Forensic Science and Crime Patrol

Law offers diverse opportunities to students One such rewarding option is criminal law which though calls for a willingness to work hard, proves the efforts worthwhile.

Training ground

Any student with a LLB degree can opt for a career in criminal law. However he/she should have a thorough knowledge of certain legal areas such as the Indian Penal Code and procedural laws such as the Code of Criminal procedure and evidence.

The minimum eligibility to secure an admission to a renowned institute for the five year BSA LLB program is 10+2 with a minimum of 50 percent in aggregate. Certain institutes base their admissions on the marks scored in entrance tests such as CLAT, national law school of India university (NLSIU) Entrance test, LSAT – India etc.

On the job

Lawyers engaged in criminal law practice independently or as government prosecutors. They work at the trial or appellate level. A criminal lawyer must possess skills of investigation counseling fact finding and legal research. Communicating well with clients and adaptability are important too. A student might intern with a judge in a criminal division or serve a research assistant in an institution. NGOs working in the areas of prisoner’s rights protecting victims and cases of capital punishment have a panel of criminal lawyers working for them.

Criminal lawyers fresh out of law school usually receive a significantly small income and are often required accepting jobs they are over qualified for. However with considerable experience one can easily charge Rs 50,000 per bail application.

Skill sets

Criminal law is the most glamorous of all legal practices. However, it is also the most demanding one. One need to be quick witted and has to be able to come up with questions in the courtroom that nobody else would even think of.

Professionalism is the foremost virtue. Keep an open mind does not be a judge of your client and do not take advantage of his /her vulnerabilities.

Overseas options

Those who wish to practice abroad with a law degree obtained in India have to appear for various law tests conducted by each country. To practice in England and Wales students have to take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) exam. To pursue a graduation in criminal law in the US, students need to have a bachelor’s degree in any subject (four year degree) as well as the law school Admission test (LSAT) exam scores.

Future focus

With the huge backlog that the Indian judiciary is often criticized to have the future of criminal lawyers is bright. My experience in lower court is that there are less lawyers and more work. A criminal lawyer can start earning from the very beginning of his career but in civil he has to wait for many years to specialize in his field. Criminal law is very lucrative and challenging.

Institute watch

1) National Law school of India university , Bangalore
2) NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
3) Symbiosis Law College, Pune
4) ILS Law College, Pune.

Forensic accounting

The 2008 economic downturn, that was a result of major scams by a few gigantic industry players, has brought into focus the need for forensic accountants who can avoid such crimes in the business sector.

A relatively less popular option, forensic accounting has suddenly shot into prominence during the last two years. The spurt in white collar crimes, coupled with growth of the business sphere has given this profession the much needed boost. Today, various accounting firms offer opportunities in forensic accounting. Today, nearly 40 per cent of the top 100 US accounting firms is expanding their forensic and fraud services in the near future. In India the establishment of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SIFO) has brought forensic accounting into mainstream prominence.

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