This article is written is written by Vasudha Krishnamurthy. This article talks about how is law as a career in India.
Law as a career in India
In India, Law has always been considered a noble and respectable profession. The roots of our country have the work of great lawyers involved, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Madan Mohan Malviya, Dadabhai Naoroji, Motilal Nehru and others. These great lawyers not only practiced law but also made immense contributions in the National freedom struggle. The lawyers then and the lawyers now have always been meticulously helping in regulating the legal system of our country. The lawyers help the society and ensure that the legal machinery is regulated. They support members of the society by representing them in cases, by filing PILs, by giving them suitable legal advice on matters sought by the clients, and most importantly to help the client get justice. Anybody in the legal profession is always treated with utmost respect and consideration. This is because the legal profession is so noble and prestigious in nature. The very fact that a person is a part of the legal system makes the other members respect him. This shows what a noble profession ‘Law’ is. This paper attempts to list down and analyze the reasons why the law is a noble profession. The reasons are as follows:
DIVERSITY IN CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
As long as there is a society, there will be a necessity for lawyers. People of the society and the lawyers are mutually dependent. The individuals need lawyers to get out of trouble, to represent them in legal proceedings and to ensure that the laws of the land are properly implemented and the lawyers need to perform such services for livelihood and to help make corrections in the societal behavior. The reason a career in law is so recommendable and prevalent is that of its diversity. A student pursuing law can take up the following careers with just a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. The available opportunities in the legal field are as follows:
- A lawyer is also known as an attorney or counselor in some parts of the world. The main functions of a lawyer are to litigate, to provide service to the clients, to advise the clients on matters sought by them, to represent the clients whether prosecution or defence in both trials as well as appellate courts.
- A lawyer can perform paralegal functions such as drafting of court documents, drafting legal documents, perform legal research and to assist the senior counsels with whatever they require from time to time.
- Compliance analyst- The main function of such an analyst is to ensure good governance, risk management and compliance of the company or firm they work for with the laws of the land. They must ensure that the company’s policies, rules, and bylaws are in accordance with the constitution and other legal statutes of the country.
- Judge- A lawyer, can undoubtedly enter into the judiciary. They can become a Judge or a Magistrate. They can use this position to ensure that the disputes are settled fast and in accordance to principles of natural justice, they preside over all the court proceedings and are empowered to give rulings in favor of the deserving party in a dispute.
- Arbitrator, also known as a mediator ensures that the disputes between parties are settled in a smooth and amicable manner. He guides and persuades the parties to arrive at a compromise or at a settlement without going to the court as such.
- Stenographer- He is a court reporter, who sits in the courtroom and assists the Judges. They have to make a note of every word spoken during a proceeding. They transcribe the legal proceedings in court and every other following aspect until the end of a dispute.
- Civil services- Another excellent career option for law students is to be a part of the government. They can, by clearing the UPSC exams, become civil servants and help in effective administration and management of the country.
- Others- There are many other careers available to a law student such as a forensic expert, law firm administrator, in-house counsel, court clerk, law professor, Legal career counselor, Dean of a law school, litigation support professional, legal analyst, conflict analyst, etc.
INFLUENCING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
As members of the legal system, we have to understand the main objective of the law, which is to regulate and influence human behavior. Today, we have laws for everything, from major crimes to simple things like construction of roads. We have laws that are of civil, criminal and constitutional nature. All of these laws, in the end, aim at regulating the behavior of the members of the society. Since the laws restrict most of the wrong activities, humans, as a result, become more obedient. For instance, more people wear helmets while riding, because it has been penalized by the law. This has helped alter their behavior. Law ensures that people are more responsible. For example, we have laws that ban alcohol consumption or laws that impose a duty to care for the environment, the public and one’s neighbors. This makes the citizen more responsible. Thus, the lawyers are indirectly helping the people to modify their behavior. The lawyers help correct wrong behavior by punishing those who do wrong activities.
We all know that law is a noble and prestigious profession, but have we ever wondered why? The reason is simple. It is because a large number of people depend on the lawyers to obtain fairness, equity, and justice. The lawyers become officers of the court, and this is no piece of cake. They have to finish their graduation, pass an All India Bar examination and only then can they start practicing. Law is one of the most honorable professions because of the power, prestige, and dignity attached to this position. Lawyers put behind their self-interest and work toward the betterment of their client. The lawyers diligently work towards helping their client get justice and to punish the wrongdoers. The judges, similarly, work in a humble and diligent manner to ascertain which party is right and which is wrong. They provide judgment in such a manner as to punish the wrongdoer but also to compensate for the victims’ loss. They put in a lot of effort for the same and have all the power to make appropriate decisions. Because of this unrestricted power, they are considered prestigious.
HELP CHANGE THE WORLD
Lawyers are in a unique position to help individuals, groups, and organizations to deal with their legal problem and to ensure that they help them to obtain justice, equity and fairness in the given circumstances. We can say, without any hesitation that lawyers help change the world-One person at a time. Helping the people around the world is like helping the world, similarly, helping to change the behavior of people around the world constitutes what is changing the world. Lawyers can help change the world by helping and representing the vulnerable sections of the society. They can help represent the victims of child labor, forced labor, trafficking, domestic abuse, elderly, abandoned, and any other groups of people who are not in a mental or economic position to voice their opinions and concerns. In India, this is done by many Public spirited lawyers who are known as public interest lawyers. They file and represent affected and vulnerable groups of people by means of a Public interest litigation. By this litigation, they intend to provide the vulnerable groups’ justice by giving them adequate remedies and restoring them to a good state.
OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH AND REPRESENT FAMOUS PEOPLE AND BUILD ONE’S NETWORK
Although this might not happen at the beginning of a legal career, with eventual career growth and success, the chances to work with important personalities and famous people increases. For instance, a successful Cyber lawyer may get a chance to work with CEO of IT companies, such as Salil Parekh, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Jong-Kyun Shin, Bill Gates, Tim Cook, etc. In case they are working for the Media Industry, they can work with famous people such as singers, actors and famous directors of movies. In case they are working for the Government, they can work with the ministers of various departments such as Ministry of defense, Telecommunication, Health, Law, and justice, Etc. The more success a lawyer gets in his career, the more are his chances to represent famous people. It is a great pride for a lawyer to represent such great people. We all want to eventually want to be around the best of the best in the country or world. Thus, lawyers can be around such famous and inspirational people during the case and have the honor to represent them as well. Working with such people helps build one’s network in the legal field.
THE PROFESSION IS VERY CHALLENGING
The legal field is very challenging for both the lawyers as well as paralegal appointed. They have to deal with the challenging issues of the society, legal reasoning of such problems and give a clear picture of what the position is to the clients. The lawyers have to analyze each fact of the case in a step by step manner so that they are fully aware of the facts and circumstances under which the incident occurred, and thus are able to represent the client in a court proceeding. Lawyers have many challenges to face such as effective client management, analysing and understanding the facts and circumstances of the case, keeping track of the cases yet to be decided, keeping up with the facts of the case as they can change from day-to-day in one case itself, keeping up with the technology used in present-day legal systems, etc. The members of the legal system, on account of solving and handling such challenging issues, naturally have the ability to solve and deal with any kind of problems.
OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE WITHIN THE LEGAL FIELD
A practicing lawyer can work with a wide variety of settings and ventures. Those who are part of the legal field can easily transition from one career venture to another. They may, in their initial years after graduating from law school use their time to explore various opportunities before they blindly settle onto one. They can switch from litigation to corporate work, from civil to criminal to constitutional areas of practice, they can try out various positions in a corporate-like compliance manager, legal analyst, legal advisor, conflict manager, etc., they can change their choice of practice of law or field of practice itself. For instance, they can join the judiciary, join the executive sector of the government, join politics and the legislature, etc. The reason lawyers are so flexible is that there is no complexity in the transition process. They can freely move from one career opportunity to another or even experiment under the same career opportunity. This is one of the most advantageous aspects of a legal profession as it doesn’t make the job monotonous and there is scope to experiment.
RESPECT AND ESTEEM ATTACHED TO THIS PROFESSION
Lawyers are looked up to in most countries. They are the most highly esteemed bunch of professionals in the society. People respect lawyers and those in the legal profession mainly because they have unrestricted power to save and help the people of the country. They are respected for the way they carry themselves, for the way they conduct in courts and in public, for their attires and for the extensive vocabulary they use in their ordinary courtroom communication and legal documentation. They are respected because they deal with the truth and uphold values such as justice, equity, fairness in the society. This is a different kind of respect associated with only the legal profession and is of such a nature that no one can put a price on it. Even those lawyers who have come from lower or middle-class backgrounds are treated with immense respect and dignity once they occupy a position in the legal system. No one forces the public to respect the lawyers, judges, magistrates, etc. Such a respect that they get is earned as a result of the nobility of their profession and not as a result of the imposition of any rule.
THE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL INVOLVED
Lawyers’ job is no longer a 9-5 desk job as it used to be once upon a time. Nowadays, legal jobs involve a lot of traveling. Traveling can be within the city, between two cities, within the country or even traveling abroad as the circumstances may demand. For instance, a lawyer has to travel to the Sessions court, district court and High court for a particular case. In case of an appeal, he has to travel to the Supreme Court of India. In case of International law cases, they have to travel to the country of the party involved. Sometimes during arbitrations, they might have to visit another country to amicably settle the disputes. A lawyer has to travel from one office to another, from one chamber to another and from one court to another. Besides this, lawyers travel around the state, around the country or even to foreign countries based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
THE REMUNERATION ASPECT
Although money is not the sole reason to pursue any career, it cannot be avoided. Income is at the end of the day our only source of livelihood. We cannot merely run behind what interests us and what we are passionate about without considering the financial aspects. Thankfully, the legal field is a perfect blend of passion and pay. It is an interesting and challenging field, but also is well paying. In India, lawyers working in the courts get paid a salary based on the type of law they are practicing. A lawyer is sometimes called upon to perform the role of advisor or counselor to help clients with problems such as divorce, relationships between parents and children, drafting wills, drafting contracts and other matters. The general range in which the lawyers are paid based on their specialization or field of practice is Rs. 15,000-20,000 for a civil lawyer, Rs. 30,000-40,000 for a corporate lawyer, Rs. 20,000-25,000 for a criminal lawyer and around Rs. 20,000 for a divorce lawyer. This is for fresher’s who have just graduated. The pay of a practicing lawyer is directly proportional to his experience. Lawyers have good earning potential, but the pay depends on a number of factors such as location, experience, Number of cases the firm is currently handling, etc.