This article is written by Charul Mishra, a student pursuing B.A.LLB from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. In this article, the author has dealt with the pros and cons of doing law from India.
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Studying Law in India has become very popular these days. Inspiring from various famous lawyers for their critical thinking ability and speaking skills, the youngsters are aspiring to practice law in India. But unlike the T.V series “Suits”, studying law in India, in reality, is very different and away from all the sparkling. Although, there are various opportunities in the field of law which are very interesting and include a diversity of experience. But in the present times, studying law has become difficult because of the traditional teaching styles of the law schools and methods of learning, studying law in India is both beneficial and disadvantageous. In this article, the author has included an explanation of what are the pros and cons of learning law in India.
How to pursue Law in India?
There is no particular stream in which a student is required to pursue in their high school to get a degree in law, and students from all streams can follow this profession. In general, students who choose to study law right after their school pick up the fields of humanities or business. Political science, legal sciences, banking, history, and psychology are some of the common subjects for law-seekers. These subjects are recommended because they help to form a basis for the subjects taught in law schools and some of these are beneficial in providing students with an insight into our country’s legal system.
For pursuing law after completing High School, one should enrol themself into a 5-year integrated program. 5-Year L.L.B. degrees that teach basic graduation subjects along with the subjects of Law. The most common course combinations being offered are B.A. L.L.B. (Hons.), B.Sc L.L.B (Hons.), B.B.A. L.L.B. (Hons.), and B.Com L.L.B. (Hons.). The benefits of 5-year programs are that one gets exposure to Law subjects early alongside your graduation, giving you greater insights into the core subjects of law, and you also save a year of study as compared to law after graduation.
The top law institutes accept entry into their integrated 5-year system based on the results of entrance exams. Various Institutes of Law accept ratings from various entrances. Some of the top entrance exams for law aspirants are:
Common-Law Admission Test (CLAT)
It is a computer-based, two-hour standardized examination for admission to 18 prominent Indian national law universities. It covers objective type questions concerning elementary mathematics, English with understanding, general knowledge, current affairs, legal aptitude and logical reasoning.
All India Law Entrance Test (AILET)
National Law University (Delhi) conducts this examination to provide access to its Integrated B.A. L.L.B. (Hons.) and comprises sections such as English, General Knowledge, Legal Aptitude, Reasoning and Numerical Ability.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
It is a structured 3-hour 30-minute test designed to assess comprehension of reading, logical and critical thinking skills. Jindal Global Law School, Alliance School of Law, Law Faculty (SRM University), Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur) embrace these test scores among others.
Symbiosis Law Admission Test (SLAT)
This examination is conducted by Symbiosis International (deemed) University for admission to their undergraduate law programmes. It consists of parts such as Logical Reasoning, Legal Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and General Knowledge.
There’s another way to study law, but it isn’t considered nowadays. When a student wishes to graduate in any other subject, but later discovers that they want to take up law as a career. In such a scenario, he or she can still seek a law degree right after graduation via a 3-year L.L.B course. The only difference between a 3-year L.L.B. and 5-year L.L.B. is that the student learns only core law subjects in the former while the latter also teaches basic graduation subjects along with the core law subjects. The entrance tests you need to take in a 3-year L.L.B. program to ensure your admission are:
This examination is conducted by the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. It consists of parts such as English Language and Comprehension, Current Affairs, General Knowledge, Quantitative Aptitude, Analytical & Logical Thinking, and Legal Awareness & Aptitude;
It is conducted for admission to the Maharashtra Law Colleges including the renowned College of Government Law. The students are tested on their legal aptitude, general knowledge & current affairs, English and rational & critical reasoning.
Admission to its 3-year L.L.B. program is conducted by the Banaras Hindu University. This comprises sections such as English Comprehension, General Consciousness & Current Affairs, Aptitude & Cognitive Capacity and Basic Legal Awareness.
Advantages of studying Law in India
Following are the advantages of doing law in India:
Familiarity with the systems of the country
For an Indian Student, doing law in India is very advantageous. Since the students have been brought up in India, he or she is familiar with the economic and legal conditions of the country at the root level. He or she will have full knowledge about the past and present about the courts, legal system, and the law community. So, when he graduates from an Indian law university or college, he or she would not face many difficulties while entering into the profession.
