How to Start Studying Law: Step-by-Step Guide for Indian Students


Do you desire to practice law so that you may promote justice and defend peoples’ rights because you are captivated by the legal system’s complexities? One of the most intellectually captivating and satisfying ways one might take is to seek after a profession in law. To prevail as a lawyer, you should have a thoroughly examined plan, set forth a ton of effort, and be devoted. If you’re an Indian student who is unclear about how to study law beyond your 12th grade or even after you graduate, this step-by-step guide can assist.

Step 1: Understand the Legal Profession 

Before you enter the world of law, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the legal profession and the many branches of the law. There are many other areas of law that can be studied, such as corporate, criminal, intellectual property, and constitutional law. Investigate each specialty to see which one appeals to you the most. Knowing the complexities of the legal sector can assist you with settling on a more educated conclusion about your career path.

Step 2: Meet Educational Requirements 

To know how to study law after 12th in India, the first requirement is to complete your 10+2 education (or equivalent) in any stream, including arts, commerce, or science. After completing your 12th, you become eligible on how to pursue law after 12th.

Step 3: Entrance Examinations 

Most law schools in India admit students based on entrance examinations. The two most popular law entrance exams in the country are: 

  1. CLAT (Common Law Admission Test): Conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities, CLAT is the gateway to prestigious National Law Universities (NLUs) across India. 
  2. AILET (All India Law Entrance Test): Conducted by the National Law University, Delhi, AILET is specifically for admissions to NLU Delhi. 

Prepare well for these exams as they are highly competitive, and your performance will determine your eligibility for admission to the top law colleges in the country. 

Step 4: Undergraduate Law Program (LLB) 

After clearing the entrance exams, you can enroll in a 5-year integrated undergraduate law program (BA LLB) offered by NLUs and other reputed institutions. This program combines the Bachelor of Arts (LLB) or Bachelor of Business Administration (LLB) with the Bachelor of Law (LLB). After earning your bachelor’s degree in any field, you can enroll in a 3-year LLB program. 

How to study law after graduation? You will study a variety of legal topics during your LLB program, including contract law, criminal law, administrative law, and more. To help you polish your legal skills, the integrated program also offers moot courts, internships, and other chances for practical study.

Step 5: Participate in Internships 

Internships are an integral part of legal education. During your LLB program, actively participate in internships at law firms, courts, NGOs, or corporate legal departments. Internships increase your employability, provide you with significant insight into the legal industry, and help you understand the law more practically. 

Step 6: Choose a Specialization (Optional) 

You may decide to concentrate on a particular field of law while you know how to pursue law after graduation. You can take optional courses and engage in suitable internships to develop your knowledge in any topic, including corporate law, intellectual property, environmental law, and other areas.

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Step 7: Clear the Bar Council Exam 

After effectively completing your LLB program, you should pass the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), which is regulated by the Bar Council of India (BCI). This exam assesses your knowledge of basic legal concepts and decides if you are competent to practice law in India.  

Step 8: Enroll in a State Bar Council 

The next crucial step is to enroll yourself with the State Bar Council of the particular state where you plan to practice law after passing the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) administered by the Bar Council of India (BCI). In India, obtaining this registration is a need in order to practice law. Joining the State Bar Council will officially concede you to the legal community and set before you the way to turning into a lawyer. An essential step solidifies your standing as an able attorney and offers you the chance to influence the legal profession and the court framework fundamentally. 

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Step 9: Postgraduate Studies (Optional) 

Although earning a postgraduate degree is not a prerequisite for practicing law, it can offer several benefits that can greatly advance your legal career. To expand your understanding and proficiency in a particular field of law, take into consideration enrolling in an LL.M (Master of Laws) program. Your credentials will be strengthened by earning an LL.M., and you’ll get access to greater employment possibilities, academic positions, and perhaps even an international legal career. By taking advanced legal courses, you may keep up with legal advancements and gain the knowledge and abilities necessary to confidently handle challenging legal situations. 

Step 10: Gain Practical Experience 

After completing your education and obtaining the necessary licenses, gaining practical experience is a crucial phase that will shape your journey as a competent lawyer. Consider working with seasoned senior advocates, joining a renowned law practice, or engaging in regular district court practice to gain practical legal knowledge.

Accepting these changes will provide you with vital practical experience, expose you to the complexity of the legal system, improve your problem-solving abilities, and give you more confidence in your ability to handle various legal situations successfully. This practical experience will serve as the cornerstone of your successful and satisfying legal career. 

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Step 11: Stay Updated and Engaged 

The legal profession is dynamic and constantly changing, so it’s vital to stay aware of the latest court decisions, historical rulings, and regulative changes. Participate in continuous legal discussions, seminars, workshops, and gatherings to widen your insight and associate with other legal experts if you have a desire to stay ahead in your profession.

You may deepen your knowledge of the law and create lasting ties within the legal community by committing to lifelong learning and actively engaging in professional events. This will help you become a more capable and prosperous lawyer. 

Step 12: Professional Ethics and Integrity 

Let’s not forget the crucial role that integrity and professional ethics play in the legal profession. Future solicitors must comprehend that upholding high moral standards is not only required by law but also by moral responsibility.

Upholding the pillars of professional ethics ensures that the trust placed on lawyers by their clients and society remains unwavering. Honesty, secrecy, justice, and impartiality are values that not only protect the integrity of the legal system but also the dignity of the legal profession. Embrace these values wholeheartedly to stand as a true guardian of justice and a beacon of integrity in the legal arena. 

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Commencing a career in law promises a fulfilling journey of learning and personal growth. This step-by-step guide has outlined the way to a prosperous legal career in India. As you embark on your journey, keep your sights on your goals, be open to challenges, and work hard. Remember that the legal profession has the ability to build a fair and just society and that you, as a lawyer, have the power to shape the way justice is administered to future generations.

Upholding professional ethics and integrity will not only cement your reputation but also earn the unwavering trust of your clients. Embrace this noble pursuit with passion and dedication, and the legal world will welcome you with boundless opportunities to make a profound impact on society’s fabric. Learn more about this via LL.M. in Corporate & Financial Law from JGU.


How can I study law after 12th?

After completing your 12th standard, you can pursue a 5-year integrated law program like BA LLB offered by National Law Universities (NLUs) or other reputed institutions. Clearing law entrance exams like CLAT or AILET is essential for admission. After earning an undergraduate degree, you might choose to enroll in a 3-year LLB program as an alternative.

During my LLB, may I focus on a certain field of law?

You can specialize in fields like corporate law, criminal law, intellectual property, and more thanks to the optional courses that many law schools offer. Participating in relevant internships during your LLB can also provide practical exposure to your chosen specialization.

Is a legal degree required for practice?

No, in India you do not need to have a postgraduate degree to practice law. However, earning an LL.M degree might have benefits including increased work possibilities, specialized knowledge, and future academic or international legal jobs.

What is the All India Bar Examination (AIBE)?

For law graduates who want to practice law, the Bar Council of India (BCI) requires them to take the AIBE test. It determines whether applicants are eligible to practice law in India by evaluating their fundamental legal knowledge.

Can I practice law in any state after completing my education?

You must enroll with the State Bar Council of the state where you desire to practice law after passing the AIBE. Each state has its own Bar Council, and membership is required in order to practice law there.

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