Career Opportunities in the field of Law
By HEMA RAMAN, Professor of Law and Mentor, Sriram Law Academy.
One of the glorious professions that has stood the test of time without losing its sheen is undoubtedly law! In fact, this stream has moulded itself so gracefully to the changes in technology, corporate governance, social mores and conflict resolution methods; that it has opened myriad opportunities for young legal professionals.
1. ADVOCACY/ LITIGATION
It is a primary role played by legal professionals. The fight for justice is an integral part of any civil society and lawyers play a key role, in securing justice for their clients. The field which was largely limited to civil and criminal sides; has now grown leaps and bounds and offers new avenues for law practice. Taxation, Intellectual Property Rights, Human Rights, Sports Law, Environment Law, Corporate Law, Cyber Law and the list is growing by the day. With burgeoning legislations to address new complex issues and ever-increasing number of litigations, this field still has space to accommodate law graduates passing out in large numbers every year. Arbitration and Mediation are the new off-shoots of commercial law which professionals can choose to specialize. Established lawyers and law offices scout for new talent and give opportunity to fresh law graduates to learn the craft of advocacy and understand the nuances of the profession. Often, after gaining years of work experience, the law associates go on to occupy the top slots in the law office, while others who prefer to branch out set up their own office.
USP: The pride in setting up one's own firm and the reputation you build for yourself.
Starting Salary: Rs. 3 lakhs PA upwards as a trainee, once established, sky is the limit!
2. CORPORATE LAW FIRMS:
Many law graduates prefer to join the top-notch law firms in India and UK. Professionals who are not keen to litigate; find the law firms a perfect setting to unleash their talent and knowledge. Most law firms make a bee line to the top law schools on "Day Zero" to recruit the crème de la crème and often compete with one another to offer astounding emoluments to attract the finest talent available on campus. Often the students are subjected to a battery of tests ranging from written test, group discussion and couple of rounds of interview. Once absorbed into a law firm, they are trained in different departments to carry out various functions such as Due diligence activities, drafting & reviewing documents, filing applications to regulatory authorities, rendering advisory opinions, working on private equity deals, taxation and other related functions. Students who choose corporate firms should be willing to put in long hours of work to meet deadlines and are often recognized for their knowledge, hard-work, dedication and team spirit.
USP: Attractive pay package and quick career progression.
Starting Salary: Rs.12 lakhs PA upwards
Those who prefer traditional organization structure with steady salary, promotions at regular intervals and fixed working hours often prefer the job of a law officer in these sectors. As these industries operate under statutory norms of the government and are closely regulated, they are compelled to recruit law graduates to handle a wide range of activities such as vetting legal documents, drafting contracts, ensuring legal compliance, recovery of loans, addressing complaints, settling cases and so forth.
USP: Can achieve a work – life balance, earn steady income and growth prospects.
Starting Salary: Rs. 8 lakhs PA upwards
Law graduates who have been in awe of haloed position of judges and inclined towards public service take up this option. The judiciary posts in the lower courts are filled by the Public Service Commissions of the respective States through examination and interviews. The judicial services have two points of entry, one open to fresh graduates and the other open to lawyers with certain prescribed years of law practice. Time bound promotions, good salaries, attractive perks and allowances are a few notable hall marks of this profession, Remember, the position of Magistrate or Judge in these subordinate courts calls for person with integrity, vast and in-depth knowledge of law, a deep understanding of human behavior, sense of responsibility and alertness of mind.
USP Coveted position coupled with attractive remuneration package.
Starting Salary: Rs. 6 lakhs PA upwards
With the proliferation of law colleges in the country, law graduates who have a penchant for teaching and inspiring young minds can opt for a teaching career after completing a post-graduation program with NET eligibility or a Ph.D. in a law. Though this option may not be lucrative initially, it is a very rewarding profession which commands respect from students and society. These is a steady demand for good professors who can rise to the position of a Vice – Chancellor in a University. Teachers are required to have sound knowledge of the subjects coupled with good narrative and problem-solving skills.
USP: good working environment and a satisfying career.
Starting Salary: Rs. 6 lakhs upwards
6. LEGAL PROCESS OUTSOURCING:
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has been around for a long time now and is regarded as a successful business model and contributing significantly to the Indian economy. LPO is modeled on similar lines with law firms and in – house legal departments of corporation in the US and UK outsourcing bulk of their routine legal functions to LPOs in India. The core reason for outsourcing has been cost savings, as the legal services can be performed in India at a much lower cost. LPOs recruit law graduates to carry out services such as legal research, contract drafting services, bankruptcy filing cases, documentation and document review cases and para legal services. LPOs offer good working environment, work – home balance and handsome salaries to its legal professionals.
USP: opportunity to work on "global legal" issues and work in a corporate set up.
Starting Salary: Rs. 5 lakhs upwards
Interesting opportunities await law graduates in the field of Legal Journalism, NGOs, International Organizations, Centres for Policy making and Legal Research and Government Departments.