Changing trends and opportunities in law

coveted Law is one of the preferred choices for students aspiring for UPSC.

The moment a student gets into Class 11, a question which is constantly asked to him or her is “What are your plans after Class 12?” Students of all three streams — Science, Commerce and Humanities — undergo the same scrutiny. Like other streams, humanities students also are on the radar to pick up an option which gives them the foundation for a solid career and the conventional path is still preferred. But as they say, change is the only constant and things are changing slowly and gradually. More and more students are going for unconventional courses, mainly stream neutral options, courses which can be done by all students irrespective of their branch of study in Class 12, like Mass Communication, Hotel Management and, one such course is Law.

Law, as a career, is more than black and white and is now like a rainbow blooming with all possible colours on a canvas. During the global recession, we witnessed companies shrinking and adapting retrenchment strategies. It became hard for graduates to find employment. Like always, there was a safe harbour — doctors and lawyers.

New approach

An ambition to enter the legal profession is usually drawn from inspiration. There are numerous success stories in this profession, but as they say, with great position comes greater responsibilities. It was a feudal thought when people used to look down upon law as a career. It’s obsolete to think that stingy courtrooms and boring black robes are the only bread and butter of lawyers. From suave and elegant corporate offices to working in top media houses, lawyers have moved from the conventional way to a much modern outlook and approach. Legal profession looks lucrative and attractive, but it requires a skill set and perseverance to sail through. These are some qualities crucial to growing in this career :

 Good communication skills

 Reading and research skills

 Objectivity

 Fearlessness to voice one’s opinion

One of the major concerns while pursuing a career is that of security and stability. These two aspects are addressed to a large extent in the legal profession. There is a plethora of options for those who aspire to become a successful lawyer, including Litigation, Corporate houses, Media, Academics etc. The savvy law school graduates, with the skills to handle positions, are in huge demand, and the demand has surged drastically. This upward trend to become a Law graduate will increase day-by-day as the number of trained lawyers are less than what is required to handle an economy as big as that of India.

Though practising Law in courts is the traditional career path, it is essential to learn the intricacies under a senior counsel. The graduates are supposed to qualify a Bar Exam before they join the Courts of Law. Litigation provides opportunities in both public and private domains. Law is one of the preferred choices for students aspiring for UPSC. To become a successful lawyer, one needs to clear the law entrance exam, CLAT. The sections that are considered for the entrance exam are Quantitative Techniques, Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability, General Awareness and Legal Aptitude.

Neutral option

Law is a stream-neutral option, but we don’t take the preparation for it as seriously as we do for conventional entrance exams like JEE and CA/CS/ICWA. Just like science students who start their preparation for JEE early, aspiring candidates start preparing for CLAT as early as when in Class 11. Contrary to the general perception, a lot of students who clear CLAT are from the Science stream. There are many instances of aspirants who drop a year just to get into the best law college in the country.  

Corporate houses these days require an in-house counsel who helps them in drafting and negotiating contracts; ensuring and monitoring compliance with rules and laws and handling legal disputes. Another interesting aspect is that both journalism and law are entwined with each other. They require great writing skills as well as critical knowledge of the government and the legal system. Legal journalism is increasingly considered as a career option. It gets you both respect and the perks of being in the limelight, adding colours to black and white.

Like any other stream, life at a law college provides everything. It has drama, debates, discussions, fests, competitions and presentations and yes, studies!

Another reason why Law is one of the most sought-after choices is that the course curriculum followed at a Law college is neutral irrespective of which stream you are from — Science, Commerce or Humanities. Gone are the days when conventional courses were the only choice for students to make their aspirations come true. A subject like Law gives you all that you must have dreamed of. Go ahead, make choices, fall just to rise again. The country requires a lot many lawyers so that justice is not delayed and denied.

(The author is with Pratham Education)

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Changing trends and opportunities in law

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