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A-Z Guide on Career in Cyber Law & What Potential Growth It Holds!

career in cyber law

In our interconnected world driven by the Internet, almost every aspect of our lives is influenced by technology. From communication to banking, learning to leisure, the Internet plays a vital role. Thus, where there is opportunity, there is also the potential for cybercrime. To combat this threat and protect our digital landscape, the need for cyber laws and skilled professionals is paramount. If you’re passionate about defending cyberspace, safeguarding information, and fighting against cybercrime, a career in cyber law could be your ideal calling.

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With a staggering 749 million internet users in India as of 2020, projected to surpass 1.5 billion by 2040, the country presents a vast market for internet services. In 2019, India secured the second spot globally as the largest online market, trailing only China. The growth in internet users spans urban and rural areas, highlighting a dynamic expansion in internet accessibility.

With the increasing reliance on technology in both personal and professional spheres, the need for legal experts who can tackle cyber threats and safeguard sensitive information has never been more pronounced. As organizations worldwide grapple with data breaches, online privacy concerns, and intellectual property theft, the demand for cyber law specialists continues to surge.

By embarking on a career in cyber law, you open doors to a realm that blends legal prowess with the intricacies of cutting-edge technology. Whether you aspire to work in law enforcement agencies, government bodies, private corporations, or as a legal consultant, this field offers a diverse array of opportunities to explore and make a meaningful impact.

Get ready to embark on a journey where law meets technology and the opportunities are limitless.

What is cyber law?

Cyber Laws are enacted with the purpose of prevention and prosecution of any crime committed using any information technology, tools, or methods that require a computer, mobile phone, or any other computing devices. Cyber Laws safeguard us from all the malus intent and the misuse of the Internet.

In India, cyber laws come under the purview of the Information Technology (IT) Act, of 2000, its amendments in 2008, and all the rules that are related to the Act. As such there is no law marked as cyber law under this Act, but various provisions under this Act provide for the prevention and prosecution of cybercrimes. For example, the IT Act covers:

  • All computer-related offences
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Breach of privacy
  • Data and identity protection and breach of these
  • Unauthorized access to computers and data
  • Offensive messages are sent through the internet/other digital communication systems and by using a computer or similar device
  • Damage to computer systems (includes hardware and software)
  • Publication of any materials for fraudulent purposes
  • Publishing of pornographic materials including child pornography
  • All other aspects under the definition of cyber laws given above

Why do we need cyber laws?

It’s a more the merrier scenario for the people with inappropriate motives and a criminal mindset. The more the usage of the Internet, the more will be the propensity of people with inappropriate and criminal motives to commit unlawful activity over the Internet.

What are the major risks of cybercrimes? Plenty. Here is a short list:

  1. Hacking and unauthorized access to mobile phones, computers, servers, and other computing devices
  2. Identity theft including biometric data (data on your iris, fingerprints, etc.)
  3. Date theft (contacts in your phone, images, videos, passwords, important documents, emails, bank transaction history, etc.)
  4. Credit card fraud and other banking fraud such as unauthorized withdrawal of money
  5. Cyber terrorism
  6. Industrial espionage
  7. Developing and spreading malware and viruses
  8. Spamming
  9. Copyright and trademark violations
  10. Pornography and child pornography

This is just a shortlist. There is much more to know about the types of cybercrime. So, we need to have appropriate surveillance, intelligence, and policing mechanisms along with stringent cyber laws to prevent cybercrimes and prosecute people who commit such crimes.

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How to Become a Cyber Lawyer?

Look at a step-by-step guide to becoming a Cyber Lawyer:

Step 1:

Either do your 10+2 studies in any stream with any subjects OR in the science stream with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics / with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, or any other science subjects.

Step 2:

Appear for the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities (https://consortiumofnlus.ac.in/) and take admission to:

Option i) 5-year integrated B.A. LL.B. / B.Com. LL.B. / B.B.A. LL.B. if you have completed 10+2 in any stream (you may specialize in Cyber Law)

OR

Option ii) 5-year integrated B.Sc. LL.B. if you have completed 10+2 in Science stream (you may specialize in Cyber Law)

OR

Option iii) Appear for a university entrance examination of any university which offers admission to a 6-year integrated B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering with an LL.B. degree and a specialization in Cyber Laws if you have completed 10+2 in Science stream with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

OR

Option iv) Complete a 3 or 4-year graduation degree in any subject AND then do a 3-year LL.B. from a law institute. However, not many 3-year LL.B. courses are offered in India nowadays.

