Building a Career in Law can be one of the most prestigious events for a law student in his/her life. Whenever one hears that someone belongs to a legal background – be it a lawyer, an advocate, a legal advisor or a Judge, one instantly assumes a high profile life, a lavish lifestyle, corporate parties etc. But what one misses to acknowledge is the struggle, hard work and the sleepless nights behind it. Law School and Law as a profession are two entirely different things.
Everybody is aware of the fact, how a law student studies at a law college. But when it comes to Law as a Profession it becomes a necessity to study both theoretical and practical aspects of the law to succeed.
Being a Law Professional gives you confidence and positivity towards yourself and society. The scope of opportunities for a law graduate is very wide. Law never ends – it’s like the universal truth, same with its opportunities. There are numerous opportunities for a law student out there.
When we talk about the possible career option for a Law Graduate there are three major options:
1. Judicial Services
One of the most reputed posts in the career of a law aspirant is being a Judicial Officer. However, the way one leads to it is not one of the easiest ones. There are various illusions around this particular career option as it purely depends upon the theoretical legal knowledge of the applicant. So, those who have a fairly good capacity to study for hours can have a chance at this.
To become a Judicial Officer you need to have an extra edge with your knowledge of the law and the dedication to learning. Once you become a Judicial officer you are surrounded by the protocols and duties behind it. It is hard for a young Officer to be compatible with the ways in which a court works, as most of these young officers don’t possess any practical knowledge of the working of the courts. One can get easily frustrated to see the huge difference between what is written in the books and what actually happens in court.
Do’s and Don’ts to avoid professional troubles, when you’re going to be a Judicial Officer:
- Try to acquire basic practical knowledge of the law and its procedure. So, you don’t feel like an outsider when you sit on the dais or any of such posts.
- Don’t isolate yourself from the outside world. Many people think that when you are fighting a competitive examination one needs to be isolated and study for hours. That is a clear NO because when you do this you lose your confidence. Study but Study Smart.
- Don’t let others expectations be set as your own Goal. Do hard work according to your own capability.
- Failing in the Judicial Services is not the end of the world (What most aspirants think). You’re not gonna die if you fail, so stop taking the pressure. There are various other options you may be good at if not this.
Note for the Parents: Please stop pressurizing your kids for judicial services. Let them do what they are interested in and want for themselves in their life.
Litigation is a tough job. Hard work is the only key to success when it comes to litigation unless you have a rich legal background ready to launch you in the field. Many people consider litigation as the last option they will opt for if they fail in every other possibility. This is really not true. Litigation is the only way through which you will be able to understand the procedure to the core. It helps you gain practical knowledge of the law and the courts.
How to Start?
This is a billion-dollar question when it comes to litigation. One can not just go to a court and start Litigation.
Firstly, you have to be strong-hearted. When you go to the Court as a newcomer, there will be a huge number of advocates waiting for you. You might lose or feel less confident when you see them. But remember, not every one of them is well qualified (Unfortunately that is the harsh reality).
Secondly, There are two ways in which people enter into litigation:
• Through a Firm: You can join as a junior under any established Advocate. It is easier to work with a firm. They will teach you certain things and sometimes also pay you. But until and unless you come out of the shadow of the firm you will remain unnoticed by the rest of the world.
• Self: When you learn from an Advocate but are not working under him. The struggle is real in this case. You have to be really patient and dedicated in your professional life. When you are on your own you may remain with no earning for days or weeks or month. But, once you catch the grip, no one can stop you from becoming a good Advocate. Remember, every Advocate started it alone.
Thirdly, There will be times when someone will try to question your knowledge and put you down just because he/she is more experienced in the field. Don’t fall for it but don’t be disrespectful to him/her either. Take a lesson from it and don’t repeat the mistakes that he/she is making. It will save you time and energy.
Fourthly, If you are a female and a newcomer, you may face harassment and eve-teasing by the male colleagues but don’t fear to raise your voice. That is the reason we have less number of females opting for litigation and this is a reality check too.
3. Corporate Sector
This is seen as the most glittery career option with bling and money. For a layman, a job in a corporate sector is what is shown in Bollywood movies i.e. parties, cocktails, and travel. However, this is not the truth.
The reality is made up of deadlines, pressure and internal office politics. Working at a company as a legal advisor or a legal counsel involves the formation of contracts, notices, tenders, application etc.
One needs good drafting skills to work at a company. Usually, you are hired by a company for advice only. So, you get almost no chance to go to court leaving exceptional cases. But it is a good option for those who love the exposure. Most people who join the corporate sector are usually fond of the corporate lifestyle.
Advice to avoid professional trouble when it comes to working in a Company :
- Always complete your deadlines. It helps you understand your capability of time management.
- Don’t compare yourself with others.
- Don’t run behind money until and unless it’s not reasonable, because, you are getting something more precious than money, i.e., experience.
- Don’t mix your personal and professional life at your workplace.
- Try not to become a slave to your bosses because you are being paid for the work assigned to you. Not for anything else.
- Follow professional etiquette. You’re a lawyer first and then an employee.
My Personal Experience
Before choosing Judicial Services I was working with a Private Company as a Legal Counsel.
With my personal experience, I can say that if you have a low patience level and less interest in politics, the corporate sector is not for you. Remember the saying – all that glitters is not gold. It came true for me. The day I received the interview call from the company for my first ever job was the most unusual day for me. I said yes and went for the interview, it went well. Days past and I later realized that I have been doing the same exact thing for a month.
I was hired as a legal counsel but I was doing all the work except that of the Legal Counsel. I was doing Content Writing, Social Media Marketing and shooting videos. I told my boss that that was not what I came here to do and questioned him about the legal work like contracts, notices, applications, etc. Their answer shocked me when they said:
“We are paying you, you will get an experience certificate with the designation as a Legal Counsel of the company. What else do you expect?”
Here’s the Moral of the Story to avoid professional trouble
- Never fall for what is displayed. Always inquire about the company and the workplace.
- Don’t work just for money, work for your knowledge and a good experience.
- If you think that nothing is working out at the workplace, feel free to complain about that. If it is still not sorted then you are free to walk out.
- Don’t settle for less money or credit when you know you are working very hard. However, be reasonable with your demands.
The legal profession is one of the best career options one can opt for. Knowledge of the law gives an extra advantage over a layman. Living in a country like India where every person is taking advantage of his/her political or social connections it is good to have the law on our side. There are a number of other options available for law students such as – content writer, journalist, legal companies etc.
Learn a lesson from every mistake you make and use it as a weapon against future mistakes. Don’t opt for every option at once but choose wisely what you want to do. What interests you is more important than anything else. My mantra is to be optimistic about my future as a member of the legal fraternity and to live every single day as it’s the first day of my life.