Law Scope in India | Career options after Law

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Relevance Of Comparative Constitutional Law- Madhava  Menon

11 ,December 2019

Legal education in India has undergone momentous evolution. It is no longer just about theoretical learning from hefty books. In contemporary times, the top law colleges in India offer a stimulating curriculum loaded with excellent interactive activities that present the students with an array of opportunities which contribute towards their all-round development.

One of the most popular choices amongst the professional courses in India, a degree in law is much sought after. This degree aims at transforming an individual into a well-rounded persona, with a sound legal knowledge supplemented by fine analytical skills and articulation. From the vivacious and dynamic mooting culture to the establishment of legal aid services at college level, court visits, debating activities, mock trials and much more, legal education in India has come a long way.

The Initial Footstep: Admission into Law Colleges

The period after the completion of high school is the most crucial and anxiety-ridden for students. To be able to decide what course you’d chart in vocational terms, it is important to discern the difference between interest and imposition. Question yourself as to why you would want to pursue a course for the next 3-5years of your life, before setting foot into any undergraduate program.  

When it comes to opting for professional courses, it becomes all the more important to have a sound knowledge and proper guidance regarding what the courses entails. This is the foremost step in making an informed career choice. 

As far as law is concerned, the degree can be obtained in two ways:

  • Bachelors in Law after class high-School:

B.A.L.L.B course is a five year integrated program that combines courses from humanities with law subjects for a rich and unique learning experience, making the curriculum professionally diverse and weighted. Combinations such as B.Com L.LB and B.Tech L.L.B are also available to widen the scope of career opportunities in the legal as well as other interdisciplinary sectors.  

Admission to law schools in India can be secured after the10+2 level, by appearing for law entrance exams set-up on a national and state level. CLAT, Common Law Admission Test, is the most popular entrance exam for integrated B.A.LLB courses, conducted on a pan-India level. CLAT score and ranking play the decisive role in admissions to various law colleges in India, including the top government colleges like NLIU, Bangalore (the top law college in India), Faculty of Law, DU and the emerging private institutes like Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida (ranked the 5th  best private law college by India Today, 2019) and many more.  

Other top law entrance exams include:

The minimum requirement for these entrance exams is completion of 10+2, with a required minimum percentage (usually 50-55%), from a recognized board in any field (science, commerce, humanities). 

  • After Graduation:

If you feel that law is you calling after having already completed some other degree, there is the option of perusing a three-year L.L.B degree to enter the legal domain.

L.L.B degree offers an intensive study of legal aspects like Jurisprudence, Contract Laws, Legal Methods, Litigation, Environmental Law, Human Rights Laws, etc.  The L.L.B syllabus, across all colleges and universities n India, is comprehensively compiled keeping in mind the knowledge base and the professional aspect of the discipline.

Various entrance exams that cater to admissions to this course include:

The minimum criterion for admission to an L.L.B program is successful completion of an undergraduate degree from a recognized university in any discipline, with the specified minimum percentage.

The Diverse Career Options in Law
As Bachelors of Law, legal professionals have the privilege of gaining an entry into any of the three seminal organs of the government. All other degrees can make you eligible for a budding career in the Executive and/or the Legislature, but only a law degree will serve as your ticket to admission into the Legislative wing. The scope of legal career is not limited to just courtroom and legal battles. A plethora of opportunities are to be had in various sectors like law firms at corporate houses, administrative law firms, alternate dispute resolution units, etc.

Don’t let the black and white garb beguile you into believing that law is about insipid mugging of extensive procedures and statues. The beauty of law lies in the very art of interpreting it in its various dimensions, which ads hues of creativity to this field of knowledge.

Following are a range of career alternatives that a law graduate can opt for:

1- Litigation:

What is Litigation?

Litigation basically refers to the legal proceedings that take place in the court of law and requires two lawyers pleading for their respective clients/parties. A professional litigator hears, then drafts, assists and fights the case of his/her client in the court or tribunal. A litigating lawyer practices law in the courts, for which an approval from the Bar Council of India is mandatory. Even though a law graduate is eligible to start practicing right after the completion of the undergraduate degree, but contemporary trend has seen a rise in the number of litigators opting for specializations in various areas to widen their horizon of knowledge and enhance their professional standing. Different types of Specialization in law are Civil/Criminal, Law Business Law, Human Rights Law, Labor Law, amongst others. 


Litigation is a stimulating and highly rewarding career. One can start the practice under a trial court lawyer and gradually make their way up to the higher courts. A career in litigation is a laborious and challenging one. Uncertainty regarding the fact whether or not you can establish yourself as a successful and sought after litigator always looms large.

Considering this career option from the point of view of remuneration, young graduates might find it difficult to make two ends meet in the beginning. The starting monthly salary offered by courts like the Delhi High Court is somewhere around Rs 8,000-15,000 for beginners. Even though senior and established lawyers make up to 2,00,000 per month, the journey is along and arduous one.

2- Indian Legal Service:

What is Indian Legal Service?

The government is one of the biggest sectors where a large diversity of professionals can render their services for the welfare of the state and betterment of the society. A combined exam known as the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Exam, is conducted by the Public Commission of various states that enables law graduates, between the ages of 21-35 years, to become a part of the sub-ordinate judiciary. This exam opens up a wide range of career opportunities in the legal field in government institutions, such as public prosecutors, legal secretaries, government advocates, members of law commission, Attorney General, so on and so forth. About 60,000 aspirants appear for these exams, out of which barely 15-20% qualify.


The salary of appointed officials is fixed as per the norms of the concerned governments. Increments and allowances are also as per the decided government mandates. Job security, financial stability and social recognition make this a lucrative career option for law graduates around the country.  

