Why Do Many Lawyers and Law Students Avoid Criminal Law Though They are Very Much Interested in It?

Here are some basic facts:

The most famous lawyers are criminal lawyers. They might argue other cases also, but they are well known and highly sought after for their prowess in criminal cases. From Ram Jethmalani to Raian Karanjawala, careers in litigation go to a different level altogether when one achieves notoriety as a criminal lawyer.

Criminal law practice pays tremendously well as well. In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, lawyers with 5 years or more experience easily charge INR 5000-10000 for a meeting even in petty cases.

Even relatively young and unknown lawyers are able to charge INR 5000 for a single appearance in criminal matters.

In smaller cities and towns it is next to impossible to make a sustainable practice without being good with criminal cases.

Reputed lawyers charge over INR 1,00,000 even for a conference call in white collar crime cases involving major multi nationals. However, even in a rather commonplace domestic violence case a lump sum fee could run into 2-3 lakhs.

In more urgent cases involving bails or cross-examination where stakes are high, a criminal lawyer can charge a lot more.

You may wonder then, why so few people pursue criminal law? In fact, even Economic Times wrote a full page article about it.

While it gives a few reasons, I think they all point to one direction, and that is not highlighted by the article at all.

There are many reasons to pursue Criminal Law. We are all at some level attracted to it. However, it is too uncertain, too daunting and we are deep down not confident that we could crack it.

After all, you may know what exactly to do of you are a first or second year law student at a top NLU and you want to work at one of the top six corporate law firms. There is a clear career path from associate to partner (or so it seems in the beginning). There are many people you know who have done it. You can get your head around it. It seems achievable.

Becoming a criminal lawyer like Ujjwal Nikam or Ram Jethmalani? That seems a rather impossible thing to reach. What do you do? What are the steps involved? Will I have to live with very little money for many many years to get there? Which senior should I work with? How long should I stick with them? When should I start on my own? How do I get my own clients?

There are many questions, and none of them are very easy to answer. There are too many uncertain steps.

That’s it.

Despite tremendous interest, a large number of lawyers and law student stay away from criminal law, and chose what seems to be easier avenues.

What if I could give you the answers for those unanswerable questions? What if there was a proven roadmap to becoming a successful criminal lawyer?

I can say that the number of such lawyers and law students who want to pursue a career in criminal law but are deterred by the situation is high, because out of over 30 courses offered by iPleaders, by far the most popular certificate course is our certificate course in criminal law, litigation and trial advocacy.

Since our launch, this course has been steadily gaining many takers, and the conversations I had with the lawyers who took this course has been truly fascinating.

To be honest, the law school/colleges where one spends 3-5 years of their life in order to study the law, do not teach any criminal law beyond the statutes like IPC or CrPC. All one learns are some old case laws and a few concepts that form the basics of criminal law.

However, the work that is done in the courts is very different. The client does not pay the lawyer for interpretation of a section or finding the latest case law. Even the first year law student figures that out after visiting a court for internship.

What is missing then? Well, here are a few things:
  • What kind of work do criminal lawyers do? What challenges will you encounter as a criminal lawyer? What motivates the best criminal lawyers? You will learn about basics of criminal law practice.
  • What are the myths about criminal law practice and the reality one needs to be grounded in. You will learn how lawyers work within and with the system as well as how lawyers go about working on specific matters. Learning this side of practice is invaluable for young lawyers and for the more experienced ones, it is a great opportunity to touch base with the basics and get the grammar of their practice right.
  • Various different types of work that criminal lawyers have to do while representing different types of clients
  • How to deal with police and agencies like CBI and ED
  • New emerging areas in criminal law practice, white collar crime related defense work, special interest litigation etc.
  • How to understand the physical infrastructure of courts and the rules, how investigations are done, different stages of criminal trial and the work that lawyers have to do at different stages
  • Drafting of various types – how to use formats, use fact situations, application of law and persuasion, disclosing vital information in writing/complaint
  • How to correspond with police and jail authorities, reply to summons, file protest petitions, bail and anticipatory bail applications, application for discharge/ quashing, appeal, summoning of records, application for exemption from appearance, application for release of property, application for compensation of victim and a lot more.
  • How to prepare a litigation strategy for your client
  • Filing and case management, managing client expectations
  • How to inspire a client’s confidence, building your authority in specialized areas of practice, managing your law office effectively

Well, basically the entire work you will do as a criminal lawyer is to be learnt on the job! Of course, seniors who might be kind enough to take you in has other priorities than training you to become an ace criminal lawyer. They are busy in expanding their practice and they will rarely get time to show you the ropes.

Hence, most people who try to become a good criminal lawyers are left at the mercy of luck. They have to slowly learn various aspects of the practice.

I once met a senior lawyer, very well known, to ask her to help me to create a curriculum where we can speed up the process. She got really upset with me. Why are we trying to speed things up? We are a fast food generation, we can’t wait for good things!

Well, that’s what a lot many seniors think. I, however, disagree. I strongly believe that our country needs a legion of powerful lawyers, and that we should not leave thousands of graduating lawyers who are interested in criminal law at the mercy of handful of very busy seniors who have little interest in training them.

Of course, there are great lawyers very eager to teach the best of what they know, and that is how we were able to create this course (and even others) in the first place.

We have accelerated the learning process with our amazing certificate course in Criminal Law, Litigation and Trial Advocacy.

The course is offered and certified by National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata and considered one of the very best in the country.

If you have interest in Criminal Law, join us and be a part of this revolution.  We will not only teach you some essential skills for a criminal lawyer, but also support you in building a career in criminal law. It will also provide a great value in terms of a certification of your criminal law prowess.

For a limited time, the course is available only at INR 5000.

All the best!


Get Lawctopus in Your Email.

Join 58,000+ young lawyers!

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.