Career Questions Answered: Criminal Lawyer; Maritime Law; LLM from an NLU; LLM from Abroad

By Tanuj Kalia

1. Where can I find the details of case “Abdul Aziz vs Masum Ali”.

Details? As in you want the full text of the judgment?

Indiankanoon.org is generally a good source to look for cases.

Abdul Aziz v Masum Ali is here.

This is a very basic question and it’s surprising that a law student asked it in the first place.

BTW I hope you know about things like citations and case reporters like those three letter abbreviations: SCC, AIR etc?

2. I am a final year law student and desire to practice as a criminal lawyer in the future. I am going to be a first generation lawyer having no background or experience. Could you give me some advice on how to get started?

By the time you are in final year, you should have ideally (already) created the ‘background’ and the ‘experience’.

The developing a ‘background’ includes taking up subjects on Criminal Law, publishing papers and attending conferences on the subject and doing the related moots.

While attending conferences don’t focus only on your paper or your talk. Focus on other’s papers and talks too. And talk to them too. That’s how you make friends and build connections.

You should also be following leading criminal cases in the news and reading ( since that’s what your vocation is) up on the legalities part of these cases.

Even going through the interviews of leading criminal lawyers, which are published in dozens in media, should serve as good lessons.

Start young, though it's OK if you start old

Start young, though it’s OK if you start old

The developing an ‘experience’ comes from interning under criminal lawyers (if I were you I’d have done at least 3 criminal law internships till now: one at a district court, a second one at a High Court and a 3rd one at the Supreme Court).

You could also have had a ‘mentor’, a criminal law lawyer or even a good professor under whose tutelage you’d grow better and faster.

Anyway, there still is time. Do the internships. When you interact ‘personally’ with successful criminal law lawyers you’ll know exactly how to start; you’ll know about the pros and the cons.

You can also do a basic research of who the best criminal law lawyers are (in the district court nearest to you), visit the best 3-4 lawyers (call them up or just land up in their office) and interview them!

You’ll be surprised to know how most of the lawyers will be happy to help a young law student.

This is hard work, but then everything is.

3. Wish to know the scope of a career in Maritime Law in India? To be specific, job vacancies, salaries offered, sufficient work, etc.

So, when I was in second year, IP and Sports Law were my fascinations.

I interned at Fidus Law Chambers, under Mr. Anish Dayal, who has Rajasthan Royals as one of his clients.

I asked him a similar question, “Sir, how’s Sports Law as a Career?

He answered (something on the lines of), “Actually, there is nothing special about Sports Law. In the end you are dealing with Contracts and the Rights of people in the sports industry.”

“So first and foremost, your basics…the Law of Contracts and the Constitution should be sound. Then it’s all about understanding the industry and working with the players in it: sportsmen, sports bodies, etc.”

So, the answer for you too is: make sure your ‘basics’ are great. You should be able to read, research and draft like a pro. You should know your Torts, Contracts and Consti and the back of your hand and then think about these.

To the competent and the hard-working jobs will come, salaries will rise and work will exist till ships sail in the sea.

Knowledge on Maritime Law. See HERE.

Law firms where you can work/intern at (mostly in Mumbai) are HERE.

Comment: For Maritime Law, lawyers in Bombay and Calcutta would be great to intern with (eg. Mr. Ranjan Bachhawat in Calcutta).

Further, try and see if your college offers Maritime/ Admiralty law as an elective. Do take it up. Maritime Law is a great area to work in, however, these lawyers do a tonne of other work also, so they don’t really deal exclusively in these matters

This won't happen to your career

This won’t happen to your career. Erm hopefully. Fingers crossed.

4. Is there placement after doing LL.M. from national law colleges getting admission through CLAT.

And secondly, after B.A.LL.B. is there any job in which person can also do his own private practice?

There’s a joke which went around for a while.

