Do you know what Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton have in common?
Apart from being great leaders, they all were law graduates.
Law is one of the most versatile career options you can choose and once you do that, the sky is the limit.
So while a doctor can only be a doctor, a policeman can only be a policeman; a lawyer can be a lot more. The diversity of options that this profession allows is what sets it apart from many other professional degrees. Starting from filing petitions at lower courts to passing judgments at the Supreme Court and taking charge at corporate law firms, a law graduate can also be a paralegal instructor, a private judge, a legal recruiter and many more.
James J. Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, US says,
“I went to law school for two reasons. First, I wanted a career that would allow me to make a difference in some way. Law allows you to make a difference. When I graduated from college in 1973, I’d seen lawyers play a critical role in the civil rights movement and in Watergate. I saw the differences they were making in real-time. The second reason I went to law school was just to keep options open. I went straight from college to law school. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I saw people with law degrees making a difference in government, in journalism, in business, in the public interest and nonprofit worlds, and as practicing lawyers. In choosing to go to law school, I did not think I was making a decision to become a practicing lawyer. I thought that was one of the things I could do, but it was not something that I was committing myself to. I was just taking things one step at a time.”
Law As A Career Option
From times immemorial, Law has been one of the most needed and respected professions worldwide. Legal Education and a Career in Law has undergone a vast change in the last 30 years in India. The torchbearer in this paradigm change was the establishment of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore in the year 1989.
In a matter of 30 years, today there are 21 National Law Universities in India along with a sizeable number of private institutions imparting education in LAW. If we take a look at the numbers, these Law Schools have successfully managed to produce sharp and Intelligent Law Graduates year after year who have in turn proved to be an asset in their professions.
Now, we see what are the different career options available to these Law graduates.
- Litigation (Self-Practice): The oldest avenue to a Lawyer was to start his own practice. Though in the modern day there are a lot of other avenues for Lawyers, Self-practice still remains an option that a lot of Law Graduates adhere to.
- Law firms: In today’s era, Law Firms have a significant existence in our Legal Structure. Taking into consideration, the expansive nature of Law and the nuances of every detail, an entire team functions to provide “One Stop Solutions” to clients. The Team consists of professionals who are experts in their own domain and thereby provide the best resolution to every situation at hand.
- Working with Corporate: Another lucrative field for Law Graduates is to work as in-house counsels for Corporates. An in-house counsel plays an important role in drafting, vetting, and negotiating contracts. He is also responsible for monitoring and ensuring statutory compliance and handling legal disputes.
- Academia: An area where a Lawyer can become a teacher and train others in the field of Law. It also helps one to pursue his intellectual interests, research and has autonomy and flexibility at work.
- Judicial Services: A Judge commands a lot of respect in the Society. Alongside this, he has a lot of power and facilities. The route to becoming a judge is through Judicial Services and Higher Judicial Services. In some cases, there is a system of elevation as a Judge.
- Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO): Legal Process Outsourcing is the delegation of initial functions like drafting, legal research and compliance work to an external agency/counsel. A lot of corporates who do not have an in-house legal team use the services of LPOs.
In addition to the aforementioned career choices, the following are areas where Law Graduates outperform:
- Civil Services
- Company Secretary
- Banking and Finance
- Entrepreneurs & Business
The various areas of law along with its upcoming branches of arbitration which act as a parallel court system has helped to overcome the monotony of ordinary court proceedings.
In the modern world, every activity be it Politics, Business, Sports, Media, etc. has a Legal Interface, so the importance of a Lawyer cannot be undermined. This is another vital reason that a lot of students are increasingly taking up a career in Law.