The key reason that humans excelled compared to other species, or even managed to survive the harsh initial days on earth was their abilities to co-ordinate and stay in groups. For functioning of such groups, a set of rules must exist. Therefore, law is a field which is almost as ancient as the civilization.
The first written instance of law came during the reigns of Hammurabi (18th century BC, Babylon). His laws were simple four lines, but it is a remarkable point in the history of civilization. For a long time the Kings usually kept the justice system under their thumb or let a council of his trusted ministers handle the affair.
Needless to say, such a justice system was easily swayed by the ruling authorities or other influential few persons. Such a justice system can never be truly just. The concept of independent judiciary can be traced back to 18th Century England. One of the founding fathers of the United States Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1788 “The complete independence of the courts of justice is particularly essential in a limited constitution.”
Such a judiciary can safeguard the people’s interests and rights and prevent any encroachment by the rulers of the country. Within this statement is the purpose and need of the judiciary system and this gives birth to various career options available in field of Law.
The two main actors in a courtroom are the lawyers- who present various sides of the arguments in favor of their respective clients, previous precedence, constitution citations etc. and the judges who with or without assistance of a jury dwell into the arguments to decide upon a verdict so that the justice is provided.
Career as a Lawyer
Law as a profession is in great demand these days. With economic system and corporate world getting more and more complex, lawyers are required to a daily basis to interpret the law and it is no longer limited to traditional streams like civil or criminal. Now, lawyers can specialize in streams such as Criminal Justice, Civil Rights, Corporate Affairs, Taxation, Patent Law etc.
How to pursue a career in law?
Most popular way to pursue a career, one has to start with a good college. The tests can be taken post clearing 12th. The cut-off and other details can be obtained from the respective websites of the tests. The most popular Law entrance exams in India are-
i. CLAT- Common Law Admission Test. 21 national universities take admission through this test. (https://www.clat.ac.in/)
ii. AILET – All India Law Entrance Test is an exam conducted exclusively for National Law University (NLU) Delhi. (http://www.nludelhi.ac.in/)
iii. SLAT- For admission in Symbiosis Law School, Pune/Noida/Hyderabad (http://www.set-test.org/)
iv. LSAT – Law School Admission Test is conducted four times every year specially designed for LLB and LLM admissions.
LSAT scores are accepted by more than 70 top institutes like Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur Law School, Galgotia University Law School, The Jindal Global Law School, UPES Dehradun, SRM University, Amity Law School and many more (http://www.pearsonvueindia.com/lsatindia/)
The top colleges as per the MHRD NIRF ranking (https://www.nirfindia.org/2019/LAWRanking.html) 2019 are-
1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
2. National Law University, Delhi
3. Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
4. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
5. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
6. National Law University, Jodhpur
7. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
8. Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
9. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
10. The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
As discussed earlier, there are plenty of job opportunities in the area of Law and many more are being created as the world gets complicated. You may choose to practice on your own, join a law firm or join a corporate to advise them on daily matters. You may also choose to specialize for social issues like environment, labor laws, PLIs etc. If you give your heart and mind to a career in law, there is no way you will regret it.