This article is written by Ronika Tater from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, School of Law. In this article, she discusses the differences, advantages, and disadvantages between judicial services and corporate houses thereby, providing suggestions to justify the title of the article.
Do you have doubts concerning whether to opt for judicial services or a corporate house after graduation? Certainly, you do. To be confident that a bright future awaits for you, clarity on why what and how you should pursue the right career is the sine qua non. In time gone by, asking questions and seeking guidance from the right people makes a tremendous difference in one’s life. Earlier, while deciding whether to opt for judicial services or corporate house, several questions came to the mind of fresh law graduates that were unanswered leaving them in confusion and sometimes making the wrong decision in their life and regretting it later. Back in those days, they did not come across any such opportunity where their doubts could be eliminated. However the time is different, but the question remains the same. Stay on the positive side. Don’t get confused as this article is going to show the right way and support you to make the right decision for yourself.
Career in judicial services
John Marshall said: “The power of Judiciary lies, not in deciding cases, not in imposing sentences, not in punishment for contempt, but the trust, faith, and confidence of the common man.” This means that if the judiciary loses the trust, faith, and confidence of the common man, that will be the end of the rule of law and democracy. There cannot be a strong and vibrant judiciary unless the judges are persons of integrity. Hence opting for judicial services requires a lot of responsibility. This profession not only provides challenges in life but also brings benefits with the service such as travel allowance, electricity allowance, fixed salary, rent allowance, and any other benefits to make the life of judicial officers at ease. There is a lot of respect and power to decide on matters relating to nation-building. For someone who wants to invest his whole life working for society, they should consider this as the best career option for themselves.
Considering the present scenario the judiciary has played a paramount role in the society through their judicial precedent and making socio-economic, political changes in the society. For example, the Nirbhaya case (2012) or Triple Talaq case (2019) made the whole world realize the power of the judges.
Skills of judges
The judges by his conduct, decision-making process, and by rendering decisions, fairly, equitably, and justly earn the trust and respect for the judiciary from the public and the members of the bar. Hence, he/she has to develop certain skills as below-mentioned:
Judicial skills: Firstly, you should have a thorough knowledge of the procedural laws and a broad acquaintance with the substantive laws and fundamental legal principles. Secondly, you have to develop the skill of giving a due hearing, the first principle of natural justice- audi alteram partem which means that hear both sides or no man should be condemned unheard.
Administrative skills: side by side with the judicial skills, you have to develop five administrative skills as follows:
- Time management- As you have about 250 working days in a year and you should know how much time you require for preliminary work, evidence recording and also maintaining some time slots for your physical and mental well-being and time for your family. Hence it is not a 9-5 hour job.
- Board management- On average, you should know how to manage your boards and cases per day. The lesser the number of hearings in a case, the speedier will be the disposal of the case and the lesser the harassment of the litigant.
- Registry management- You should have to exercise control and supervision over your courtroom officers, stenographers, clerical and attendant staff, in order to ensure that they are working effectively and efficiently. It is important to note that if the staff are not efficient, or lack integrity or courtesy, it would indirectly reflect upon the functioning of the court.
- Bar management- Full cooperation of the lawyers is needed while disposing of the case expeditiously or effectively. Hence you should build a reputation with the lawyers that will not permit unnecessary evidence, lengthy arguments, and frivolous submissions to waste the valuable time of the court.
- Self-management- This means self-discipline, commitment, and hard work. It refers to maintaining good health both physically and mentally and being punctual to the court. It also means being properly and neatly dressed and groomed.
Judicial ethics– To be a good judge you need to cultivate these five main ethical principles in your daily life as below-mentioned:
- Judicial aloofness and detachment- Distinguish between what is wrong and what is right;
- Integrity and honesty;
- Judicial independence- You are required to render justice following the law, and not justice as per your convictions or what you consider as just;
- Humility (judicial temperament);
- Impartiality- Freedom from prejudice and bias;
How to become a judge
One can become or apply for a judgeship by qualifying the exam of Judicial Service Examination conducted by a Public Service Commission. For this, the basic criteria should be satisfied such that the age limit varies from state to state for example in the case of Rajasthan, the age limit is 23 years of age. Every state has its age limit and the person should hold a certified and recognized law degree from the university or institution or the person has enrolled with the membership in the state bar council before seating for the exam.
Appointment of Judges
The Indian Constitution follows a three-tier judicial system that involves the Union Judiciary, the State Judiciary, and the Subordinate Judiciary. For a fresh graduate to enter into judicial service for the post of Civil Judge or Magistrate the judicial examination is conducted by the state government under the supervision of the respective High Court who appoints members of the lower judiciary based on the competitive examination. Eligibility criteria for lower judiciary service:
- Candidates must have a law degree.
