Complete guide for helping you to become an advocate in India. This article includes highly researched information on Job introduction, how to steps, Course Structure, Job opportunities, eligibility and remuneration for helping you to become a good advocate.
An advocate is defined as the one who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. In legal system an advocate pleads the cause of another in a court of law. An advocate is the compulsory constituent of the legal system of any country. He is responsible for accurate presentation of the case and to bring it to an end. The duty of an advocate is extremely crucial. He has to deal with the highest individual and social interest. The judiciary passes its verdict on the basis of the facts and debates presented by the advocates. An Advocate can effectively make or ruin any case. Due to such enormous and significant role in the legal system, he is also known as ‘the officer of the court’.
Advocate meets the client and form the basis or outline of the case. The final documentation and the case structure are however formed only after undergoing the facts and the ground situation. Indian legal system is quite intricate and demands the highest standards of knowledge for comprehension. An advocate is responsible for putting up the things right in place so as to frame a strong case in interest of his client. In a nut shell, an advocate meets up the clients; frame cases/litigations/appeals etc and effectively represent his client in the court of law. Those who have a sense of social responsibility and possess high morality and sense of commitment should pursue their career in law.
Bachelor’s degree in Law (L.L.B)
It is compulsory to possess a Bachelor’s degree in Law (L.L.B) duly recognized by bar council of India to become an advocate.
Types of Course
In India, there are two types of courses offered by various universities for the degree of law. One is the three years course offered after graduation and another one is the five year’s integrated course which commences right after the completion of 12th standard. Choose the appropriate course as per the eligibility conditions.
Common law entrance test
A common law entrance test (CLAT) is conducted on all India basis for getting admissions into five year integrated course in various law schools of the country. Only those who meet the eligibility criteria and pass this test are allowed admissions in the law schools all over the country. However, there are some universities that conduct their own entrance examination, viz. Symbiosis, NLU Delhi, NLU Orissa etc. Some universities grant the admissions on the basis of test conducted by Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Then there are several state level entrance tests also. The topics that are mainly covered in these entrance exams are: legal aptitude, Logical reasoning, English including comprehension, General knowledge/ current affairs and Elementary mathematics.
Three years degree
For three years degree course, some universities conduct separate entrance exams. On the other hand, some universities give admissions on the basis of merit only.
After the successful completion of the degree in law, a mandatory internship is compulsory for every aspiring advocate as per the guidelines and the norms of the institution.
An advocate has to get himself/herself enrolled to any State Bar Council regulated by the advocate’s act, 1961 before getting into the profession of law. It is only after this registration that they are allowed to practice in any part of the country.
The 3 years bachelor’s degree program comprises of six semesters. The main teaching tools for the course are seminars, tutorial work, moot courts and practical training programs. Though the subjects vary as per the chosen specialization filed but the common subjects among different courses are code of civil procedure, contracts, jurisprudence, legal methods, litigation advocacy, and political science. The general degree of law can be obtained after the completion of four semesters but the complete degree is granted only after the successful completion of six semesters only.
Recognition of the Course:
It is important to possess a bachelor’s degree in law duly recognized by Bar Council of India. To practice anywhere across the country, a duly recognized degree from bar council of India is mandatory. Both the three year and the five year integrated degree holders are equally eligible to practice law anywhere in the country. Bar Council of India is the supreme regulatory body to regulate legal profession in the country. Any university or college granting any degree or course which is not duly recognized by BCI is considered invalid for pursuing the law profession.
There are umpteen options for a law graduate. An advocate can set up his office and can practice independently from the very first day of career. The area of specialization can also be chose according to individual instincts and inclinations. Criminal lawyer, civil lawyer, corporate lawyer or the one dealing with the income tax cases etc are some of the widely available options. The new beginners can also join the senior lawyers in the profession to gain the necessary experience and learn the intricacies of the subject.
An advocate can also serve in the government sector. There are various tests conducted for the selection of public lawyer. Judicial career is also an extension of the law graduate only. Clearing the judicial services examination of states can help in becoming the Civil Judge or Judicial Magistrate. An advocate is also eligible to appear for administrative examinations held on state and national level.
There are several other options in the private sector also. One can join a legal firm and can work as legal assistant in the beginning and can add experience and enjoy monetary gains with the passage of time. Or one can also join corporate houses as legal advisor and can rise up to higher strategic posts in the times to come. Advocates are in high demand in banking sector also. The overall job prospects of advocates are quite encouraging and future is bright for those who commit to excellence.
There are two types of courses available in the country. For the integrated five year course, the eligibility criteria is a minimum 50% passing marks in the 12th grade examination. And the candidate should not be above 20 years of age in general category. The age and marks limit is relaxed for SC/ST/OBC students.
The three years course covets a successful completion of bachelor’s degree with minimum 50% passing marks in any stream. There is no set age limit for this course.
With the successful completion of the degree anyone is eligible to practice law in the country. However, there is an amendment effective from December 2010, for all the fresh law graduates or those who have not yet enrolled with bar council of India to clear a bar examination before starting practice in any court or tribunal of the country.
The remuneration is variable for an advocate. Generally, the career is not highly rewarding in the initial years of private practice. But once you set up your name and prove your reliability, there are no limits to the earnings. With the advancement of time and career, the remuneration of the advocate rises sharply.
Those who join the private sector can earn as much as Rs.50, 000 per month in the early years of professional life. For those who prefer the government sector, the remuneration is satisfactory along with the emoluments etc.
An advocate’s profession is one of the highest rewarding and lucrative career option. But it demands hard work and dedication towards the cause.
Top 10 Law Schools of India:
1. NLSIU, Bangalore.
2. NALSAR, Hyderabad
3. NLIU, Bhopal.
4. Campus Law Centre, DU.
5. Symbiosis Law College, Pune.
6. NUJS, Kolkata.
7. ILS Law College, Pune.
8. NLU, Jodhpur.
9. GNLU, Gandhinagar.
10. Amity Law School, Delhi.
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