This article on how to enter into a good law firm is written by Leepakshi Rajpal.
Planning to build a strong career once you graduate from a law school? Generally, the first years and the second years are tensed as to what they have to do within the legal field but when they reach the third year or so, they are pretty much enthusiastic about their careers. The point is why wait until the third year or the fourth year to decide what you want to actually do. This article will help in building up the chances of you getting into a law firm.
Types of Law Firms
Small Law firms
These firms are those firms which are also known as the bouquet of law firms because these firms generally pick up one to twelve attorneys and form a circle of advocates who work together. There can be a number of areas upon which they work, therefore versatility is also a paramount need in such firms. Apart from this, they play close attention to each other therefore, they may have a feel of a solo law firm being the group of attorneys at the same time.
Large law firms
Large law firms as the word suggests are the firms that offer a wide variety of legal services in different fields. They are specialized in all the legal services that they provide and may be spread out in the country. Usually, they are also known as the full-service provider firms and engage in providing services in any area of law. Mostly, in commercial transactions and mergers and acquisitions to take an example.
These firms are those firms which focus on the litigation work as their main task. They go to the courts, fight cases and win. Therefore these firms do not specifically have large teams or offices. They usually have small offices and litigation as their main purpose. Therefore, those students interested in litigation after their course can indulge in litigation firms during their internship so as to gain handful experience of the same and know the ground realities of the field.
Law firms are also field specific. Firms prefer practicing only in fields in which they are experts. Law firms practicing on the civil or the criminal side are the most commonly found law firm. Apart from these two traditional practices, further field specific law firms focusing on IPRs, Competition law, etc have mushroomed nowadays. These firms are those firms which are known by their practice area. For instance, if a firm is dealing with the issue of IPR, then it will be a law firm practicing IPR only and therefore, these firms have a lot to do with the career of the students. If the students are specifically interested in an area, they are always advised to go to such firms. They help in the advancement of the specialization skills at the practical level.
How to get into law firm
One of the major problems that have been faced by many students of our country is that they do not know what to do within the legal field or how and which firm to apply to. The first years and the second years may be new to the field but by the time you enter into your third year, it is the correct time for a realisation of entering into a law firm based on their field of interest, therefore it is very important to consider the appended points in order to have a good impact on the top law firms and getting selected for the internship or for a job or a pre-placement offer as the case may be.
Know which Kind of firm To Apply In?
The confusion with law students in the legal field is that they apply to many firms at the same time without even realising what firm is based on their interest field and what firm is completely opposite to the interest and therefore, raise their chances of getting rejected in a minute when they do so. Law firms are of significant nature and imbibe in them the very reason for their existence, for example, they might be litigating in nature and also they can be a non -litigating company. For instance, if the firm is a litigating firm, then the next issue that should arise in the minds of the students is that, what is the subject matter of their litigation. Is it the criminal law like the IPC, CrPC or the Indian Evidence Act, or the civil laws such as the Family law or the Civil procedure code.
Know your Interest Field
You must know where the interest field lies and for this to develop, you must know the following things:-
- Know your interest
- Read a lot of newspapers and case studies to know your field of interest
- Pen down the important points of the interested field daily
- Learn and be ready to accept new challenges
Build Your CV
Another prominent factor when you apply in a law firm is that how you represent yourself in the curriculum vitae. A Curriculum vitae is the most important factor in a student’s life. Whatever you do in your college days, comes in the Curriculum vitae. Once you are sure about your interest field, get into building your CV and know what is right and wrong for your career. For example if you are interested in research, then go onto writing research paper and participate in the competitions and win and put that in your CV on the other hand if you are interested in arbitration, go for negotiation and arbitration competitions and write research articles related to that, or maybe if you are interested in litigation, indulge yourself in moot courts and trial advocacy competitions that gives your CV an edge over the others.
Indulge in Courses that suit your interest
Another vital aspect of the law is that it is infinite and there is no end to it. Therefore, whether you are in a 3 year LLB course or a 5 year LLB course, one thing that matters is that how much extra you have done. Therefore, the education that we get in the 5 years or the 3 year BA LLB course is the basic education that we get. Therefore, living in the 21st century does not require us to be basic and in pursuance of the degree, we have to indulge in the courses that feed our hunger for knowledge. iPleaders itself provides for the numerous courses that can make you have an edge over the others in obtaining the job that you have been looking for.
