Most of us start thinking about our careers after we complete our 10+2 examinations. The question that comes to our mind then, is: what should I opt for? In many, if not most, cases, the decisions taken by students are mainly influenced by their environment – factors such as peer pressure, parental influence etc. play a significant role.
Many are captivated by popular career choices such as engineering (Non-Medical), medical, CA etc. Most students – and parents – are not even aware that careers in law are often far more rewarding financially than the average traditional careers and hence, most students tend to disregard law as a career option. It is well known that other than the traditional 3-year LLB courses that are available only to graduates, the option of a 5 year LLB (integrated degree in law and humanities / business management etc.) is open to students who have completed their 10+2. The focus of this article will be on the 5 year integrated courses in law offered by renowned institutes.
There is a saying “Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” Considering monetary rewards thus, is an important criterion for deciding on a career. Let us then examine career opportunities in law.
The usual option of practicing at courts is very well known. However, nowadays there are far more diverse and exciting career options available in the field of law. Just like reputed engineering institutes such as IITs and reputed management institutes such as IIMs, placement opportunities in the final and pre-final year of education are available to students of National Law Universities (NLUs).
Law graduates from NLUs can secure exciting positions with domestic law firms that offer packages from Rs. 4 Lakh per annum to Rs. 12 Lakh per annum. Besides domestic law firms, foreign law firms (mainly from U.K.) also recruit law graduates with a package of 36,000 British Pounds per annum which increases to 65,000 British Pounds per annum after two years of training.
Any leading company that one can think of, for e.g. ICICI Bank, Bharti Group (Airtel), TATA Group, Reliance Industries etc. has its own legal team that looks after legal issues arising in the course of day-to-day operations of the company. A law graduate from a NLU placed with such a company can expect pay packages of Rs. 4 Lakh per annum onwards.
Logically the next important question to which one must seek an answer is how to get admission to NLUs?
The answer is Common Law Admission Test more popularly known by its acronym CLAT, which is held every year on the second Sunday of May at different centers across the country.
The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an all India entrance examination conducted by 14 National Law Schools / Universities for admissions to five year integrated graduate courses. The 14 participating NLUs in the order of their year of establishment are:
1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
2. NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR)
3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
5. National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
6. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
8. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
9. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (RGNUL)
10. Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
12. National Law University, Orissa (NLUO)
13. National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
14. National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA)
To be eligible to appear in CLAT-2012, a candidate should have obtained a Senior Secondary School / Intermediate or its equivalent qualification from a recognized Board with not less than 50% marks in aggregate (45% in case of SC/ST/OBC and PWD). Candidates who have appeared in 10+2 examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear in the test. Age of candidate should not be more than 20 years in case of General/OBC candidates (22 years in case of SC/ST and persons with Disability) as on 1st July, 2012.
Pattern of the CLAT Question Paper
There is no negative marking. It is imperative that students make an informed choice about their careers. After all, this decision would shape what they do for next four odd decades of their precious lives.
(The author is alumnus NLS Bangalore and is associated with Career Launcher.)