By Shashank Painuly, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.
The ambition to enter the legal profession is usually drawn from inspiration. From Mahatma Gandhi to Barack Obama, the list of luminaries who have used this profession as a stepping stone to greatness runs long and wide.
If you are smart, presentable and not scared to voice your opinion, Law is definitely a career you should consider! Once done with law school, here is a list of career options a Law graduate can choose from:
- CRIMINAL LAWYER/ CIVIL LITIGATION LAWYER
The traditional career path is to “practice law” in the courts. But it is essential for any fresh graduate to learn the ropes under a Senior Counsel. The graduates are now supposed to qualify a Bar Exam before they join the Courts of Law. Litigation provides a wide range of employment options in both private and public spheres. You may specialize in a particular field of law such as Taxation, Constitution, Family, etc. You can choose to focus on appellate work, trial-level practice, civil litigation or criminal cases.
- CORPORATE COUNSEL
This job requires a law degree, with employers preferring candidates who have specialized in corporate law. Additionally, candidates must pass the State Bar Exam in order to be licensed to practice law. This job might appeal to individuals with interests in law, corporate business, and negotiation. Corporate counsels advise employees and businesses in and out of the courtroom on a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in a corporate job, this one will definitely suit you well.
For those of you with an inclination towards public service, the Judicial Services can be a worthwhile option. Not only is it a way to remain closely connected with law throughout your professional life, but also one that offers the satisfaction of working for the good of society. An intellectually stimulating profession where you shall command the respect of the common man. There are two avenues open to become a member of the judiciary. The first and better-known one is to start a litigation practice and hope to get elevated to the bench. The other option is to prepare for the competitive exams for the Judicial Services.
- MEDIA AND LAW
If you’re curious and good at communicating, this one could be for you. Working as a Journalist is not only socially relevant (which means you can have tremendous job satisfaction), but also carries the promise of being monetarily rewarding. A legal education already equips you with comprehensive writing and researching skills, besides teaching you to be thorough with facts and figures. You have the option of either reporting on legal issues, for which you need no additional training, or on a host of other issues for which on the job learning is the best bet.
- LAW FIRMS
The highly demanding job can take up many hours of your time because of its tedious nature. However, the Law Firms also provide a handsome package to their employees. These are business entities engaged in the practice of law. A noticeable trend that has emerged in the last few years is to shift from solo practice to well-organized law firms, which comprise several lawyers working together as one entity. As part of a law firm, one advises clients about their legal rights and recourse as well as other legal matters and represents them in trials. So pull up your socks if you want to be a part of the law firms!
- SOCIAL WORK
Working for the deprived and the underprivileged is the dream of many and to fulfill that, after graduating from a law school, a sizeable number of law school graduates join Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work for social causes. If you are passionate about socio-legal issues, then this is the right avenue for you. One may work with NGOs and Civil Society Organizations on issues based on environmental protection, gender concerns, caste discrimination, employment, working conditions, marginalization of various sections of the society, etc.
- CIVIL SERVICES
If you are ardent enough to take up an administrative job with the Government, then Civil Services is the next step after graduating from a law school. The Civil Services offer approximately 700 graduate vacancies each year in a wide range of departments. Those who join the Services, move between projects and sections within their department and take up postings across the country and/or even overseas, depending on the job profile. Recruiters look for an ability to work under pressure, attention to detail and a general sense of awareness, all traits endorsed by a degree in law. Come on guys, it’s worth a try!
- HIGHER EDUCATION
Higher Education after LL.B., i.e., LL.M., is often pursued by the graduates who wish to learn more and develop a better understanding of a particular subject of law. This gives them an upper edge in the teaching sector and also backs them up during the preparation of Judiciary. There are also numerous job opportunities for people who have concluded their advanced studies in law. It is easier for them to get jobs with corporate offices or with multinational firms as advisors. Learning is experiencing and experiencing is gaining. With this thought in mind, one should take up higher education for a wide and concrete understanding of the subject matter.
- PUBLIC SECTOR UNITS
PSUs like SEBI, ONGC, IOCL, SAIL, etc. offer a very successful career option to law students once they are eligible after appearing for the CLAT (PG) All India Level Examination. One can choose PSUs over other career options as it has high job-security and hence proves to be a lucrative option for a young graduate. If great job satisfaction accompanied by a good working environment is all you wish for, a PSU is the best place for you.
- DEFENCE SERVICES
If you could not get into the Defence Forces through NDA, don’t lose heart. There is a wonderful opportunity waiting down the line for a law student. One can apply for the JAG (Judicial Advocate General) Examination directly after completing their graduation and serve the nation through the knowledge gained while in Law School. It is a highly prestigious job which pays well. Age requirement for the applicants for the post is between 21 to 27 years. Also, an exam called AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) is conducted by the Indian Air Force for the recruitment of law graduates in the Air Force.
So gear up, all you budding lawyers! There is no end to the options you can can choose from with a degree in law.