In the changing world of the legal profession, studying at a good law school and passing a bar exam alone is not considered sufficient. Majority of the times, the practicing lawyers are required to have specialty areas when representing clients in civil and criminal court. Legal specialization has a direct, positive impact on advocates’ competence. The specialist lawyers demonstrate high level of proficiency in their practice area. This way they stay on the leading edge of their profession, and improve their quality of legal service to the public.
The law graduates’ area of practice and career path is often-a-times determined by the first job they take. Either it will be that they are satisfied with the legal practice area they are working in, or they dislike it. While they are in a law college, most of them are focused on performing well and showcasing their accomplishments to score the best placements through campus. During that time, the only concern the students have is to find the best fit in the industry.
As a formal legal education is mandatory before the candidates get entry into practice, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has prescribed Compulsory subjects for the law students that will help build the foundation of legal knowledge enabling them to develop and enhance the skills needed to become successful lawyers and to make a positive contribution to the society.
While undergoing a law study program, the students are introduced to many Elective subjects offered in the curriculum so that they become acquainted with different areas of law. The electives vary according to the actual course in which the student has enrolled (Bachelor of Laws or an Integrated Bachelor Degree in Law). The specialty area(s) that particularly interest them will help in exploring new and significant developments in the law and the legal system. Some of the most popular specializations are:
Business Law or the Commercial Law deals with the rights and conduct of businesses & individuals engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales. It can be sub-divided into:
• Small-business Law often focuses on providing legal counsel to the start-up business, such as tax classifications, hiring employees, and the proper zoning and licensing requirements
• Corporate Law or Corporation Law deals with advising corporations on their legal rights, obligations, privileges; studying statutes, constitutions and ordinances
Civil Law deals with concerns of private rights of individuals, such as handling damage suits and breach of contract suits, drawing deeds, wills and mortgages.
Criminal Law where one deals with offences against society or state; involves preparing a case for defense, correlating findings, conducting trials, examining and cross-examining in court and so on.
Constitutional Law is the written text of the fundamental principles and provisions of Indian Constitution by which the state and central government exercise the authority. This body of law draws heavily from rulings made in the Supreme Court.
Environmental Law deals with enactment of treaties, regulations, and common and customary laws towards protection of the natural environment from the effects of human activity.
Intellectual Property (IP) Law deals with the acquisition and imposition of patents, trademarks and copyrights to a registered idea, product, name, word, symbol, or even Internet domain names. IP law protects the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) through following three subdivisions:
• Patent Law focuses on securing patents of inventions and technology; prosecuting or defending patent infringement
• Trademark Law is designed to defend a company’s or an individual’s investment in any distinguishing name, symbol or device
• Copyright Law deals with the protection of literary, artistic and musical works
International Law specializes on treaties, customs and traditions observed by nations in their relations with one another.
Labour Law deals with issues between management and workers in the firms, their associations, their rights and duties, and working conditions.
Real Estate Law covers conveyance of property, verification of records and deeds to establish titles of property; acting as trustee for property; drawing up legal documents for deeds and mortgages.
Tax Law deals with income tax, estate tax, real tax, franchises, tax treaty and regulatory rules that constitute the law applicable to taxation.