How to Become a Lawyer in India

Highly respected in society, a career in law could be a great choice for those who love to do social work! Here’s all you need to know about how to become a lawyer in India. Nadim Mohammad Shaikh, a Bharuch-based lawyer talks about the qualifications, courses, entrance exams, career prospects, and more!

How to Become a Lawyer in India

1. Role of a Lawyer in India

To have proper knowledge of how to become a lawyer in India professionally, let’s start with an understanding of what a lawyer really does. A lawyer plays an important role in maintaining the administration of justice.

Lawyers are skilled professionals who are legally permitted to practice the law. They provide legal advice and counseling to the clients while taking care of their rights. Also, they do proper research work and gather information related to different legal cases, and preparing legal documents for the same. There are sub-categories of the cases that a lawyer caters to, for example civil, criminal, labor cases, and so on.

Role of a Lawyer in India

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Is being a Lawyer a Good Career Option?
2.1 Courses Taken: Law School Subjects
2.2 Entrance Exams
2.3 Academic Qualifications/ Options
2.4 License Required
2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required
2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training
2.7 Competition & Scope in India for a Lawyer
2.8 General Age to Start Professional Career for Lawyer
2.9 Governing Bodies
3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions
3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Lawyers
3.3 Growth Prospects
3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities
3.5 What is the Salary of a Lawyer in India?
4.1 Top Universities in India
4.2 Top Universities in World
4.3 Famous Personalities

1.1 Is it a Good Career Option?

It is a brilliant career option! If you love to influence people and help them to solve their problems, then become a lawyer and make it your profession. This profession will not only give you satisfaction but also fame and you can be in a great position after some experience like an advocate, legal advisor, public speaker, and so on. And you know lawyers are highly respectable professionals.

2. How to Become a Lawyer in India?

In order to know how to become a lawyer in India, let’s see what are the different steps needed to get a law degree.

1. Complete 12th: Begin with completing your higher secondary schooling in any of your favorite streams (science, commerce or arts). These streams can help you choose your specialization later on.
2. Clear CLAT entrance exam: To get admission in law colleges in India, you will need to give an entrance exam (CLAT), and you will get admission based on your entrance exam results only.
3. Join LLB college or Law school: Then, you need to do an LLB course (Bachelors of Legislative Laws) at an esteemed university, for example, NLU.
4. Do Joint Degree (optional): If you want, you can also go for the BA LLB course which is a combined course of Arts plus Law degree.
5. Do an Internship: Doing an internship is a must, to become a professional lawyer. Based on the program duration, you have to do the internship.
6. Go for a Post-graduation Course: After completing LLB, you can go for a master’s program or post-graduate diploma course in law. Also, for further studies, you can opt Ph.D. or JD (Juris Doctor) program.
7. Apply for Licensing: After completing your studies, you can apply for a legal license before practicing your law profession. To know the process of licensing in India, jump to point 2.4.

8. Apply for a job at a law firm.
To get detailed information on how to become a lawyer in India, read the following and get into your dream profession!

2.1.1 Courses Taken in School: Law Subjects

In order to become a lawyer in India, your career path starts with higher secondary studies where you can go for any of your favorite streams (science, commerce or arts).

2.1.2 Law Subjects in College

Civil law, IPC & Sociology

You have different subject options if you do PGD in law after LLB degree, for example, humanities, criminal law, social science, etc.
Mainly LLB courses have subjects like;

  • Criminal law
  • Contract law
  • IPC (Indian Penal Code)
  • CRPC (Criminal Procedure Code)
  • Evidence set
  • Civil law
  • Legal writing
  • Trade laws
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

What should I do after 12th to become a lawyer

2.2 Entrance Exams


The NLU colleges of India have the entrance exams as the admissions are based on the merits of the entrance exam only for those colleges that conduct the CLAT exam. Around 126 colleges in India accept admissions by conducting the CLAT entrance exam.

Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a national-level entrance exam conducted to offer admissions to aspirants in undergraduates and post-graduates law courses. However, private colleges don’t need any entrance exams. They have their own selection process through college applications.

salary age limit Is it hard to become a lawyer in India

2.3 Academic Qualifications


To pursue this program, you need to have a minimum qualification of 10+2, which is higher secondary education, or you may enter after doing an undergraduate program. On completing this requirement, you have to pass the entrance exam and you can successfully get admission in NLU and other colleges that accept CLAT entrances.

Here are the different options for pursuing a career in law, and getting a law degree that can enable you to practise law.

  • You can go for a full LLB degree that is either for 3 years or 5 years and after that, you can opt for a master’s degree in legal studies.
  • After post-graduation, if you wish to study more you can go for Ph.D. or JD (Juris Doctor). Juris Doctorate in Law is a professional degree that is similar to LLB degree in other countries.
  • If you don’t want to study master’s, you can go for a PGD course (Post Graduate Diploma in Law) that is for one year.
  • Other than LLB degree you can also go for BA LLB which offers you a dual degree that is LLB degree plus a Bachelor of Arts degree.

