there is an option of working in law firms, starting one’s practice, applying in different government services (like IOCL, ONGC which also recruit law officers), taking judiciary exams, and many more. It no more a dead career option, but one of the most vibrant option one can find among all other career options.
Nowadays, students are undertaking a career in law only seeing the half-truth. They get attracted to this field because of the financial reason, which they witness in different law school placement records. But they should understand the fact that law school is more than this. It becomes part of one’s life. It’s the stepping stones for one’s career and choosing one’s career by taking only a singular point into account is an irreversible mistake.
The financial reason may be a secondary reason, but it cannot be the sole reason or else it would be difficult to succeed in this field. One needs to take multiple factors into consideration before considering whether to opt-in this field or not.
So, to ease the mind of anxious students, here are 10 things one needs to consider before opting for a career in law:-
1. The aim in life
One must decide the aim of entering into the law field. One must have a certain purpose before undertaking this complicated course, or else when one graduates after 5 years, one would be clueless as what shall be the next step that has to be undertaken. Many people do this mistake of not deciding their ultimate aim of doing law and later become as clueless as one was before joining the law school.
The aim can be anything from improving one’s financial condition, to remove the social vice, to bring revolutionize change in any particular field of law or, to giving justice to some dear and close ones who suffered because of the inherent unfairness in the process of law.
But without deciding is like a completely different ball game, where one will tend to follow the crowd, like if a particular law school has the culture of students taking corporate jobs then one shall follow that tend or if a law school has the trend of students securing judiciary one would then follow that trend.
The inherent problem of this trend that is dissatisfaction. As it may seem that it was never the aim in the first place, and it would result in shifting different jobs market. It’s better to make the aim clear and work towards it rather than doing the opposite ones.
2. The goal of entering the field
After deciding what shall be one’s aim then comes the important question of how to achieve the aim, or in a simple sense what is one’s goal after getting the degree? The setting of an aim is as important as setting of a goal, as the former decides what one’s main purpose of undertaking any act and the later decide the course of action, i.e. how shall one achieve that goal.
Now if the goal is not decided, it would again create confusion as there are different ways of attaining the ultimate aim, and when one is confused, one tends to shift from one goal to other. For example, one undertakes the law career because one aims to take rectify the unfairness which a certain individual has caused to his family and due to failure in the procedure he remained scot-free. Now to achieve that aim needs to decide the goal in that respect.
The goal can be to become a litigation lawyer and bring justice or to join an NGO that deals with the same types of cases. So when a person has 2 options then, he has to decide based on the pros/cons of whether to pursue the former or the later one.
Another aim can be to modify certain areas of law, for example, cyber law is quite undeveloped in India. So if one aims to bring changes in that particular field then he can do so by joining a law firm who works in that field or join a research & policy centre.
So, whatever be the aim, there is more than one method of achieving it and if one is confused as to which one to choose, then it would be difficult for him to achieve his aim.
3. Market condition:
Now another aspect which needs thorough consideration is the market condition of that filed. If the market is saturated getting jobs would be very difficult, on the other hand, if its niche field, then lots of job growth is possible. Like in the engineering sector, it has seen many growths during in its heydays, but now it has reached in a saturated position where unless one is the cream of his batch getting one’s preferable jobs to become difficult.
But in sectors like indoor fashion designing or hotel management, these are relatively new sectors and lots of job growth is possible. Now, the market condition of the legal field is somewhat different.
If one desires to go for the corporate field, then a certain segment of law is saturated like company law, competition law. But one likes to join corporate in cyberlaw, M&A or any upcoming areas then there is a lot of scope and opportunity. Similarity, if one finds litigation attractive, then its open field as it depends on one’s skill rather than the concentration of the market to carve one’s name in it.
And if one likes to join NGOs then also it’s relatively less concentrated as there different NGOs working in various aspects and getting jobs in that regard it will be easy. Even the law officer jobs in PSU’s are less concentrated, as they take a finite amount of students who qualify CLAT PG exams.
So again, if one wants jobs in a concentrated segment of law, it may be tough but not impossible as one needs to work exceptionally well to get into it, and if one likes to undertake niches areas of law, then there is the scope of job growth.
4. Ability to endure the rigorous environment of law school
It’s usually said that law school prepares you for life. The basic aim of law schools is to make sure you survive the harsh reality of the world and prepares the student in that way. Because of this approach, law schools are quite rigorous in its approach.
Throughout the week student would be engaged in assignments, seminars, classes, specials/guest lectures, presentations, and many more academic activities. And the icing over the cake is that one needs to maintain a good attendance record as a differential marking scheme is allotted as per the attendance record. So one needs to handle extremely a rigorous environment to survive the law school.
But this is only the one side of the story, as apart from the academic areas, one needs to maintaining the non-academic areas as well as they form the part and parcel of the whole course, which includes writing paper, participating in Moot court competitions, debates, MUNs, ADR, and internships which gives the scope of experiencing the practical aspect of the law and to understand how the theoretical aspect intertwined with the practical aspect of law.
