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How to Become Lawyer in India? Types of Lawyer, Eligibility, Skills

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25th Aug, 2023
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How to Become Lawyer in India? Types of Lawyer, Eligibility, Skills

Harbouring the dream of working as a lawyer at the Indian Judiciary demonstrates a strength of character and the willingness to contribute to society’s progress. Lawyers protect the rights of the citizens; hence, they occupy an indispensable position in society.

Definition of Lawyer

Also termed as an attorney or a counsellor, a lawyer is a professional individual who, having received training in the legal field, can advise people on legal matters and, with some experience, can also represent clients in court. Depending upon their level of professional expertise, lawyers can be differentiated into advocates, solicitors, counsellors, attorneys, barristers and so on.

What Does a Lawyer Do?

The professional range of duties a lawyer has includes:

1. Providing advice to clients

A lawyer’s first and foremost responsibility is to provide their clients with objective counsel on a matter requiring legal scrutiny. They should advise and inform the client about the applicable laws and the best way to secure their legal rights.

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2. Court representation of clients

When lawyers act as advocates, they are instrumental in representing their clients in court. This involves arguing cases and providing evidence to support the client’s perspective.

3. Settlement of disputes

Skilled lawyers can sometimes settle a legal dispute without taking it to a trial. This helps resolve legal issues much more efficiently and quickly.

4. Protecting the confidentiality and rights of the client

As part of their ethical conduct, lawyers are expected to represent the best interests of their clients and never act in a manner that might conflict with the client, nor can they persuade the client to engage in any profitable business. They are also ethically responsible for safeguarding any information the client provides them to resolve their case. But how to become a lawyer in India? If you wish to delve into the interdisciplinary aspects of law and advance into senior roles in the legal field, register for the Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) degree offered by Golden Gate University School of Law in partnership with upGrad.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria Required To Become a Lawyer?

The eligibility criteria to become a lawyer include passing higher secondary examinations with at least 60 per cent in total or an equivalent cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Additionally, aspirants must clear law entrance tests approved in India, such as the All India Law Admission Test(AILET) or CLAT(Common Law Admission Test). 

After clearing the exams, aspirants can complete a five-year integrated course of Bachelors and Law degrees such as B.A. LL.B., B.Com. LL.B. and BBA. LLB from a recognised institute. Alternatively, they can get a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree first, followed by a Master of Law (LL.M), spanning one or two years. 

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Types of In-Demand Law Specialisations in India

Taxation Law

This specialised branch deals with taxation regulations through an in-depth approach. Students learn about the rationale behind a public authority levying a tax, the government’s taxation policies and solutions in case of default. 

Students learn about various kinds of tax laws such as income tax, sales tax, tax on real estate, property tax, services tax, corporate tax and so on. Furthermore, the curriculum involves learning about tax credits and deductions and documenting taxes.

Civil Law

The most popular area in law specialisation, civil law, mainly involves rules and regulations for mitigating cases with no criminal aspect. It falls under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), which governs civil affairs in India. 

Civil lawyers must deal with disputes between organisations, individuals, families, and partnerships. In civil law, lawsuits are often solved through compensation and not the imposition of penalty or punishment.

Criminal Law

One of the most popular applications of law is to prevent and protect against crime. Not only do criminal lawyers have to learn about rules for preventing crime, but also about developing and modifying policies to safeguard against criminal offences.

Business and Corporate Law

With the expansion of the corporate sector and the 1991 reforms of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation in India, the prospects of a career in corporate law have increased significantly. Corporate lawyers help businesses comply with corporate law regulations promulgated by the state and central governments and international regulations. 

Aspirants interested in expanding their knowledge of business law to international arenas can apply for the LL.M. in International Business & Finance Laws from GGU.

How to Become a Lawyer in India – Eligibility

Becoming a lawyer in India requires completing Higher Secondary Examinations and obtaining a degree in a law programme from an authorised institute. Students can directly pursue it after completing either higher secondary education or graduation.

How to become a lawyer after 12th

To become a lawyer after passing the 12th or higher secondary examination, one must prepare for the entrance examinations for law institutes and colleges. 

At the undergraduate level, one must clear the Common Law Entrance Test or the Law School Admission Test, whichever applies to the chosen university. Irrespective of the stream — Humanities, Commerce or Science chosen by the candidate in their 10+2, they can pursue law. However, knowing the right kind of law course for the aspirant is essential.

