Law as a profession can be traced back to the public orators of ancient Athens. Through the ages, it has transitioned into a fireball profession. Lawyers vis-a-vis legal professionals these days are nothing like their counterparts were — say ten years ago. Cliche´ as it may be, but technology has manifested lawyers into a one-of-its-kind profession entailing not only legal but many other allied roles.
This could be attributed to the fact that the Indian legal industry is second largest in the world as of 2019. According to an RTI filed by a Delhi-based Advocate, the Delhi Bar Council revealed that there were 1.3 million lawyers in India in 2011 with an annual growth rate between 2007 and 2011 being 4 per cent. Given such a humongous number of professionals in the country, it does, however, pose a concern about their competency and efficiency. Also bitter is the truth that the curriculum taught in law schools are not sufficient once the student steps out to practice in the Courts or in law firms. To reap benefits, every professional requires efficiency.
If you aspire to become a competent lawyer, the following — not necessarily in the given order — should be practised:
- Perseverance – Hard work is the foundation of every successful profession. But perseverance alone will not help, there are other things that will help you achieve the desired competency emanating success.
- Knowledge – Practice makes a man perfect. Knowing the law comes from practising the law. A lot of important lawyerly things are learnt during practice and the college curriculum will be useful only for about 40 per cent of the practice.
- Analytical Skill – Practicing law is largely based on precedents. There are many analytical tools in India which are being used by legal professionals on a daily basis. For example, powerhouse online legal research tools like Lexis Advance® India which makes every lawyers’ case study resourceful and efficient. It has an endless repository of information which is distilled as per the search, giving results much akin to the cognitive thought process of a lawyer.
- Client Relationship Skill – Clients in the legal sector means infinite work. No two clients have the same situation for which remedies are sought. This also facilitates learning on the part of the lawyer. To top it, a client-lawyer relationship is scared. There are things which the lawyer knows about his client which he is ethically bound to take to his grave!
- Penchant for Technology – Globalisation has resulted in technological advancement which has made legal services an international affair. Legal know-how is now available at your fingertips and can be availed of at any time. Gone are the days when lawyers heaved large books to Courts! Lawyers are smart and know how to use technology to their advantage. Needless to mention, legal solutions are also upping their ante in terms of accessibility. Portals like LexisAdvance are now being used in every phone and tablet and without the need for downloading the app too!
- Good communication/oratory skills – As mentioned at the very beginning the base of the legal profession is orators. All the above- mentioned skills will prove to be futile unless you know how to effectively communicate the same. The art of convincing is indispensable to a successful lawyer.
Lawyers are no more straitjacket legal professionals only promoting the rule of law but the profession borderlines technology, finance, administration, public relations, and a myriad of other roles. Achieving competency and efficiency is no walk in the park but once it is achieved there is boundless yield!
 Legally India, Kianganz, 18 February 2013.