Is your child interested in pursuing law for a career? Here’s how to plan her career path.
By R K Sudha
On a lazy Sunday morning, Swathi (name changed) is keen on visiting her grandparents. But, Sameera (Swathi's mom) is so caught up with household chores that she declines the request with a promise to make it happen the week after. A persistent Swathi pushes her ‘case’ forward and her mom is left with no choice but to give in. Well, while arguing her case, Swathi sure exhibited all the traits of a lawyer-in-the-making. At an age when most other children would choose career options like engineering, medicine, etc., Swathi is very clear about her career path. She wants to become a lawyer and play an integral role in upholding the constitution of India. And, why not!
There might be a Swathi in your child too. Watch out! Does she launch into the ‘gazillion-question session’ each time you try to spur her into doing something? Does she always come up with creative ways of pleading with you or convincing you? Then, you’re surely in the esteemed presence of a budding lawyer!
Here’s how you can chart your child’s career path in law:
Course to pursue: Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB)
Duration: 5 years (after completing higher secondary school) / 3 years (after graduating in any degree)
Eligibility: Clearing an entrance exam after obtaining 50% in higher secondary/graduation
Entrance examination: The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a test that is conducted for the undergraduate programme in eleven national law universities. It tests a candidate’s English language skills, general knowledge, numerical ability, legal aptitude and logical reasoning. Apart from CLAT, there are other college/university-specific entrance exams.
Higher education: LLB may also be followed by a postgraduate degree in law(LLM), which is of two years’ duration. Students may also go abroad to other popular law institutions for further education in law.
LLB being a professional degree, most universities give practical legal training to students during the course itself. The students are exposed to seminars, tutorial work, moot courts and other hands-on training programmes. An increasing number of law schools, paralegal programmes, legal secretarial schools and other legal educational institutions require the completion of an internship as a prerequisite to graduation. Such internships provide students with an opportunity to increase their knowledge of substantive areas of law while gaining exposure to the real environment. This training also helps students to opt for a particular area of practice keeping in mind their aptitudes and interests.
After graduating in law, your child (adult by then) will have to join a particular State Bar Council to be able to practice in the courts of law. This is a standard procedure for lawyers to get sanction to practice anywhere in the country. No person can be enrolled in more than one Bar Council.
The Advocates Act, 1961, empowers State Bar Councils to frame their own rules with regards to enrollment of advocates. The Council’s Enrollment Committee may scrutinise a candidate’s application before declaring him eligible for a Certificate of Enrollment.
Since the year 2010, the Bar Council of India has introduced the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), designed to test an advocate’s ability to practice as a lawyer in India. All students graduating from the academic year 2009-2010 need to clear the All India Bar Examination in order to practise law in India. This examination assesses the law graduate’s analytical abilities and knowledge of law. It sets a minimum standard for those intending to practise law. It should be noted that a law graduate can take the All India Bar Examination only after he has enrolled himself as an advocate with a State Bar Council.
There are a variety of career options available to law graduates. Here are some of them:
You need to be aware of the skills that a lawyer should possess to help you identify them in your child and groom her to become a successful lawyer. Here are some essential skills:
Being a lawyer isn’t simply being a part of a client service industry; it’s an honour and a responsibility.
Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States who was also a lawyer said, "The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence.” Let your child follow this simple rule and dedicate herself to this career. After all, there’s no better feeling for a parent than to see a child stand up for justice.
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