Doing Law and Company Secretary (CS) Both: FAQs Answered Like a Pro!

First posted on July 31, 2011

By The Nihilist

So are you thinking of doing CS and Law (are you thinking of counter strike? Get back to playing in that case). Why?

For one and a hundred reasons: my law school friends are doing it, my parents asked me to go for it, I was a commerce student, just for the heck of it, I heard its good money, blah, blah.

Nah, my lad, do it if you are interested and that’s it.

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CS or company secretary is a demanding course and a full-fledged career option in itself. Combined with law, it has the potential to unlock those hallowed doors of the corporate world to you that may lead you to the stairway of success.

I have come across a number of queries from those desirous of being a CS to those who just wish to know if a peer doing CS is in a more advantageous position vis-à-vis them to just curious souls.

Not so long ago, not a lot of people from law schools thought about the company secretary course but now the increase in supply with the rapidly increasing number of law colleges and the apprehension regarding placements, especially since after recession, has led to a continuous stream of lawyers cum company secretaries being churned out by law schools.

Well, legal recruiters are certainly not complaining.

FAQs on Law and CS

The most frequently asked Questions or MFAQs (such as the duration of the course, the subjects involved) have not been repeated here as answers to the same can easily be found with a simple google search.

1. Is CS worth it? Why shouldn’t I embellish my CV with moot court wins and other such credentials?

What is better? Chocolate cake or a Royal Enfield? Don’t compare chalk and cheese.

While a CS course arms you with up-to-date knowledge of accounting and corporate law, mooting gives you a chance to sharpen your researching skills and bolsters your speaking skills and certainly lets you explore a gamut of laws.

Moot point: Do what you love. If you love both, go for them both.

2. Won’t preparing for CS with Law eat up into my time? How do I manage studying for both college and CS simultaneously?

As Charles Bruxton put it, “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” Did you really have time for that football game last evening?

If you really want to do it, it will happen. Opportunity cost- does that ring a bell? Its all about your priorities.

3. Is the company secretary course difficult for law students already trouble with 5 subjects?

Yes and No. No sayings and quotes here. Practically speaking, one does need to study for CS. A corporate bent of mind will certainly help. You may be able to clear the first stage without giving your books a second look but after that you definitely have to turn the pages.

Being a law student is actually an added advantage as certain portions of the syllabi are similar. So if you really want to do it, it is easy enough and if you have taken it just for adding another degree to your CV, well its gonna make you earn it.

UPDATE: Rule 6 of Rules of Legal Education says that you CANNOT pursue CS with Law argues  Kushal Rohira, School of Law, Christ University. (He’s actually wrong. See the update below).

It was only recently that I was enlightened of the fact that pursuing Law with CS is barred by Rule 6 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008.

6. Prohibition to register for two regular courses of study: No student shall be allowed to simultaneously register for a law degree program with any other graduate or postgraduate or certificate course run by the same or any other University or an Institute for academic or professional learning excepting in the integrated degree program of the same institution.

Provided that any short period part time certificate course on language, computer science or computer application of an Institute or any course run by a Centre for Distance Learning of a University however, shall be excepted.See here.

[UPDATE: June 15, 2015, 1.30 PM]: Our Reader, Sreenath Balan, has pointed out the definition of ‘Regular Course of Study’ as mentioned in Section 2, Subsection xxiii. See here.

“Regular Course of Study” means and includes a course which runs for at least five hours a day continuously with an additional half an hour recess every day and running not less than thirty hours of working schedule per week.

And hence, the debate is settled. YOU CAN PURSUE CS AND LAW.

law and company secretary, law and cs

4. Isn’t CS for those who are the bottom of the batch and need to make up with another degree for the lack of a good CGPA in law school?

Are you kidding me? I know some of the smartest law students among the toppers in their respective batches undergoing a CS course and it is a choice that they have made despite being assured of more than brilliant placements.

Yes, CS improves your prospects of getting placed but more than that it widens them.

That didn’t really make sense, did it? Let me explain.

It improves your prospects in terms of you having an additional qualification. It widens your prospects as most companies are statutorily obliged to employ a company secretary and which company will not want to lay its hands on a CS as well as a lawyer for the price of one!

5. I am from the science stream. Can I think of going for CS?

Why not? Yes, it is a little more demanding for those of us who do not come from a commerce background but that disadvantage can be nullified with a little bit of hard work.

You will have to master accountancy as opposed to someone from a commerce background who has prior knowledge of it but it is pretty much doable. Passing entries is not that big a deal. All you need is a clear head and some practice.

As goes a law student’s first lesson on being a reasonable man.

6. When is the right time for a law student to register for the company secretary course?

At the earliest. In fact, if a law student is very clear about wanting to get into a boardroom and not the court, enroll even before you join law school.

In fact, if you are done with all three stages while you are still in college, chances of bagging a brilliant internship increase manifold.

The other advantage of enrolling early is that in case you have to repeat any of the papers, you still complete the CS course before you sit for recruitment.

In case of any other questions that may pop into your head, add a comment. Your query will be addressed soon.

The official website of the The Institute of Company Secretaries of India is HERE.

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