The legal profession is one with unlimited scope for growth and success. In the present times of liberalization and globalization, there is no scarcity of job opportunities, as more and more law experts are required to handle cases of myriad nature. India currently boasts of more than 5,00,000 lawyers and the legal fraternity is continuing to grow with more than 15,000 fresh graduates joining the profession every year. LLB graduates are no longer just employed in the traditional role of lawyers and judges in different legal establishment in the country such as trial courts, sessions courts, high courts, Supreme Court and other quasi-judicial organizations. Today, a person holding a law degree can find employment opportunities in numerous fields. Some of the most popular career opportunities after LLB are:
One of the most obvious career choices for fresh graduates after obtaining a degree in law is to practice law as an advocate or lawyer. Setting up your own practice right after completing LLB is always an option, however, it is always advisable to gain some experience and get on-the-job training by working with a law firm or assisting an establish lawyer. Fresh graduates can also explore the option of working as legal advisors or counsels with corporate firms and multi-national organizations. The standard starting salary for lawyers starting out as assistants to senior lawyers is roughly around Rs 15,000 a month. However, corporate law firms often offer better pay packages ranging between Rs 30,000-35,000. Law firms Talwar Thakore Associates (TTA) and Khaitan and Co set a new precedent in pay packages by offering law graduates annual packages to the tune of Rs 13 lakh and 14.4 lakh, respectively. With almost five years of experience, you can aim for a monthly salary upward of Rs 1 lakh a month.
Another lucrative career option after obtaining a degree in law is the judiciary. Anyone possessing a degree in law, along with a bachelor degree in arts, commerce or science is eligible for appearing the judiciary services exams conducted by the public service commission. You start of your career as a magistrate, who hears criminal cases, or sub-judge, who presides over civil cases, and later rise through the ranks becoming a District and Sessions Judge through promotions. Judges with an extraordinary career profile can also go on to be appointed as judges of the high court and Supreme Court. The monthly salary of an entry level district judge is Rs 28,000. After promotion as entry level district judge the salary increases to Rs 60,000 a month, where as the salary of a senior division civil judge is Rs 45,000 a month.
Other Government Jobs
In addition to the judiciary, law graduates and lawyers can be employed in several other government-run services. Of these the most sought after are the position of a legal advisor for the Department of Legal affairs, legislative counsel for Department of Legislative affairs. These appointments are made on both central and state government levels. As a legal advisor or legislative counsel, you can rise to the ranks of a secretary-level officer over the years. In addition to this, all central and state-run government departments, ministries and undertaking need legal representatives, legal advisors and law officers. Other posts such as members of Law Commission, Attorney General, Advocate General, Public Prosecutors, tribunal judges, and legal secretaries in legislative assemblies are also open to law professionals, however, a certain amount of experience is required to hold these positions.
Fresh graduates are often appointed to non-gazetted posts such as legal assistants and judicial translators. You can also make a career as a commissioned officer in the armed forces by joining the legal arms of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy. The salaries for entry level government jobs can range from Rs 13,500 to 39,000, depending upon the post. As commissioned officers in the armed forces, the starting salary is around Rs 35,000 plus perks and allowances. Increase in salary for all government jobs is subject to government policy on increments.
Another career option available to law graduates is to teach in institutions and universities offering LLB course. However, a majority of these law schools prefer teachers with an LLM degree or even a PhD or hire eminent lawyers as visiting faculty. If you wish to pursue a career as a law teacher, you must invest in obtaining a master’s degree in law. Meanwhile, you can start a private coaching practice and help students prepare for law entrance exams. The starting salary for teachers is around Rs 14,500 and can go up to Rs 51,000 in a span of five years. Your earnings from a private coaching depend solely on the strength of students and reputation.
This is a largely untapped field in the Indian law industry so far, and one with immense potential for growth. Legal outsourcing, basically, refers to the practice of law firms outsourcing legal services to individuals outside the organization. The practice is in sync with the trend of offshoring, as the law firms outsourcing these jobs are based in a different country. It is a lucrative job prospect with potential for growth and a great pay package. The rider, however, is that the individuals working on these outsourced projects must qualify the bar exam of the concerned country. The starting salary in this field may vary from a modest Rs 20,000 to whopping Rs 95,000 a month, depending on the law firm you are working for.
The need for conflict resolution is never going to be a thing of past, and so, law graduates can continue to hope for lucrative careers.