Career as a Lawyer in Pakistan. A legal system exists in every civilized society to safeguard people’s rights, interest, and their life and property. To run the system successfully there needs people who can understand the laws, interpret and explain them to the common people. There come the jobs for lawyers. Career as a lawyer has always been a respectful option in the civilized societies in the world. An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context.
He is licensed to practice law, learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; Lawyer profession involves the practical application and knowledge of acts, rules, statutes and laws of the land to solve people’s problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services. The role of the lawyer varies significantly across legal jurisdictions.
In today’s rapidly changing world progress and development have been made almost in every profession. It results creation of large number of opportunities for individuals. Legal profession has no exception. Law jobs in Pakistan can be seen in national dailies regularly. In the legal profession, lawyers have many options over the course of their careers. Besides private practice, they can always aspire to becoming a district attorney on division level, assistant district attorney on district level. Jobs for lawyers are offered as Advocate General in the High courts and as attorney General in the Supreme Court. Many other career opportunities for lawyers are also available in legal profession like public prosecutor, government counsel, corporate in-house counsel, administrative law judge, judge, arbitrator, law professor, or politician. There are also many non-legal jobs which legal training is good preparation for, such as corporate executive, government administrator, investment banker, entrepreneur, or journalist. A large organization offers jobs as legal advisor and lucrative remuneration is offered for the job. In developing countries like India and Pakistan, a large majority of law students never actually practice, but simply use their law degree as a foundation for careers in other fields. Lawyers generally structure their legal education around their chosen specialty; the boundaries between different types of lawyers are carefully defined and hard to cross. After one earns a law degree, career mobility may be severely constrained. The legal profession is not rigorously bifurcated and everyone within it can easily change roles and arenas.
Specialization in Law
In many countries, lawyers are general practitioners who will take almost any kind of case that walks in the door. In others, there has been a tendency since the start of the 20th century for lawyers to specialize early in their careers. In countries where specialization is prevalent, many lawyers specialize in representing one side in one particular area of the law; thus, it is common in the United States to hear of plaintiffs' personal injury attorneys.
Lawyer’s fee or earning
Lawyers are paid for their work in a variety of ways. In private practice, they may work for an hourly fee according to a billable hour structure, a contingency fee (usually in cases involving personal injury), or a lump sum payment if the matter is straightforward. Normally, most lawyers negotiate a written fee agreement up front and may require a non-refundable retainer in advance. In many countries there are fee-shifting arrangements by which the loser must pay the winner's fees and costs. Lawyers working directly on the payroll of governments, nonprofits, and corporations usually earn a regular annual salary. In many countries, lawyers can also volunteer their labor in the service of worthy causes through an arrangement called pro bono (for the common good). Traditionally such work was performed on behalf of the poor, but in some countries it has now expanded to many other causes like the natural environment. Before adopting the legal profession, one thing must be kept in mind that earning don’t start from day one. But continuous and regular hardworking can make a lawyer a successful person. There are legal aid lawyers who specialize in providing legal services to the indigent; legal aid specialists are practically nonexistent.
How to enroll as a lawyer in a Bar Council
Legal practitioners and Bar councils acts 1973 and Pakistan Legal Practitioners and Bar councils act 1976 are there for the registration/enrolment of lawyers and their qualification. Enrolment in the concerned Provincial Bar Council is imperative to practice as lawyer in the lower courts. After passing the examination of LL.B in Pakistan a person can get himself enrolled in the Bar Council. The enrolment as an advocate is subject to getting through the subjective type/ Multiple Choices of written Examination within a period of 2½ years in four attempts, completion Of six months apprenticeship and passing the Viva Voce Examination. The candidate will be supplied, at the time of submission of Intimation, a book-let Containing questionnaire, against deposit of Rs. 300/- as Examination fee. However, the Examination fee for every subsequent attempt shall be Rs. 200/-
The Questionnaire shall consist of the questions pertaining to the following subjects:-
- Civil Procedure Code
- Criminal Procedure Code
- Limitation Act
- Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973
- Canons of Professional Conduct and Etiquette of Advocate as framed by the Pakistan Bar Council.
