So, you want to be a lawyer? Let me tell you this thing that being a lawyer is not a child’s play; either you must have a family background of Advocates and Judges who will obviously help you in making your future and help you get settled down, or you are really dedicated for it and you have many contacts and approaches and you know how to get your work done and is able to work your way out. But if you belong to none of these 2 categories then you must be like me, with no knowledge about how to proceed further. In my case, I had no idea what to do after getting my law degree. Though, I did know that for practising as an advocate, I need to get myself enrolled at any state bar council. I know we all have studied the Advocates Act, 1961 which regulates the legal profession in India, but I had no idea that getting enrolled is going to be so problematic. I mean, it’s not very difficult procedure; it’s just that I had no idea what all things are required or how to get all the documents.
Here’s what you need to do. First of all, collect all your mark sheets for each semester from your college, your graduation degree (if you’ve done 3 year law), your law degree (a provisional one will also do, since you are a fresh law graduate), attendance certificate and character certificate. Well, I can’t say about any other, but the most difficult part for me was, getting my documents attested and verified by the college and university authorities. For getting the attestation work done, it took my college 3 days, just to get a sign from the PIC (professor in charge). Then, I got it verified from the university which also took me 2 days; and after verification and on paying an amount of rs.500, I got my provisional degree from the University after 7 days. Well, this was the worst part, because dealing with government employees is really troublesome.
The enrolment procedure is not that difficult. Different bar councils have formulated their own rules regarding enrolment as an advocate. However, most of the State Bar Council requires the submission of application form along with the degree of law and mark sheets, affidavit written on a non-judicial stamp paper and requisite fees. I got enrolled at the Bar Council of Delhi. So, I’m going to tell you about the procedure for getting enrolled at the Bar Council of Delhi. Firstly, you need to fulfil the eligibility criteria as mentioned in the section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961, i.e. you should –
- be a citizen of India, although a national of any other country may be admitted as an advocate on a state roll, subject to some restrictions (however, currently BCI hasn’t permitted lawyers of any other country to practice in India).
- have completed the age of 21 years.
- have obtained a degree in law after the 12th day of March, 1967, after undergoing a course of study in law from University in India which is recognised for the purpose of the Advocates Act by the BCI. If you have obtained a degree from a foreign University, you may be admitted only if the degree is recognised by the BCI.
Well, I fulfil this eligibility criteria, so, I obtained the enrolment form for Rs. 1000 from the Tis Hazari court; you can get it from any court or from the state bar council. After filling out the form, I got all the required Xeroxed documents attested from a notary, who charged Rs. 20 for each document, but after bargaining, it costs me Rs. 10 per document. Of course I had to bargain; there were 15 documents in total. A checklist of required documents is mentioned in the form, so you won’t be facing any problem in this regard. Then I got my form attested from 2 advocates, who’ve been practising for the 10 years, luckily I knew such advocates. After this, I got an affidavit made on a non-judicial stamp paper. I guess that’s all you need to get done. Oh wait, another worst part was getting your passport size photo clicked in white shirt, black coat and black tie. I mean, it was ok till black coat and white shirt, that’s what we’re going to wear for the rest of our life, but black tie! Well, I’ve serious problem with ties. Anyway, you got to get yourself clicked like that only. Then affix this photo on the form and also get it attested by the lawyer. This whole process is going to take 2 days max.
Then, I took all my original documents and the attested photocopies to the head office of the Bar Council of Delhi at Siri Fort Institutional Area, along with Rs. 10,000 cash (preferably carry cash). The lady at the counter verified all my documents and she gave me a date for the meeting with the members of the enrolment committee. They’re going to keep the attested photocopies and the original attendance cum character certificate and the provisional degree along with the application form of course. After checking the completely filled up form along with all the attachments, you will get a challan to enable you to submit the enrolment fee of Rs. 8950 and other membership fees, which in total was Rs. 9800 (I know it’s a lot, but it’s for permanent membership). One more thing, there’s also a ‘tatkal scheme’ for speeding up the enrolment process. All you got to do is pay a sum of Rs. 3000, in which case your application will go in circulation amongst the bar council enrolment committee members and chairman and you can get the enrolment number within 2-3 days, or else, it would take anything between 8-12 days after the meeting with the committee. This was around half an hour work. Then you are free to roam around the area. Nearest place to the head office of Delhi Bar Council you can visit is hauz khas.
As for the meeting, no such things are asked as you might have heard. All that is done at meeting is that the members of the enrolment committee check whether all your documents are there and that if any document is missing, they ask you to come again at the next meeting with the relevant document. Well, this is what happened with anyone from my batch; but sometimes, if you are the unlucky one, they might ask some question from IPC or CrPC or from CPC. Around 7-8 days after the meeting, I got my enrolment number from the site of the state bar council. No need to be happy yet, as this is also provisional enrolment number. For getting the permanent enrolment number, you need to clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), conducted by the Bar Council of India, twice a year. This condition of cracking the bar exam is only for law students graduating from the academic year 2009-10 onwards. Those who graduated before the notification of 2009-10 do not have to give the exam if they enrol now. After cracking the AIBE, you are eligible to practice in any court. So, get enrolled and start your career as a lawyer. You can get further information from official website of the concerned State Bar Council.
For any query directly contact the office of your respective State Bar Council.
Bar Council of Delhi – Ph: 26498356, 26495196