How to Become a Lawyer | How Many Years It Takes to Become a Lawyer
A lawyer is a prestigious profession with great earning potential. But, pursuing a career in law and making a career in it needs a lot of hard work, time, commitment and enough financial resources. Lawyers are considered as a public image of any society like doctors, bankers, police officers, etc.
In this field, you get multiple options to choose, you can be a criminal, civil, corporate or intellectual property lawyer. Lawyer jobs and duties vary according to the employer, field, and work context. But the main responsibility of a lawyer to apply the legal knowledge and theories and resolve individual problems.
In this article, we will discuss on how to become a lawyer, how much time it takes to be a lawyer and other key steps required to become a lawyer in India.
How to Become a Lawyer?
To become a lawyer, you need to be academically qualified and licensed to manage all your professional tasks. Academic qualifications are a prerequisite to taking a state’s bar examination. Here is the complete process on how to become a lawyer:
Step 1: Choose any Stream for 12th
There is no specific stream so, you can go in the law field with any stream. Generally, students who want to pursue law, they choose Political Science, Legal Studies, Economics, History and Psychology in 12th because these subjects help them in getting basic knowledge of the subjects taught in Law schools.
Step 2: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
To take admission in law school, you should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university. Here, you have two options. You can either pursue a graduate degree in LAW (L.L.B) or go with any other subject. Except a few, law schools do not need to ask for specific major prerequisites.
Step 3: Acquiring a law degree
There are two types of LLB courses available in India: an integrated 5-year program and a 3-year program that you can pursue after completing graduation.
Pursuing Law after Class 12th (5-Year L.L.B Program)
If your dream is to be a lawyer, pursuing law just after 12th is one of the best options to pursue a career in Law. There are numerous universities in India offering the 5-year LLB degree. Admission to this course is based on the entrance exam conducted by the respective universities or institutions. The best part about this 5-year program is that you get great exposure to Law subjects at graduation level and grab insights into the core subjects of Law. Besides, by pursuing this course, you can save a year of study in comparison to the law courage you do after graduation.
To take admission in this course, you need to pass the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) which is accepted for admission into the 14 National Law Universities in India.
Top Institutes for 5-year L.L.B Programs in India
- National Law University, New Delhi
- National Law University, Jodhpur
- National Law University, Bhopal
- Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
- National Law School of India University, Bangalore
- Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
- Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
Pursuing Law after Graduation (3-Year L.L.B Program)
If you have passed your graduation and now you are planning to make your career in law, opt for a 3-year LLB degree. To take admission in course, you just need to pass your bachelor’s in any stream with at least 50 per cent marks.
There is not a huge difference between these two-course, the only difference is that in the 5-Year L.L.B Program you only study core Law subjects, while in the 3-Year L.L.B Program, you also study the basic subjects of graduation along with the core subjects of Law.
Top Institutes for 3-Year L.L.B Programs in India
- Government Law College, Mumbai
- Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, New Delhi
- Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat
- Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- ILS Law College, Pune
- Banaras Hindu University, UP
Correspondence/ Distance Learning Courses
Apart from the above 3-Year L.L.B Programs and for 5-year L.L.B Programs, you also have the opportunity to study law through Correspondence or Distance Learning Courses.
Many reputed Universities like National Law School Of India University, Delhi University, Osmania University, Pune University are offering distance learning courses.
One important point that you should know that the Bar Council of India does not recognise any correspondence or distance education degree for the law. That means, even if you work hard and manage to obtain a degree by studying a distance learning or correspondence course, you will not be able to practice in a Court.
As per the section 24 of the Advocates Act, Advocates are the only class of persons entitled to practice the profession of law and any person who practises in any court or before any authority or person, in or before whom he is not entitled to practice under the provisions of this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months.
Step 4: Practical Experience Through Internships
Once, done with the classroom courses, it is mandatory to do an internship under a senior advocate or a law firm according to the norms set by the specific institution. The duration of the internship should be a minimum of one month.
You don’t need to wait for graduation to do an internship. If you want, you can do so during your graduation also. Doing 2-3 internships under different advocates or firms are great for gaining a diverse knowledge of the subject.
Step 5: Enrolment with state bar council
Finally, we are at the last step on how to become a lawyer. You need to enrol yourself as an advocate in any of the state bar councils regulated by the Advocates Act 1961. The State Bar Councils do not hold any uniform process of registration. After doing the registration, you have to clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), conducted by the Bar Council of India. After you qualify this exam, you receive a certificate of practice.
You have finished your LLB, at this stage, you can either choose to start practising, or you can continue with studies. You can opt for a PG course to get in-depth knowledge in your area of interest and specialise in the particular field of Law. LL.M. (Master of Law), MBL (Master of Business Laws) and PG Diploma courses are some great options to do after LLB. If you want to go into research and publishing or the education sector, the specialization will help you enhance your knowledge. PG law courses can be used to specialize in disciplines like:
- Criminal Law
- Civil Law
- Corporate Law
- IP Law
- Business Law
- Taxation Law
- Labour Law
How Many Years It Takes to Become a Lawyer?
In general, a prospective lawyer needs 7 years of post-high school education in order to sit for a bar examination. It includes 4-years of undergraduate studies and 3 years of law studies. A J.D. is a postgraduate degree and hence needs an undergraduate degree as a prerequisite to admission.
Major Skills to be a Lawyer
Here is the list of major skills that a lawyer should have to be successful in the career:
Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are very important when it comes to major skills to be a lawyer. While working on the case, a lawyer must have to think beyond their emotions and prejudice from their clients’ issues and find relevant information. Here, having good problem-solving skills allows lawyers to prepare the best defence and recommendations for their clients.
Analytical skills: The major responsibility of a lawyer is to help their client in solving problems. Here to understand the situation and find the solutions, the person should be capable enough in analyzing a lot of facts, data, and information.
Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skill is something lawyers need from the first day they start their career as a lawyer. At the initial phase of any case, a lawyer tries to win the respect and confidence of their clients by building a trusting relationship. Then clients feel comfortable in sharing their personal and important information related to their case.
Research skills: Lawyers need to be experts in research. For every case, they have to find laws and regulations relevant to the matter they are working on. So that they can provide proper legal advice to their clients.
Speaking & Writing Skills: Lawyers should have excellent speaking and writing skills. Because their main task is related to speaking and writing. Good speaking skill allows Lawyers to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries, and good writing allow them to be precise and specific when preparing documents, like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
This is all about How to Become a Lawyer, step-by-step process to start a career as a lawyer in India, how many years to be a lawyer and major skills of a lawyer. It’s true that becoming a lawyer is a time-consuming process, requiring unwavering commitment but this is financially satisfying and socially fulfilling, the two major factors that we consider while making a carer decision.
That’s it! We hope this guide will help you. If you want to know about the career opportunities as a lawyer, click on the link given below.
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