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This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho.

Let’s say you want to work with a lawyer to gain experience. What is the right way to find a senior who can really help you to learn and grow?

One thing you should remember at this point is that no good lawyer wants to spend a lot of time teaching junior lawyers, no matter what they may say to the contrary. Good lawyers are super busy and their time is worth a lot. Any time they save they would like to spend on themselves or with their loved ones, and not with juniors teaching them how to work.

And this is why, senior lawyers value juniors who are really good at their work and make the life of a senior easier. Your ability to find a place in a good senior lawyers chamber as well as retain that place depends on your level of skills, and on how much you are able to help those lawyers with their day to day work. If you struggle with basics, you are not going very far, maybe except finding a corner to sit in someone’s office for a while.  

So assuming you are ready to work with a great senior and add value, how do you go about finding the right person?

#1Pick a niche

It is easier to succeed as a niche lawyer, and you are also more likely to earn more as a specialized niche litigator. Pick an area – it could be real estate, telecom, company law, competition law, insolvency, banking litigation, securities law, NDPS, electricity or tax. Anything that has good volume and preferably something new with relatively fewer practitioners is fine. 

Going for usual civil or criminal courts, or High Court or Supreme Court especially is a little harder as these are overcrowded courts where making a mark will be harder and will take way much longer. 

Also, see if you have any passion for the kind of work that you are going to pick up. It is always far easier to do well in something that you are truly passionate about.

There are seniors who have already made a good name in any given niche, and you should aim to work with one of them.

#2 Go through the orders of the last 6 months

You should study the orders given in the last 6 months by courts. Are there some lawyers who are repeatedly mentioned as counsels in many of the judgments? List down the names of such lawyers. Clearly, these lawyers are very busy, have a lot of work, and will certainly be in the need for high-quality juniors who can make their lives easier. 

This is an important step. Do not rely only on hearsay. You need this evidence to know who is truly appearing in a lot of matters because more you ask around, different people would give you totally different and confusing opinions about which lawyers are doing the most exciting work and only by seeing the court orders you will come to know the truth. 

#3 Attend court and see senior lawyers argue

You should also attend courts and tribunals and see how the lawyers you have listed down argue before the court. Does it inspire you to see them in action? Who inspires confidence? 

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Try approaching them outside courtroom and ask for their mentorship and guidance. Find any excuse you can find to interact with them. When you speak to them one-on-one, you will know who exactly it is that you want to eventually work with.

#4 Offer to work for free

The problem with the popular and successful lawyers is that they have no space usually in their chambers. They already have enough juniors. They are also always getting many offers to take up people as juniors and they do not have the time, space or inclination to entertain more juniors.

However, you can still get through. You simply ask to work for free. Tell them that you just want to learn and expect nothing in return. This makes it easier for them to say yes.

If you do well while you are in their chamber, if they see that your work is truly making their work easier, they will offer money to you on their own. They value their time more than their money because they are earning money by the bucketloads, so they do not mind paying living wages to a good junior. 

Unfortunately, most juniors waste their time, and that is the only hardship. Be a junior who saves their time and effort, and money will be not hard to find. 

#5 What are their past juniors doing

This is a very important question. What are their previous juniors now doing? Are they practicing independently? Are they doing well in life? What do they say about their ex-boss? This is an important factor. 

There are plenty of good lawyers who are terrible bosses. Your senior can help you a great deal – such as referring government panels or well-paying clients to you. But would he? Not everyone does.

You need to do this due diligence about any senior you are planning to join. 

How can LawSikho help you?

We have a bunch of courses that will help you a great deal to perform really well when you find the right senior. Also, we always recommend our top students to very good seniors if they are interested in litigation. We would also help you to pick the right niche where you can grow very fast. Take a look at some courses here:

DIPLOMA

Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

Diploma in Cyber Law, Fintech Regulations and Technology Contracts

Diploma in M&A, Institutional Finance and Investment Laws (PE and VC transactions)

Diploma in Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Laws

EXECUTIVE CERTIFICATE COURSES

Certificate Course in Capital Markets, Securities Laws, Insider Trading and SEBI Litigation

Certificate Course in Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

Certificate Course in Labour, Employment and Industrial Laws for HR Managers

Certificate Course in Advanced Criminal Litigation & Trial Advocacy

Certificate Course in Real Estate Laws

Certificate Course in Media and Entertainment Law: Contracts, Licensing and Regulations

Certificate Course in Legal Practice Development and Management


Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skill.

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