How Much Does An Advocate Make? (With Skills And Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In the field of law, there are several career paths to pursue in the areas of judiciary, civil law, family law, criminal law, litigation, paralegal and corporate law. Lawyers who represent clients in court are known as advocates. Learning about the qualifications, tasks and responsibilities of an advocate can help you decide if it is the right career for you. In this article, we find the answer to, "How much does an advocate make?", understand their roles and responsibilities and explore the skills required to succeed in this job role.

How much does an advocate make?

If you are considering a career in judicial services, you may wonder, "How much does an advocate make?". The national average salary of an advocate is ₹481,964 per year. Licensed advocates registered in the rolls of a state may practice anywhere in the country. According to the law, an advocate may practice in all states including the Supreme Court. The exact salary can depend on multiple factors, such as location, educational qualifications, years of experience and skills.

Related: How To Become A Lawyer: A Complete Guide With FAQs

What does an advocate do?

Professionals in this field help clients manage and understand legal issues through their knowledge of the law. Though the duties vary according to their area of expertise, most advocates serve the following functions:

  • prepare and file legal documents with the appropriate courts or authorities

  • conduct extensive research concerning the case at hand and provide the court with every document and evidence required for it to arrive at a decision

  • assist police and investigators with their investigations and preparing for trials, mediations and other proceedings

  • notify the authorities of any complaint against a court official to keep the legal system efficient and improve it

  • educate and train young lawyers and conduct legal research

  • observance of court decorum and proper conduct with opponents and colleagues

Related: Types Of Lawyer Careers: Descriptions, Skills And Salaries

Difference between a lawyer and an advocate

The term lawyer refers to a professional who has completed law school but has not yet passed the bar exam. The term advocate refers to a professional who has passed the bar exam and can act as a legal representative. While many use the terms interchangeably, not all lawyers are advocates.

Although lawyers are responsible for providing legal advice to their clients, they cannot represent them during trials. Advocates are highly knowledgeable, experienced and skilled. While arguing on their behalf, advocates try to get a suitable verdict for their clients.

Related: How Much Does A Corporate Lawyer Make? (With Required Skills)

How to become an advocate

You can become an advocate by following the below steps:

1. Complete your education

A bachelor's degree in law requires you to complete your high school education or 10+2 from a recognised school. Students from any stream are eligible, including science, arts and commerce. To pursue a law degree, you can enrol in an integrated course such as Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Legislative Law (BA LLB), Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Legislative Law (BCom LLB) or Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Legislative Law (BBA LLB). Some universities even offer a five-year honours programme, such as BA LLB (Honours).

Alternatively, you can pursue a law degree through a three-year Bachelor of Legislative Law (LLB) course, for which it is necessary to earn a bachelor's degree in any stream.

2. Take a law entrance

One of the most popular entrance tests is the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). Candidates require to score at least 50% marks in the CLAT to be eligible for admission into the National Law Universities (NLUs). CLAT consists of questions from the topics such as legal aptitude, logical reasoning, English comprehension, general knowledge, current affairs and Mathematics. Some other entrance examinations are the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), Symbiosis Law Admission Test (SLAT), Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MH CET Law). After receiving your law entrance test scores, you can apply to law schools.

3. Enrol in State Bar Council

After earning a bachelor's degree in law, you can apply to any of the State Bar Councils established by the Advocates Act. The State Bar Councils are the representatives of the advocates of the respective states and also act as the regulatory body for the legal profession and education. Registration in every state is different and after the completion of the registration, it is necessary for the candidate to pass the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). The AIBE assesses a candidate's analytical abilities and legal knowledge. Upon clearing the bar council exam, the candidate receives the certificate of practice.

Skills of an advocate

The following are some skills, aptitudes, habits and characteristics that can make an advocate successful:

Communication skills

Advocates essentially take a clear, concise and persuasive stance in courts. To argue persuasively and articulate their points before a court of law, it is necessary for advocates to have excellent written and oral communication skills. Training, debates and internships can help develop this skill.

Analytical skills

A common component of law and its study is collecting complex data and simplifying it into logical and easy to understand information. Often, there is more than one possible conclusion or one precedent applicable in solving a particular problem. It is essential advocates analyse the different situations from different points of view to draw accurate conclusions.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips And Examples

Research skills

An advocate's ability to perform research allows them to test, evaluate and validate their conclusions and arguments. Learning how to check multiple sources for the correct information helps advocates use proper citations, incorporate the techniques of statutory interpretation, integrate relevant legal authorities and understand legal research databases and information available online. In addition, advocates often become aware of the changes taking place in the legal field through research. For example, researching the court's rationale in Supreme Court cases and High Court judgments provides a detailed understanding of the law and its application and implication.

Time management

Advocates, especially those in law enforcement, are proficient at multi-tasking. It is essential that they manage their time effectively, maintain court hearings and legal calendars, maximise their productivity during billable hours and oversee multiple activities. The ability to manage time effectively enables these professionals to prioritise their tasks and remain productive.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Judgement

It is essential that advocates have strong judgement skills. In addition, it is necessary they know how to arrive at suitable conclusions based on their research and trial proceedings. Their ability to make effective decisions, arrive at reasonable conclusions and form objective opinions about a case usually helps them present their clients effectively.

Perseverance

It is necessary for an advocate to practice perseverance. It is crucial that they remain persistent when handling any case to ensure a favourable outcome for the client. In preparation for a case, these professionals spend a lot of time conducting research, preparing documents and interviewing witnesses. Their ability to persist through multiple court proceedings, hours of research and analysis, delays in court hearings, and unforeseen factors often make advocates successful.

Benefits of becoming an advocate

Here are the benefits of becoming an advocate:

Rewarding career

Among the many advantages of becoming an advocate is choosing from a variety of career paths in the public and private sectors. After passing the bar exam, you can choose the specialisation you are most passionate about. For example, you may choose from many areas of law, including domestic law, family law, business law, corporate law, bankruptcy law, immigration law, criminal prosecution and estate planning. As an alternative, you can work for corporations or as a sole practitioner with diverse legal experience.

Intellectual development

When you work as an advocate, you are likely to face a range of mental challenges daily. This may include analysing complex legal theories and determining the likely outcomes for your clients. When you practice law, you put your mental skills, such as logical thinking and cognitive analysis, to effectively use each day to resolve problems for your clients. Because of the uniqueness of each case, you can use your analytical skills to analyse, speculate, hypothesise and develop strategies for helping clients win cases.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and the quoted websites at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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