This article is written by Aditya Shrivastava. Aditya is the marketing executive at iPleaders.
Hi, I am Aditya. If you ever get a chance to read my bio it will always read as, “A lawyer by degree and a writer by choice.” Let me be candid and tell you my story. When I was in the phase of figuring out which career path to choose, I was in a fix. I wanted to become a journalist, a chef, an archaeologist, a psychologist and a lawyer.
I wasn’t sure. I am probably not sure as we speak. Back then, my parents made me an offer. Why don’t you pursue law? It will give you the required expertise in various areas and if you want to pursue journalism after law, you can do that too.
There is no denying the fact that a legal career is highly competitive, challenging, and extremely stressful. In the current scenario, where landing a legal job and progressing each day is nothing short of a battlefield, only the ones who have a real zeal for the law stand a chance at being successful. Although I did find myself working for the compliance team of an MNC after law school, there are people who often find that law is not a viable career option for them only after they join a law school.
What do you do when you realise law is not your calling?
Such individuals are left with only two options. The first option is realizing in the very first year and opting out of the course looking for another suitable option.
Fresh out of school, most of us contemplate if law was the right choice. By the time we are done making up our mind, it is too late. What do I mean by too late? Stems from the fact that this would mean the loss of money and further monetary investment. Most of us don’t want to ask our parents to fund an alternate career when they have already invested in law school.
The other option is to stick to your college accepting that it’s not meant for you and do everything it takes to shift to an alternative career. This option would not lead to wasting your parent’s hard earned money.
If you are an extremist and you believe in taking in-the-moment decisions, it might sound to you as an utter waste of time and resources, however, it is probably not as bad as you think. In my previous post, I had explained in detail about how the legal industry is about to reach saturation.
The result is that lesser number of law graduates take the road towards a conventional legal career than you may expect. However, if you are sure that legal career is not meant for you, you might want to consider the good attributes of it. In an era where brand and pedagogy matters to a lot of recruiters, the law can come as a huge advantage for you. It might give you an extra edge in whatever genre you want to get in.
So what is it that law has to offer you to get that extra edge?
Unavoidable Personality – Strong Reputation
Remember the time when you decided to take admission in a law school? There must’ve been people around you who would have appreciated you for the mere fact that you chose law. You would have been the coolest amongst your peers.
None of this goes away once you graduate, in fact, it only multiplies. Although most Indians do not consider law as a great profession that is because of the limited idea they have. For anyone who is well read, there is never-ending respect for lawyers and this is not restricted to your close ones.
Recruiters find lawyers to be extremely interesting individuals. For example, if you were someone who was going to pursue journalism, don’t you think a crime journalist with a legal degree would present far better reports as he would be aware of the law and the legal implications of the crime?
It is undeniable that having a legal degree or any legal specialization that online courses may provide you with will make you have an edge over others.
Are there any career options available?
If you have ever wondered about what you have learnt as a law student, you must’ve realized that you have gained knowledge about the art of researching, analysis, criticism, and communication by now. A lawyer is capable of engaging in problem-solving, arguing, probing and coming up with the most practical solutions. You can be anything that you want to be if you take up law. I have previously written an article about what alternative career you can choose after completing your law degree.
Make the most of it while you are at it!
I would urge you to not give up. The legal profession is highly rewarding. I was one of those who cribbed about taking up law. However, when it struck me that it is something that I am actually good at, life changed for better. I thought it might be worth giving it a shot.
As a result, I started exploring various aspects of company and business laws. I started writing research papers and took up an online course on business laws. This course not only helped me gain great insights about business laws but also helped me learn skills which were unknown to me. It helped me get my first job and is still helping me in my career. Law once understood doesn’t leave you.
If you have an early realisation you will have ample time to figure out what you really want and how can you make it happen. Extra-curricular activities and online courses will give you amazing insights into what you want to do and how you want to do it. Based on your career interest you can choose any online course. NUJS Kolkata, one of India’s top law schools, runs online diploma and certificate courses. You can access their website here.
Those who want to make a career in litigation will have slightly restricted choices. However, you can explore a range of subjects and a plethora of courses to opt for depending on your specialization. This will not only hint at you knowing and understanding the law but also help you learn about what you want to do at a later point in time. Those of you looking for courses on drafting and litigation, here are a few courses available online:
- Online Certificate Course on Criminal Law, Litigation and Trial Advocacy. You can find the course here.
- Online Certificate Course in Criminal Law. You can find the course here.
- Online Certificate Course in Drafting For Litigators. You can find the course here.
- Online Certificate Course in Alternative Dispute Resolution From A Business Perspective: Practice, Procedure, and Drafting. You can find the course here.
The choice is yours. You may opt to choose a legal career if you feel it is the right thing to do after having invested in law for five years. Or, you may choose to go with your calling. It will be difficult initially, but to be honest – what isn’t? If you persist and don’t give up, you have miles to go. Success knows no bounds when you do what you thoroughly love. Failures have always been the stepping stone to success. Always.