Before you read even 5 lines of this post, just keep in mind that- “It is not about how much you know, but how fast you learn!”
Recently I started WhatsApp Notification service to send you law content easily.
One of you contacted me and asked me:
“How should I study law in India?”
Well here is my reply. You are welcome to add your own views or ideas or suggestion in comment box below after you read this whole post.
First of all thank you very much for supporting me and my website. It means a lot to me and it is very useful.
Secondly, It is good that you want to study law.
Now, you want to know how to start studying (and as you say, not as a law student but as a future lawyer.) Well, a male can not become a man without first being a child!
But I understand what you are trying to say. I understand you already are in MBA and you can not start from the very very beginning.
So, whether you start as a law student or skip and try to become a lawyer, the holy water of law is BARE ACTS.
Now in an easy way I can say that BARE ACTS, as the name says, are the raw, exact, on point rules/laws.
Good lawyers interpret these laws and apply in different cases.
Now, understand that very very few people know all the sections and articles of these Bare Acts. You might have seen in real life or in movies that a lawyer’s chamber is filled with books. It is to take help from those books depending on the case.
So do not force yourself to remember all these sections and articles. You will automatically remember important ones and as time goes you will get better. They will be on your finger tips!
There are many many many bare acts. But above ones are most important and extremely useful.
Now, You need time to read these. The first 5 laws are extremely big. I have all these acts in a systematic manner on this website. You can read from there or you can buy books for them. I have a list of recommended books for these subjects. I will send you if you need that. Now since you want to focus more on being a good lawyer, this is pretty much it. But this is NOT EVERYTHING.
VERY FRANKLY AND HONESTLY SPEAKING, the main thing that you need to know to be a good lawyer is NOT IN ANY OF THE ABOVE BOOKS. IT IS IN THE ACTUAL COURT.
You will have to learn a lot of things like Drafting, Pleading, Framing Applications etc. You can learn these ONLY if you do internship under a lawyer in an actual court.
But keep this in mind too, that WITHOUT THOSE BARE ACTS, it will be very tough and if you do not read them you will be clueless in court when you intern under any lawyer. If you do not know law and if you work as an intern, you might not be treated very well. You will have to make photocopies and bring tea for months before the lawyer under whom you intern starts valuing you. (Also, even if you are very well read in law still if you intern you will have to do these small works.)
Now, You said you are reading articles and watching law videos. EXCELLENT! Keep doing that. BUT DO NOT FORGET TO READ NEWS AND ESPECIALLY LAW NEWS. Apps like BAR AND BENCH and LIVE LAW will help you a lot. They have all new law news. (I also wish to have apps like these one day.)
A very important part of being a good lawyer is DRAFTING. It is basically writing what your client will say in a proper, legal way.
A good draft at times is capable to make or break a case. You will learn these in actual court but you can know the basics of drafting in books. A lawyer can also earn good money even if he just knows how to draft well.
Apart from this, to be a good lawyer you need to have good connections (with fellow lawyers and all sorts of people who can get things done like Police etc. But these are things that you have to think about after 3-4 years. Not now.)
You also need to be very frank. Be confident even if you are wrong. This is against the professional ethics of an advocate but this is what happens in practical life. Never feel ashamed in court. Talk to everyone and anyone you can. Make a habit to greet senior advocates when you see them. This is not buttering someone but just being social and respectful.
It is said that after a student completes law, it takes him at least 5 years to establish a practice of his own (assuming his father, brother or family members are not advocates.) Being established as a lawyer is hard and requires time.
So best ways to study and remember law in India can be summarised as follows-
1. Make a daily habit to read Bare Acts. (This is very important.)
2. If you do not understand something, read it 10 times. (I bet you will start understanding.)
Now here it will seem that I am pitching an ad for my website but honestly I am not. I will request you to read from my website because Bare Acts on my website have internal links. You won’t find this on any other law website (that I have seen) and this feature is not in books too.
What this is that-
Bare acts on WritingLaw have internal links to save your time.
Section 174A of Indian Penal Code, has a mention of Section 82 of Criminal Procedure Code. Now many students especially new law students like you while reading this section of IPC will not know what Section 82 of CrPC is. It will take time to find that section in a different bare act. It will take time to Google search and all that. What I have done is that I have given links for these sections right there. Clicking on it will instantly take you to that section in a new browser tab. So it will be easy to study.
3. Be updated of new law news and judgements. Download at least one app that I said above (Live Law or Bar and Bench)
4. Keep reading Law Notes, Articles and keep watching YouTube videos. (Video will be better for now than reading. First you need to develop interest. Watching video will build interest in you.)
5. See if you can work/intern under any lawyer. Keep this option open and the moment you join law college/class, start working/interning under a lawyer. (You will learn most of the things here.)
6. Write at least 2 paragraphs every week. No need to write big ones. Just small basic paragraphs. Start with any topic.
Like, “WHY I CHOOSE TO GIVE 116 RUPEES TO A LAW WEBSITE EVEN IF I AM NOT YET A LAW STUDENT?”
Make yourself think. Make yourself think harder. Question your thoughts and also answer them. Argue with yourself. (Believe me it will be amazing and helpful.)
Now, write these on a copy but if you have a laptop or computer then please use that. It will improve your typing and help during drafting.
7. Argue/Debate with friends on any topic. It does not always have to be law. As law is interconnected or linked with almost all fields. So there is nothing like “law-boundary” you have to be in. Just debate. Argue (in positive sense.) It will increase your quick thinking skills and make you come up with faster, responsive replies.
8. Share whatever exciting things you read in law/bare acts with your friends orally. If you discuss it orally you will never forget it.
Apart from these any other ideas do not come to my mind at this time. I have been working continuously since 7:20 AM today. I am exhausted. But if any more things come to mind, I will surely message that.
Until then, Here are the links for-
1. Bare Acts
3. Law Notes
Again thank you very much for the big amount you gave me today. It will help me a lot. I wish the best for you.
He later asked a question about subjects for being a Corporate Lawyer. Here is my reply-
A corporate lawyer or advisor needs to handle a variety of legal tasks which includes corporate taxes, mergers and acquisitions, corporate structure issues, employment law, government reporting etc.
And to go in corporate field one need to go throughly with the subjects like-
Sales of goods act,
And other minor statues (laws) which comes in use in commercial dealings.
Basically a corporate lawyer is tasked with ensuring company’s transactions with others.
They may work at a law firm or as part or member of a company’s legal team. Their working may include preparing documents, assessing partnerships, and negotiating deals.
Here is a list of best books that you can buy and use that to study. You can confirm the names of these books from your own friends and teachers too. I am confident that they will also say that these books are indeed best in their category and useful for all law exams!