If you are a law student or thinking of becoming one, with the aspiration of entering into the legal profession, then you should know some of the most important aspects of working as an intern.
The money matter
The first thing you need to prepare for is the income, or a lack thereof. Legal interns do not normally get paid a lot. Sometimes they don’t get paid at all. Some chambers pay a minimal amount as “conveyance” cost. Anything between 3 thousand taka per month and 50 taka per day can be your salary for a while. Some chambers, typically the ones that focus more on corporate practice such as banking work, offer a respectable salary. These are mainly out of court work and working in this field might mean that you are not building a court practice based career, which brings us to the next point.
Know the difference
There are a lot of options for both court based practice and non court practice. There is a general perception that you cannot grow in the profession if you rely exclusively on out of court work. And it is true. Court based practice is a lot of hard work but you can expand the scope of your work far more broadly compared to non court practice. Corporate jobs have their own benefits. They are reliable and you will not have to work years to achieve stability. However, many people continue their court practice while working at a salaried legal job. But that is not for interns.
Choosing the right chamber
If you choose to go into court practice then the single most important thing is to choose the right chamber. Some think getting into a big name chamber helps you build a career. It does, in some ways. But it may also be detrimental. For example, a big law chamber will have a lot of work pressure. Let’s rephrase that; a big law chamber or chamber of a famed lawyer will have insane amount of cases. This means the senior lawyers do not have time to teach you closely. In reality they might not even want to take that extra responsibility. If you are at this kind of chamber then you might end up not learning anything. But if you choose a chamber where the senior lawyer is interested in training an intern then you have a lot to gain, even though that chamber name may not be very prestigious.
What skills matter in the legal profession?
It is your expertise that matters most. If a client is looking to get good counsel in a matter of admiralty dispute then he is not going to care who has the best degrees from the best English university. He is going to go to the lawyer that has the best knowledge and experience in this subject. So, if you want to become a successful lawyer then you have to know the law.
How to know the law
You just finished a fully fledged law degree. Many also get the BPTC degree from the UK. Many law students complete an LL.M after their LL.B degree. Finally you study and pass two exams before getting enrolled by the Bangladesh Bar Council as an advocate. What else you could be studying? Unfortunately the studying doesn’t end with the enrollment. The most important reading starts with the law reports. These are collection of judgments that come out from different publications. You have to read the law reports regularly. You also need to draft petitions and learn from older petitions. If you do this a reasonable amount of time you will know all the useful precedence and a coveted man or woman in the lawyers circles.