Scope of law in India
With familiarity with the legal system of India, the scope for practicing is also wide for every Indian law student with welcoming streams. Some of the streams are as follows:
A lawyer can provide their corporate clients with in-house legal advice with their business matters. A corporate lawyer’s basic role is to prepare and negotiate contracts, resolve legal disputes and ensure that everything falls within the organisation and government’s defined rules and regulations.
Law firms are well-organized organizations composed of several attorneys or advocates who operate as one group together. These firms offer their clients legal advice and various other legal services.
A lawyer or advocate in litigation is defending the case of his / her client in court. One needs to clear the All India Bar Council Examination and get themselves enrolled in the Bar Council of a State for litigating.
Many law graduates join NGOs to work for social causes such as protection of the environment, gender issues, caste discrimination, working conditions, etc. You can also meet with foreign organisations such as the United Nations or with foreign tribunals such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Labor Organization etc.
Legal Publishing and Media
Many well-known lawyers also work as print media editors, such as newspapers, newspapers, and electronic media like news channels, where they put their writing skills to use and pass their legal knowledge on to the public. Professional Journalism involves reporting to the media on legal cases being conducted in court.
Indian Legal Services
Law graduates who have cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or State Public Service Commission (SPSC) Review may provide legal service in the Legal Affairs Department, Legislative Council in the Legislative Department or Justice Department of the Indian Government.
One can establish a career as an academician after studying law. To teach law, one must have completed L.L.B., L.L.M., and must have qualified the NET examination. It would be beneficial for both the students and the professor if the latter has acquired some experience practicing law, as they will be well versed with theoretical knowledge, and well equipped with practical experience. The disadvantages of studying law in India.
In India, present lawyers face one of the toughest jobs in the market. High numbers of jobs have been cut and salaries have collapsed, but law schools did not dial back on enrolment. Several lawyers were forced to settle for less than desirable jobs or change their professions entirely. An oversupply of lawyers coupled with rising competition has led many lawyers to reconsider the worth of their law degrees. The legal career is rapidly evolving, and lawyers no longer have a monopoly on the market.
From legal paper technicians to virtual law offices and legal blogs that offer self-help, presently, lawyers face pressure from a number of non-lawyer outlets. This does not mean that any of these sources are inherently reputable, or that they can produce the same outcomes that a qualified and knowledgeable lawyer would. But they are out there, and they draw several potential customers away from the real lawyers.
Law Students do not get enough practical experience while in law school
This is the huge disadvantage of studying law in India. The present model of legal education in India does not afford the opportunity for some development of these requisite skills, the law schools’ main emphasis is on theoretical studies. In this respect, it cannot be argued that they are failing in their task. This is the reason why most graduates are incapable of immediately trying a case, drafting a will, or doing many of the things that lawyers do. Basic to any explanation of the lack of practical training is an understanding of the university setting itself, and the ramifications of that setting which decrease the feasibility of the practical study.
Any proposal for more practical training in law schools will encounter obstacles caused by one or more of the following factors: lack of a physical and intellectual environment conducive to skills training, the educators’ preference for the theoretical and consequent disdain for the practical; the rapid growth of substantive law which precludes any sacrifice of time spent on the study of substantive law; and finally, the financial costs of such programs, which are presently viewed as prohibitive. The need for practical instruction will persist, but so shall the need for theoretical instruction. As the schools respond to the ever-broadening scope of the substantive law which must be taught, the probability of any change in the direction of more practical study rapidly diminishes. Thus, it appears that the student, educator and practitioner must accept the likelihood that graduates will continue to lack competent practical training.
Legal education is the cornerstone that can only build such responsible and sensitive social lawyering. Legal education equips law students to perform various positions in society to discharge different law work, the breadth and scope of which is continually increasing within the modern democratic society. For example, policymakers, managers, lawyers, etc., creating a social vision in a developing country like India is a crucial feature of legal education.
Thus, it becomes very necessary to reform the Indian legal education system so that whatever the disadvantages which are mentioned in the above heads don’t exist in future and our country generates good lawyering opportunities to the young practitioners, especially in the area of practical experience during graduation. The development of legal skills requires time, concentrated effort, and the proper environment. Unless major changes transpire, law schools will remain ill-equipped to provide these essentials.
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