3- Teaching & Writing:

Scope of Teaching in the Legal Domain:

To create an army of able professionals, it is extremely important to have a strong foundation on which the edifice of educational and professional excellence can be built. A career as a law professor is as rewarding as it is personally satisfying. Prestigious universities offer rewarding jobs to law graduates and post-graduate scholars.

Subsequent to successful completion an L.L.M degree, the interested post-graduates can sit for UGC-NET (National Eligibility Test). After qualification, they become eligible to apply for various Assistant Professor Posts in several colleges, all over the country. An added value to this professional alternative is lent by doing a PhD research and writing papers for publication in renowned journals, magazines and books to add value to your academic profile.


Teaching career has tremendous scope and is a lucrative one for young post-graduates. A UGC-NET qualified Assistant Professor, as per the 7th pay commission, gets a starting monthly salary of Rs 57,700. The Junior Research Fellows get a stipend of Rs 31,000 (per month) for two years and the Senior Research Fellows are given Rs 35,000, after 2 years of scholarship.

4- Law firms

What are law firms?

A law firm is a business enterprise, collectively set-up by a group of lawyers for the purpose of practicing law. There are numerous law firms, small and large, spread across the country. Whereas some law firm employees deal with a broad range of disputes that may not be limited to one particular area of law, others cater to specific ones like banking, corporate law, finance, etc. The benefits of working with a law firm include wide-ranging resources from the firm, a varied and huge client base, well-equipped and plush offices; extensive and global networking as well as exposure accompanied by good status and reputation.


Law firms generally offer a substantially well-paid job. A law firm partner can make up to an average of Rs 12lakhs to 25lakhs per annum.

5- Corporate Lawyers

What does the job entail?

Some companies like Khaitan and Co. have their own legal department. This career option falls within the ambit of Corporate Law. Usually freshers are not preferred by companies looking for experienced lawyers to tackle the legal aspects of their corporate dealings.


Corporate lawyers are pretty well-paid, given the fact that they are experienced professional who deal with a specialized area, i.e. the corporate law. Their salaries can range anywhere between Rs 10lakhs – 20/25lakhs per annum.

6- Solicitor:

What does the job entail?

Solicitors are specialists who counsel their clients and also do the drafting of documents for them, but do not represent their clients in the court. They rather arrange for advocates to plead for their clients in the court of law.  They deal with matters like divorce, Business Law, Wills and Trusts, etc. If you wish to make a career as a Solicitor in India, you need to complete an articleship in a Solicitor Firm, which spans over a course of three-years and is awarded only after successfully appearing in the Solicitor’s Exam.  


If associated with a renowned and reliable firm, a solicitor can earn a starting salary of 2-4 lakh per annum.

Emerging career options:

With changing socio-cultural scenario, there are many unconventional and new career options that can be explored by a law graduate. Some of them are as follows:

1- Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism involves third-party mediation between the disputing parties so as to make out of court settlements and avoid conventional litigation.

It is an emerging career option that is quite promising, given the number of unheard and unresolved pending cases in Indian courts. A certain amount of practical knowledge in this field is required to embark upon this alternative in the legal domain as a Mediator or Arbitrator.

Your appointment can be as an individual Arbitrator by a party or as a member to the panel of arbitrators of some Arbitration Institution.

2- Entrepreneurship

Although, law as a profession is wrought with risks and difficulties, lawyers are laid at the door of taking unproblematic stances, especially in the corporate scheme of things. More often than not, lawyers take neutral and riskless positions that are seen as a deterrent to risk laden professions like business. It gives rise to the supposition that they make poor businessmen, and generally have anti-business contributions to make. Unlike this conventional wisdom then, lawyers across the world have proven to be exceptional businessmen. CEOs of top companies, founders of Fortune 500 companies and remarkable Indian companies, have been law graduates or former lawyers themselves.

For instance, the founder of Godrej Group, Ardeshir Godrej was a lawyer before the fruition of his spiraling business empire. Similarly, Managing Directors of companies like Goldman Sachs, Disney, IndiGo and CCavenue, amongst others were all lawyers.

Lawyers and entrepreneurs have a myriad things in common, some of which are -

1- Persuasive abilities
2- Planning in advance, weighing risks and gains
3- Strong research skills
4- Market knowledge
5- Leadership qualities
6- Damage control abilities

Lawyers entering business and creating firms - enmeshes two sectors - the secondary with the services. The amalgamation of this is especially pertinent at a time that witnesses a drop in the employability of the two. The awareness of the market and the tricks of the trade are tacitly understood by a lawyer-businessman, benefitting economically and adding to the economy simultaneously.

3. Journalism

From to, the upsurge of legal media platforms has given rise to a new field of coalescence of legal knowledge with journalism. The inquisitive, persuading, logical side of journalism has direct resonance with law. The knack for writing and speaking, not only adds to the communicative aspect in one’s personality, but the ability to embark on newer domains of knowledge and dissemination. As for the viability of such a profession, a legal correspondent or a new anchor/ journalist, both are very well paid professions. The legal know-how only adds to the texture of journalistic writing and correspondence. Reasons why a lawyer can have a smooth transition into a journalist - include but are not restricted to the following reasons -

1. The awareness of your surroundings, your rights, to accessing information and the setbacks of the same is understood by a lawyer easier than any other journalist

2. In addition to being aware of RTI amongst other rights, duties, a law student is also taught humanities during their course of their degree.

3. The granular details that a lawyer can add to legal writing and to the legal journalism as a whole will be matched with little to no competition in a space where most students have a liberal arts or media background.

The scope of careers related to law is vast in India and abroad. This degree equips an individual with several skills that enable him/her to explore the legal dimension of diverse fields. A degree in law is hence, an empowering and rewarding one that lays open myriad career opportunities ahead of the degree holder.

Sakshi Dhaulta
Assistant Professor
Lloyd Law College