How To Become a Legal Advisor (With Salary and Job Duties)
Updated 26 January 2023
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If you are interested in a law-related career, there are many options you can explore. One career path you can pursue with a law degree is becoming a legal advisor. While this role is similar to a lawyer, legal advisors typically work as advocates for large corporations and government agencies. In this article, we share how to become a legal advisor, discuss the average salary and job duties for this role and explore some skills that can help you advance in your career.
Related: How To Become a Corporate Lawyer: A Complete Guide
How to become a legal advisor
Here are some steps you can follow to become a legal advisor:
1. Earn your tenth and twelfth qualifications
To begin your career as a legal advisor, start by completing your tenth and twelfth qualifications. You may choose to pursue any stream, including science, commerce or the arts. Passing the twelfth standard is necessary to register for entrance exams and enrol in a law program.
2. Earn a degree
Next, earn a degree. There are two common course formats you may choose to take to complete your law education. Candidates who receive aggregate marks of at least 45% from a recognised board may enrol in an integrated law course immediately after completing the twelfth standard. This program typically takes five years to complete and allows you to earn both a bachelor's degree and an LL.B upon completion.
The second option is to pursue an LL.B after graduating with a three or four-year bachelor's degree from a recognised university. Completing the LL.B program after graduation takes approximately three years.
3. Gain professional training
Regardless of which course format you choose to pursue, try to immerse yourself in relevant subjects by taking courses in communications, economics, psychology and government. Use your time in these academic programs to gain relevant experience through clinical experiences, internships, student organisations and volunteering. Make an effort to build relationships with your professors, too. Look for opportunities where you can work with real legal professionals to gain a sense of the work you may be doing after graduation.
Related: What Are Internships and How Do You Find One?
4. Become licensed
Once you have completed either an integrated law course or an LL.B, you can register for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). The Bar Council of India administers this multiple-choice test to assess candidates' understanding of common law subjects. Candidates who pass the AIBE receive a Certificate of Practice (COP) which is mandatory to practise in a court of law.
5. Score well on law entrance tests
While you may begin practising law after passing the AIBE, many legal advisors choose to pursue a master's degree to hone their skills and improve their chances of being hired. In order to get into law school, you need to score well on relevant entrance tests. There are several types of entrance tests available to assess your knowledge of the law at a national, state and institute level. Some of the most common law entrance tests include:
Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)
BHU Law Admission Test (BLAT)
UPES Legal Studies Aptitude Test (ULSAT)
All India Law Entrance Test (AILET)
Common Entrance Test (CET)
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Some law schools may also administer their own entrance tests. To determine which tests you need to pass, research the requirements of the schools you plan to apply for and make a list of the law entrance tests you must complete.
Related: How To Become a Criminal Lawyer: A Complete Guide
6. Earn a master's degree
Once you get into law school, you can work toward earning your Master of Law degree. During your first year of law school, you may focus on learning about different types of law. During your second and third years of law school, you can take elective courses that are catered to your career aspirations. Depending on your school, you may be able to focus on a certain concentration to help you gain experience in your desired industry. Some popular areas legal advisors specialise in include labour laws and business law.
7. Gain experience
Show employers you are the right fit for their legal advisor role by gaining relevant experience. Working for law firms and gaining courtroom experience are some of the best ways to build your resume. Continue to learn about your area of expertise, as employers may look for candidates with a specialised background.
You can reach out to the professional contacts you made throughout your academic programmes or internships to see if they know of any firms or organisations that may be hiring a legal advisor. If one of your professional contacts refers you to an employer, it may help you make a good impression and improve your chances of being hired.
Job duties for a legal advisor
Legal advisors typically work for large corporations or organisations. Their main responsibility is to offer them legal counsel. While the tasks a legal advisor performs may change day-to-day depending on what cases or projects they are working on, some of their most common job duties include:
Drafting and negotiating contracts
Representing clients in court
Providing counsel for employee and management conflicts
Collaborating with stakeholders on strategic legal decisions
Helping companies navigate mergers and contracts
Selling shares and assets
Ensuring compliance with corporate laws
Work environment for a legal advisor
Legal advisors can work in a wide variety of industries. Their most common places of employment include government agencies, large corporations and other business organisations. They may also work for law schools, private practices or legal aid societies. As in-house lawyers, legal advisors act as an advocate for the company they work for by counselling them and representing them on specific legal matters. They may split their time between working in an office setting and representing their clients in court.
Average salary for a legal advisor
The average salary for a legal advisor is ₹22,390 per month. Your level of experience, education and skill set may affect your salary as a legal advisor. The industry you choose to work in and the cost of living in your area may also impact how much you earn.
Related: These Highest Paying Jobs Are Waiting For You
Top legal advisor skills
If you want to become a legal advisor, focus on developing these important skills:
Critical-thinking: Much of this role requires problem-solving, which is why it is important to have critical-thinking skills. You need to be able to assess a situation and come up with the very best legal advice.
Customer service: It is your job to make sure your clients are happy with the services you provide to them. Treating them with kindness and honesty can help you ensure they continue to use your legal services.
Legal expertise: The main reason clients hire you is that they trust your knowledge of the law. When giving legal advice, it is important to be absolutely certain that you are sharing the best practices with your clients.
Listening: In order to serve your clients to the best of your ability, it is crucial that you have strong listening skills. Focus on what they are saying so that you can ask thoughtful follow-up questions and truly understand their needs.
Research: Some of your clients' questions may require you to conduct a bit of legal research. You need to know how to find reputable sources that can help guide your decisions.
Technology: Having strong computer skills can help you be successful in your role. Familiarise yourself with digital technology, such as word processors, presentation software, billing platforms, time-management applications and other resources that make your job more efficient.
Verbal communication: When working in this role, much of your job involves meeting with clients to share your legal advice. Your verbal communication skills can help you convey your thoughts clearly and ensure your clients are understanding what you say.
Written communication: Writing legal documents is another major component of your role. You need to be a skilled writer, using the correct spelling, legal terminology, grammar and formatting.
Example of a legal advisor job description
Here is an example of a legal advisor job description to help you prepare to apply for jobs:
JDB Company is seeking a specialised legal advisor to counsel our company on all legal matters regarding our business. Responsibilities include drafting legal documents, vetting business agreements, providing support for legal issues and developing solutions. Key requirements include a bachelor's degree in law and a minimum of five years of experience working as a corporate lawyer or in a similar role. Candidates who have excellent communication skills, the ability to pay attention to details and outstanding negotiation tactics may excel in this role.
Please note that none of the organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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