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Introduction to Law

Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s dictionary describes a lawyer as someone who is skilled in the ‘circumvention of the law’. The notion of a lawyer who is adept at finding ‘loopholes’ in the system is a popular one in our country too but we cannot deny that to one up the law one must know the law. From writers to politicians to freedom fighters, lawyers have donned many hats. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Franz Kafka and Abraham Lincoln – all these were lawyers.

Law is one of the popular career choices in our country for a long time. Those whose families have been into the profession for generations in India usually opt to study law too. However, to become a lawyer it is not mandatory to have a family background in law neither is it necessary that you belong to an affluent family. Anyone can choose to study law as long as one has the passion for it.

Traditionally, students could specialize in either civil or criminal laws. However, this concept has changed and now students can opt to specialize in any of the various options offered like patent laws, corporate laws, etc. A degree in law not only lets you practice as a lawyer in the courts in the company but also opens up career options in sectors like corporate management, legal services and administrative services.

Students interested in making a career in law can either do a three-year law course after graduation in any discipline or a 5 years’ course after 12th class. In fact, the 3 years’ course is now giving way to the 5 years’ one which is seen as a better option. In most cases, colleges run the 3 years’ course only for those whose main discipline in graduation is something other than law, or working professionals who want to do an LLB as an additional qualification. The five year course is meant for those who want to take up law as a career – be it as a litigator, or any other kind of legal professional.

The LLB course is regulated by the Bar Council of India which sets rules and regulations regarding legal practice in the country. Any specialisation is done at masters, MPhil or PhD stage. A higher degree helps candidates get jobs in academics.

 

How to Get Started?

A candidate can start preparing for law entrance exam conducted at national level for 5 years’ BA LLB at various National Law Schools soon after completing the senior secondary exam. The national law entrance exam, CLAT (Combined Law Admission Test) basically tests the student’s general english, legal aptitude, general awareness, logical skills, etc. 

Some universities which offer the three years’ LLB conduct entrance exam which have a syllabus on the same lines.

Is It the Right Career for Me?

Law is a career which requires loads of patience and logical skills. It takes lots of hard work and dedication to become a successful lawyer. First generation lawyers particularly face numerous problems in their profession as is true of every other profession. It becomes easier if one trains under a Senior Counsel in the beginning of their career. This is not to say that newbies cannot make it own their own. Anything is possible with determination and of course, hard work. Great communication skills and a faculty for critical analysis and articulation are pre-requisites for lawyers. Therefore, one should analyze these points before opting for law as a career.

 

Fee Structure

Three years’ LLB course usually involves lesser expenses in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for three years.  The 5 years’ BA LLB comparatively costsa little more in the lieu of about Rs 3,00,000 for five years. Hostel expenses are exclusive of the tuition fees.

 

Funding and Scholarship

Not many law schools offer financial help on the basis of entrance exam. The student must talk to the authorities and find out the specific policies on scholarship from respective universities. Students can also opt to take a bank loan or apply for various scholarships that are offered from time to time.

 

Job Prospects

There are a plethora of opportunities for a law graduate. One can either practice as an advocate in a court of law or work with corporate firms. By clearing exams conducted by Public Service Commissions, a law graduate can become a judge. After gaining experience, a law graduate can hope to become Solicitor General, a Public Prosecutor or offer services to government departments and ministries. One can also work as a legal adviser for various organisations. Teaching in colleges, working with NGOs and working as a reporter for newspapers and television channels are other attractive options.

 

Salary

Whereas a lawyer who wishes to start practicing in  a court can get a stipend of Rs 5000 to Rs 40,000 depending upon the advocate he is associated with, a law graduate working with Legal Process Outsourcing receives can earn attractive salary in the range of Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. It is a very high paying profession, but dfepends largely on the calibre, popularity and success of the candidate. The college you graduate from is another factor.

Course Details

       One can either pursue a three-year law  course (LLB) after graduation in any discipline or a five-year course after twelfth standard examinations, leading to a B.A.;LLB (Hons) degree . Admission to LLB is generally based on percentage of marks scored at graduation level.  However,  some Universities/ Institutions  like National Law Schools conduct entrance tests, too.  The B.A. LL.B programme usually covers practical training including court attendance, participation in mock court proceedings, seminars, symposiums, conferences on legal subjects / hands on training at legal aid centres and research projects. In addition to LLB degree, many universities and institutes also offer other diploma courses in several disciplines of law. P.G. Programme in law (LL.M) is of 2 years duration & eligibility is LLB degree. After completing LL.M Course, one can join Ph.D. LL.D degrees are also conferred on eminent scholars.

 Fields of Specialisation

  • Civil/Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Family Law
  • Taxation
  • Corporate Law
  • Business Law
  • International Law
  • Labour Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Intellectual property /Patent Law

List of Central Universities/ Premier Institutions imparting legal education upto Postgraduate/Research level

1.   Aligarh Muslim University 
2.   Allahabad University
3.   Banaras Hindu University 
4.   University of Delhi  
5.   Jamia Millia Islamia
6.   National Law University, Delhi
7.   National Law School of India University, Bangalore
8.   National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi
9.   National Law University, Orissa, Cuttack
10. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
11. National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
12. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
13. National Law University, Jodhpur
14. Hidyatullah National Law University, Raipur
15. National University for Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
16. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
17. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
18. Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
19. Amity Law School & Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Noida
20. Andhra Pradesh University of Law, Visakhapatnam
21. Dr.Ambedkar Law University, Chennai 
The above list is indicative only.

Some other State/Private Universities/Autonomous Institutions are also imparting legal education .

List of Colleges offering Law in Kerala

SL NO.

COLLEGE

DISTRICT

1

Bharata Mata School of Legal Studies (BSOLS), Aluva East

Ernakulam

2

Govt. Law College, Ernakulam

Ernakulam

3

Sree Narayana Law College, Ernakulam

Ernakulam

4

Al-Azhar Law College, Thodupuzha

Idukki

5

The Co-operative School of Law, Thodupuzha

Idukki

6

NSS Law College, Kollam

Kollam

7

Sree Narayana Guru College of Legal Studies, Kollam

Kollam

8

CSI College for Legal Studies, Kottayam

Kottayam

9

Bhavan's NA Palkhivala Academy For Advanced Legal Studies and Research, Ramanattukara

Kozhikode

10

Govt. Law College, Kozhikode

Kozhikode

11

Markaz Law College, Kunnamangalam

Kozhikode

12

KMCT Law College, Malappuram

Malappuram

13

Mount Zion Law College, Konni

Pathanamthitta

14

CSI Institute of Legal Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram

15

Govt. Law College, Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram

16

Kerala Law Academy Law College, Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram

17

Mar Gregorios College of Law, Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram

18

The Kerala Law Academy Law College, Peroorkada

Thiruvananthapuram

19

AIM College of Law, Thrissur

Thrissur

20

Govt Law College, Thrissur

Thrissur

 



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