Students of the top law schools, more so the prestigious National Law Schools, are reluctant to take up practise in courts and aim for corporate jobs.
A mere 15 per cent of students actually join the profession while about five per cent prefer teaching and research. About 30 per cent of students join domestic and international law firms, 25 per cent take up lucrative offers in companies and consulting outfits while another 20 per cent move abroad for higher studies.
These are the findings of Research Foundation for Governance in India, an Ahmedabad-based think-tank that aims to research, promote, and implement reforms to improve the legal process in the country, while a study by the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar also has come up with similar findings.
This outcome has come in handy for teachers of the traditional law schools who are opposing the proposed one-year LLM course from the next academic year. As G.B. Reddy, former Principal of College of Law, Osmania University puts it, “Existing systems should not be changed for the benefit of a few students.”
Dr. Reddy says only five per cent of these students are actually interested in joining teaching and to accommodate such a group the existing time-tested practices should not be tampered with, and that too without taking into confidence the teachers of conventional law schools.
The belief is that the one-year LLM course is being introduced to attract graduates of national law schools to teaching and the profession.
The studies, however, have thrown up some interesting details of why practising law in courts is not the first option. Students strongly believe that a background in litigation and a godfather is must to practise law with some respect.
The feeling is the same almost across students pursuing law courses from conventional schools or top national law schools. Similar, feelings were evoked by lawyers and judges.
Nearly 92 per cent of lawyers and judges observed that a family background helps students become successful advocates.
Among the national law schools, 46 per cent students felt the same. The general notion among junior lawyers is that people with a godfather reach the flourishing level quite fast. Moreover, family background also helps in attracting better clients and even better treatment from judges.
Some of the other barriers include not enough effective incentives, cumbersome juniorship process and lack of monetary benefits in relation to their peers in the corporate sector.