Civil law is one of the oldest fields in law and offers a wide range of career opportunities. If you are determined to fight for the rights and liberties of the people, then establish a career in civil law. Civil law encompasses a wide range of legal issues, including disputes between individuals, businesses, and organizations. As a civil lawyer, you’ll be responsible for representing your clients in court and providing legal advice and guidance on a variety of matters, from contract disputes to property disputes and everything in between.
One of the great things about a career in civil law is that it offers a diverse range of opportunities. Whether you’re interested in working for a law firm, government agency, or non-profit organization, there are plenty of options to choose from.
As with any career path, pursuing a career in civil law requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others. But for those who are willing to put in the effort, the rewards can be significant. Whether you’re just starting out in your legal career or looking to make a change, this blog will provide you with valuable insights and information to help you achieve your goals.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about a career in civil law, let’s get started!
What is civil law?
Civil law is a branch of law that deals with disputes between individuals, organizations, or entities. It includes a wide range of legal issues such as property disputes, contract breaches, family law matters, personal injury claims, and more.
The primary goal of civil law is to provide a legal framework for resolving disputes between parties and to provide compensation or relief to the injured party. In civil law cases, the party that is seeking compensation or relief is known as the plaintiff, and the party against whom the claim is made is known as the defendant.
Civil law differs from criminal law, which deals with offenses that are considered harmful to society as a whole and can result in criminal charges and punishment. Civil law disputes, on the other hand, are typically resolved through compensation or damages, rather than punishment.
Civil law cases can be resolved through litigation, where the case is heard by a judge or jury, or through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. Civil lawyers, also known as litigators, are legal professionals who specialize in representing clients in civil law cases and helping them navigate the legal system.
Popular Specializations in Civil Law
There are various Civil Lawyer Jobs in India. Some of the main types of civil lawyers are mentioned below.
- Divorce Lawyer: A divorce lawyer is a civil lawyer who deals with disputes between husband and wife. He or she is responsible for the legal division of assets and debts. A divorce attorney determines the term of custody and alimony.
- Family Lawyer: A family lawyer is a civil law specialist who deals with family disputes such as child support, abuse, family separation, inheritance, divorce, and child custody. He provides support to clients in solving family-related issues.
- Intellectual Property Lawyer: The Intellectual Property Lawyer is responsible for handling cases related to intellectual and creative innovation and work. An intellectual lawyer focuses on areas related to copyright, patents, trademarks, industrial design rights, duplication, etc.
Who is a civil lawyer?
A Civil Lawyer is a lawyer who works for the civil rights of citizens. As a Civil Lawyer, you work on behalf of your client which can be an individual, group, or business to protect their interest in various aspects like contracts, family matters, recovery of money or property, discrimination on gender, race, employment, social freedom, etc. As a civil lawyer, you will handle civil legal matters on behalf of your clients and try to reduce the expenses of your client which they have to pay due to a civil lawsuit.
However, it must be noted that a civil lawyer doesn’t handle criminal issues; you represent your client who is seeking for settling non-criminal disputes. Civil Lawyers file their client’s cases in civil courts and when required, present their clients’ cases before the judges of the civil courts. A civil lawyer works for various cases which involve contract laws, family laws, commercial laws, human rights laws, employment laws, etc.
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Why become a civil lawyer?
There are several reasons why someone might choose to become a civil lawyer:
- Help others: Civil law deals with disputes between individuals and organizations, and becoming a civil lawyer can give you the opportunity to help people resolve their legal problems and obtain justice.
- Diverse practice areas: Civil law covers a wide range of legal issues, from property disputes to personal injury claims to family law matters. This provides a wide range of options to specialize in and makes the practice of civil law diverse and exciting.
- Intellectual challenge: Civil law requires a deep understanding of legal principles, case law, and procedural rules, which can be intellectually challenging and stimulating.
- Financial reward: Civil law cases can be complex and high-stakes, and successful civil lawyers can earn significant financial rewards.
- Professional development: A career in civil law can provide opportunities for professional development, including the opportunity to work on high-profile cases and collaborate with other legal professionals.
What does a civil lawyer do?
As a civil lawyer, you have to fulfill the following roles and responsibilities.
- You will investigate your client’s affairs, counsel their legal rights to ensure they have operated under the law, and then proceed with their cases.
- You must ensure that your client receives fair and equal justice in a court of law.
- As a civil lawyer, you will conduct legal and referencing work, draft legal documents, prepare for filing of litigations, argue the cases in courts, and negotiate settlements between parties.
- As a civil lawyer, you will advise your client on legal matters and communicate their needs.
- Whenever there is any change in the law as a civil lawyer, you will interpret the legal information and inform your clients.
- You will present cases of your clients in courts before judges, both in writing and verbally.
- You will conduct all the legal proceedings and communicate the outcomes to your clients.
- Asa civil lawyer, you will provide legal support on contractual matters, drafting notices, and legal issues.
- As a civil lawyer, you will provide legal protection and risk management advice to the various concerned departments of the company.
