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How to become a Lawyer in India ?

There has been a flurry of high profile court cases in the recent times. The most awaited verdict was the Ram Janmabhoomi case. Recently all but one of the 14 accused in 2G scam have been sent behind bars. After every court hearing day we see some black coats standing outside the court addressing the news channels mikes about the proceeding of the day what has been done in the court.

Welcome Indian lawyer, For every society laws and lawyers form an integral part to maintain its sanity. In India to become a lawyer, you have to possess a Bachelors degree in law (L.L.B) duly recognized by Bar Council of India. There are two types of degree courses offered for Law degree in India. One is a five-year course and other one is a three-year course.

Eligibility for lawyer in India

Five-year course

  • Qualification- 10 +2 with minimum of 50% marks
  • Age: Not more than 20 years

Three year course

  • Qualification- Bachelor’s degree with minimum of 50% marks
  • No age limit

There are concession in eligibility criteria for students belonging to SC and ST category.

Five-year course of law

For undergraduate program, there are eleven National Law University that conduct a common entrance test for Bachelors in Law known as Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). Some other universities conduct their own admissions tests. Some of them are Symbiosis Entrance Test conducted by the Symbiosis campus, NLU Delhi Admission Test conducted by NLU Delhi and NLU Orissa Admission Test conducted by NLU Orissa. Some universities accept the LSAT scores, which is a test-score for LSAT India, conducted by the LSAC (Law School Admission Council). Then there are state level entrance tests. Law College Dehradun, Dehradun, MATS Law School, MATS University, Raipur, The ICFAI Law School, The ICFAI University, Dehradun, etc.

Three-year course of law

There are very few universities left that offer a 3 year course. Some of them are Delhi University based in Delhi and Banaras Hindu University based in Varanasi. They conduct their own entrance examination. Some colleges accept students based purely on merit.

Examination pattern

Exams test students on English, general knowledge, numerical ability, legal aptitude and logical reasoning.


There are a variety of career options available to law graduates.

  • Join the Bar Council of India or State Bar Council
  • Join legal practice as a civil lawyer or a criminal lawyer
  • Join the Judicial Services of the state as a Magistrate after passing an entrance examination and work as a Civil Judge or Judicial Magistrate
  • Opt for other options like civil services exams
  • Different positions in various government and non-government organizations like Law Firms, Consulting and Advisory Companies
  • Specialize in one of the various branches of law namely civil, criminal, corporate, insurance, tax
  • Pursue a two-year post graduation course called LLM

Pursue a two-year post graduation course called LLM

Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a centralised test for admission to prominent National Law Universities in India. The test is taken after the 12th grade for admission to graduation (also known as Bachelor's) courses in Law. This exam was conducted for the first time on 11 May 2008 by NLSIU-BAGALORE.[1] A total number of 1037 seats[2] from seven law schools were offered to be filled by the test. The results of the first CLAT were announced on May 19, 2008.[3] The two-hour admission test consists of objective type covering questions on English, general knowledge, basic mathematics, besides legal and logical reasoning.The second CLAT, for the academic year 2009-10, was conducted on 17 May 2009 by Nalsar-hyderabad and simultaneously by the preceding NLU(s) according to their establishment.

Legal education India

Autonomous law schools in India

Before the introduction of the CLAT, the autonomous law schools in India conducted their own entrance examinations, requiring the candidate to prepare and appear separately for each of the examinations. The time of the administration of these tests sometimes conflicted with the other or with other major entrance tests such as the Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination and the All India Pre Medical Test. This caused students to miss tests and experience much stress.

There are fifteen National Law Universities in India, the first of which is the National Law School of India University, which admitted its first batch of students in 1987. Out of the fifteen, the National Law University, Delhi conduct its own separate entrance test. The CLAT admits the students on the basis of the national entrance test conducted by it generally in the month of May each year.[7] With the emergence of other law schools, which also sought to conduct their admission tests at around the same time, students faced a hard time preparing for them. From time to time the issue was raised by different persons to conduct a common entrance exam to reduce the burden of the students to give multiple test, but given the autonomous status of each law school, there was no nodal agency to co-ordinate an action to this regard.

The matter drew national attention when a Public Interest Litigation was filed by one Varun Bhagat against the Union of India and various National Law Universities in the Supreme Court of India in 2006. The Chief Justice of India directed the Union of India to consult with the National Law Universities to formulate a common test. The move was strongly supported by the Bar Council of India.

Given the lack of a central nodal authority to bring forth a consensus on the issue, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, (Government of India) and the University Grants Commission of Indiaorganized a meeting of the Vice-Chancellors of seven National Law Universities along with the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. After a few such meetings, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Vice Chancellors of the seven National Law University on 23 November 2007 to conduct a common admission test. The Common Law Admission Test will be conducted each year by each of the law colleges and the responsibility of conducting the exam will be rotated and given on the basis of seniority. Nonetheless, the matter has not been resolved completely as there are other national law universities which are not taking part in CLAT.

Participating law schools

CLAT 2008

The first entrance examination through CLAT took place to admit students for the academic year 2008-09. The examination was held on 11 May 2008.

The following law schools admitted the students on the basis of the scores obtained by the candidates in CLAT

  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Nalsar) University of Law, Hyderabad
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur
  6. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  7. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  8. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  9. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  10. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.