This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho.
Law schools in India are torn between two priorities – training law students according to the requirements of BCI recommended syllabus or training them to qualify for the dream jobs and practice opportunities.
Doing both at the same time is very hard.
Most law schools focus on the first one, leaving the students on their own when it comes to getting a job after graduation, although that is the top most priority of almost all law students.
They want to graduate with a well paying job.
One thing that the law school often promises at the time of admission, and does little to deliver over the years. At the end, it is easy to blame the student – oh, you are the one who didn’t do all the work to get the job you want!
But if you look at the ratio of people who manage to graduate with a respectable job from a law college v. all those who graduate with no jobs or jobs that pay less than minimum wage levels, you will realise that the problem is systemic.
Apart from other things, law colleges struggle to find teachers who can effectively and reliably deliver practical training to law students which can help the students and the institution to perform better than peers in terms of recruitment and career services. Law colleges are forced to hire UGC NET qualified teachers, who themselves have very little or no practical exposure, as there is no such requirement in their qualification process anyway.
So what do you think they can teach in terms of practical skills to the students?
Most of them simply teach some basic concepts, some sections from various statutes and some case laws. This really does not prepare the law graduates to work in the jobs that they seek to get.
The college tells the students: to learn the practical skills, you have to get internships where they will teach you all these practical skills.
This is a fairytale. It has one in a million chance surely, but it is not something we can count on, just like you will not plan your life based on the fact that you may win a lottery one day all of a sudden.
Also, will the law college help you to get an internship?
Absolutely not. Beyond 4-5 national law schools with a decent student run placement committee, rest have no internship support available for students to speak of.
You are on your own.
Then there is the most dangerous idea put into the head of law students: first you get a job, then someone will teach you how to do the work!
Sure! But if they do that, they will also pay you peanuts. As is the case with the vast majority of law graduates, up to several years after they join the workforce full time.
If you are up for struggling to find jobs that pay rent, forces you to choose between lunch money and buying a book, and keeps you poor for years as you try to learn basic legal work through observation and trial and error, by all means, do not invest in learning practical skills and keep waiting for your employer to teach things to you.
Ok, if that is not clear, let me ask you more directly.
Do you ever think: when I get a job, my seniors at work will teach me. It’s the responsibility of the employer to train me, how can I be expected to learn work before I even get my first job!
Here are the problems with that belief:
- Employers are not specialised in training junior lawyers. Some are good, but most are terrible at it. They do not even consider it their responsibility in most cases. At best, they think some basic explanation is enough, and it is up to you to learn more.
- You will get very little inputs in the form of training & have to learn mostly by observation. Or worse, trial and error. Most law graduates take years to learn what could be learnt within months from a systematic training program, such as the ones we offer at Lawsikho.
- Lawyers who have enough money to hire juniors/ law firm partners are already busy, & have very little time to dedicate to training juniors. They would hope that you are a fast learner & will learn to swim by virtue of being thrown into the ocean. If you sink, you sink. You can try another job if you can’t make it work here.
- Your seniors are hoping you will make their life easier, not more difficult. On top of everything else, now they have to train you! If you show them instead that you already know enough to get started and be useful to them right from the beginning, then you can get hired easily and ask for a much better salary and terms of employment.
- Most seniors had bad experiences where they trained a junior with a lot of effort & the moment this junior learned the work well, they left for another better paying job as there is always a high demand for well trained lawyers.
- If you make too many mistakes as you try to learn & deliver work at the same time, you will be criticized, may lose bonus, growth opportunities and even be asked to leave the job. You may get shouted at, which is likely to put a dent in your self esteem & sometimes make you quit what was once your dream career.
How are you going to supplement your law school education?
- You need to develop some areas of interest. Start with something that fascinates you. Try to read everything you can about it. Buy books. Watch videos on youtube, attend webinars, try to get in touch with people from that field of work on Linkedin, follow them on twitter. Do informational interviews. Expose yourself as much as possible to those fields of law, not by accident but by design. This will go a long way to develop outstanding knowledge, and more than that, a genuine interest and track record in that area.
- Produce content in that area of law that gets your long term interest. Start writing articles, make videos, post on social media, organize webinars, organize physical events and seminars, ask your friends and seniors to review what you are doing.
- Talk to our counselors at LawSikho. We train them extensively to help you to figure out a very specific career roadmap. How can you start learning practical skills that lead you to amazing opportunities such as well paid jobs, and even paid internships within the next 3 months?
It is possible, hundreds of law students are achieving those results every month with us. And it costs nothing to talk to our counselors. Even if you do not take a course, it’s cool.
Just have a chat, benefit from all the guidance, action points and roadmap. We know someday you will realise the value of what we are doing and come back 🙂 so we are not worried about investing our time in speaking to you. Neither should you worry about getting on a free discovery call with us.
Check it out for yourself.
Anyway, I hope you know that all LawSikho courses are backed by an ironclad 45 day money back guarantee. Just see our refund policy here.
Here are the courses that are open for enrollment at the moment:
- If you are interested in corporate governance, you should check out the diploma in Companies Act, Corporate Governance and SEBI Regulations;
- If you want to get that in-house counsel job, go check out the diploma in Business Laws for In-House Counsels;
- If Industrial and Labour Laws interest you, go take a look at that diploma course;
- The Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Laws will be booming in the coming times, if you’re inclined towards that career, check out that diploma course;
- If you’re sure that your niche lies in M&A, Institutional Finance and Investment Laws (PE & VC transactions), go check out that course;
- The Cyber Law, Fintech Regulations and Technology Contracts is in dire need of good young talent if that is what ticks for you, go check out that course; and
- Every young lawyer should check out our diploma course in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.
Check out our other executive courses which can be helpful:
- We have a certificate course in Advance Corporate Taxation;
- You can also check out this course for Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code;
- If Trademark, Licensing; Prosecution and Litigation interest you, we have a course for that;
- LawSikho also teaches Competition Law, Practice and Enforcement in a course;
- Technology Contracts will be essential to every business in the future, you can check out that certificate course; and
- Knowledge about Banking & Finance Practice: Contracts, Disputes & Recovery is essential for every BigLaw layer, you can check that out too.
Check out our new introductory courses
We have launched introductory small one month long courses on legal writing, media law and practice, corporate law practice exclusively for law students. We also have this course on decoding accounts and financial statements which can be very relevant for any young lawyer.
But the most popular course in this series is the one on introduction to contract drafting.
Do you know about our workshop?
LawSikho has been organising a ‘How To Get An Internship And A Job In A Law Firm’ workshop for the last two months. We keep getting requests to do more of these. On popular demand, we are organising this workshop today and tomorrow. Do check them out!
This workshop is for everyone who is interested in working at a law firm in the future, especially law students and young law graduates. This workshop is managed and hosted by two of our co-founders at LawSikho and our placement head. This workshop is a value add for every attendee and we keep getting positive feedback for it.
Do not miss it if you intend to work at a law firm in the near future.
Do you know about our webinars?
LawSikho offers amazing webinars that you can attend and learn from, with no charges, every day. Now we are even giving certificates to those who attend the full webinar. Check out some of our past webinars here: https://www.youtube.com/c/LawSikho/
While you can see past recordings of webinars on our YouTube channel, to participate in one personally is quite a different experience, as you can ask questions and interact with such amazing speakers and even other attendees. How can you attend these webinars in person? Sign up over here.
Get in touch with LawSikho
If you need any help from our side, you can always get in touch with us. Give us a call on 011 4084 5203.
LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join: