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Chetna Verma

Updated on 22nd February, 2024 , 10 min read

How to Become a Lawyer in India ?

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Becoming a lawyer is one of the most rewarding career options in India, both in terms of job satisfaction and potential salary.  As per the Bar Council of India, there are approximately 12 lakh registered lawyers, 950 law schools, and 4-5 lakh law students in the Indian legal profession. In India, every year, around 60,000–70,000 law graduates enter the legal profession.

For those who dream of becoming lawyers, this article acts as a career guide. Eligibility criteria to become a lawyer begin with students achieving at least 60% marks or an equivalent CGPA in Class 12 board exams. After 12th, students must appear for law entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT, and AILET to get admission into one of the top law colleges in India such as NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Delhi, NALSAR University Hyderabad, IIT Kharagpur, etc.

Law courses to become a lawyer include LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, and BCom LLB After an undergraduate or integrated law degree, students can opt for Master of Law courses like LLM or LLD. As per the chosen specialization, aspirants can start practicing the legal profession. It must be noted that candidates must clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law in India.

Related Articles: 5 Best Lawyers in India

How to Become a Lawyer: Key Points

How-to-Become-a-Lawyer

Industry type

Law, Legal Profession

Eligibility Criteria

10+2 (any stream) with a minimum of 60% aggregate marks

Qualify law entrance exams

Admission Process

Based on Merit and Entrance exams

Specializations

Civil, Criminal, Corporate, Tax, etc

Average Starting Salary

INR 4-6 LPA

Highest Salary

INR 80 lakhs to 1 crore

Job Opportunities

Lawyer, Judge, Family Lawyers, Corporate Lawyers, etc

Further Reading: Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate

Who is a Lawyer?

A lawyer is a qualified and licensed practitioner who drafts legal documents to administer, prosecute, or defend judicial action. Basically, lawyers are responsible for offering solutions to the legal problems of their clients. As per their specialization, lawyers deal with a wide range of cases including divorce, property disputes, matrimonial problems, and criminal offenses. They are compensated for the cases that they fight.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Lawyer

Using legal knowledge, lawyers assist clients in understanding and addressing legal issues.  Although lawyers have different roles and responsibilities as per their area of expertise, most lawyers work with the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Composing legal documents and submitting them to the appropriate authorities and courts
  • Accompanying clients at trials and hearings
  • Establishing a case, working with the police and investigators, and preparing for trials and mediations
  • Reviewing a case and providing clients with legal options
  • Presenting a client's case to the judge with arguments

Also Read: Judge Salary in India

Eligibility Criteria to Become a Lawyer

Students must fulfill the following eligibility criteria to become a lawyer:

  • Students must fulfill the following eligibility criteria to become lawyers:
  • Pass the 12th exam with a 60% aggregate score or equivalent CGPA.
  • Clear national and university-level law entrance exams like CLATLSAT, and AILET.
  • Acquire an undergraduate or integrated law degree in LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, BSc LLB, and BCom LLB.
  • Candidates with LLM degrees can also become lawyers.

Must Read: All about LLB Entrance Exams 

Top Law Colleges in India

Check out the Top Law Colleges in your City:

Check out the Top Law Colleges in your State:

See Also: Top Government Law Colleges in India

Types of Law Specializations

The table below mentions the different specializations that students can choose in the domain of law:

Civil Law

Criminal Law

 

Corporate Law

 

Human Rights Law

 

Family law

 

Consumer Protection law

 

Intellectual property law

 

Environment law

 

Real Estate Law

 

Tax law

 

Administrative law

 

Labor law

 

Cyberlaw

 

Animal rights Law

 

Mergers and Acquisition Law

 

Read More: Difference Between Civil Law and Corporate Law.

Qualifications to Become a Lawyer in India

qualifications-to-become-a-lawyer

To become a lawyer in India, students are required to complete a few academic qualifications. Aspirants can select and pursue law degrees to build a career in law. The law courses are as follows:

Bachelor of Law (LLB)

LLB or Bachelor of Law is a 3-year undergraduate degree for students who want to pursue a career in law. Students can apply for LLB after the 12th or after completing graduation in any discipline. LLB educates aspirants about the law in general.

Integrated BA LLB

After completing 12th, students also have the option to pursue an integrated law course like BA LLB, BBA LLB, or BCom LLB. This is a 5-year course that combines a bachelor's in law with a bachelor's degree in any stream from arts to science.

Latin Legum Magister (LLM)

LLM, or Latin Legum Magister, which means Master of Law, is a 2-year postgraduate course in law. This PG program educates and trains law aspirants in a particular specialization according to their interests and preferences. LLM enhances the chances of better job prospects as a lawyer.

Check out: Top LLM Colleges in India

How to Become a Lawyer in India ?

To become a lawyer in India, aspirants must complete 12th, pursue undergraduate/integrated law courses, and clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). Only those candidates who have passed AIBE can practice law in India.

How to Become a Lawyer After 12th ?

After the 12th, students must take entrance exams and law courses to become a lawyer:

  • UG Courses: Students must enroll in undergraduate law courses like  LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, BSc LLB and BCom LLB. in order to become lawyers. However, students must pass law entrance exams like the CLATLSAT, and AILET. etc. before enrolling in these programs. The top scorers on these entrance exams are accepted into almost all first-tier law schools.
  • PG Course: After completing LLB or related courses, students can enroll in LLM courses to become a lawyer in a particular specialization. For masters of law, students must attain a valid score in law entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT, etc.

How to Become a Lawyer ?

how-to-become-a-lawyer

In this section, we have elaborated on the step-by-step process to become a lawyer in India:

Step 1: Complete Higher Secondary Education

It is important to pass your higher secondary education (10+2) from an accredited school education board to be eligible to pursue a bachelor's degree in law. Students with any stream can opt for law undergraduate courses.

Step 2: Apply for a Bachelor or Integrated Course in Law

After passing out of school, students must apply for a bachelor's or integrated degree course in the field of law to become lawyers. The Bachelor's in Law (LLB) is a 3-year UG course. Other options include integrated courses in law such as BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB, and BSc LLB. All of these are 5-year courses, and these programs allow students to choose a specialization.

Step 3: Register, Appear, and Clear Law Entrance Exam

Most colleges and universities grant admission into law courses based on the entrance exams. Yet, there are a few colleges that allot seats based on merit.

Popular law entrance exams to get admission to law colleges are:

Step 4: Apply to Law Schools

You can start applying to law schools as soon as you obtain your results from the legal entrance exam. Most students submit applications to many law schools, giving them a variety of possibilities. You must supply official documents, law entrance exam results, letters of recommendation, and additional information with each application you submit.

Step 5: Complete a Degree in Law

After getting admitted into a college, students have to study and pass wide range of subjects in law like civil law, criminal law, family law, tax laws, etc. It must be noted that the students must pass all the subjects to become law graduates and appear for the Bar Council Examination.

Step 6: Pursue Law Internships

A lawyer is a practice-based profession, and internships play a vital role in providing students with knowledge of practical legal proceedings in India. Students can intern under advocates or participate in moot discussions or legal aid to learn about law practices and the legal system.

Step 7: Register with the State Bar Council

After a bachelor's or integrated degree, law aspirants must register with the State Bar Council to appear for the AIBE exam to become lawyers. Candidates have to pay the fees and documents to obtain the provisional certificate that will permit them to practice before the Court of Law.

Step 8: Clear All India Bar Examination (AIBE)

As per the guidelines issued by the Government of India, law aspirants must clear the AIBE exam to become lawyers and practice before the court. AIBE is conducted on an annual basis, and provisional registration is a mandatory step to sit for the exam.

Step 9: Practice Law and Gain Experience

After passing the AIBE exam, candidates get the license to practice law and officially become lawyers in the court of law. To acquire experience, candidates can join any private or government firm or even start their own law firm.

How to become a lawyer after Engineering?

how-to-become-a-lawyer-after-engineering

Engineers already have the undergraduate degree; they can directly opt for a three-year Bachelor of Law (LLB) program instead of a five-year integrated course. This will save a lot of time for you to practice and gain experience.

Eligibility Criteria: Students must have a BTech/BE degree with a minimum of 45–50% aggregate from a recognized university/college.  

Mentioned below is the step-by-step procedure to become a lawyer after engineering:

  • Step 1: Apply and appear for the law entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT etc.
  • Step 2: After clearing the entrance exam, get admission to a reputable college.
  • Step 3: Pass all the exams and acquire an LLB degree.
  • Step 4: Register for the BAR Council Examination.
  • Step 5: Pass the All-India Bar Examination (AIBE) to become eligible to practice law.
  • Step 6: Do internships and jobs to gain experience in the field.

How to become a lawyer after Commerce?

how-to-become-a-lawyer-after-commerce

Candidates can opt to become lawyers after commerce by applying for a 5-year integrated course. This includes an undergraduate degree as well as a Bachelor of Law degree.

Eligibility Criteria: Students must have completed 10+2 with a minimum of 50–60% aggregate from a recognized board.

Mentioned below is the step-by-step procedure to become a lawyer after commerce:

  • Step 1: Register and sit for the national-level law entrance examinations like CLAT, LSAT and university-level law entrance examinations like DU LLB, SLAT, etc.
  • Step 2: Pass the entrance exam to get admission into an esteemed college/university.
  • Step 3: Pass all the examinations and earn an integrated law degree.
  • Step 4: Register for the BAR Council Examination.
  • Step 5: Pass the All-India Bar Examination (AIBE).
  • Step 6: Work through internships and employment to develop your professional network.

