- Your income, work-life balance, challenges, and benefits completely depend upon the field [corporate, international, cyber, civil, criminal etc.] you’re specializing in. For example, economic law pays better than personal law.
- Law relates to your local land. Hence, if you’re planning on practicing law in India after pursuing this degree from a university abroad, there’s a definite chance it wouldn’t work out.
- You can either opt for the six-year course, that is, 3 years for your Bachelor’s and 3 years for your L.L.B degree or pursue the 5-year integrated course, which is a dual professional degree.
- It’s important to sharpen your concepts before taking on to a particular case or issue. Even a trivial misunderstanding/misconception can really change the direction of someone’s life.
- Running your law firm successfully is grueling. I put in about 10 hours per day and work from Monday-Saturday, typically. Sometimes, if the work demand intensifies, I’m required to work on all days, too.
Name – Rishabh Shah
Profession – Lawyer; running own law firm in Mumbai
Gender – Male
Age – 47 years
City – Mumbai
Industry – Law
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Mumbai. I completed my schooling, pursued my law degree and established a career in this city itself.
We were a family of four, my parents, my brother and me. My father was a businessman and my mother a home-maker.
I’d describe the atmosphere of my family as democratic and blithe.
Growing up, both, my mother and father had a pre-eminent influence on me. I say this because both of them instilled different values and lessons in me which shaped me into the person I am today.
Please give me a summary of your career.
After completing my “Bachelor of Arts” from St. Xavier’s and securing a degree in law from “Government Law College”, I started practicing as an independent advocate. I’ve been working more on the civil side, which entails dealing with banking and property matters. I’ve established my own firm and have been running it successfully for the past 24 years now. I haven’t worked for another company whatsoever and have paved my own path.
Which institutes, according to you, are the best for pursuing the law as a career?
As far as I know, these institutes exert unrivaled standards, incorporate a commendable curriculum for students and provide prodigious training to individuals.
This, in turn, forms a strong foundation with respect to one’s concepts.
I wouldn’t suggest going abroad if you’re planning on returning to India once you’ve secured your degree.
The law you learn relates to where you reside, that is, your local land. If you pursue this degree from abroad and try to practice in India, there’s a definite chance that it won’t work out. Hence, pursuing and practicing law in the same country is what I’d recommend you do.
What is the approximate expenditure associated with the education/training of law?
The expenditure you incur depends upon which course you’re opting for. Back in the day, in order to pursue law, one would have to pursue their Bachelor degree first, followed by LLB. Umpteen people still follow this traditional regime, however, an integrated course lasting for 5 years instead of 6 has been introduced recently [B.A L.L.B/ B.L.S L.L.B].
If you’re planning on following the traditional procedure, you’ll spend about INR 17,000–20,000 for your Bachelor’s collectively. This, however, is applicable to the “Bachelor of Arts” degree only. You can always opt for a “Bachelor in Management Studies” degree too.
Next comes your L.L.B degree which lasts for another three years. This will cost you about INR 20,000 altogether.
On the other hand, if you’re opting for the integrated five-year course, you’ll incur an expenditure of approximately 50,000 per year if you’re pursuing this degree from a private college like “Pravin Gandhi”. As for a government college, you’ll spend about INR 8,000–10,000 per year.
How does one manage to enter this field?
Securing a degree in law, that is, the six-year course or the dual professional degree [integrated] course is the first step towards becoming a lawyer, of course.
Once you’ve pursued this degree, you can commence by applying to different firms where you can serve as an advocate depending upon your specialization, that is, whether you’re into litigation, international or corporate law, etc. That or you can establish your own business like me. That’s pretty much it.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Starting out – 3.5–6 lakhs per annum
5 years of experience – 6–10 lakhs per annum
10 years of experience – 11–20 lakhs per annum
15 years of experience – 20- 25 lakhs per annum
20+ years of experience – 25+ lakhs per annum
The income a lawyer earns depends upon which field he/she specializes in. For instance, if you’re into economic law, there’s a better scope for financial growth as opposed to specializing in personal law.
Describe your work, please.
Currently, I’m reading and scrutinizing legal papers, calling for innumerable meetings to address people’s predicaments, discussing what kind of applications we have to make, etc.
Once decided, we start working on these applications and have them filed. Next, we typically go to court to settle an issue or conclude.
I put in about 10 hours per day and work from Monday-Saturday, typically. Sometimes, if the work demand intensifies, I’m required to work on all days, too. Hence, it keeps varying.
This sums up my everyday schedule!
In your opinion, what are some benefits that would encourage an individual to consider this career/job?
A chief benefit of pursuing law is the fact that it opens up and widens your horizons incredulously since you interact with so many different minds, try to comprehend their mentalities, acquire the ability to understand what’s really going on around you, etc. So, it basically transforms your outlook drastically.
Your work life equilibrium and financial standing in life are completely determined by the field you’re specializing in. For example, family law doesn’t demand too many hours and the workload is pretty moderate. However, for a corporate lawyer, the number of hours you’re required to put in is relatively copious and the work pressure keeps intensifying incessantly. However, corporate law definitely pays you better.
Can you mention a few challenges that you would want someone to be aware of if they’re considering this career/job course?
It’s crucial to have a business-mind in order to avoid getting exploited. Many clients may try to trick you into doing their work for free. Hence, you have to be just bit tenacious at the same time.
It’s also important to sharpen your concepts before taking on to a particular case or issue. Even a small misunderstanding/misconception can really change the direction of someone’s life.
Again, like I said, challenges are field-based. A corporate lawyer and a constitutional lawyer may face completely different challenges.
If you’re ready to battle it out with these challenges, I’d suggest you go for it!
What are some relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?
With an advancement in technology, everything has been made available online. The knowledge of orders and judgments and basically everything is now on the internet, hence it’s important to be techno-savvy to keep up with the latest changes, etc.
What kind of a person, do you think, would be content in this field?
Law is a profession that demands ambition and passion.
Hence, in my opinion, a person who strongly believes that justice should be provided to individuals whose rights are overlooked, negated or outright denied should be opting for the law.
Another trait an individual should possess is the determination to aid to the weaker section of society in order to enable them to fight for their rights and stand up to any injustice inflicted upon them.
Thus, the law demands a lot of scrutinies, commitment, and a relentless drive.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
If I wasn’t practicing law, I’d probably want to teach law.
Teaching students the correct concepts and the way to study this course is something I’ve always had the hankering to do.
Hence, if anything, I’d always want my professional selections to find a link to the law. As of now, however, I’m contented with the way things have unraveled themselves in my professional life.
What advice would you offer to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?
If you’re opting for this profession, you ought to make sure that it’s going to make you happy. Sharpen your concepts and exercise your authority in a way that benefits our society radically.
Contributing Writer – Urvi Shah