Law means rules of conduct and is enforced by the state in the administration of justice. The professionals who practice law are called lawyers - they counsel and advise people about their legal rights and suggest necessary actions to access these rights, which could lead to many hearings in the court. Lawyers have to collect data, facts, figures, documents and witnesses to support their cases.
Lawyers operate as advocates and advisors/solicitors. Advocates basically fight in courts for their clients’ rights or they defend them against various cases. However, advisers’ or solicitors’ role is to advise or counsel their clients about their rights. Types of legal practice include Government counsel, private practice, corporate counsel and public interest law.
Success in this field comes not just with high knowledge of law but with a lot of practice and professional competence. Law is like mathematics, the more you practice the more you become proficient in the field.
Career in Law
Lawyers have an important role to play in the society and are required at all levels by various sections of the society – be it judicial offices, schools, individuals, corporate houses and government. Apparently, lawyers have opportunities outside the legal profession in areas such as NGOs, politics, business, broadcasting, finance, insurance and publishing.
There are plenty of opportunities in the government service and private industry.
A fresh advocate begins as a junior assistant to an advocate and does file and research work and assists his senior in the court. He also drafts plaints and after three to four years he performs individually and actively in form of the judge. Similar process is to do with an aspiring solicitor. Aspiring solicitors start working with their seniors while they are studying. Successful lawyers become district attorneys and judges.
Let’s look at the most popular career opportunities:
Opportunities in Government service
One can become public defenders to represent people who cannot afford to pay lawyers. A person can be appointed as magistrate and sub-magistrate, for these posts he must qualify the Law Service Commission or State Public Service Commission. While the former presides over criminal court, the latter is invoved in judgment related to civil cases. Their excellent performance can lead them to positions of district courts judge and session courts judge and further leading to high profile opportunities in High Courts and the Supreme Court.
One can aspire to be a solicitor too, who advices the government on legal matters and submits statement of important cases to Attorney General of India for his opinion or appearance in the Supreme Court is required. One can go as high as an attorney general, who is appointed by the president to advice the government of India on various legal matters. Besides, other employment opportunities could be of notary, oath commissioner and legal advisers.
Civil lawyer helps solving matters related to individuals, wills, mortgages, acting as guardian, divorce and damage suits. They are not involved in criminal misconduct.
They deal with all kind of taxes levied by the government whether income tax, stamp duties, property tax, franchises.
Crime is considered to be the most thrilling branch of law. Lawyers here deal with offences against the individual or society; they are involved with lot of cross examining and interrogating apart from preparing case for their clients for defence.
Their job is to look after the legal work of corporate house, they deal with the formation and maintenance of businesses, various official contracts, acquisitions and mergers and various other privileges and ordinances.
They deal with international treaties and customs between nations and advise government and private players on the pros and cons of various projects and agreements.
Labour and employment lawyers
These lawyers are concerned with the rights and duties of workers and their unions and associations. As and when require they help to fight for the working conditions of workers against the management.
Intellectual Property lawyers
They look after ownership rights and protect these rights through patents, trademarks and copyrights.