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CLAT: Gateway To a Rewarding Legal Career

Last Updated - September 28, 2016

Law as a career option, in India, has seen an upward shift. More and more number of students are pursuing law as a career path. There are currently about 20 lakh lawyers in India as per the Bar Council of India. It has enormous scope for students to explore wide opportunities as law no more is just restricted to the courtroom. Lawyers can now apply in various fields according to their interests and inclination.

Students can give the national level entrance exam - The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) to appear for a course in law. CLAT is conducted on rotation by 17 National Law Universities (NLUs) for admissions to their Under-Graduate (LL.B.) and Post-Graduate (LL.M.) degree programmes.

Giving the CLAT is a lucrative choice for students as it is the only exam that will get you through the top tier law schools in India – The National Law Universities

Read More:CLAT Exam Date

Career Choices

A lawyer was usually perceived as a person who goes to the court wearing their black and white attire and arguing in front of the judge! No more are law graduates only restricted to just visit courts and file cases. Opportunities for a law student are innumerable now.

With globalisation rising, India needs a huge number of highly accomplished lawyers. Lawyers having knowledge in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, debt restructuring, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), corporate governance, equity deals, etc. are in great demand these days.

Litigation

One of the traditional career options after getting your law dree is litigation. Traditionally, litigation was only concentrated in areas of civil and criminal law. This scene has changed completely now. Even a litigating lawyer has vast options ranging from family law to constitution law to property matters! The salary offered to straight-out-of-law school graduates is not very high but the exposure one gets after spending time as a litigation lawyer is immeasurable. Being patient in the field is imperative for each candidate so as to flourish as a litigator.

Read More:CLAT Eligibility

Corporate Law

In simple words, a corporate lawyer assists the working of his/her company in legal matters. This includes end-to-end services being provided to the company in diverse legal matters. Such matters include an acquisition of a rival, an investment that is coming up, taxes, any general legal advice, etc. Corporate lawyers are the people whose expertise is used by the stakeholders to make such decisions and comply with the legal framework of the country. These lawyers are the backbone of any company!

A Corporate counsel is the team of corporate lawyers that work for a company. The counsel has to regularly be in touch with all the departments to understand the intricacies of the business. Some bigshots that hire law graduates as a part of their legal counsel include the TATA Group, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, IBM, Infosys, etc. Corporate lawyers are given handsome salaries along with other benefits like accommodation, memberships, medical insurance, etc.

Legal Process Outsourcing

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is an emerging concept in India. To put it simply, there are companies who do not have expertise in the legal field. To solve this problem, big companies may resort to hiring experts from legal backgrounds to solve and handle their legal matters. This saves the big companies a lot of time and money. Several firms have come up in India in the last few years to offer legal services to established organisations.

The salaries offered to professionals pursuing this career are extremely high, even for a graduate! This is definitely one of the many reasons that law graduates are willing to work for such firms.

Read More: CLAT Exam Centres

Research and Pedagogy

Another rewarding career option is becoming a research scholar or taking up law as a teaching profession. If you are person who values the satisfaction of passing on knowledge than money, this is the right career choice for you! One can even pursue further research works in various fields like Environment Law, International Law, Human Rights, Corporate Law, etc.

A faculty of a Law School is usually paid on an hourly basis along with the other perks and benefits!

Judiciary

These are the Judges who take up high positions in the judiciary system. To become a judiciary, one has to sit for a separate exam after completing L.L.B. This comes with a lot of accountability and is no cake-walk. One has to understand, with great power, come great responsibility! Therefore it is essential for candidates to work extra hard to get to such positions as they will be the ones who will take decisions.

Legal Journalism

Other avenues for lawyers to explore include interesting areas such as Legal Journalism. There is wide scope for lawyers willing to take up Legal journalism as a career. Legal Journalism refers to specialized reporting about all matters concerned with the field of law. A legal journalist essentially covers legal proceedings in courts, crime beats, and arbitration events in courts. What sets lawyer apart from the regular journalists is that lawyers understand the law and can report the correct & useful information to the public.

The average starting salaries for some of the career choices as a lawyer are shown below:

CARRERSALARY IN LPA
Litigation2.1
Corporate Law6
Legal Process Outsourcing6.5

As seen above, the average pay of a lawyers pursuing litigation is not very high. But the hands-on experience one gets while working in litigation is unlimited. One may get attracted to becoming a corporate lawyer or working for a Legal Process Outsourcing firm looking at the heavy salaries. But these career options come with their own challenges. It is up to your personal interest where you would find a comfortable work-life balance.

Outline of CLAT Exam

The Common Law Admission Test is a national level law entrance test for applying to respectable law schools. The number of students appearing for CLAT is increasing each year. Close to 45,000 students took the exam this year! With approximately 2,179 seats to offer, the admission to law schools under CLAT is extremely high!

 

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates willing to appear for CLAT must fulfil the following criteria:

Age Limit

There exists no upper age limit for candidates applying for undergraduate or post graduate courses.

Educational Qualification for UG Courses

The candidates must satisfy the following educational criteria to appear for the examination:

  • The candidate must have passed 10+2 or any equivalent examination with minimum 45% marks belonging to Unreserved/OBC/Specially Abled Persons Categories.
  • The minimum marks requirement for candidates belonging to SC/ST Category is 40% marks in 10+2 or any equivalent examination.

Educational Qualification for PG Courses

  • Candidate should have passed LL.B. or equivalent degree in law examination with a minimum of 55% marks in case of Unreserved/OBC/Specially abled persons categories.
  • The minimum eligibility criteria for SC/ST category is 50% marks.

Read More AboutCLAT Exam

Paper Pattern

The CLAT exam is an online exam of a total of 200 questions. For every correct answer, the examinee is awarded 1 mark and 0.25 mark is deducted for every wrong answer. Therefore the paper is of a total of 200 marks. The test duration is 120 minutes (2 hours).

Section-wise breakup

Below is the section-wise break up of marks for the CLAT exam:

SubjectMarks
English (including comprehension)40
General Knowledge and Current Affairs50
Mathematical Ability (Elementary Mathematics)20
Legal Aptitude50
Logical Reasoning40

Read More AboutCLAT Syllabus

Preparation Strategies

English

The English section includes a comprehension passage with 10 questions based on it, identifying grammatical errors, questions on idioms, migratory words and spelling mistakes and some basic vocabulary based questions. This section is considered to be simple when compared to other sections.

General Knowledge

In the General Knowledge section, one can expect questions from both current affairs and static general knowledge. One should keep a tab on the happenings around the world and in India to be able to properly attempt this section.

Mathematical Ability

The Mathematical Ability section assesses basic elementary mathematics. Questions come from topics such as averages, ratio and proportion, time and work, time and distance, simple and compound interest, etc.

Legal Reasoning

This section tests the student’s inclination towards the study of law, research aptitude and problem solving ability. Questions will be framed on a legal principle, a factual situation and four options. Candidates will have to assume the “truth” of these principles and answer the questions applying their legal judgement.

Logical Reasoning

The Logical Reasoning section contains questions on puzzles, syllogisms and analytical reasoning-based questions. This section is slightly tricky for students. One should make sure to practice thoroughly the questions numerous times.

Read More:CLAT Sample Papers

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