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Choosing The Path Ahead

We all want to be successful in life, for which, choosing a good career is the wisest and the surest shot. We have our dreams and passions that we want to pursue in life. In this competitive era, knowing what career we want to have and then planning to achieve it at the earliest is the best.

Class 10 and class 12 are the most important milestones in every student’s life. Ideally, one should have an aim set as soon as he/she enters class 10th or latest by its end, after which one has to opt for Science, Commerce or Humanities stream. Usually, students start taking coaching for JEE right from class 10th and by the time they pass 12th, they are already well-prepared for the entrance exams. Others would start in 11th, and anyone who is later than this would be end up dropping a year or two, which will prove to be a handicap later, in case they would want to appear for Civil Services, IFS, Judiciary exams, etc. as these have age limit and the number of attempts would, hence, decrease. I could not make any career choice after 12th but I was clear about what not to do.

There is a trend amongst students of making their career choices on the basis of what their friends are doing, or by seeing their cousin get a lucrative placement, and the likes. When I was at this stage, the only advice I received was to make a choice on the basis of money that I would be making. This advice, I realize now, was a misguidance. You should think beyond income and study about the growth prospective, and the exposure and alternatives your career gives you, because not everyone gets a great package. For example, when you choose to become a lawyer, you have many options, like open-judiciary and other government sectors, private companies, practice, legal consultancy, lectureship, etc. It being a professional course, you can always be self-employed. There are some courses that you can directly pursue after class 10 like merchant navy or polytechnic, etc. If you choose Engineering, you will have to look for a job or become a professor. So always choose a professional course like Law and Medical. Professional courses are never affected by recession. After you explore this, choose which college is the best. Every college discloses its facilities, placement records, etc. on its websites. So you must have got an idea about how much research and planning you have to make.

If you have chosen Law, you can pursue a 3-year law course if you are already a graduate, and if you are an undergraduate, you can pursue a 5-year Law course. UG students usually aspire for National Law Universities. NLUs are good but they are not the only ones. In this course, before you give any entrance exam, you must choose what you want to do with Law degree. If you want a corporate career, then NLUs will give a headstart to your career. You will get the best campus placements. Admission to NLUs takes place through CLAT exam, which consists of English, Quantitative Aptitude, Legal Aptitude, and GK sections. Private colleges also accept CLAT score. If you want to become a judge, then you should opt for a college where attendance is not a compulsion and has a rich library. Hein Online, SCC Online, Manupatra, West Law, etc. are online resources that you would need, along with good books like Avtar Singh’s Commentaries by Eminent Lawyers and Jurists. If you choose to become a practicing lawyer, then the best option would be to choose a mediocre to low- grade college where attendance is not an issue and should start interning from your very first semester. Take online and offline courses on drafting, pleadings and participate in co- curricular activities like moot courts, MUNs, mock parliaments, debates, speeches to improve your oratory skills. After 7 years of practice, you can appear for higher judicial services exams. A good practicing lawyer earns in a single hearing what a judge or employed lawyer earn in a whole year! After completing your LLB, you can also do LLM to become a professor.

CLAT exam is not very hard to crack. Along with NLUs, you can also try for GGSIPU, BHU, AMU, JMI, and NLU Delhi that conduct their separate exam called AILET. The exam syllabus for all the universities is the same; only the weightage differs in some sections. You do not need any special coaching to crack the exam. What you need is previous years’ question papers, RS Agarwal book for Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning, Wren n Martin and Word Power Made Easy for English, and daily newspapers, preferably, The Hindu for GK and legal awareness. You can also download law apps, which provides all legal news of the day. There is no specific book for Legal Aptitude. Nowadays, many books are available which you can buy for preparation. Most of the material is available online and Kindle . If you cannot do self-study and need an extra push, then you
can take a full-time coaching. Distance learning is also fine in class 12th or a crash-course after the board exams would do too. I did not take any coaching and cleared the exam in the first attempt , simply by availing the material online. Take extra care about negative marking.

If you are already a graduate, you can invest 3 years and become a lawyer by giving entrance exams in Delhi University or private colleges. The scope of law is tremendous. Most people are switching to law and competition is rapidly increasing. With huge reservations and the number of competitors, the competition has reached sky-high. Nevertheless, one can crack the competition by keeping cool, and as I have always said, doing things a little off-stream always fetches good results. It is not necessary to opt for a career that has a good scope at present, opt for the one which is emerging.

Diwakar Goel

4th year student of law at USLLS, IP University

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