No civil society can exist without the formulation of and adherence to a certain laws. The citizens of the society are obligated to abide by the laws for peaceful co-existence. However, there are numerous cases when these laws are flouted for various reasons. On such occasions, it is the legal system that comes into play and ensures justice. Lawyers and judiciary are the two main parts of the legal system. If the legal system fascinates you and you want to make a career in it, you have to pursue specialized study. To become a lawyer, one has to take up law courses that train its students in becoming sharp lawyers to defend the legal system.
A lawyer must have integrated knowledge about political science, history, philosophy, economics and literature. The law courses are so designed that they develop sharp analytical ability and research skills besides legal writing, decision-making and public speaking skills in students. The curriculum of the course is designed in a manner to enhance and inculcate these skills in the students. After the completion of the course, a law graduate is skilled in these aspects. But, the success of a lawyer also depends on factors other than just the course that he/she has pursued
For those students who aspire to become practicing lawyers, they should know about the law courses that they can pursue at colleges in India and abroad. After 12th class, students can opt for BA LL.B (Hons) course. It is a five year degree programme. The course is offered by national law schools and universities. However, it is not offered by all law colleges in India. There is a common entrance exam that one has to clear to get admission in this course. The exam is Common Law Admission Test or CLAT. On clearing this exam, students are eligible for admission into seven law schools that offer BA LL.B.
For other graduates, who have pursued graduation course in any field, there is LL.B. It is a three year law course for graduates. LL B courses are offered by most universities and colleges in India. After this degree, a law graduate can practice law on commercial basis.
After BA LL.B or LL.B, graduates can also pursue further studies in law. There is a full time post graduation course LLM, which is of two years duration. Otherwise, there are many diploma courses too of one year duration. Some students also go abroad for further education in law. Contrary to public perception, one lawyer cannot pursue any sort of legal case. Like any other profession, there are specializations in this field too. Lawyers work on specific areas of legal interest such as securities transactions, insurance, cyber law, intellectual property law etc besides criminal and civil cases. There are various courses that one can take up to upgrade skills in one or more of these study fields.
After the completion of the law degree, a law graduate has to join the Bar Council of India or the State Bar Council to be able to practice in the courts. This is a standard procedure for lawyers to get sanction to practice anywhere in the country. There are various branches of law that one can practice after completion of the law course. Under civil law, private matters such as those pertaining to property, money matters, contract and commercial issues, family and corporations etc are included.
Criminal lawyers deal in cases pertaining to matters with legal implications against society or State. These include matters such as theft, murder, rape etc. Under real estate, matters pertaining to property such as real estate disputes, property tax, transfer of property, etc are covered. Tax lawyers deal in cases relating to income-tax, wealth tax, estate duty, etc. Some lawyers also specialize in International law which covers cases concerning inter-country matters. There are various other branches such as family law, constitutional law, corporate law, patents, excise law, etc that one can specialize in. Thus, study of law offers many choices to students who can take up specializations as per individual interest. A lawyers job is hard and requires skills other than just a degree. A successful lawyer will be very sharp with great analytical and research skills. They have great communication skills and convincing power.