1. There are some smart lawyers; whose only job is to defeat you. As a lawyer,you have to figure out the right strategies and tactics to win.
  2. The job can be very stressful because sometimes loss of case may mean a life-altering event for your client. But on the flip side, it can also be a very joyful profession because you feel great when you get a good result for your clients.
  3. Criminal lawyers have the riskiest profession of all lawyers for obvious reasons.
  4. For undergraduate programmes, there are 11 National Law University that conducts a common entrance test called Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).
  5. A lawyer does not have the freedom to roam in a bush shirt with top buttons off. Perforce, he has to be swathed in black, unmindful of the fact that mercury may be in the process of bubbling out from the glass tube.
  6. A lawyer is always hungry. If he doesn’t have a decent practice he has no wherewithal to lead a comfortable life. If he has a roaring practice, he has no time to eat. That is the position on both the ends of the rainbow.

Personal Details

Name – Gurpreet Singh

Profession – Lawyer

Age – 42 years

Gender – Male

City – Bathinda

Industry – Law and Administration

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born and raised in a small village ‘Bhucho’ nearby Bathinda. I was raised in an upper-middle-class family. My father is a landlord and my mother is a homemaker. My elder brother is a successful businessman.

Who has had the most influence on you?

My elder brother had the most influence on me as no one else in the family was that educated. He suggested that I make my career in law and administration. Although he wanted me to become a Judge, I am equally happy being a lawyer.

Please give us a summary of your career.

After completing my 12th at a local school, I went to Chandigarh for my graduation. I opted for B.A., L.L.B. (a 5-year course) at Punjab University.

After my graduation, I went into practice under a well-established lawyer in Bathinda.

After 2 years of practice, I started to get my own cases from the people of our village and peers. Now, I am counted as one of the best lawyers in the city.

Which institutions are best for the education of this profession?

For undergraduate programmes, there are eleven National Law University that conducts a common entrance test for Bachelors in Law known as Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).

Some Universities conduct their own admission tests.

Some State Universities select on the basis of your 12th marks.

So you need to look for and collect information about this exam and decide which one you would like to crack and focus your studies on the same.

How much does it cost to become a lawyer?

This totally depends on whether you are pursuing your course from a private or Government University or college. The annual fees can be as less as 12,000 INR per annum and can be as high as 1,20,000 INR/ annum.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?

After graduating law school, unlike engineers, we have a lot of avenues.

I’ll just talk about the major two which are popular among fresh law graduates.

First is working towards your own Practice (litigation). This is extremely difficult in the beginning. It takes years to establish yourself. You’ll have to survive on meager salary paid by your senior but do all the work. If you are talented and learn quickly you can branch off and start your own practice. Now the key is to get as much as contacts possible while working under someone.

Second is working for Corporate. Here you could work for a large company or a large law firm. The positive in this is that you get paid very well from the start and you grow in your profession like other management graduates.

What is the salary or earnings of a lawyer?

It’s literally impossible to estimate how much an independent practicing lawyer having his own office can earn in a month. Some are barely making Rs. 50,000- 80,000 INR per month, whereas other may roll in Rs 4–5 lakhs INR per month easily or even more.

It all depends upon the kind of office, the kind of clients, and on advocate’s reputation.

If we talk about how much a senior advocate can earn, we better start talking about how much he earns per hearing, as the amount charged by a senior advocate per hearing is more than what an average advocate earns in a whole month. You must read this article

Please describe your work.

As a lawyer, you’re really just doing homework. You’re wrangling documents, doing basic research questions, etc. As you get more senior, you have more and more opportunities to exercise judgment and supervise/lead junior lawyers.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider law as a profession?

  1. The benefits of being a lawyer include being able to select from a wide variety of career options in the public and private sector. The financial rewards and emotional rewards are at the top among the many benefits of being a lawyer. Lawyers have the opportunity to earn a lucrative income.
  2. A lawyer also experiences mental stimulation and intellectual challenges when working through complex legal theories, statues and case law to find a solution to a legal question.
  3. Becoming a lawyer will give you ample opportunity to argue and debate legal theories and various interpretations of the law.
  4. For many, the work environment is one of the benefits specifically considered when choosing a career. Being a lawyer typically includes the benefits of having a certain level of prestige that affords you certain benefits that other employees may not receive i.e. office, ability to set hours, expense accounts, decorating budget etc.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering law as a profession?

  1. Unless the profession runs in the family or you have the support of your village, it is challenging to start your own practice.
  2. You lose sometimes when you should win and that’s hard. Unpredictable schedules, demanding billable quotas, long hours, and a very few days off have been a major complaint of many lawyers.
  3. Your credibility is always fluctuating as it is impossible to win all the cases. Sometimes even small losses can lead to huge damages.
  4. You need to keep researching your client’s information within the stipulated time period. This can be very hectic. Criminal lawyers are also faced with issues concerning job security.

What are the relevant trends that are currently prevalent in the law industry?

Many law firms these days are taking in remote/virtual assistants to reduce workload and cost.

Apart from this, telecommuting is also currently growing in this field.

What are the skills required to become a lawyer?

A good lawyer should possess good communication skills. Persons who are orally articulate, have good written communication skills and are good listeners are a perfect match for this job. Apart from these qualities, judgment, analytical skills, research skills, people skills, perseverance, and creativity will be a plus point for you. Anyone possessing these skills would be happy in this career.

Give another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

If I would get an opportunity to do something else, I would like to become a doctor because I have always wanted to serve people.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey as a lawyer?

Despite the difficult times a person practicing this profession goes through, his hard work would give him a fruitful result. This is a good profession, overall.

Would you like to get career insights on the corporate law? Check out our conversation with Rishabh Shah who runs his own law firm in Mumbai.