Step 3:

After completion of B.A. LL.B. / B.Com. LL.B. / B.B.A. LL.B. / B.Sc. LL.B., / B.Tech. LL.B., / LL.B., register yourself with a State Bar Council of India and find an opportunity to work as a Junior Lawyer under a Senior Lawyer or with a Law firm that deals with Cyber Laws.

Then qualify in the All India Bar Examination (https://consortiumofnlus.ac.in/) to be able to practice law in India. This is mandatory to become a Lawyer in India and that includes Cyber Lawyer.

If you do not find any work opportunity after your graduation in Law, you should still appear for the All-India Bar Examination. This will make you eligible to practice Cyber Law independently.

Step 4:

Options i) Specialise in Cyber Law by Practice: Use opportunities that you may get to work as a Junior Lawyer under the guidance of a Senior Lawyer who specializes in Cyber Law or in a Law Firm which practices Cyber Law. Your practice experience can make you an independent practicing Cyber Lawyer or a Senior Cyber Lawyer in a Law Firm over the years.

OR

Option ii) Study Cyber Law at the Post-Graduation level along with Practice: Along with your work as described under Option i) above, you can obtain a Post Graduate Diploma or a Certificate in Cyber Law. You can do such courses with reading materials, online classes, and contact seminar classes. NALSAR offers one such course. With such qualification and with practice experience, you can become a Cyber Lawyer.

OR

Option iii) Do an LL.M. or PG Diploma with a specialization in Cyber Law: Instead of starting to work as described under Option i above, you can first obtain an LL.M. degree with a specialization in Cyber Law or a PG Diploma in Cyber Law.

The duration of these courses is 1-year. After completing an LL.M. in Cyber Law or a PG Diploma in Cyber Law, you may look for a work opportunity in a Law Firm or with a Senior Lawyer who practices Cyber Law. Then with practice experience, you can become a specialist Cyber Lawyer.

Also, read – How to Become a Lawyer

Educational Requirements for a Career in cyber law

To pursue a career in cyber law in India, certain educational requirements must be fulfilled. While specific qualifications may vary, here are the typical educational pathways for aspiring cyberlaw professionals.

Undergraduate Degree

Begin by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) from a recognized university or institution. This is the foundational step for entering the legal field in India. During your LLB program, consider specializing in subjects related to cyber law or intellectual property rights to gain relevant knowledge.

Postgraduate Degree

Pursuing a master’s degree in law (LLM) with a specialization in cyber law is highly advantageous. Several esteemed universities and law schools in India offer LLM programs focusing on cyber law, information technology law, or intellectual property rights. These advanced programs provide in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field.

Certification and Short Courses

Complementing your academic qualifications with specialized certifications and short courses can further enhance your skills and marketability. Look for programs that specifically cover cyber law courses, data protection, computer forensics, or information security. Organizations like the Indian Law Institute, the National Law School of India University, and the Asian School of Cyber Laws offer such courses.

Internships and Practical Experience

Practical experience is invaluable in the legal profession. Seek internships or apprenticeships with law firms, legal departments of companies, or governmental agencies dealing with cyber law matters. This hands-on exposure will provide you with practical insights, networking opportunities, and a chance to apply your legal knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development

Stay updated with the evolving landscape of cyber law by engaging in continuous learning. Attend seminars, workshops, and conferences focused on cyber law, join relevant professional associations, and actively participate in discussions and forums to expand your knowledge and network.

By fulfilling these educational requirements and gaining practical experience, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful career in cyber law in India. Remember to stay abreast of legal developments and technological advancements to excel in this dynamic field.

