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How to become a lawyer in India

by Chetna Vasishth

This is a transcript of our video discussion on ChetChat with Sachin Daga, Advocate at Supreme Court of India on how to become a lawyer in India. Sachin Daga is a practicing lawyer and runs a company called Banthia and Co. Advocates. He did an MBA, worked with reputed companies for 15 years working in the area of sales, marketing and sales strategy. He worked as vice president at a top financial institutions company.

He talks about why he took up Law as a career – He had some reasons to move into law – he felt growth is limited in a corporate job, the increments each year can be limited, only one person can reach the top, there is a retirement age and there is no legacy left. He believed that Law had none of these negatives and in addition it helped society as well as it was not affected by the economy. So he jumped in to this field and became a lawyer.

He did a 3 year LLB program from a college in Mumbai. Post completing the degree you need to enrol as an advocate and become a member at the state bar council. For that you would need to leave your job and then enrol. He gives advice for high school students. 3 year LLB vs. 5 year integrated program – For a high school student thinking of pursuing law as a career if they are very sure, they should take up a 5 year integrated Law degree which is available either as a BSc LLB, BBA LLB or a BA LLB degree. It saves one year and gives you two degrees. If someone is not very sure, then they can do their graduation and do the three year LLB program after their graduation.

Regarding subjects at school, they can study any subjects. Skills required include analytical skills, articulation skills, written and oral communication and listening skills. The Upcoming fields of Law – There is no specialisation required for Law. You can take up any field, you can change fields any time. Some upcoming field are – international law, cyber law, environmental law, intellectual property and trademark law are upcoming fields.

A graduate should prepare by using research tools like LexixNexis, WestLaw, Manupatra in addition to reading their text books. Doing an internship with a senior lawyer, a judge or a law firm helps a great deal in understanding the field plus making contacts and references. Initially it will be a stretch but later it will be worthwhile. There are some books that Sachin recommends e.g. How to write and sentence and read one – by Stanley Fish, Before Memory fades by Fali Nariman, Art of War, Story of My life by Clarence Darrow. These will help you since these are Bombay Bar Association recommended books.

Common Mistakes that law students make is – that they think that Law School teaches you law, Sachin believes that Law school teaches you how to teach yourself. Law is basically expecting the unexpected, you need the right presence of mind and analytical skills. People make a mistake of reading the judgement on the web without reading the full case, they are unable to understand the reasoning this way.

Two skills are required for private practice – technical skills and entrepreneurial skills. Give customers good service. Initially the number of failures will be more than the successes. These failures are learnings. Destiny is not a chance, it is a choice. How to become a lawyer in India, How to become advocate, law school india, lawyer india, study law in India

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