- Advocacy is a very noble profession which demands knowledge and assertiveness.
- Advocates are required to remain up-to-date all the time with all the amendments and changes going on in law and judiciary of the country and provisions of the constitution.
- Work of an attorney requires lots of research and problem-solving skills.
- Advocate earns a lot of respect and influence as people from all walks of life value him/her.
- It comes with a number of challenges as many lawyers are hardly able to get any valuable cases.
- Salaried advocates never fall short on money and also get governmental privileges in the form of pensions and insurances.
- Advocate gets to travel a lot due to the demand of his profession.
- They are required to be generous to poor people who are victims of regular exploitation but don’t have enough money to buy justice.
- It’s one of the best careers to pursue.
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born in a small village, Kudi-Kheda near Badalpur. I’ve spent most of my life there only. I went to study in Meerut for 3 years and then settled back in my village.
What is your family background?
I belong to a middle-class family from rural India. My father was a farmer and mother assisted him in the same while taking care of the family too. I’d four brothers. Ours was a large joint family.
Who had the most influence on you and how?
Both my parents had a huge influence on me. They were very motivating and resolved my mind to achieve great things in life. I’d credit all my success to them.
Please give a summary of your career, chronologically, including organisation names and your role/designation.
I completed my schooling from Dayanand Inter College and did my B.A from Shambhu Dayal College of Ghaziabad. Then I went to Meerut to do LLB from NAS PG college.
I’d started practicing during LLB, but after completing LLB, I came back to my village and started practicing as a private Revenue Lawyer at district level in Tehsil Dadri.
Which institutes are best for the training/education necessary to become an Advocate?
I’d suggest my own college – NAS PG college of Meerut as I’ve myself studied from there and known the quality of education and training. I’d also prefer Chaudhary Charan Singh University as it’s a very reputed university. National Law University of Delhi is the best law college of India.
What are the costs associated with the training/education needed to become an Advocate?
If you get selected in a good government law college, the tuition fee is almost negligible. I did Bachelor of Laws in 2012 and the whole training could have hardly taken 10,000 INR.
But if you go for a private institute, the whole integrated course may cost you 50,000 to 5 lacs INR depending on the course and college.
How does one become an Advocate?
After 12th, the student is required to appear for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). Students from all streams – Science, Commerce and Arts can give the CLAT. CLAT is conducted for admission to National Law Universities (NLUs) and various other institutions. Through CLAT, students are admitted in Integrated L.L.B and L.L.M courses.
Students can either take up 5-years integrated courses of law such as B.A. LLB, B.Sc. LLB, BBA LLB, and B.com LLB or take the 3-years course of LLB, which is the most common degree of law education.
After this, the students can take up higher courses like Master of Laws, Master of Business Law, and Doctor of Philosophy which are all of 1-5 years duration.
After LLB, students qualify the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to receive the “Certificate of Practice” to start practicing as a lawyer.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Lawyers employed by private law firms, companies and government get salaries. These salaries vary a lot depending on your years of experience, type of organisation and location.
Then there are lawyers, like me, who are self-employed. We don’t get salary, but we earn by charging fees for individual cases. The fee range of an Advocate can range from Rs. 300 for an appearance for a junior lawyer in the lower Courts to Rs. 25 lacs per appearance for top lawyers of India.
I charge Rs. 3000 per case and don’t charge at all from poor people, who can’t afford.
The lawyer fee depends on level of court, area of practice (civil/criminal/tax etc.), lawyer’s own reputation etc.
There are lawyers who own huge cabins and charge lacs per case, there are also those like me who hold medium sized cabins and those who have no cabins, are unable to get valuable cases and thus earn less than Rs 6000 a month.
Thus, I’ll mention a range of remuneration of lawyers like me which may not applicable to other lawyers.
Starting out 1 lac per annum
5 years of experience 1.5 lacs per annum
10 years of experience 2 lacs per annum
15 years of experience 3 lacs per annum
20+ years of experience 5 lacs per annum
Describe your work as a Revenue Lawyer/Advocate?