Field-specific Mooting and Research Papers
One of the greatest factors for selection of an individual into a top tier law firm is the ability to research and this is evident through the research papers that you write. Research papers represent the quality and quantity of the research you engage in and therefore they provide an edge over the others. Now, the problem that arises is that students are not specifically taught how to write research papers and therefore, they generally fail to realize the importance of it. The basic method of writing research paper is mentioned below:-
- The first step in writing the research paper is the choosing the topic to research on. This step helps in the formation of the map which will help you build your research paper basis on.
- The next step is to know the importance of the topic, along with the need and the historical background of the same. Once you know the historical basis of the topic, you also understand the context in which it was used and the importance of it.
- Then after this, you analyze the historical understanding and importance in accordance with the modern day needs and requirements of the same.
- The next thing to do is to remember the format of the article and contents of the same, explain them and most importantly analyze them in your own way and style.
- Remember that the paper should be free from plagiarism and that there needs to be a flow of thoughts along with the words. Therefore, jot down the flow chart before you begin the research paper.
- Recommendations and solutions to your critics also form the basis of the research paper that you write and therefore it helps to quickly go through the paper without going into detail. It should serve the basis of the topic and analysis of the same.
- The conclusion should not be lengthy while focussing in brief on all the topics covered including the recommendations and the analysis.
- The tips and tricks to effective Mooting and writing skills can be learnt from Online courses like this one. These help you write various research papers and improve on your writing style as you grow in the field.
Know what to Indulge in and What not to
When you are applying in a law firm, you really should know the essence of working in a law firm. The application should not be meaningless. For instance, if you are applying in an IPR firm, you should focus on the IPR field and should not apply until and unless you have the required experience for the same. Suppose your CV has research papers written in the field of environmental law, human rights and international human rights, but you have applied in an IPR firm, your chances of getting selected will be nil. Show the recruiter what he wants to see, and not what you have got in your intellectual account.
5 Reasons Why you should join a Law Firm
There are several reasons why one joins a law firm, especially in India but the top 5 reasons of why you should join a law firm are as follows and can be used in the practical world.
(1) To learn a marketable skill that is in demand in the business world and that you can later use to get clients.
(2) To utilize the law firm as an entrepreneurial platform to solve problems encountered by businesses.
(3) To learn how to run a business and sell your services to businesses willing to pay law firm prices for those services.
(4) The law firms pay a lot of money, while you still train yourself so what could be a better option.
(5) As an attorney in a small firm you are responsible for your firm’s success, and your own success. The fewer people there are in a firm, the greater the accountability and the rewards for each person.
What subjects to focus on inside the Law School
Everyone in the law school wonders what to do and what not to, which subjects to chose and which not to, therefore when you are stuck in such a situation, make sure you are able to understand that law is not about mugging up theories and books, it is much more than that. It is about how well do you understand the ground realities of the society and how well you know your capabilities and potential to resolve any problem.
Once, in your law school you should focus on the following points:-
- Focus on the subjects that interest you since the first year itself – This means that figure out in the first year itself what interests you and what does not. Start focussing on the subjects that interest you and build on that.
- Focus on the law firm or the company you want to get in and therefore, focus on the areas in which they work the most.
- Participate in the moots related to those areas and get yourself involved in those subjects which not only interests you but also interests the law firm you want to get it.
- Write research papers regarding the area of interest and get them published.
- Read and research from quality portals such as SCC online, Manupatra, Westlaw and LexisNexis.
- Refer to online blogs such as iPleaders https://blog.ipleaders.in/blog/.
- Contribute those articles which raise the business for any firm or company and also focus on innovation in those articles.
Business Law Course and It’s Benefits
Law school do not train students on the practical front of the legal profession. This training comes when one gets inside a law firm and is bombarded with real practice of law. Law firms prefer candidates already equipped with a certain amount of practical learning. How to get equipped with the relevant practical skills?
The Indian Contract Act is taught in the first year itself. But what about drafting of contract? Drafting is where we apply all the theoretical knowledge while dealing with practical situation. Course on Contract Drafting will enable you with all the required practical skills which you will need as a beginner to get into a law firm.
https://onlinecourses.nujs.edu/courses/diploma-entrepreneurship-business-laws/, This is the link to the course that I am talking about. If you engage in this, it will give you all the relevant experience that you have been looking for and also will give you an insight into the practical world of today with the practical application of law unlike the normal and regular study of the law. The courses helps in gaining hands-on experience in the practical legal field before you even pass out and therefore, helps you to stand out of the regular crowd that everyone is in.
This was all on how to enter into a good law firm. What are your suggestions on how to enter into a good law firm? Comment below and let us know.