Why choose a career in Law?
Law is a fundamental concept of any society. Law means different things to different people and serves multiple purposes. It has evolved differently in different societies and cultures. That is why law has too many definitions, each of which could be right but might not be able to describe law fully and truly.
Quoting the great Greek thinker, Aristotle, who had said, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst” and similarly, Thomas Hobbes had pronounced, “It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.” Henry Beecher had also explained that “A law is valuable, not because it is a law, but because there is right in it”. To be aware of one’s rights and be sensitive to those of others, is just a concomitant to studying law. But from a layman’s perspective, we could understand law as “a body of rules and principles that regulate the conduct of human beings, through the authority of the state”.
How it is different from other subjects?
Law is multidisciplinary in character. In some specific law subjects, knowledge of finance and science is essential (individually). Though, Law is not like a science subject, where definitions are uniform and empirical observations remain stable and valid for a long time. However, in Law you will find hundreds of concepts which could be right or wrong at the same time, depending on which perspective you look at. Also, since Law is concerned with the governance of various facets in the society, therefore, legal education always keeps on developing based on evolution of the concepts and principles of those multi-disciplinary dimensions of the society.
To find out the real value of Law, just try to imagine a day without law!
People will be fighting and taking undue liberties with each other. Harassment, victimisation, loot, arson will be commonplace, with no respite or remedy for the underprivileged, down-trodden, victims, etc. “Might is right” will be the rule of the day! A very simple example from our day-to-day life could be to imagine a traffic intersection when traffic lights are not working. Haven’t you seen that within minutes, vehicles from all directions crowd in the middle and try to get their way first…. And in the process delays everybody, and spoils our day!
Law touches our lives on a daily basis. It governs what we can and cannot do. It is used to settle disputes, to punish, to govern, conduct business, protect rights of people and render justice. Similarly, the state uses the legal machinery to correct malpractices of the past, and respond to the changing needs of the society. It indeed plays a central role in our social, political and economic life. It helps to maintain peace, establish standards of conduct, and protect rights of the people.
The main object of Law, remains- “To maintain peace and order in the society”
Law Courses in India
You could study law after 12th by taking admission in the 5-year integrated Law programs, viz, BA LL.B, BBA LL.B and B.Com LL.B. Admission to these under-graduate law courses is generally made on the basis of entrance exams such as national-level Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), or, Law School Admission Test (LSAT), or, other university/college specific entrance test/criteria, like Manav Rachna University conducts its own MRNAT exam, in addition to recognising CLAT and LSAT scores for admission purposes.
Benefits of Studying Integrated Law Programme
Some of the key advantages of an integrated law degree program, include not only the interdisciplinary course curriculum and development of diverse future-ready competencies, but also saving of one crucial year of the aspirant, Since LLB (3 years program) done after graduation (3 years degree), consumes total 6 years to get law degree, as compared to 5 years in case of an integrated law degree program after your 12th standard.
As the name suggests, the 5-years integrated model envisages integration of two primary streams, one being law and the other stream could be Arts, Management, Science or Commerce. If Arts is your background stream and you want to pursue Law, then BA. LL.B could be the program you might like to enrol. Similarly, if you wish to pursue law along with commerce or Management, then B.Com LL.B or BBA LL.B could be your target degree programs. But whether you opt for BBA LL.B, or BCom LL.B or BA LL.B, the legal knowledge derived is the same in all the three courses, however, respective programs change the way you approach the legal subjects, and the nature of career opportunities that follow it.
Careers in Law
Depending on which area interests you, gives you more confidence to pursue, supported by the right personality traits, skills and competencies, you could establish your career objectives and identify the path you will need to follow to reach your dream career in law.
Your career options are not limited to only the legal industry!
For e.g. If you dream to be a criminal lawyer, then complete your law program, qualify the Bar examination and start practicing under a senior and experienced criminal lawyer. You could as well practice in specialised areas like Cyber Law, Income Tax or civil cases, as the case may be. If you want to be a judge, appear in the Judicial Services exam after graduating in Law. Many corporates come up with Law Officer positions, and select through interviews, and you could eventually become Legal Advisors and Corporate Counsels. Many Banks also hire Legal Probationary Officers, and select basis written tests/interviews. You could aim for JAG (Judge Advocate General) services in Indian Armed forces, or work for a legal firm after your graduation. If you want to be in Academics and in the research field, then you could do LLM and PhD and become Professor in Law. However, if you just want to leverage your legal knowledge to excel in any other area, then you could aim for multitude of other areas like Civil Services, Administration, Finance Manager/ Management Accountant in Corporate firms, Banking & Insurance, HRM/Labour Officer, Law reporter with media houses, Social work/NGOs, Politics, or Entrepreneurship, etc. Experientially, I have seen such people doing very well in such allied fields, than those without legal qualifications.
As a lawyer, you will always be working in a dynamic environment and boredom will never set in. The work that you do will be personally satisfying and intellectually stimulating, besides being financially rewarding. You need not just work for others or any company, but could set up your own practice. In Law, over the years, you develop marketable skills. That way, you never have to bother about job security, unlike most other careers. The fact that the job involves upholding justice in society and standing up for what is right makes the society respect a lawyer.
However, in order to avail all the stated benefits, one has to work hard, be patient, perseverant during the initial stages of one’s career, expose oneself to most of the areas or sub-domains of the field, take mentorship of experienced professionals in that area and learn as much as he/she can without bothering too much on the compensation part. Always remember, that it is a very competitive field, which will at many times be quite demanding in terms of the time, effort and energy that you put in to gain competence and achieve success.
Written by :- Mr. Ajay Bhatia, Assistant Professor (Management) & Associate HOD, Faculty of Law, MRU