Law schools in India
The LLB degree, or Bachelor of Legislative Law, is required to practise law in India. LLB is offered in three-year (after graduation) and five-year (after 12th standard) courses.
Admission to the five-year course to the National Law Universities and other schools is through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). General-category candidates require a minimum of 45 percent marks in their 12th standard (40 percent for SC/ST candidates) and should be at least 20 years of age (22 years for SC/ST candidates).
Schools that offer the three-year course, such as the Symbiosis Law School, Jindal Global Law School, and the National Law University, Delhi, conduct their own admission tests.
For the three year-LLB, you need graduation, in any discipline; some schools require only minimum marks offered and some others have fixed their own marks criteria.
While some schools admit students on the basis of their qualifying degree marks, others do so through entrance tests. There is no age limit for joining an LLB course.
You need to write national-level admission tests or tests conducted by schools for admission. Among the main entrance exams are CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) conducted by the National Law Universities for admission to LLB; AILET (All India Law Entrance Test) for admission to the National Law University, Delhi; and LSAT (global test accepted by many schools for LLB admissions).
CLAT and AILET, usually conducted in May, are followed by group discussion and interview. CLAT tests English, logical reasoning, legal aptitude, general awareness, and elementary mathematics.
Admission to law programs is done on the basis of particular entrance tests prescribed by law schools. Online applications should be submitted along with the test scores and supporting documents to the schools concerned for admission.
Tuition differs widely from school to school. While the first year LLB fee at NLSIU, Bangalore, is Rs. 138,000 (LLM: Rs. 188,000), it is Rs. 207,000 at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad; Rs. 320,000 (Rs. 142,000) at Symbiosis, Pune; Rs. 565,000 (Rs. 400,000) at Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat, Haryana; Rs. 291,400 (Rs. 150,000) at National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata; Rs. 178,500 (Rs. 144,500) at National Law Institute University, Bhopal; Rs. 126,000 (Rs. 94,700) at National Law University, New Delhi; Rs. 81,000 at Amity Law School, Noida; and Rs. 7,598 (Rs. 7,691) at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.
Top ranking law colleges in India
The top law colleges in India are as follows:
- National Law School of India University
- National Law University (Delhi)
- Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur)
- NALSAR University of Law (Hyderabad)
- National Law University (Jodhpur)
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (Kolkata)
- Jindal Global Law School (Sonepat, Haryana)
- Gujarat National Law University (Gandhinagar)
- University of Delhi
- National Law Institute University (Bhopal)
How to become a lawyer in India
After completing LLB, you will have to complete internships and enroll yourself in a state bar council. After enrolment, you need to register yourself for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) conducted by the Bar Council of India, which tests your analytical ability and knowledge of law. After clearing the AIBE, you get a certificate of practice.
You can start private practice as a civil or criminal law, income-tax lawyer, or corporate lawyer. However, initially, you may want to “shadow” an experienced lawyer. You can apply to be selected as a public attorney or join judicial services as a civil judge or magistrate.
‘Lawyer’ vs ‘advocate’: The terms “lawyer” and “advocate” are used interchangeably but have different connotations. If you get an LLB degree, you are a “lawyer.” But it is only after you enroll yourself with a state bar council and pass the AIBE that you become an “advocate.”
The average annual salary of a corporate lawyer is Rs. 713,000, according to Payscale. The salary range is Rs. 235,000-Rs. 2,000,000. Reputed law firms, which have consultants rather than employees, pay between Rs. 900,000 and Rs. 3,200,000 to their associates based on their experience annually (one to three years); Rs. 3,000,000-Rs.7,800,000 to senior associates; Rs. 7,500,000-Rs. 17,500,000 to managing associates; and Rs. 12,600,000-Rs. 22,700,000 and above to partners. Those employing lawyers pay between Rs. 500,000 (assistant manager) and Rs. 2,800,000 and above.
Trial lawyers earn Rs. 210,000-Rs. 3,000,000 a year and law professors up to Rs. 1,000,000. Lawyers who rise to the position of judge are paid Rs. 225,000 a month (high courts) and Rs. 250,000 (Supreme Court).
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