As a revenue lawyer, my work includes resolving property disputes between people, play an advisory role to those who want to file a will, fight cases regarding encroachment of property of individuals or common property resources, providing redressal to those whose property rights have been violated and most important, helping farmers who are unable to repay bank loans or are harassed by local moneylenders.
Though private lawyers often have to work at irregular hours unlike those who work at firms, I myself being a private lawyer has a fixed time of work i.e. from nine in the morning to five in the evening. I spend these 8 hours either in the court fighting cases or in my cabin, researching on the cases or attending to new files. Saturdays and Sundays are holidays though on Saturday I’m busy completing my pending work. Also, people visit directly my home to give me new cases or seek advice regarding financial issues.
What are some of the positives which would encourage someone to consider career/job as an Advocate?
An Advocate earns a lot of influence and respect in society. People from all walks of life, even those who have a higher position and income show veneration towards an attorney. It’s one of the best lines of career.
Salaried lawyers get huge amounts as salary plus some profits like dental benefits, health insurance and pension. In case of private lawyers, it completely depends on the proficiency and skill of a lawyer how much reputation, cases and thus income, s/he would be able to earn.
An advocate gets the privileged opportunity to represent those, whose rights have been violated and thus help provide justice to a number of people.
Some lawyers also get to travel a lot as part of their job, meeting clients or collecting evidences.
When it comes to comparing my income, I won’t say I’m too rich. It hasn’t been long since I’ve started in this career and thus I don’t have that much an experience to earn huge amounts. Also, most of my cases revolve around the poor whom I hardly charge. Thus, my friends who are in other professions earn a bit better while some don’t.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering career/job as an Advocate/Lawyer?
Many a times, a lawyer may feel burdened with work. The judiciary of the country is over-burdened, which create work pressures for lawyers.
On days when there is lots of work, I’ve to represent a number of cases in a single day.
The postings of judges remain pending causing much delay and stagnation of work.
I as a private lawyer sometimes face financial issues too when I’m not able to earn enough from work.
There is fear of losing a weak case which may result in lowering of reputation.
I try to fight cases only for the party which I believe is right but sometimes I myself am not sure about it or has to take cases where I know I’m supporting the wrong side due to financial pressures or if the case is of a close friend or relative.
I get sufficient time with my family though as I stay with them on holidays and also the time after work is dedicated to them. But there are many busy lawyers out there with hectic work schedules and thus get hardly any time for their families.
What are the relevant skills/technologies/trends that are commanding premium in your job profile?
There is huge demand of proficient lawyers as so many cases remain pending in our judiciary.
Criminal lawyers, Corporate lawyers and Civil lawyers are the trendiest and in great demand due to the new demand of society and increase in disputes under these. The rise of MNCs has given great importance to corporate lawyers who earn huge profits by fighting cases for these huge companies.
What kind of a person would be happy in your career?
The profession of a lawyer requires interpersonal skills which allow the attorney to communicate effectively with his/her clients and understand their problems completely.
It requires the ability and motivation to research and gain more and more knowledge about the provisions of judiciary and constitution.
It requires assertiveness and great communication skills which are efficient to influence the other party.
A person with great observational skills and ability to attend to details is good at identifying the real aspects of a complex case.
S/he should also be a kind of personality which is intolerant to injustice. There’s need of lawyers who are willing to work for the needy and poor at subsidized costs and thus will-power is very important.
Those who love to travel may also like this job.
A person with all these skills will be very happy in this career and will make frequent progress.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
Not at all. A person who is pursuing my line of career should be completely sure about it. It’s not easy to get in or get out. The same case was with me. I was always sure about this career and it was the best decision of my life. I won’t be pursuing any other line of profession as I’m very satisfied with this job.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?
Keep your mind fixed while entering this or any line of career. Be completely devoted to it.
It’s an ideal profession, but you’ll be able to reach the peaks only if you’ve all the skills needed for it.
Be ethical in practice, see threats as challenges, and don’t get disheartened when you face ups and downs in your professional life.
Don’t be selfish. This profession allows you to provide service to people by being generous to needy. Grab every such opportunity even if it won’t be financially beneficial.
Integrate your profession in your personality in such a way that people are able to tell where you belong even when you’re off-duty.