Law as a career
What comes to your mind when you think about law as a career? An advocate who argues and a judge who decides. That’s it. Right?
You see law as black and white. That image of lawyer wearing a black-coat over a white shirt is etched firmly in our minds. That’s what the movies show. And that’s what you see outside the nearest district court.
The true colours of law as a career, however, are myriad and vivid. This is what your image should be
Today, law students work in multifarious work settings. They work in law firms like Amarchand & Mangaldas and AZB, in companies like HCL and Airtel, in banks like ICICI and NABARD, with NGOs, LPOs (Legal Process Outsourcing Companies), with international organizations including the UN and, of course, with top lawyers like Harish Salve and Ram Jethmalani.
And there is more. If writing is your calling, legal journalism offers you great opportunities. Interested in psychology? You could work on criminal psychology and help states come out with better laws on this issue. Genetically geeky? We are sure you’d love cyber law. Environmentally conscious? Environment lawyers are in the forefront of the policy work and debates related to our environment. Many law students also opt for civil services and judicial services as their career. And no other profession churns better politicians!
Very few careers can be so diverse and flexible.
Where to Study Law?
Introducing National Law Universities (NLUs)
To get the sorts of jobs mentioned above, you need entry into the best law schools in India. National Law Universities (NLUs) are the IITs and IIMs of legal education. Currently, we have 16 NLUs participating under CLAT.
The top 7 NLUs (not in the order of ranking) are: National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU); NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR); National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU); The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS); National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ); Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU); Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU).
Some of the newly established NLUs are: Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU); Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (RGNUL); Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU); National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS); National Law University, Orissa (NLUO); National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL); National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA); Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam (DSNLU) and The Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirappalli (TNNLS).
The National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) has fast emerged as amongst the best NLUs.
Other good law colleges include ILS Law College, Pune; Symbiosis Law School, Pune; Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat; Faculty of Law, University of Delhi; Army Institute of Law, Mohali; Government Law College, Mumbai; Amity Law School, Delhi; KIIT Law School, Bhubaneswar and Christ Law College, Bangalore.
CLAT (Common Law Admission Test)
Total Marks 200
Number of multiple-choice questions of one mark each 200
Duration of Examination Two hours (02:00 hours)
Subject areas with Weightage
English including Comprehension 40 Marks
General Knowledge and Current Affairs 50 Marks
Elementary Mathematics (Numerical Ability) 20 Marks
Legal Aptitude 50 Marks
Logical Reasoning 40 Marks
There shall be a system of Negative Marking wherein 0.25 marks will be deducted for wrong answer.
The different subject areas of the examination are explained as under:
1. English including comprehension
The English section will test the candidates’ proficiency in English based on comprehension passages and grammar. In the comprehension section, candidates will be questioned on their understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used therein etc. The grammar section requires correction of incorrect grammatical sentences, filling of blanks in sentences with appropriate words, etc.
2. General Knowledge and Currents Affairs
As far as general knowledge is concerned, the candidates will be tested on their general awareness including static general knowledge. Questions on current affairs will test candidates on their knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2014 and April 2015)
This section will test candidate’s knowledge on elementary mathematics, i.e. maths taught up to Class X.
4. Legal Aptitude
This section will test candidate’s interest towards study of law, research aptitude and problem solving ability. Questions will be framed with the help of legal propositions (described in the paper), and a set of facts to which the said proposition has to be applied. Some propositions may not be “true” in the real sense (e.g. the legal proposition may be that any person who speaks in a movie hall and disturbs others that are watching the movie will be banned from entering any movie theatre across India for one year). Candidates will have to assume the “truth” of these propositions and answer the questions accordingly.
5. Logical Reasoning
The purpose of the logical reasoning section is to test the candidate’s ability to identify patterns, logical links and rectify illogical arguments. It will include a wide variety of logical reasoning questions such as syllogisms, logical sequences, analogies, etc. However, visual reasoning will not be tested.