The ‘ladder of power’ in NLUs:

1. 5th year students

2. Photocopier

3. Faculty

4. 4th year students

5. Other students

6. Other staff

7. Dogs and other animals

8. LLM students

It’s mean and it’s painful but does contain some reality.

However, with the 1 year LLM now in place things have changed for good, slightly.

NOTE: Sincere apologies to those whose feelings got hurt because of this loose comment (mea culpa).

For someone who wants to get placed at law firms or in companies and LLM from an Indian College holds little or no value.

If academics and research is your cuppa, an LLM will help.

And of course, you can set up your own practice after your graduation (what sort of a question is this), but for that you’ll have to be a super-star (what sort of an answer is this).

5. I am 3rd Sem Amity Law School, Noida student. I am doing very good in academics here, I wanted to study LLM from abroad on scholarship. So, what are the options which I have?

Please see THIS.

You can ask your career questions HERE.

In case you feel like answering any of the questions, please do leave a comment  and help the seekers! 

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Comments Till Now

  1. Neha Agarwal says:

    *Not everything is taught in law school afterall :-).

  2. Neha Agarwal says:

    With reference to the answer given to qn no 4. Being humourous isn’t about being derogatory or daunting towards some thing. An apology or rectification is truly required. I read in one of the comments-apology should be sufficient. I believe that the adequacy of apology is not delimitised to the case of defamation only. It applies to all the instances where an apology must be given. Not everything is law school afterall :-).

  3. avishek rout says:

    With reference to your point no. 4 there are many jokes which go around in law schools, firms and corporate sectors do you show up all of them when someone comes with a career problem. Then it’s fine to change the name of the site to some funny name at least people know your intention. If a person talks to anyone in India there is a remark on our judicial system and this is how a person is designated after doing higher studies in law. This feeble mind approach is the reason students opt for masters outside India. I was a student of LLM in NLIU and never faced such an issue. I appreciate the LLb students as they never let us feel any different than them. You mentioned about different years in your post as far as I know not a single year ever misbehaved or disrespected me. So I can conclude its your personal joke which you crack behind the word ” there is a joke. Now coming to the point of placement well I can say that efforts are not made much but that doesn’t mean anyone can derogate the reputation. I will personally raise the issue at the bar council of India.

  4. Swapnil Verma says:

    Also, what is noticeable is how you place a picture of a docked boat, apparently in not a very good condition and say “This won’t happen to your career. Erm hopefully. Fingers crossed.” Are you out there to mock your readers, make fun of them, take pot-shots and ridicule them? In retrospect, I cant help but notice a very sardonic and mocking overtone of your entire post. If the questions are so stupid, can you please rather ignore them next time, instead of coming out mocking them (and other things all alike) and showing off what appears to a large number of people talking about this post as ‘pseudo intellectualism’. Extremely pedantic it is!

    And this comes from a fan of lawctopus! One unsought for advice I can give is to remember that – As Big a Hero You Are, As Big You Can Be a Villain!! Now tell you what, go watch Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight again, and come back and post a PROPER and SUFFICIENT apology. I would be the first one to congratulate you and applaud. And I would get a dozen others at the very minimum to do the same. Or else, there can be a legal notice we might be constrained to send across. Just for your information, in my institute, a lot of people are talking about your post (unfortunately, for the wrong reasons) and I can assure you that there is a legal action overdue unless the right thing is done. I know you don’t fear a lawsuit. Neither would we hesitate. But I hope that, you and we, and all LL.M. students all across the country and some dozens of faculty members who have achieved their masters degree in India from NLUs are all (and should be) mature enough to spare the trouble. What is wrong is wrong. Inadvertent. Intentional. Casual. Whatever! All that we demand is a real, sincere apology!! (And via a full post on your website).

    P.S.- My congrats already for atleast not inhibiting the criticism. Being the administrator, you could have suppressed it all. Respect for that.

