Law is one of the lucrative career options in the present times. Unlike old times, a law graduate now has wide range of opportunities to choose. Traditionally one could either practice as an advocate in a court of law or work for corporate firms and companies. There are a number of opportunities in the government sector as Public Prosecutor, law officers in various departments and ministries or become a judge after clearing the exam conducted by various commissions .Apart from these a law graduate can work as a reporter for newspaper, Legal Journal and web portal.
Government Services :
Lawyers are appointed in central services
(Indian legal service) through UPSC on grounds of their experience in the field. Post covered under Indian legal service are Law officers, Assistant Advisors, Dy. Legal Advisors and Legal Advisers.
State legal service appoints lawyers through SPSC exams in senior position in State police/Revenue/Judicial Departments. The basic qualification is degree in law, besides a degree in Arts / Science / Commerce / Agriculture. Average age limit is between 21 to 30 years.
In the judiciary, the posts are that of the magistrate, district and sessions judge, munsifs (sub-magistrate), public prosecutor, solicitors, attorney general, advocate general, notary and oath commissioner. There are also legal secretaries appointed in assemblies, law inspectors, legal officers in banks, judicial members of income tax, sales tax and excise departments, government advocates and staff in the registrar of companies’ office. The examination for these posts takes place periodically & is advertised as and when the vacancies occur.
Magistrate and Sub-Magistrate
A candidate who qualifies in the Law Service Commission or State Public Service Commission is eligible for appointment as Magistrate and Sub-Magistrate ( munsif). While magistrate presides over criminal court, munsif delivers judgment on civil cases. Promotion may take a person higher up to sub-judge, District and Sessions Courts Judge and further (depending upon seniority and vacancy) to appointments in High Courts and the Supreme Court.
At the state, federal and local level, public defenders serve as court-appointed attorneys for those who cannot afford an attorney.
Govt. Pleaders represent the State in sessions courts and lends advice to officers in districts in all legal matters when called for.
Advises the government on legal matters and submit statement of important cases to Attorney General of India for his opinion or appearance in the Supreme court as necessary. A Solicitor General makes sure that the Attorney General performs his duties properly.
Attorney general appointed by the president advices the government of India on such legal matters as may be assigned to him by the president. He has the right of audience in all courts of India and participate in the proceedings of Parliament without the right to vote.
Similar to the post of Attorney General at centre, each state has an Advocate General appointed by State Governors. These offices generally prosecute cases that have statewide significance and work with local District Attorney’s offices in the prosecution of cases. One of the best ways to gain trial experience quickly after graduation is to work at a state attorney’s office.
Assistant State Attorneys (also called district attorneys) are primarily responsible for criminal matters and prosecution. The District Attorney is usually an elected official. Depending upon the size of the District Attorney’s office, they may have multiple units that focus upon different types of crime such as domestic violence, homicide, appellate work or sex crimes. If you work with a smaller District Attorney’s office, you may have the option of handling diverse caseloads.
Notary, Oath Commissioner
A notary is a legal practitioner of at least ten years experience in the profession. He is appointed on application to Central, State government to draw, verify, authenticate, certify and attest the execution of any deed. Oath commissioner is another established authority similar to the notary.
Public sector undertakings and state and central government organisations also employ lawyers as advisers.
Lawyer can also work as legal counsel and legal advisers for firms, organizations and families. They can work as trustees of various trusts, as teachers, law reporters, company secretary and so on. Opportunities exist in the defence services too. Additional qualification along with law degree offers scope for a wide range of employment opportunities.
They can work in the legal branches of defence departments such as the Indian army, Navy and Air force. They conduct courts of enquiry and court martials of offending service personnel governed by the particular legislation acts.
They work in legal departments of firms or for private clients. Legal advisers counsel their clients as to their legal rights and obligations and suggest the appropriate course of action in business and personal matters. They also check deeds, issue writs, collect information for affidavits and draft legal documents.
An advocate practises in the court of law. He represents a party (individual, group of individuals or a company) in a court of law. They present the facts of the case to the judge, cross/examine witnesses and finally sum up the reasons as to why the court should decide in their clients’ favour.
Solicitor is a kind of adviser to clients on a variety of matters that involves law. Solicitors explain the cases of his clients to the advocates. Solicitors need never appear in court directly. Solicitor’s firms undertake cases related to their area of work.
Those with a good aptitude and taste for teaching, can go for LL.M and take up job in any University or Institute offering law courses to students.
If he has a flair for writing may act as an author and produce journals and legal commentaries and bring out law reports. They can write articles for magazines, news papers etc.
A law graduate and/or a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries can be employed as a company secretary in a firm.