So one needs good time management skills to survive in law school or else the whole point of coming to law school gets vitiated.
5. Ready to endure hardship in the starting phase of one’s career
This is another important aspect that needs thorough consideration before opting a career in law. This is particularly applicable for those who opt for a career in litigation.
Establishing one’s practice and carving one’s name from the infinite pool of lawyers is quite difficult and needs some time before that happens.
One needs at first to undergo training as a junior advocate under a senior advocate for at least a few years and then when one understands the nuances of the legal field then only he will be able to open his own practice. This will again take some time before he starts to have regular income out of it and if one is ready to undergo hardship for in the initial phase of his career then one should consider taking this aspect.
This point can also apply to those opting career in corporate offices as getting any type of increment or promotion becomes long due and only available when one does something extraordinary.
So one needs some patience in the initial stage of his career and if and only if one is ready to do then only one should take this field as a career option.
6. A huge leap from school level to L-School
It’s a huge leap from studying in a nearby school to studying in a law school in some other state is a magnanimous step in itself. It has a lot of components, firstly, in school one was staying in the home where every need is being taken care of without any hindrance, but in law school, one has to live in the hostel, where one shall be responsible for every kind of activity one undertakes.
So one needs to be quite responsible for oneself. This step is quite huge and if one is not comfortable in taking such a step than one needs to reconsider whether he shall make a career in law or not.
7. Building interpersonal skills
The law is all about inter-personal skills. It’s all about how one speaks with others, in what ways one expresses to others, what are his attitude in speaking with others, how one listens and responds to any question to of others.
It’s quite important because a lawyer has to be in constant touch with his clients regarding the improvement of his case, whether any complicacy has arisen in his case or not. So it is a profession where the lawyer earns his bread and butter through his speaking and communication skills along with his skill of convincing judge in his favour
(to be taken on a lighter note).
So if a student is introvert or is not comfortable in public speaking or prefers that he rather be in a profession which requires his mechanical skill rather than one which requires interpersonal skills then he should reconsider his career in law.
8. Ability to undertake rigorous hard work
As already discussed previously, law school has a rigorous work culture and to survive that one needs to be equally hardworking. One of the distinguishing features of law school is that one has to read a lot of books. The first day of law school starts with the reading of a popular essay and it ends with the reading a big voluminous commentary on a certain subject.
On an average law student read 12-15 books per semester, along with other reference books, cases which runs for 20-25 pages. This is for academic purposes only. If one chooses to do moot then one has to read at least 10-15 books and more than 100 cases from each side of the argument along with other extensive reading which is required in each specific moots.
So not only reading habit is necessary, but fast reading is necessary and the patience to read so many extensive things in such a short time.
If one doesn’t have that reading habit or thinks cant read so many literatures in such a short time, then it’s better to pursue other subjects of interest rather than law, as, in the professional field, the amount of reading is only going to increase, and then if one cant handle then he is not going to succeed in that field.
9. The course is of 5 long years
One of the disadvantages of law schools is that it’s an integrated course, in a sense it’s the combinations of two degrees, one is undergraduate degree like BA or BBA and the other is LLB both are 3 years course. So naturally, when both are combined into a single degree, the duration to do justice to both the degree should be appropriate.
5 years was decided as the appropriate amount for completing the degree. Because of its duration its one of the lengthiest courses it’s not feasible for students who want to get their degree as soon as possible so that they could start on their job prospects.
For students who need to start their job life soon and can’t wait for 5 years, then they should reconsider joining law school which offers the integrated course.
10. Financial stability:
Last but not least, the financial condition of the students plays a huge role in deciding whether one should join a law school or not. National Law University usually costs between 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs and in certain cases, it may go to 15 lakhs also. And if one if from NRI categories then it may cost him around 40 lakhs and in case of a private university, it charges much more than that.
So one needs to first secure his financial frontiers before joining in, as many choose not to join prestigious NLU’s rather study in-state university because of financial crunches. Keeping that fact aside, many NLU’s and state governments offer different types of scholarships, either partially paid or fully paid, and many private organizations also offer some kind of monetary benefit, which benefits lots of students. The main point is financial hurdle should be the last one and it shouldn’t deter a student from joining law school.
Law as a career is a fantastic option as it is in its pinnacle stages where lots of varieties of job opportunities are available and each of them is lucrative, both from job perspective and financial perspective as well. It is one of the most growing sectors and it’s also an intellectually stimulating job where one gets to deal with a various unique type of problem, which makes this career more and more interesting.
When one decides to have a career in this segment, he/she needs to be sure that one has taken into consideration all the things related to this field and is sure that he wants to make law as a career. So when he imparts on this magnificent journey, then he should not have any regret regarding his choice of career.