- They must have enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as an advocate under Advocates Act, 1961.
- Age limit is from 21-35 years, however, it may vary according to State.
The Judicial Services Examination is conducted in three stages as below-mentioned:
- Preliminary Examination– It serves as a screening for the mains exam, the type of question in this stage is a Multiple Choice question with negative marks or not, there is an exception in some states. The minimum qualifying marks in the preliminary examination is around 60 per cent for general and 55 per cent for reserved categories.
- Main Examination– It is a written or subjective-based examination. The examination consists of three or four papers that differ as per the states. The marks secured in these stages are counted for the final selection.
- Interview– This is the final stage of selection for judicial services, in this stage candidates are assessed on their personality, character, intelligence and their confidence to hold the judicial seat.
Hence, pursuing judicial services requires complete dedication and passion towards the judicial systems as many cases in India are pending and there is a vast requirement in this field. If you have the desire to serve the nation diligently and work for the people of the country by providing them justice and safeguarding their rights then this is the right career.
A career in corporate houses
The corporate sector in India, as a developing country has witnessed immense growth and development in recent times. The corporate sector is the backbone of the Indian economy, and the growth and career opportunities in this sector are diverse and this is the reason why more and more young aspirants are adopting this profession. A career in the corporate sector is one of the greatest things as it involves looking at all legal and external affairs for matters not limited to but including litigation, compliances, due diligence, mergers and acquisition, drafting, negotiating contracts, monitoring compliances, legal rules and legal disputes and international trade issues. It is a study of the interaction between the shareholders, directors, employees, community and environment. It focuses on how corporations and companies interact internally and externally through commercial transactions and corporate governance.
Different roles in the corporate houses
A fresh law graduate has a diverse option when it comes to working in corporate houses. The following are the place where a corporate lawyer works as below-mentioned:
- Law firms– Most of the corporate lawyers work in the law firms as it provides various activities such as drafting agreements for mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, negotiation or legal advice or legal consultant or any other corporate law related matters. Most of the graduating students sit for interviews or placement for corporate jobs due to the diverse amount of work provided.
- Corporate litigation– Many lawyers after graduation go for corporate litigation as it involves work on torts, contract issues, and legal problems of the corporation. As corporate litigation is directly in connection with the courts and knows the working and process of the court system.
- In-house counsel– Law as a career provides a vast range of opportunities in itself and working as an in-house lawyer can be an example of this. In the case of an in-house counsel, they only have one client which is the company they work for. The lawyer in such a case deals with all the matters of that particular company and hence does not have any time to recruit or work for any other company or client. They work in the areas such as drafting, negotiation on the behalf of the company. Also since many corporations are multinational companies, they have a global presence in such a circumstance international law plays an important role. In a nutshell, members of the in-house legal team tend to be generalists.
- Regulatory bodies– Corporate lawyers can also work with various regulatory bodies in the government sector such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Competition Commission of India, and many more. It includes working closely with various departments, including surveillance, investigation, legal affairs, and litigation.
Necessary skills required for a corporate lawyer
To ensure quality guidance and diverse perspective one may follow the below-mentioned points:
Building curriculum vitae– It is a vital part of acquiring a corporate job, you need to adequately convey your expertise and knowledge about corporate law in a justified format. The following are the ways for effective CV:
- Make an objective statement- This means a personal statement about why you want to work as a corporate lawyer and how you would benefit the organization, career goals. The most effective objective statement that matches the candidate’s skills and qualifications to those in the job description will be selected.
- Optimize the experience section- Mention the specific positions, accomplishments, and skill set in this section.
- Computer skills or software skills distinguish your CV from others.
Specialization in the particular field of corporate law– To have an extra edge for excelling in corporate law, a law degree is not sufficient the employer is looking for specialization. Hence the law students are advised to do as many internships with corporate firms and specialize courses to excel or polish their drafting skills.
Stay updated– Being a lawyer itself requires a lot of reading and being updated about everything happening around the globe. Stay updated on social applications such as Linkedin, Naukri, and such profiles up and running.
Hence, corporate law provides versatile options in the field of law, both in the government and private sector and has vast amounts of opportunities for a career in corporate houses. A fresh law graduate can choose any area of practice in corporate and excel in his/her interest.
Deciding on what career path you wish to take as a fresh graduate is crucial for all your future goals and personal growth and development. Don’t miss any opportunity in front of you to make an informed decision.
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