How to Become a Lawyer: Pros and Cons

Becoming a lawyer has its advantages as well as disadvantages. We have compiled a list of pros and cons about law as a career to help you make an informed career decision: 

Pros

Cons

One of the highest-paid professionals.

Long working hours

Enjoy esteem, power, and respect

Work under strict deadlines and stress

Have the opportunity to work for justice in the society

Highly competitive labor market

Can earn extra income as advisors, professors, speakers, etc.

Deal with a lot of information and facts on a daily basis.

Multiple specializations to choose from.

 

Intellectual and challenging profession

 

Recommended Books to Become a Lawyer

Students must prepare well for law entrance exams to get admission into a reputable college. It is important to choose the right books and resource material to clear the exams. Here, we have listed the best books to help you in your preparation for becoming a lawyer:

  • Tomorrow's Lawyer: An Introduction to Your Future by Richard Susskind
  • The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill
  • The New Lawyer's Handbook: 101 Success Strategies They Didn't Teach You in Law School by Karen Thalacker
  • Best for Aspiring Activist Attorneys: The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow
  • Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner

Skills Required to Become a Lawyer

Mentioned below are the skills required to become a lawyer in India:

  • Discipline
  • Self-Confidence
  • Legal Documentation
  • Legal Knowledge
  • Legal Research
  • Presence of mind
  • Drafting
  • Litigation
  • Good Communication skills

Difference Between Advocate and Lawyer

An advocate is a category under the term lawyer. An advocate is used for those lawyers who can conduct a case on behalf of their clients. Here is the difference between an advocate and a lawyer in tabular form:

Advocate

Lawyer

 Has cleared the bar exam

 Has not cleared the bar exam

 Can represent clients in court

Cannot represent clients in court

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many years will it take to become a lawyer?

It takes approximately 6-7 years to become a lawyer in India. Different countries have diverse requirements to become a lawyer with shorter law schools, practical courses and undergraduate law education.

What is the qualifications to become a lawyer?

How to Become a Lawyer: 1. Students must pass 10+2 with a minimum 60% aggregate score or equivalent CGPA. 2. Students must clear entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT, AILET. 3. Aspirants must complete bachelor’s or integrated course in law. 4. Candidates must clear AIBE exam to practice law

Is lawyer a good career?

Lawyers are one of the highest paid professionals with high earning potential. They enjoy prestige and power leading to success and respect. Lawyers get the chance to help people and work for justice in the country.

What is the salary of lawyer in India?

In India, a lawyer earns anywhere between INR 3,00,000 and INR 5,00,000. The specialisation and experience of a lawyer will determine their compensation. As lawyers gain experience and expertise in a particular specialization, they can charge compensations as high as INR 5,00,000 to 1 crore.

Can I study law after 12?

Yes, you can. Students after 12th with science, commerce, arts stream can apply for graduation in law to become a lawyer.

How to become a lawyer after 12th?

After completing 12th, students must apply for law entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT, etc. Based on the entrance exam score, they can get admissions into LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB or BSc LLB. After graduating, they can apply for All India Bar Examination (AIBE) and clear the exam to start practising as a lawyer.

What are the subjects in law?

LLB subjects include constitutional law, human rights law, international trade law, tax laws, family laws, real estate laws, etc.

Is there any age limit to become a lawyer?

As per the Bar Council of India (BCI), the maximum age for general category students to pursue Bachelor of Law Course is 20 years, and for SC/ST category, the age limit is 22 years.

How do I prepare for the bar exam?

To prepare for the bar exam, students prepare a proper study schedule. They should find good resource material as per the syllabus and study well to clear the exam.

What type of lawyer is the highest paid?

Corporate lawyers are considered the highest paid in India. Amon others, Tax attorneys and patent lawyers are also paid well in the legal profession.

Is law school difficult?

Law schools are hard as compared to other colleges and universities in terms of workload, stress, and commitment. However, with dedication and determination, law is an attainable subject as almost 60,000-70,000 lawyers graduate every year in India.

Is law a high paying career?

There many top law firms that pay handsome salaries to their employees. Tier 1 Law firms pay as high as 10-17 LPA salary packets to fresh graduates, which can rise to 80 lakhs to 1 crore.

Who is the No 1 lawyer in India?

Topmost lawyers in India are Ram Jethmalani, Soli Sorabjee, Fali S Nariman, Mukul Rohtagi. and Ashok Desai.

What should I study to become a lawyer?

Students can take up and study law courses like LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB, etc to become a lawyer. To get admission in law schools, students must clear entrance exams like CLAT, LSAT, AILET, etc.

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