Senior advocate and junior advocate

This article is written by Diksha Chandok, a student of Amity Law School, on difference between Senior advocate and junior advocate.


Section 16 of the Advocates Act, 1961 states that there shall be two classes of advocates, namely, senior advocates and other advocates. A lawyer, with his consent, may be designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court is of that opinion that by virtue of his ability, [standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law] he is deserving of such distinction.

Collaboration: Capability or ability to show case your talent to multi-party work environment and this process shows your talent of working well in a team as well as it sets a collective contribution so as to satisfy the client. The main aim is to settle the ego and positions of each other to reach the maximum outcome.

Time management: Law demands hard work and hard work needs time and with that it also needs to prioritise their work, task and also delegate the work.

Credibility: Credibility is based on trust. The keystone of you career is built on this level of trust with your colleagues, clients, judges and sometimes even opposing counsel. But this quality or a trait which is not by birth but it is earned with time. The only effective way to build your career is trust and human interaction is a way to maintain it or destroy it. In this profession, one should be a man of words.

Confidence: Both personal and professional confidence is needed to become a senior advocate as analysing power of your decision time, advantages and disadvantages should be high. Confidence can be seen within yourself and it define you as you walk and talk. Even your gestures play a major role.

Attention to detail: While drafting any paper, misplace of single word can convert the meaning of the sentence. An advocate must have an accurate approach towards their work. Any mistake application can lead to rejection of your application.

Experience: Experience speaks. With your practise experience comes. It is one of the traits that a senior advocate has and through this experience an advocate can handle all the cases, circumstances and even all the unwanted situations. His handling power becomes prominent with comparison to others.
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Logical Thinking: A good lawyer always keeps his personal life separate from professional life and they usually are not emotional. But they need to understand the feelings of the other person and apprehend their issues. This trait is very important your personality. Your ability is tested when you can think in any circumstances or situations without even consulting your associates and then present that case in your favour in a reasonable or logical manner so as to win your case. Never take your opposite counsel personally because it’s about your client not about you and always be harmonious even with opposite counsel also.

Self control: Whether your case is on a negative track or a positive track control on emotions, expression and thoughts is also essential. You always need to think before you speak. If words are beneficial they can be harmful too.  .

Stability : A senior lawyer always have a stability in this thoughts as well as in his career. He can tackle every situation in a peaceful manner and have a conversation calmly without any aggression. Stability and maturity in professional or personal life comes with experience.


Difference between Senior Advocate and Junior Advocate?

  1. A senior advocate in general is based and judged on age and experience of a particular legal profession. It is also defined in Advocates Act as stated above. While a junior lawyer lacks experience and does not have much idea of how to tackle things and go around with them.
  2. Senior advocate has to follow a separate code of conduct. It is different from other lawyers.
  3. General people see an aged lawyer with good practice and experience as a ‘senior lawyer’ while a fresh lawyer needs to learn so many things from the senior lawyer and had to grasp some skills.
  4. Devotion and years of practice is the key behind the success of a senior lawyer while a junior lawyer lacks this skill and quality.
  5. Senior advocates are prohibited from doing some kind of legal work like drafting, etc while junior advocates have no such prohibition.
  6. The status of senior lawyer is designated to them by the Supreme Court or High Court on the basis of merit and seniority.
  7. The court can give this status to any advocate but with their consent if it is in the opinion because of his ability or special knowledge in law.
  8. A saving provision has been laid down with respect to the advocates who are right now senior advocates and who will continue to enjoy the status of senior
  9. A senior advocate is prohibited or banned from accepting some kind of legal work. For e.g. drafting, draw pleadings or affidavits,
  10. A senior advocate is not permitted to appear without an Advocate-on-record or without any junior.
  11. A senior cannot file any pleading or represent his client neither can draft an application by his own handwriting.

But this does not mean that it gives special favour or do any discrimination and if it does then it will violate Article 14 that is equality and Article 18 conferment of any title of the constitution


Senior advocate is recognition of his skills, experience, knowledge and expertise. If one is aspiring to become a senior advocate, then it needs lots of sweat taking hard work and with that special knowledge in the field of law. But only hard work is not the key to success with that you also need to do some smart work. Among that- building your communication skills, advocacy skills, counselling skills and use of your brain in multiple directions.

To become a senior lawyer and a have a special ability is not so easy task. Experience is one of the major factors which creates your confidence and leads you to the success.


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[1] The Advocates Act, 1961-chapter 3


  1. It’s not a proper differentiation. Perhaps the author should have elaborated further by taking reference from Supreme court rules 1966(2013) and Delhi high court rules . Also after Indira Jaising v. Supreme court of india 2017, there have been a lot of changes in the criteria.

  2. Although. I do not find myself being ‘the appropriate answer-maker owing to my knowledge as I have earned through my ages’, however I can try only to arrive at friendship level of accuracy for which,I may easily mention here, that there is no such word viz.,”JUNIOR” in the Advocates Act,1961 instead of Senior Advocates and Advocates” in the Act and hence no advocates are entitled as ‘Junior Advocate’ which is popularly and commonly termed as “Junior Advocate” instead of using as “Inferior to any Superior and/or Junior to any Senior etc.” and moreover, only QUALIFIED LAWFULLY either BCI and/or any State Bar Council’s are elligibly qualified ADVOCATE may opt in for remuneration for the services rendered by such qualified person being Advocate to any of the Corporate Sectors/Public Limited Company etc., but the factors are entirely depended upon the satisfaction of OWNERS/B.O.D/CHAIRMAN etc., of the Firms.[Friday,24th APRIL,2015//20:11:35 PM/Hr/IST]

  3. could you please enlighten me as to the title senior advocate is conferred upon after crossing certain age or the number of cases one has won or anything else.

    how long one can be titled as junior advocate.? can an advocate be employed in a company/corporate after getting registered with bar council of India or an advocate who is the BCI registered member function in corporate/company getting remuneration.

    please enlighten me.

    adv. v.sundarganesh


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