In this article, Janvi Ahuja discusses things to keep in mind before choosing between corporate and litigation practice areas.
Legal education in India has been governed by Bar Council of India. Law is a diverse legal career option, which combines the theory with practice. Law has been a vital component in the successful integration of people, and has helped in functioning of our country. Studying law equips a student with a variety of skills, and makes them aware of the society and the regulatory organs. Law makes us realize two things,
- The power law has on people’s life
- And interpreting law effectively can mitigate loss of income.
Law as a career which teaches you to be correct and makes you a man of words. A law degree provides you with a variety of career prospect. It gives you an excellent springboard for future life. Law is a career which widens your thinking ability, and helps you to analyze in a most precise way. Law makes you to approach the task in a clear reasoned and precise way. Law is an internationally diverse career, which has intellectual challenges. It covers an essential part of our everyday living. It provides a great stimulus for those who are keen to know more about the legal framework in which we live in. It is often said that a Doctor is a life savior, but a doctor saves one life at a time where as a lawyer saves thousands of lives.
A law degree opens a door to wide range of professions such as research, education, government Jobs, banking, finance and many more. If you want to work in a legal sector, law degrees boast clear postgraduate option to make your way for classification. Further law profession gets divided into two sectors which are popularly known as corporate firm and litigation.
Should I be a corporate lawyer or a litigator?
Choosing between litigation and corporate area is very difficult, but if you have aim in mind what to do, then this journey is going to simpler. Choosing between these two practice areas is an important decision because the practice area you choose can have major impact on your future. Most of the people make this choice before joining a law school. You need to think which field of law best suits you. Sometimes it happens that your first job at law school directs you where to go, and you move along the flow. This happens with a lot of young lawyers. Choosing a career is complicated but if you are determined to do something you achieve it, all you need is to think the best for you. It is better to choose then to take what is given. You should choose your career depending on your personality. Many lawyers never really want to go to the court, or want to keep it as minimal as possible. Whereas there are some people who enjoy the court proceedings, they love to argue in court, they are happy with the tension and stress that one gets from litigation. Some have skills to go to the court and litigate, and prove their point, others don’t. In litigation you need to be fast on your feet, and comfortable speaking extemporaneous, but also you need to be prepared for counter of the opponent. You need to memorize a lot of facts, and of course, speak and present well. If you cannot do those things, you aren’t likely to become much of a litigator. There are many people who choose corporate over litigation because of instant money but it is wisely said by Fali S. Nariman “don’t try to become someone; instead try doing something.”
5 Reasons why you should choose litigation
Litigation is a field where you explore yourself to get name and fame.
- Litigation gives you huge amount of money, in beginning you need to work hard but later you get the amount you demand.
- Lawyers are autonomous, they have liberty to make their own choice, to choose their clients to set fees, choose their own practice area.
- Prestige, for society a lawyer has been a hallmark of prestige, you get impressive degree and authority over others.
- A lot to learn, a litigator deals with practical problems of his client, they get to know the problems which people face at large.
- Litigators are placed/employed throughout the year and they do not have to worry for low economy, as it does not affect their work.
5 Reasons why you should not choose Litigation
Where there are benefits there are some limitations to it, every work is restricted to some limits which makes us to think why should we opt for that career
- It takes years to built a career in litigation, it is tough to move from place to place, it takes time to build a goodwill. Establish your name in the market.
- No money in the beginning
- No clients, as you are a beginner people have a difficulty to make a faith in you. Because you are not established, and the case is their part of life they can’t just let it go.
- Lots of hard work, you need to establish your name as an individual lawyer. To know who you are, to build an image you need to work hard, simultaneously give your time to clients, listen to their personal problems, handle their rudeness and manage their annoying phone calls.
- At the beginning there is no work, you need to search for work, to convince clients to have faith in you and give you their case.
5 Reasons why should you choose corporate practice
First, there are clear benefits to having a strong, unified company culture underlying your business’s operations
- A well established business, all you need to do is just work and give your best. You don’t need to built a business from the top, it is made and served to you.
- A corporate job gives you hefty sum of money from the beginning, you don’t need to worry for money if you are a corporate lawyer.
- In corporate there is assurance of job, your job is fixed if you work well, even if you are removed from a job you get a reasonable time to search a new one.
- In corporate you get good exemplary knowledge of business law, current business trends, legislative, and regulatory development.
5 Reasons why you should not choose corporate practice
Every field has some pros and cons, which makes it equally good and bad.
- In corporate field you do not get employed throughout the year, when there is low economy you there is less job availability. A law firm is stronger in strong economy.
- A lot less time and a lot much work, though you are paid a handsome money you are also forced with a huge burden, and with a deadline. You will have to work insane hours and often under immense pressure.
- You are under a control you are not allowed to make your own decisions, forced to work on the set guidelines.
- Desk work, one needs to sit in his cabin and work continuously, there is fixed place and fixed job.
- Formal work, and less interaction with colleague.