How to Become a Civil Lawyer – Eligibility Criteria
A career in Civil law involves a clear understanding of society, customs that prevail in society, and the laws related to it. An individual needs to be well qualified and must have ample knowledge about the Constitution and the legislation. After 12th, five-year graduation programs for the law are available, including B.A. LL.B or B. Sc. LL.B. Thus, students from any field can pursue their careers in law.
After graduation, a three-year degree course, LL.B. can be done. Students aspiring to study ahead can undertake a two-year master’s program, LL. M, after graduation. Diploma courses are also present specific to civil law related to human rights, women, family laws, juvenile justice, and others. Post-graduation courses such as Masters in Philosophy and Doctorate can be done in civil law. India has some prestigious law universities that offer courses to highly skilled students.
There are 16 prominent National Law Universities, where admission is granted only after qualification of the Common Law Aptitude Test (CLAT). The test includes basic mathematics, aptitude, English, and general knowledge. Other universities also conduct their respective entrance exams for admission. Hence, in order to pursue a career in civil law, you need to have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of law.
Top Colleges to Pursue a Career in Civil Law
Below is the list of top institutes & colleges to pursue a career in civil law-
|Institute/College||NIRF Ranking 2023|
|National Law School of India University, Bengaluru||1|
|National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law, Hyderabad||2|
|Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad||3|
|Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur||4|
|The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata||5|
|National Law University, Jodhpur||6|
|Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala||7|
|Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar||8|
|National Law University, Delhi||9|
|Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow||10|
After you graduate with a law degree, you can get a job with:
- A senior practicing lawyer and work as a Junior, helping him prepare case files, research, presentation, filing cases in courts, etc.
- A law firm or a Solicitor’s firm (there is no difference as such) as a Junior Solicitor or similar position. Here as well, you will assist senior lawyers in preparing case files, research, presentation, filing cases in courts, etc.
- A management consulting or financial consulting firm which has legal practices. Here also you will work to assist senior lawyers.
- Many corporate and other organizations have legal departments. You can be recruited in these departments as a Junior Lawyer.
- You may join defence forces and governments in legal functions or departments.
To practice independently or on behalf of a firm, company, or other organization, you need to register with a State Bar Council and then appear and qualify in the All-India Bar Examination (AIBE) conducted by the Bar Council of India. Independent practice is advisable only after having 8-10 years of experience under a senior lawyer or with a firm.
Career progression in civil law
It all depends on your work experience and qualifications.
- If you are hired as a junior lawyer in a law firm or a consulting firm, then you will move up the organization as a practicing lawyer/associate consultant (after having cleared the AIBE examination and after having 5-8 years of experience) and then become a senior lawyer/consultant. In law firms, you can move up to the level of a Partner.
- Incorporate and other organizations, you can move from a junior legal officer to a legal officer and then a senior legal officer. Then you can be a GM/Associate Vice President-Legal and finally a Vice President/President – Legal and Corporate Affairs.
Salary of a civil lawyer
The salary of a civil lawyer in India varies depending on various factors such as location, experience, qualifications, and the type of organization they work for. According to the data provided by PayScale, the average salary of a civil lawyer in India is around ₹380,000 per annum. However, the salary range can vary widely, from ₹180,000 per annum for a fresher to over ₹1,500,000 per annum for an experienced civil lawyer working in a top law firm.
Here’s a breakdown of the salary range of a civil lawyer in India based on their experience level:
- Entry-level civil lawyer (0-2 years of experience): ₹180,000 – ₹600,000 per annum
- Mid-level civil lawyer (2-5 years of experience): ₹500,000 – ₹1,000,000 per annum
- Senior-level civil lawyer (5-10 years of experience): ₹1,000,000 – ₹2,000,000 per annum
- Top-level civil lawyer (10+ years of experience): Over ₹2,000,000 per annum
If you are inclined towards providing justice and serving the rights of the people, then a career in civil law is the perfect career option. The subject is extremely vast and specialization can be done in the desired area of interest. Civil law and rights awareness is increasing rapidly in society and it can yield a shining career for people passionate about the subject.
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Career in Civil Law- FAQs
Civil lawyers represent individuals, companies, and organizations in civil matters. They provide legal advice, negotiate settlements, and represent clients in court. Civil lawyers may specialize in areas such as corporate law, family law, or personal injury law.
To become a civil lawyer, you typically need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as political science or pre-law, followed by a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school.
Civil lawyers need excellent communication and negotiation skills, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well under pressure. They must also have a thorough understanding of the law and legal procedures.
The job outlook for civil lawyers is positive, with an expected growth rate of 4% between 2019 and 2029. Job opportunities may be available in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Civil law deals with disputes between individuals, organizations, and entities, while criminal law deals with crimes committed against the state. Civil cases typically involve monetary compensation or injunctions, while criminal cases can result in fines or imprisonment.
In some cases, civil lawyers may also practice criminal law if they have the necessary qualifications and experience. However, criminal law is a specialized field, and many civil lawyers choose to focus on civil matters only.
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Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Senior Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.