Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. (Confucius)
When anyone talks or thinks about a lawyer then, the only picture which comes to their mind is a person wearing a black coat & white band. I don’t say that it’s wrong. But, it’s not the only thing a lawyer does.
We can understand about a layman having this picture in his mind because he is not into the field. But, the sad part is lawyers and law students are also not aware of the career options in this field.
There can be many personal reasons as to why you may switch jobs or choose some different route in your future. But, I think that while taking a decision regarding your career at least you must know the potential and wide scope of the legal industry.
The legal field offers numerous career options with a varied range of skills, experience, and education.
In this article I have listed out various career options, you can opt for after you become a law graduate.
Litigation – The black & white life
Do you like to appear in courts every day? If the answer is yes, then this is THE perfect option for you.
You keep learning from day one, the work is never monotonous. Shuffling in courts, appearing, assisting senior advocates, drafting, conversing with the court staff, clients, your colleagues, clerks, typists, canteen guy and much more.
Once you step into it, you come to know a lot of things. Not only about the law, but also in general about life.
You can check out an article published on Lawctopus which will be helpful to you. Here, is the link to that article – https://www.lawctopus.com/litigation-career-option/
#2. LAW FIRMS
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. As the firm grows big, it starts expanding its geographical reach. There are small law firms who have started with one or two offices within a city. There are huge firms too, spread throughout the country who are also going international.
There is a huge list of law firms in India. “LegallyIndia” has made a list of law firms in India along with certain relevant details. Check it out here or click the below image.
Some Law firms practice only in a specific area of law, while some deal in multiple areas of law. Big Law firms usually deal in the corporate sector, covering mergers & acquisitions, securities, competition, banking, finance, tax, etc.
Other firms grab a specific niche or practice in multiple areas of law like Intellectual Property, Criminal Defence, Civil, Aviation, Shipping, etc.
If you plan to get into any of these then start preparing your resume accordingly.
Companies have their own legal department or they hire any law firm. Most of the well established big companies usually have their independent department dealing with all the required legal compliances.
This department consists of a team of experienced lawyers, which helps the company by giving them proper legal advice from time to time and looking after all the legal aspects regarding the work that company deals with.
You get an exposure to the corporate life and also get to know how a company works.
Usually companies do not recruit freshers, you can apply after getting some years of experience in the legal industry.
#4. PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS
A Public Sector Undertaking in India is a business enterprise owned and controlled by the government.
The work here is similar to working in legal departments of companies. The only main difference is that you have a GOVERNMENT JOB here.
Recruitment is done on the basis of an exam conducted by such enterprise. Some of them also recruit directly on the basis of CLAT LLM score. So, even freshers are eligible.
If you prefer a 9 to 5 job with some perks & facilities which usually a government employee gets, then you can think of it.
Below is a complete list of Public Sector Undertakings in India
#5. BANKING & INSURANCE SECTOR
All Banks & Insurance establishments do have their independent legal departments. The initial position in such department is termed as “Specialist Officer(Law)” or “Administrative Officer(Law)”.
Insurance companies usually conduct examinations independently.
IBPS conducts a common examination for most of the banks.
Even freshers are eligible for most of these exams.
On the basis of the merit score of such exam & interview, applicants are selected & allocated the position in a bank. While there are some banks who recruit graduates directly through an interview or conduct exams independently.
#6. JUDICIAL SERVICES
This section reminds me of the “Order!! Order!!” scene of a judge from our old Bollywood movies.
If you desire to actively participate in the Justice System, then you can become a Judicial Officer.
In appellate courts, Judges are appointed on the basis of experience and/or recommendation. In lower courts, appointments are done by conducting examinations for such posts.
State’s Public Service Commission conducts such examinations. Eligibility for such examinations is different for different states. In some states, even fresh law graduates are eligible for such exams while in other states some amount of experience is mandatory.
#7. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR/ GOVT. PLEADER
The Government appoints an advocate to represent the State in criminal matters, such advocate is known as a Public Prosecutor. And a Government Pleader is an advocate who represents the State in its Civil cases.
State Public Service Commissions conduct examinations for appointments to these posts.
If you want to practice law and at the same time prefer a fixed monthly salary with perks of a govt job, then this a perfect match for you.
Solicitors are experts who advise their clients and draft documents for their clients but engage advocates to appear in the court on behalf of the client.
To become a Solicitor in India you need to first complete a three-year articleship in a Solicitor Firm and then clear the Solicitor’s Exam.
Check out a detailed article on this topic below:
#9. INDIAN ARMED FORCES
In Indian Army and Indian Navy, a Law Officer works in the Judge Advocate General(JAG) department.
An officer in this Department is expected to render advice and assistance to establishments/units of the Indian Army / Navy in dealing with disciplinary matters, monitoring court cases and also in pursuing litigation in various courts at various levels.
While in Indian Air Force, there is no specific post for lawyers. But, if you desire to work in the Air Force, then you can work in the Ground Duty(Non-Technical) Branches. For more details, check out the below link.
Recruitment is done on the basis of exams conducted by the respective institution.
#10. ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
ADR a dispute resolution mechanism which uses methods such as mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute, instead of parties indulging in regular litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes, with the help of a third party.
You have to get some practical knowledge in this field and then start working as a Mediator or Arbitrator.
You can be appointed individually by a party by mentioning you as an arbitrator in the arbitration agreement. Or you can be appointed to the panel of arbitrators of any Arbitration Institution.
#11. LEGAL ACADEMIA
Is ‘Teaching’ a thing, which you like the most? You can make your career into it.
You can work on a contractual basis or as a full-time professor in that educational institution. To become a Law Professor, you need to complete your postgraduate course (LL.M.).
After which you need to clear a National Eligibility Test. Although some institutions may have some other eligibility requirements, like experience in a certain field, etc.
#12. CIVIL SERVICES
Law and Public Policy are very interconnected to each other. This intersection interests law graduates to choose Civil Services as their career.
To work in the Civil Services of India, you need to crack the Civil Services Examination.
Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE).
The Commission assigns candidates to different services after they clear this examination.
This article on WikiPedia gives a brief idea about Civil Services Examination in India https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Services_Examination_(India).
And this one gives knowledge about all type of services in India including State Civil Services https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Services_of_India.
#13. CA / CS
You can become a Chartered Accountant or a Company Secretary.
A law graduate with an interest in Tax Laws would be able to grab a job in this market. But, your resume will carry much more weightage, if you have also cleared the CA or/and CS examinations.
Your growth in the field will also be rapid, in comparison to other ordinary lawyers. That is the reason, most of them start preparing for their CA/CS examinations simultaneously with their LL.B.
LPO stands for Legal Process Outsourcing, it refers to the practice of law firms getting legal support services from other companies usually outside their country.
This industry has grown recently in India and is growing rapidly.
The work in such LPO companies primarily deals with Contracts, Agreements, etc. Recruitment in such companies is done directly through interviews.
#15. LEGAL JOURNALISM
If talking, discussing & debating about recent developments in the legal industry interests you. Then, you would surely like to be part of the Legal Journalism sector.
This field has grown to a large extent now, because of some legal news startups.
To enter into this sector, you need to focus more on your “Writing”.
Learn writing and keep on improving, by writing articles and research papers for various publications.
A degree or a certificate in Journalism would be an additional advantage.
#16. JUDICIAL CLERKSHIP
A Judicial Clerk is an individual who provides direct assistance to a judge. A Judicial Clerk is usually a law graduate, so their work profile does not include only administrative work but more into legal research work, helping the judge in drafting opinions, etc.
Working under a judge will give you tremendous exposure of how a court works, various procedures, how judgments are decided, how one should & should not argue in front of a judge, etc.
This is one of the best options, for law graduates planning their career in litigation.
The recruitment procedure includes an examination and interview, while some courts appoint directly through an interview.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are usually non-profit organizations working in various areas, like – education, human rights, environment, public policy, consumer laws, etc.
You may work as a legal expert or just work fulltime in such organizations on various posts according to the vacancy in that respective organization.
Are you more interested in making laws, than just interpreting it? Then you can become a part of our Legislative bodies.
Studying law teaches you to think critically and to understand the applicability of a policy. Key skills needed for a career in politics.
You may join a political party and start working with them. Or you can intern in the office of any politician which may not belong to any political party. Important thing is, to start working at the ground level at an early stage.
Spy, also known as a detective or a secret agent is a person who works secretly on a project assigned by his client.
While working in this field you can come across anything you can imagine. Having a background in law will help you a lot while dealing with police, various government and non-governmental authorities, judging individuals, building contacts, informers, etc.
You can get your work done without any hassle if you know the system.
You can work in a government organization or a private organization or as a freelancer. Recruitments in Govt. organizations like CBI, NIA, ED, etc are done through exams conducted by UPSC, SSC, etc.
Criminology is the study of criminals, justice system, analysis of the behavior, management & prevention of crimes, etc.
There are many institutes in India & abroad providing courses in Criminology.
After getting the necessary qualifications, you can start working in Think Tanks, NGOs, Govt. or private organizations as a researcher or Investigator.
You can also work as a lecturer in any college.
#21. LAW LIBRARIAN
There are libraries in every court complex & law colleges. Some big law firms may also have their small personal library.
But these libraries contain books related to law, its commentaries, manuals, digests, etc.
To understand and manage these things properly, one needs to have basic knowledge of both library management and law. So, the best combo is to have an LL.B. along with a Master’s or Bachelors in Library Sciences.
Have an Idea? Want to create something useful? Then don’t hold on, just start.
You can fuse your knowledge of law with entrepreneurship and create something useful for people in this legal industry.
This industry has welcomed Legal Tech Startups, due to their useful innovations.
Even, if your idea is not related to this industry, but if it’s really solving a problem, then you can make it a success. And the legal knowledge you have is anyway going to help you, in whichever field may you go.
A fellowship is an opportunity to become part of the system, gain practical knowledge, learn & experience things at the grass root level.
Fellowships are offered by various organizations in fields like education, rural development, law enforcement, etc.
Fellows also get some remuneration, which takes care of the basic needs.
Usually, the period of any fellowship ranges from 1 to 2 year. While there are many fellowships available, as law students you may be more interested in these 2 fellowships:-
1) Young Professionals Programme for Legal Empowerment – http://www.centreforsocialjustice.net/ypple
2) LAMP – http://lamp.prsindia.org/thefellowship
Apart from above career options, there are many other miscellaneous jobs available for law graduates in various areas.
Some examples of such Job profiles are –
Judicial Clerks, Registrars, Court Managers, Research assistants, various administrative posts in Courts, judicial departments and other government departments.
Recruitments to such posts by the department authorities are not done periodically. It is done as per vacancies only.
You just need to follow some active websites & job portals to get notified.
This is an exhaustive list of the career options available in the field of law.
Yet, I would like to know some career options not included in the above list.
DO YOU KNOW ANY? If yes, please comment it below, and help the lawyer community.