Also, read; career in Law

Best law schools in India

In this section, we will be discussing about list of top law schools in India:

  1. National Law School of India University Bangalore
  2. National Law University Delhi
  3. Nalsar University of Law Hyderabad
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Kolkata
  5. National Law University Jodhpur
  6. Symbiosis Law School Pune
  7. Jindal Global Law School
  8. Gujarat National Law University Gandhinagar
  9. The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala
  10. National Law Institute University Bhopal
  11. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University Lucknow
  12. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi
  13. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  14. The Indian Law Institute Delhi
  15. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam
  16. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonipat, Haryana
  17. Faculty of Law, Delhi University
  18. Chanakya National Law University, Patna
  19. Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai
  20. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi

Top Law Schools in India which Offer Cyber Law Courses

Here are the top 5 law schools in India that offer cyber law courses:

  1. Nalsar University of Law Hyderabad
  2. National Law Institute University Bhopal
  3. The Indian Law Institute Delhi
  4. New Law College Pune (Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed University)
  5. Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science Delhi

Career opportunities in cyber law

After your graduation degree in Law or a postgraduate degree or diploma in Cyber Law, you may get a job with

  • As a Junior Lawyer with a Senior Lawyer who practices Cyber Law
  • As a Junior Lawyer/ Associate with a Law Firm which practices Cyber Law

Remember that after your graduate degree in Law, you must register with a State Bar Council and then qualify in the All India Bar Examination (http://www.allindiabarexamination.com/). These are mandatory to practice as an independent Lawyer in India including practice as a Cyber Lawyer.

After a few years of practice experience in Cyber Law (5-10 years or more), you also get a job with:

  • Any large-scale organization in their legal department
  • IT organizations in their legal department
  • Police / Intelligence services / Cyber Forensic Services with a State Government or Government of India as a Legal Advisor or in a similar position

Scope of cyber law

The scope of cyber law in India is expanding rapidly, reflecting the increasing significance of the digital realm in the country. As of 2023, India continues to witness a surge in internet users, with an estimated user base of over 1.2 billion people. This widespread connectivity has brought along a range of legal challenges and necessitated the growth of cyber law. The scope of cyber law in India encompasses various aspects, including data protection, privacy rights, cybercrimes, e-commerce regulations, and intellectual property rights.

One area of focus within cyber law is the protection of personal data. With the implementation of the Personal Data Protection Bill in progress, individuals’ privacy rights are gaining more prominence. Additionally, the rise in cybercrimes, such as hacking, identity theft, and online fraud, has underscored the need for robust legislation and enforcement mechanisms to combat these threats effectively.

With the increasing adoption of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), the scope of cyber law continues to evolve. As these technologies advance, new legal challenges and considerations arise, necessitating a proactive approach to legislative frameworks and regulations.

Conclusion

The use of the Internet is growing by leaps and bounds. There is hardly any aspect of our living and work in which we do not use the Internet. With the rise in Internet usage, cybercrimes are also increasing at an alarming rate. To protect common citizens, organizations, and Governments from cybercrimes, we need a very large number of Cyber Lawyers. So, there is a bright future in this field.

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Career in Cyber Law: FAQs

Is pursuing a career in cyber law a viable option?

It offers numerous opportunities beyond traditional legal firms and courtrooms. Upon completing a course in cyber law, you become eligible for job offers from various organizations, including police departments, IT companies, corporate houses, public and private entities, and even universities as a lecturer.

What are the job prospects in the field of cyber law?

Cyberlaw offers diverse career options, such as legal advisor, cyber consultant, research assistant, and network administrator. These roles can be found in IT companies, corporate houses, and law enforcement agencies.

Can one pursue cyber law after completing LLB?

Absolutely! After graduating with an LLB degree, you can pursue an LLM course specializing in cyber law. Numerous short-term and long-term courses in cyber law are available both offline and online.

Are cyber law and IT law the same thing?

While cyber law is a broad field that covers various aspects, including freedom of expression, internet access and usage, and online privacy, it also includes information technology laws. In essence, information technology laws are encompassed within the domain of cyber laws.

What are the industries that require cyber law professionals?

Cyberlaw professionals are in demand across various industries, including – Law firms and legal departments, Technology companies, Government agencies and law enforcement, the Banking and finance sector, the Healthcare industry, E-commerce and online businesses, Educational institutions, Consulting firms specializing in cybersecurity and risk management, etc.

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