Courses such as B.A. LL. B, LL.B., B.Com. LL.B. and B.Sc. LL.B. are nowadays quite popular. However, admission in these courses in most institutes requires a specific cutoff score in entrance exams like the CLAT or LSAT as universities prefer admission test scores in these exams, although some universities may offer seats based on class 12 scores, too.

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How To Become a Corporate Lawyer

Before you specialise in corporate law, you must gain the qualifications required to become a lawyer. You can either complete a five-year B.A. LL.B undergraduate degree or a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline you choose, followed by an LL.B degree. Then, you must clear the Bar exam, which the Bar Council of India hosts. This is imperative to test your knowledge of the legal procedures in India.

Following the clearance of the bar exam, you can apply for a corporate law position or gain some experience and skills as a lawyer before choosing to specialise in corporate law. To establish your specialisation as a corporate lawyer, you can take up advanced corporate law courses or learn business management and leadership skills by working in mergers and acquisitions, real estate, corporate governance, etc.

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Skills Required To Become a Lawyer

Being a lawyer requires a comprehensive knowledge of the legal field and acquiring soft and hard professional skills. Excellent communication, analytical skills and networking are some of the transferable skills that a lawyer must acquire to succeed in their profession. Here are some of the essential skills that will enable a lawyer to advance in their career:

Being detail-oriented

A vital skill for lawyers paying minute attention to detail to identify inconsistencies in cases and to avoid discrepancies in legal documents like clauses and contracts is necessary. It can help lawyers succeed and avoid potential pitfalls due to unintended errors.

Organisational skills

The responsibilities of a lawyer can be immense, ranging from maintaining client records and documents to networking and attending meetings. Hence, keeping track of schedules and learning to sort duties according to priorities is crucial.

Analysis and research

Working on a case requires a significant amount of research to extract information. Furthermore, lawyers ought to analyse aspects of a case and infer the context of any legal issue. It contributes to the lawyer’s critical thinking and reasoning abilities, which help them provide the necessary guidance to the client.

Interpersonal skills

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Since lawyers have to interact with a variety of people from different social backgrounds, they need to develop interpersonal skills such as teamwork and the ability to connect and empathise with others to interpret other people’s perspectives correctly.  

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What Is the Difference Between an Advocate and A Lawyer? 

AdvocateLawyer
To be identified as an advocate, one has to represent their client in a court of law. Depending upon the facts of the case, an advocate can either seek redressal or compensation for a grievance or plead for the release of a client.It is a generic legal term used to denote any individual with a law degree, including solicitors, attorneys and barristers.
Once you have cleared the exam and become a member of the state bar council, you become an advocate and can represent clients in court in an official capacity.To practice in a court of law, lawyers need to pass the All-India Bar examination first and get admitted to a state bar council. If you are wondering how to become a barrister, who is almost the same as an advocate, then this step is the answer.
Advocates possess more professional experience than lawyers as they get the opportunities to practise law in multiple settings and legal domains, getting much-needed exposure.Lawyers’ experience is limited chiefly to academia as they do not have exposure to the professional arena as much as advocates, having only graduated from law school.
The diverse and vast knowledge of legal matters possessed by an advocate, along with their experience and skills, qualify them to represent their clients in a court of law and attempt to get the most favourable verdict for the client. A lawyer can provide legal counsel to their clients but cannot be present in a court of law to plead their cases.

Conclusion

The blog has comprehensively covered all the points prospective law students ask “how to be a lawyer in India”. Law has become a lucrative profession, especially in the corporate sector. Individuals seeking to upskill and make a career in corporate law can enrol themselves in the LL.M. in Corporate & Financial Law from JGU, offered in partnership with upGrad. It is a first-of-its-kind LLM degree designed for working professionals looking to advance their careers. Visit the official website for more course-related information.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How many years will it take to become a lawyer in India?

Becoming a lawyer in India can take five to eight years, depending on the degree you choose to pursue in the law colleges of India.

2How to become a corporate lawyer?

The procedure for obtaining an undergraduate law degree is the same for all lawyers. You can pursue a Master's in corporate and business law to become a corporate lawyer.

3How to become a barrister? Specify the skills required.

To be successful as a lawyer or barrister, you need to acquire some much-needed attributes apart from an in-depth knowledge of the law. Having strong communication skills is necessary for solicitors. You must also be able to solve problems creatively, which will test your critical thinking skills. Apart from these, research, organisational and collaborative skills are highly recommended.

4How can one become a lawyer after completing 12th grade?

If you seek to know how to be a lawyer after completing 12th grade, you must take the Common Law Entrance Test (CLAT) and secure the requisite cut-off score to pursue law courses in your desired college.

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