How much thought have you given to your future career
Every candidate passing out from college has a dilemma relating to the choice he is making. Now he is assailed with worries relating to the choice he has to make in order to progress well in the life. While choosing your career just think about it, where do you fit in. Litigation practice is a lucrative option prefered by those who already have some experience, with lawyers in their family to offer support. One who has patience and can be dedicated, has good speaking and convincing power and a faculty for critical analysis and articulation, can choose litigation as his field. Litigation is more of legal skills that transcends all practice areas. Whereas corporate in its purest sense probably refers to transactional based legal practice which also covers a number of area: real estate transactions; mergers and acquisitions transactions; security law; franchise law; entity formation and so on. If you are good at working for hours and can take work pressure then corporate law fits you. While choosing your career think about your interest and your capabilities. Identify your skills first. You need to evaluate one’s excellent communication skills. Keep strategic alliance rather than conflict, if economic and financial data holds interest, then corporate is more suitable. Corporate lawyer declare that the new age lawyers are opting for boardroom battles over courtroom battles. With opening of market, a spurn in capital market related activities, the further prospects look bright here.
What is your choice:
- You have to like what you do! Do you enjoy the substance of the work in that field of law?
- Keep in mind the lifestyle factors when picking your practice area. Some areas have a steadier and more predictable flow of work whereas others have a very unpredictable workflow.
- Certain practice areas attract certain personalities more than others. You may not want to go into litigation, for example, if you do not deal well with aggressive personalities.
- Take a look on your academic background. In which field you excel. If you have no financial or accounting background, corporate work may not be best option for you.
- What are your future plans. Is this career helping you to achieve those plans?
Life as a Corporate Lawyer
It entails business and business related issues it deals with formation and operation of corporations and is related to commercial and contract law. This is a sector where corporate factors involve handling a wide range of legal issues for business, where corporate lawyer are involved in advising business on their numerous legal right. Corporate lawyers work in a law firm, where they council their clients and handle business transactions including negotiation, drafting, and reviewing of contracts and other agreements associated with the activities of the business, such as mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures; they also advise business clients on corporate governance. In addition corporate lawyers assist business clients with financial information.
Some lawyers choose corporate over litigation because they like working on business related issues. Other attorney who choose corporate have a habit or like working for hours. A corporate field gives you an exposure to a big law firm in a less time with a hefty money. But the hours of work compensate the money they receive. Normally a corporate lawyer has to work for 16+ hours a day, seven days a week, for weeks or months on end. The work of a corporate is much more sensitive than that of a litigant. In addition to this the work may be sometimes boring and tedious, and this can lead to burnout. A corporate job gives job security but at the same place the opportunity of growth is limited.
Practice area in corporate primary involves two requirements those are advice on compliance with various corporate governance for business functioning and advice on mergers and acquisition, restructuring, joint venture and business collaboration and tie ups. A corporate plays functions in both of these functions as an advisor and as a friend. In the nearest future, corporate law offers best projects considering that is significant demand and supply gamp. Other promising avenue is IPR law, Tax law, Competition law, Media law and real estate law.
How to design your CV if going for a corporate job
This template gives you an idea how to build your resume in a professional modern format, and to get prepared for your interview.
Life as a litigator
Litigation is an ultimate legal method for settling controversies or disputes between and amongst person, organizations, states and government. In litigation process, a case called (lawsuit or suit) is brought before a court of law suitably empowered to hear a case and helps them to resolve the issue. Litigation involves writing, reviewing documents and arguments.
This is a promising career all it needs is your dedication and hardwork. It promises greater challenges and the greatest rewards. One needs to make a lot of efforts and to work hard at the beginning, but as it is said “hard work pays” a litigator gets payed on his demand, he has to travel a long journey but this journey brings him to a safe destination. This career needs a lot of patience and but then you are your own boss, you need to work for yourself and there is no one governing you. As a litigator you are able to slay in all economies, unlike corporate where fortunes can rise and fall with economy.
Litigation is a fields that also provides an exposure to Legal process outsourcing (LPO). This emerging field obtains greater heights comparing to other nations. To know more about it click here.
Deciding career in Civil or Criminal is based on one’s choice and capabilities. In civil 99% cases never reach trial; they are settled or dismissed by the court. You can be a litigation support director, litigation paralegal one who is a right hand for litigator, or a trial consultant, choice is yours.
How to design your CV if going for Litigation
This template gives you an idea how to build your resume in a professional modern format, to enter the litigation field.
Litigation vs Law Firm
Both are rewarding career in their own ways. A litigating lawyer’s life starts with no money and no work, then initially there is less of money and more work, gradually with time and efforts you earn goodwill, you have a name and fame in the market. Every litigating lawyer goes through this phase (unless you are with the lit department of an international firm). Whereas in a law firm you get everything prepared you just need to work on it.
There are both positive and negative to choose in corporate and litigation as your practice area. I can tell you though the riskiest area in this profession is corporate attorney. When a market for corporate lawyer becomes bad, the economy gets low. However litigation is also limited due to the fact it is so difficult to go in-house, which many lawyers want to do.
Mid way solution
What if you are not able to decide which path to choose there is always a mid way solution, where you don’t want to decide where to go you can opt for both. A general commercial litigation involves virtually every type of dispute in business context, including breach of contract, partnership dispute, business tort etc. For example Indian Law Office which is a law firm and provides service in litigation. In civil litigation (matrimonial related matters, labor and service matters, motor accident claims, IPR related matters, consumer related and other civil matters), in criminal and corporate matters.