There are a number of law colleges in all the cities that provide all types of law courses. The most recommended law college is NLU (National Law University) in India.

2.4 License Required


Yes, it is compulsory to have a permitted license in order to do legal activities in India. You can apply for a license once you are qualified as a lawyer. Let’s see what are the steps to get a license in India.

Once you get your law degree, you have to register your name under State Bar Council and they will review your personal background. After reviewing, you will be granted a temporary license (Provisional Sanad) to practice as an intern with reputed lawyers.

Then while working on the temporary license within 2 years, you need to appear for the BCI common entrance exam. The All India Bar Examination (AIBE) is held twice a year, and once you cleared this examination, you get a certification of a permanent license. Now, you are eligible for all the legal cases and pleadings in court.

2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required


The internship is mandatory for law students. If you are pursuing a 3-year program, you have to do around 12 weeks of internship, and if you are pursuing a 5-year program, then around 20 weeks.

The internship gives you excellent exposure on how legal activities are performed in the real world and you are trained under experienced lawyers. So, you have to do an internship to have real-life experience and you will also learn how to tackle different situations and handle different people.

And if you successfully complete your internship program, there are very high chances the company will hire you for full-time employment.

2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training

2-10 lakhs

In India, government colleges have around 40,000 to 70,000 overall fees and in private, it can vary from 2 to 10 lakhs for the same course. If you wish to go abroad, then you should mostly prefer countries like Australia, Canada, or England, which will cost around 10 lakhs to 40 lakhs for the entire program.


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2.7 Competition & Scope for Lawyer in India

There is not much competition in entrance exams but a little bit of competition is there for getting jobs.

2.8 General Age to Start Professional Career for Lawyers

24-28 years, depending on academic background

It is best to start or decide for a career in this field from 18 years or above age. Though, being a lawyer depends on how efficiently you are working on your goals and the number of attempts you take to clear the entrance exam.

The age you actually start practicing law will also depend on whether you go for a BA LLB right after school, pursue an LLB after an undergraduate degree, or if you further do a master’s.

2.9 Governing Bodies


Bar Council of India is a constitutional body formed under the Advocates Act 1961 in Section 4 that regulates all the law practices and law education in India.

3. Professional Opportunities/ Career Growth for Lawyers

3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions

Magistrate, legal advisor, government reader

After working for some years as a lawyer, you can work in political bodies as a government reader, or as a legal advisor in top companies, magistrate, etc. You can also become a partner at a law firm and use your experience there.

3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Lawyers

Government & MNC firms

Lawyers are hired at almost every company whether it is a government or private firm. Some of the top companies are ONGC, Khaitan & Co, J Sagar Associates, and other government sectors like finance, administration, etc.

3.3 Growth Prospects

Promotion to the post of legal managers or firm partners

Lawyers can join MNCs or government sectors where they can work as legal managers, advisors, legal counselors, and also work in the judiciary system.

3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities


Yes, lawyers can start their own firm or they can open up a law firm with other lawyers and become associates or partners.What is the minimum salary of a lawyer in India

3.5 What is the Salary of Lawyers in India?

2 to 20 lakhs per annum

The salary for fresh graduates in India is anywhere from 1 lakh to 6 lakhs per annum. One can get a salary of up to 7-15 lakhs per annum as you have more experience in the field. However, in some cases, the most senior lawyers have an annual income of around 15-25 lakhs per annum.

4. Further Resources

4.1 Top Universities in India

For the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree top colleges in India are:

  1. National Law School of India University (Bengaluru)
  2. Nalsar University of Law (Hyderabad)
  3. National Law University (New Delhi)
  4. Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur)

4.2 Top Universities in World

You can find a number of universities. However, these are some of the top universities to become a lawyer studying from experienced mentors.

  1. Harvard University (US)
  2. Oxford University (UK)
  3. Stanford University (US)
  4. University of Cambridge (UK)

4.3 Famous Personalities

Ram Jethmalani, Nani Palkhivala

You can take inspiration from few personalities to understand better how to become a lawyer in India. My personal favorites are the famous lawyers Ram Jethmalani and Nani Palkhivala. You can also read the book ‘Nani Palkhivala: The Courtroom Genius by Soli J Sorabjee and Arvind P Datar’.

So, that was our complete guide on how to become a lawyer in India. As we know, in every profession hard work, focus and patience are required to reach your goal. And a career in law not only honors you but also gives you inner happiness while giving justice to people. Set your goal and work on it with proper dedication and positivity, and achieve your success!


Curated & Edited by Aayushi Berawala (CareerNuts Staff)

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