Aug 4, 2007

Business of Law In India

As the Indian economy integrates more and more with the global economy, the demand for skills in the Legal arena is sky rocketing. I got to see this first hand yesterday.

I enrolled for a proximate education program with the NALSAR University of Law Hyderabad, one of the Top 2 Law Schools in India. The course is a PG Diploma in Internet/Cyber Law and funnily out of the 50 people who turned up, only two persons were from the IT industry - a Security Specialist from Wipro (who was also a lawyer) and myself. There was a third person, a lady who just completed her MCA and took the course because her husband was in Law; so I wouldn't count her. There were a considerable number of women in the group, about 40% - a reflection of the growing presence of women in Indian academia and soon industry too!

Coming to the point, a law graduate may earn Rs 5000 per month in Hyderabad at the entry level and perhaps upto Rs 25000 per month in a place like Delhi which is the legal capital (being the political capital) of India. Graduates are choosing between a cushy private sector job in non-litigation vs. the rough and tumble of litigation in courts, which pays less (numbers mentioned before) but hones the person much better for the long term. A litigation expert will go on to then earn huge sums once he is established and makes a name for himself, say Rs 2.5 million for a mere appearance in the court. Corporate jobs on the other hand pay more in the beginning but the career path usually hits a glass ceiling. Now in the US that need not be the case, there are several corporates especially in Insurance Industry where lawyers have gone on to become CEOs.

India is catching up in the legal space now and both the academia and industry are abuzz now with all the growth. Number wise, we still have a long way: 1 judge per 180 people (US has 1 per 30 and Europe 1 per 60); it still take 3-5 years for a case to settle (8 months in US and 18 months in Europe).

No comments: