Criminal law is a very famous specialisation of law. Criminal law deals with statutes, rules, and regulations which deal with prohibited actions because they are threatening or harming the safety and/or welfare of an individual, organisation or public in general. The laws also state the punishments which are given to the individuals or groups who commit crimes which are classified as criminal offences.
Criminal law deals with the crimes which are committed against a person, society or the state. The lawyer after specialisation in criminal law course does the following activities of interviewing clients, interrogating witnesses, conducting trials, correlating proofs/findings, case preparation for defending his/her client and also cross-question the witnesses in the court of law.
The students can pursue this course at the UG and PG level. At the UG level, students will have to enrol into integrated law programmes for specialising in criminal law. At the PG level, this specialisation is done after directly enrolling into it.
The criteria for getting admission in UG and PG is different from college to college.
For Criminal Law UG Course
The students should have completed their higher secondary education (10+2) or any other equivalent education.
And have completed their entrance exams
For Criminal PG Course
Entrance Exam for Criminal Law
The students wanting the course in criminal law have to undergo the following exams.
CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) - This exam gives admission to the UG and PG courses. The colleges that give admission on the basis of this exam score are NLUs and many other colleges/universities. The students appearing for this exam should have passed 10+2 exam with minimum 45% aggregate marks. This exam is conducted offline and is 2 hour-long.
AILET (All India Law Entrance Test)- This exam gives admission to the UG, PG and PhD courses. This is a university-level exam for NLU Delhi. The students appearing for this exam should have a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in 10+2. This exam is conducted offline and is 1.5 hours-long.
LSAT (Law School Admission Test) - This exam is conducted to grant UG and PG courses admissions all over India. Before the exam, the students are shortlisted based on their marks and only those shortlisted students are allowed to give the exam. This exam is conducted offline and is 2 and a half-hour-long. The question paper consists of 23 questions on Analytical Reasoning or Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.
AIBE (All India Bar Examination) - It is a national level examination for the PG and PhD course. It is conducted as an open book exam which tests the analytical abilities of the students regarding the basic law subjects. To qualify this exam, the students should get a minimum of 40% marks in the general category and a minimum of 35% marks for students in the SC/ST category. The students appearing for this exam should hold a 3 or 5-year degree in LLB. This exam is conducted offline and is 3 and a half-hour-long
KIITEE Law (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Entrance Examination) - It is an Online university-level exam for the UG and PG courses. It is conducted in July. To appear for this exam, the student should have cleared their 10+2 examination or any other equivalent examination from a board recognised by the college for the UG students while for the PG admission, the students should have completed their graduation. It is a 3-hour exam.
Along the years, the number of criminal offences has been increasing a lot. Therefore, a criminal law course would have a lot of scope for lawyers. After their LLB and LLM, the lawyers can go for specialisation courses in criminology and forensic science, cyber-crime, domestic violence, human rights, and sexual abuse.
They can take up jobs at the private firms as assistants and learn how to fight cases and gain experience after which they can open their separate firms and fight alone. They can also act as legal advisors to companies who hire them.
They can fight for a particular case from the public side as a public prosecutor or from the suspect’s side as a private lawyer.
The subjects taught in college may vary from college to college. Some of the common ones are mentioned below –
For UG Course
Computer Fundamentals & its Applications
Legal Language & Legal Writing
Legal Method & Legal Reasoning
Human Rights & International Law
Torts & Consumer Protection Law
Civil Procedure Code & Law of Limitation
Forensic Science & the Law
For PG Course
Indian Constitutional Law
Since there is an increase in the number of criminal cases in this world, this field has also seen a lot of new opportunities.
The lawyers defend his/her client in front of the court who are accused of a criminal case. When these lawyers are hired by the government, they are known as public defenders.
Private criminal lawyer jobs are also opportunities for them.
For starting their career, they can initially work as assistants to a professional and famous criminal lawyer. After they learn enough about how to fight a case, they can start working individually. They play a dual role to the clients, i.e. of an advisor and advocate.
The job of a lawyer is not that easy, because they have to work for long hours in a particular case. They have to communicate with the clients, collect evidence and facts by interrogating the witnesses. They contact the police and research about the details in the case.
Job Profiles Offered to Criminal Law Graduates
After the completion of the integrated criminal law course at UG level, the students can go for PG level specialisation or even opt for jobs. Some of the popular job profiles are given below –
A lawyer represents their clients in the courtroom. They cross-examine witnesses in the courtroom trial.
They also have to lay down the facts and reasons in the court and convince the judge why they should give the judgement in favour of his client.
Lawyers also conduct research, analyse the cases and present the finding in the court.
They even try to negotiate the penalties charged on their client by bargain or settlement in front of the judge.
Legal advisors advise the clients on legal rights and obligations. The first research which laws would apply to the case, then go through the previous judgements of a case similar to the client’s case and finally make a list of how the clients can defend themselves.
Criminal Law Top Recruiters
These graduates can get recruited at companies as lawyers or legal advisors. Some of the companies that recruit them are –
JP Morgan Chase Bank
RJ Cube Staffing Solutions PVT. Ltd.
Sairam Law Associates
International Justice Mission
Disha Law Firm
Adani Enterprises Ltd.
The following skills should be executed by candidates pursuing criminal law:
Writing and speaking skills – The lawyers should have good oral and writing advocacy skills to argue a client’s case in the courtroom and persuade the jury.
Research and investigative skills – The lawyer should perform research and investigate the case to build a strong case of the client and defend very strongly.
Creative and analytical skills – Creative thinking will help the lawyer develop a strategy which he can put up in the court, and analytical skills would help him to analyse the case correctly and set up appropriate strategies.
Legal Knowledge and experience – The lawyer should have in-depth knowledge about the state, federal and local rules, the court procedures, evidentiary laws, and local judges so that he can perform the trails efficiently and competently.
Interpersonal skills – Interpersonal skills would help the lawyer build a great client-attorney relationship. Clients go through many lawyers before coming to one particular lawyer. Therefore, the lawyer portrays himself in such a way that he can attract and retain the clients.
The course of the criminal law comprises various subjects which teaches the students different laws involved in the jurisdiction. They also are needed to be proficient in English for smooth court trials. The need to maintain the code of conduct in courtrooms and keep their client’s trust in getting them justice.
They will also learn the different policies and the politics that go on in the courtroom. How to legally deal with a case, what facts and reasonings they have to make clear before appearing in the court and how to prove that his/her client is innocent is all taught to them.
They also learn about the different penalties and punishments given during a particular crime and how they can reduce it by bargain and plead.
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