  5. LL.M. NLSIU says:

    After having read all the above comments with respect to your reply to Question 4, I would like to congratulate the Admin. for adopting the well-thought strategy of igniting the controversies just to add on to the page clicks. (It sounds very similar to the Mika – Rakhi Sawant sort of controveries that raises the TRP of any show….Ha Ha) I won’t say that I had much expectations from a website like yours when it comes to sincere, well-researched reporting of facts. Your immature comment / joke won’t undermine the status of LL.M.’s from NLU’s. As a well-wisher, I just want to give you a piece of advice – “If you are a lawyer…and I think you are one…then atleast learn the craft of choosing your words carefully….and this also applies to your so-called jokes. For your kind info. there is another joke going around…it goes as “What any Tom-Dick-Harry can do when they are left with no job”…….launch a law website… 😀 😀 😀

    • administrator says:

      Sincere apologies to those whose feelings got hurt because of this loose comment (mea culpa).

      • Swapnil Verma says:

        Well, the one thing I was taught in my B.A.LL.B. from a NLU about defamation was that the apology must be ‘SUFFICIENT’! It must have the potential to wash off the wrong caused. If you really are apologetic, please put up a new post. Your apology in reply to one particular comment is like spitting on someone wilfully and then offering a tissue.

        • administrator says:

          Hi Swapnil,

          The ‘apology’ has been put in the text of this post itself.

          • Swapnil Verma says:

            Why is the “loose comment” still there Tanuj! I mean are you enjoying this? I feel you are! In which case, you are just pushing me to do something about all this formally! How is the ‘joke’ a sine qua non to your answer. Why dont you remove it. That’s our first demand! Terms and adequacy of ‘apology’ we can negotiate later! I would wait to see the joke pulled down asap!

      • Swapnil Verma says:

        Nope! Not ‘sincere’ at all!!

    • New John Austin says:

      Bravo!!!

  6. Reeya John says:

    Regarding question no. 4 as you can see from the above comments it was very derogatory coming from a person like you.
    How do LL.M students who are at the last rung go up once they join as faculty in some NLS? The question asked was Is there placement after doing LL.M. from national law colleges getting admission through CLAT. where in this question does this so called ladder of power you stated come in. I don’t think the person who asked was worried about your so called hierarchy. Your website is got a good reputation and a great number of people rely on it, so it would be advisable if you watch what you speak and refrain yourself form making such degrading and baseless statements.
    Napolean Hill has said, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” As a whole lot of law students rely on your advise don’t mislead them in any manner.

  7. Funnily not a LLM student says:

    Mr. Kalia, this is with reference to question number four. I am not a LLM student. I am actually working with a law firm. I just wanted to point that your “joke” was derogatory and absolutely insulting to people pursuing a LLM degree. For most of the people doing an LLM, it is something that they have worked hard towards and something they have struggled towards. Without going into the mentality of the people in law colleges and what they actually think about LLM students, by trivializing and belittling the LLM students you have showed how classless and pedestrian this site has become. Mr. Kalia, you must have worked very hard to be where you are. You would not like your position or your hard work to be made a joke in a public forum. I am sure your intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiment (at least I am hoping so), but that does not entitle you to say anything you like about anyone even if it is meant as a joke. As an information providing website I think you do a fairly good job at providing information and in my opinion you should restrict yourself to that. I still think that an apology is in order.

    • administrator says:

      I said it’s a joke going around 🙂

      • Swapnil Verma says:

        There are a lot of jokes going around Sir!! And there is a lot of crap out there!!! But if your idea behind lawctopus was to become an outlet for crap, then congrats, well begun!! I would like to second a lot of people speaking here, that a apology is due! And that you should be able to able to acknowledge a mistake and own it. Everybody commenting here is a reader of your website after all, you owe that much to them! Plus, your remark is not just derogatory, it has a frightful potential in deterring students who are otherwise willing to go to NLUs for an LL.M. You should be much more responsible!

