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Guardians of law

education Updated: Aug 13, 2013 14:59 IST
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Future-point-There-is-a-dearth-of-quality-criminal-lawyers-in-the-country-hence-there-is-immense-scope-in-this-field

The lowdown

As per the Constitution of India, no person can be punished for any offence without due process of law. This provision is the essence of criminal law in our country, which finds its ­foundations in two basic acts — the Indian Penal Code which describes the nature of offences like murder, theft, dacoity, ­robbery, rape etc, and the Code of Criminal Procedure which provides the machinery for the investigation of crime and the determination of punishment of the guilty. The job of the ­criminal lawyer is to protect the life and liberty of his/her ­client within the parameters of law. This is a very challenging and interesting job as one comes across people from different strata of society facing legal situations. Being a criminal lawyer requires a lot of hard work and in-depth knowledge of law, in ­particular, and society in general. Today there is a dearth of quality criminal lawyers in the country, and therefore, there is immense potential in this field.

Clockwork
8.30am: Reach office and read files of matters listed in the court
9.30am: Proceed to the courts
4pm: Leave court
4.30pm: Client meetings
6pm: Check mails, draft appeals and applications, research for the matters
10pm: Call it a day

The ­payoff
A criminal lawyer with five years’ ­experience can earn Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000 per month. The income increases with time depending on one’s ability and dedication. At the mid-level, a ­person with more than five but less than 15 years ­experience can earn between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 2 lakh per month. The earning potential is ­endless at senior level. Some senior criminal ­lawyers charge lakhs of rupees for a single appearance in court

Skills/TRAITS
* Quick responsiveness
* Open and flexible mind
* Authoritative leadership qualities
* Good listening and powerful ­oratorical skills
* Out-of-the-box thinking ability
* Good communication skills
* Patience

Getting there
Pass Class 12 in any stream. Take the common law admission test (CLAT) or any other test to get into a five-year BA LLB course. You can also do a three-year degree ­programme, LLB. After BA LLB or LLB you can do your masters, LLM. Then you can join a law firm/industry or start independent practice

Institutes and URLs
* University of Delhi; www.du.ac.in;
* National law schools/universities, multiple locations;www.clat.ac.in
* Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; www.isical.ac.in
* Aligarh Muslim University; www.amu.ac.in
* Government Law College, Mumbai; www.glcmumbai.com
* National Law School of India University, Bangalore;www.nls.ac.in
* Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad;www.nalsar.ac.in
* Symbiosis Law School, Pune (SLS);www.symlaw.ac.in

Pros and cons
* Social recognition and job ­satisfaction
* Struggle at the entry level
* With enough experience, good financial status can be achieved
* Challenging profession
* It takes time to establish and prosper in independent practice
* Long working hours

For a person with in-depth knowledge and the ability to work hard, a career in criminal law would offer huge growth potential and rewards in terms of recognition, contentment and a good financial status ---- Sunil Kumar Jain, advocate at the Supreme Court

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