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How to Become a Corporate Lawyer in India
With India's economy growing steadily over the last few years, more and more multinational companies have been setting up shop in the country. These corporations need advice on navigating the legal system in India and corporate law has become a lucrative career option. Corporate lawyers advise businesses on complying with regulations and conducting mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, public listings and drafting corporate agreements. Corporate law can also include other areas such as media law, real estate law, tax law and other laws regulating business operations.
Determine if you have the skills and qualifications necessary to become a corporate lawyer. To become a corporate lawyer you must have strong analytic skills, good interpersonal skills and a keen understanding of the business environment. Though corporate law pays well, it also involves long hours. Before you decide to pursue this as a career, speak with a corporate lawyer to find out what his or her job is like.
Research and prepare to join a good law school. To become a corporate lawyer, you need to get a degree in law by taking up a five-year Bachelor of Law (B.A. LL.B) degree course after completing your higher secondary education (Class 12) or by pursuing the three-year B.A. LL.B after obtaining a bachelor's degree in any discipline. To be admitted into a law school in India, you need to take an entrance exam called the Common Law Admission Test.
Choose a good law school. Getting into a top law school is quite competitive but it offers the advantage of better faculty, infrastructure and education. Graduating from a good law school will also give your career an edge by improving your job prospects so prepare well for the admission test. While selecting the law schools you want to apply to, look at their placement record and speak to students and faculty at the school to ascertain if it is the right school for you.
Determine whether you want to pursue a post-graduate course or directly join a law firm. After obtaining a B.A. LL.B, you can practice as a lawyer. To specialize in corporate law, it may be a good idea to pursue a post-graduate law degree or diploma courses in corporate or business-related law.
Join a bar council before you start practicing as a lawyer. Bar councils act as statutory bodies that lay down standards of professional conduct and legal education in India. You can join either the Bar Council of India or a local or state bar council by submitting an application.
Determine whether you want to work with a corporate law firm or as in-house counsel. Working with a corporate law firm is more fast-paced and allows you to work with a wide range of clients and projects. As in-house counsel, you would be working as part of the legal department of a company or organization. You can opt for either, depending on the type of experience and work environment you are looking for. Once you have gained enough experience, you can even start your own corporate law practice.
Keep yourself updated on business developments and changes in the law. Since the business environment changes frequently--particularly with the advent of new technologies--as a corporate lawyer you must keep abreast of any changes in corporate law.
Farida Rangwala is a communications specialist and former journalist who has been writing news and feature stories since 2000. Her work has been published in newspapers such as "The Indian Express," "Queens Chronicle," "India Abroad" and other corporate publications. She holds a Master of Science in public relations from New York University.