  8. what kind of answer is this?? it shows the level of your education. by this you are not only defaming the students of LLM but also questioning the efficiency of education imparted by NLUs. tell me one thing after completing your grads do you practice in some special courts created by NLUs.
    everybody over here consider this website to be very resourceful and informative for our profession so we can least expect that from next time you will not demean the education system of NLUs and profession you are also part of.

  9. Himanshu Kashyap says:

    This comment is with respect to question number 4.
    Well to begin with I don’t like your sick joke of ladder of power. Photocopier stands second in the list.. ha ha.. You being alumni of WBNUJS are telling that you were below photocopier till you reached fifth year. And your faculty who tough you all those five years and many of them may still me continuing as faculty are below fifth year. I was also my dear friend once in fifth year but I never got this sick mentality like yours that my faculty is below me or any one is below me. Not only that, you placed LLM students below “Dogs and other animals”. This means that every student currently pursuing LLM from NLSIU, Bangalore, NALSAR, Hyderabad, NLIU, Bhopal, WBNUJS, Kolkata (Your Alma Mater.. in case you consider it so or is it even below LLM students in your Ladder of Power “JOKE”), Jodhpur (NLUJ), Raipur (HNLU), Gandhinagar (GNLU), Lucknow (RMLNLU), NLU Delhi, Punjab (RGNUL), Patna (CNLU), Kochi (NUALS), Odisha (NLUO), Ranchi (NUSRL), Assam (NLUJA) is below a Dog and other animals. And interesting thing is that some of these Below Dogs and Other Animals i.e. LLM Students have become a faculty in many NLUs and they are teaching law to almost all LL.B students in those NLUs. You should do something about it man. This is ridiculous. How can a LLM turned Faculty teach someone who is above in ladder of power in your sense. You should do something about it man. Enough said…on a serious note “Your joke is defamatory and humiliating to hundreds of LLM students and also to faculties teaching in different NLUs. You better make a long and clear apology for this sick joke of yours.”
    Whenever I wanted to check legal news I went to bar & bench or legally India or your site lawctopus. But today you CEO of Lawctopus Mr. Tanuj Kalia have ruined the reputation of it. All of it. Completely. You better quickly make an apology to everyone mentioned in that list and remove it asap (that goes without saying).

  10. Swapnil Verma says:

    With reference to your answer to Question 4 above, not only, like you said, it was mean and painful; but it was also really unfortunate (for the amount and the kind of people who’ll be reading it), gross (for obvious reasons), lousy (because it only reflects how skewed you can be in your thinking, that you spent 12 out of 15 lines of your answer, mocking LLM courses in NLUs and its students and then after a lifetime you come to answering the actual ‘question’) and contemptuous (again for obvious reasons).

    How does the ‘power hierarchy’ even relevant to the question. I would like to think that somebody pursuing a masters would anyways have little time to bother about power structures. Its just like you wanted to take a pot-shot and to come out feeling like David Letterman. Now, tell you what, it was not funny at all!! I hope you can take your job seriously (your website has a tremendous readership, I would actually take time out to congratulate you for that) and avoid such bizarre displays of your skewed opinions (or atleast, at the very minimum, mention in bold that its your own special ‘personal wisdom’ and not speak in such a matter-of-factly way Mr. Know It All!) and above all I hope that you can be brave enough to apologize to the hundreds of LL.M. students enrolled in NLUs and hundreds others who have passed out. Having passed out from a prestigious institution, and being a man of law, one would hope you can watch your words, atleast on a public forum (EVEN IF YOU OWN IT!).

  11. For Maritime Law, lawyers in Bombay and Calcutta would be great to intern with (eg. Mr. Ranjan Bachhawat in Calcutta). Further, try and see if your college offers Maritime/ Admiralty law as an elective. Do take it up. Maritime Law is a great area to work in, however, these lawyers do a tonne of other work also, so they don’t really deal exclusively in these matters

    • May be 10 years ago, you could have posted this article and gotten away with it. Not anymore. Many of the law graduates from a 5 year course have successfully pursued a Masters programme. It is definitely derogatory to them.

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