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Higher study options in law

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LEGAL EAGLES: National Law School of India University students at their annual convocation in Bangalore.
LEGAL EAGLES: National Law School of India University students at their annual convocation in Bangalore.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

Graduates in law can explore many diverse fields in the subject, and cyber law offers an exciting study prospect in the IT era.

Cyber law touches almost all aspects of transactions and activities concerning the Internet, the world wide web and cyber space. Today most transactions in cyber space have some legal and cyber law implications.

A career in law demands good communication skills — writing, speaking and listening skills, a sense of responsibility, sympathetic attitude and patience. It was to attract talented youngsters to law that the Bar Council of India introduced the five-year integrated degree course in the subject. The aim is to train, in a comprehensive manner, brilliant students who have completed Plus Two for careers in law. Three-year L.L.B. courses are also offered to graduates in any discipline.

After the successful completion of the degree course in law, higher qualification such as L.L.M. and Ph.D. or L.L.D. can be secured. The areas of specialisation in this field are many — civil law; criminal law; international law; labour law; Constitutional law; mercantile law; administrative law; law of taxation; cyber law and so on. A number of law colleges and universities offer courses in these areas.

After completing the L.L.B. course with high marks one can go for the two-year L.L.M. course.

In Kerala, the Government Law Colleges at Thiruvananthapuram (Barton Hill), Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode offer L.L.M. Admission is based on an entrance test conducted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations.

The college-wise number of L.L.M. seats and specialisations are as follows.

* Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram – 15 seats (international law; Constitutional law)

* Government Law College, Ernakulam – 15 seats (mercantile law; criminal law)

* Government Law College, Thrissur – 10 seats (administrative law, criminal law)

* Government Law College, Kozhikode – 15 seats (Law of taxation)

Students in the final-year of the five-year or three-year L.L.B. courses can apply for the entrance examination. There is no upper age limit for admission. Meritorious L.L.M. holders can go for research leading to Ph.D. In Kerala, the following university departments and colleges also conduct L.L.M. course. * Department of Law, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 581 Research facilities leading to Ph.D. are also offered.

* Mahatma Gandhi University, Faculty of Law, Priyadarshini Hills (P.O.), Kottayam – 686 560

* Cochin University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Law, Kochi – 682 022

Research facilities leading to Ph.D. also offered.

* Department of Law, University of Calicut, Calicut University (P.O.), Tenhipalam – 673 635

* Kerala Law Academy Law College, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 005 Some other national-level universities and colleges also offer the course.

* The National Law School of Indian University (NLSIU), Bangalore – 560 072

L.L.M. course with specialisation in human laws and human rights laws is conducted at NLSIU. L.L.B. holders with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible to apply for the admission test. M.Phil., Ph.D. (law of inter-disciplinary courses) and L.L.D. programmes are also offered here. Those having an L.L.M. degree with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission to the M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes ( www.nls.ac.in).

* National Law University, Jodhpur (MBA also)

* NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad – 500 027 ( www.nalsaruniv.org)

* WB National University of Juridical Science, Salt Lake, Kolkata (M.Phil. also)

* Hidayatulah National Law University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, – 492 001 (Ph.D. also)

Cyber law

Cyber law touches almost all aspects of transactions and activities concerning the Internet, the world wide web and cyber space. Today most transactions in cyber space have some legal and cyber law implications. Cyber law became an important field of study in India after the enactment of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Competency in the domain of cyber laws is an asset in today’s world.

Certificate, diploma and post graduate diploma courses in cyber laws are available. Master’s-level programmes are rarely available. Some institutes offer distance education facilities also.

Some of the institutes and universities offering courses in cyber law in the country are as follows:

* Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad (http://mpclis.iiita.ac.in, http://pgd.iiita.ac.in)

Master’s programme in cyber law and information security

* Indian Law Institute, New Delhi ( www.ilidelhi.org)

* Asian School of Cyber Law, Pune ( www.asianlaws.org)

* Kerala Law Academy Law College, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram

* Navvi College of Cyber Law (http://navvi.org)

Distance programmes

* University of Mumbai ( www.glc.edu/cyber.asp)

* ICFAI, Hyderabad ( www.icfai.org)

* Asian School of Cyber Law, Pune ( www.asianlaws.org)

The school in association with Government Law College, Mumbai, offers a diploma course in cyber law — offered both in the classroom and distance education mode. The course is suitable for law students; practising lawyers; information technology students and professionals; police and law enforcement officials; IT security professionals; network and system administrators; management students and professionals; chartered accountants; company secretaries; commerce students; and so on.

The examination for the distance education mode will be conducted by the Government Law College, Mumbai. Contact classes and examinations will be held at Ernakulam, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi among other centres. Course fee: Rs.3,600. (Rs.4,600 for class room mode).

* Nalsar Law University, Hyderabad ( www.nalsarlawuniv.org)

NALSAR University, Hyderabad, offers a postgraduate diploma course in cyber law in the distance education mode for graduates. Course modules include definition and understanding of cyber space; jurisdiction in cyber space; software development and licensing agreements; cyber contracts and Indian legal position; legal issues in cyber contracts; IT Act 2000; IPR in cyber space; software piracy; patents; online contracts; security and evidence in e-commerce; cyber crimes and investigation and so on.

Job prospects

Law graduates have various options to pursue the profession as lawyers; legal advisors; law officers; public prosecutors; solicitors; law reporters; and so on depending on professional skills and experience or expertise.

An experienced practising lawyer has ample opportunities to become a Magistrate or Munsiff and get promoted as a Sub-Judge, District and Sessions Judge, High Court Judge and so on in the judiciary. Those who are qualified in cyber law can practise in the cyber law field also.


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