- Court Fees Act, and suits Valuation Act; and
Admission to the Bar Council
A bar council is a professional body that regulates the profession of lawyers. In Pakistan, one becomes a member of the bar after fulfilling certain requirements. They must have a valid law degree from a recognized university, and they offer certain undertakings and pay the Bar Association fees. If a person does not hold an LL.M Degree in Pakistan then they must first complete six months pupilage with a practicing Advocate, whom they must have assisted on at least ten cases during their six-month pupilage period. A pupilage is the final stage of training to be a lawyer and usually lasts six months. At the end of the six months a pupil must get their senior advocate to sign a certificate confirming satisfactory completion and send it to the Bar Council. The pupil will then receive a Certificate after which he will be entitled practice as a lawyer and can write word advocate with his name.
Advocate High Court
Advocate High Court is the second level, and is eligible to practice in the High Courts of Pakistan and below. A license is obtained after successful completion of two year's practice in the lower courts by application which is reviewed by a body of High Court Judges headed by the respective provincial Chief Justices and the relevant provincial Bar Council. Most applications after successful completion of the requirement are accepted.
Advocate Supreme Court
Advocate Supreme Court is the third level. After successful completion of ten years practice at the High Courts by application to the Pakistan Bar Council and reviewed by a panel of Supreme Court Judges headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Over fifty percent of the number of applications after successful completion of the requirement are accepted. An unsuccessful application in one year does not bar the candidate from re-applying in the next judicial year.
Senior Advocate Supreme Court
The highest level is the Senior Advocate Supreme Court. It is Pakistan's title equivalent to Queen's Counsel in the United Kingdom. After at least fifteen years of practice in the Supreme Court, Application for becoming a senior advocate Supreme Court may be submitted to a panel of Supreme Court Judges headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Very few applications are accepted and even fewer invitations are made. Attorney Generals are invited by the Supreme Court on appointment to the office.
Courts in Pakistan
- Supreme Court of Pakistan
- Sindh High Court
- Lahore High Court
- Lahore High Court Bar
- Peshawar High Court
- District Court Karachi (East)
- Malir Court Karachi
- Hyderabad Courts Sindh
High Court bar Association, Multan
High Court bar Association Bahawalpur
Punjab Bar Council
After partition courts were classified into criminal courts and civil courts. Civil courts further divide into three categories namely Court of the District Judge, Court of the Additional District Judge and Court of the Civil Judge. While the Criminal Courts were classified as follow:
- Court of the Magistrate Class I
- Court of the Magistrate Class II
- Court of the Magistrate Class III
- Court of the Magistrate Section 30
Furthermore magisterial powers were delegated to the Administrative Officers on District Magistrate and Sub-Divisional level to hear criminal cases. Special courts were also established from time to time to hear special cases. Labour courts were set up to hear industrial worker cases. Federal Shariat court was established in 1998.
Prerequisite for a successful legal profession
To get success in the legal profession all the god gifted abilities must be put into practice. A lawyer should have command over law, knowledge about court rules and procedure. Hardworking on the right lines may get him to the destination. Competition is increasing in this field like other professions therefore no short cut available for success in the legal profession. Consistency, enthusiasm, fervor and regular research and up to the date information about the prevailing laws and statutes are the key to success in this field. You will face test and trail at every step. This is the profession of endurance and restraint. This is the profession to move on in trying circumstances with courage and patience and intelligence. A lawyer should have the ability to understand the situation because he has to prepare a stratagem to face the possible state of affairs. New comer in this field should have kept the prestige of this profession right from the beginning. A little mistake may cause him a life long bad name. This is the responsibility of the lawyer to prove himself up to the mark and do not harm the confidence of the client.
Universities / colleges offered LL.B Programme in Pakistan
Following universities / colleges offered three years LL.B degree programme.
Islamabad Federal Capital Territory
International Islamic University, Faculty of Sharia' and Law, Islamabad
- Peshawar Law College, Peshawar
- Gomal Law College, Dera Ismail Khan
- Hazara School of Law, Mansehra
- Islamia Law College Peshawar
- Frontier law College, Peshawar
- National Institute of Legal Studies, Attock
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah Law College, Gujranwala
- Gujrat Law College, Gujrat
- Jinnah Law College, Jhelum
- Punjab Law College, Lahore
- Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Lahore
- Hamayat Islam Law College, Lahore
- Lahore Law College, Lahore
- National Law College, Lahore
- City Law College, Lahore
- Pakistan College of Law, Lahore
- The Institute of Legal Studies, Lahore
- Superior College of Law, Lahore
- Hamayat-e-Islam Degree College for Women, Lahore
- Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Okara
- Ghousia Law College, Okara
- Al-Mizan Law College, Rawalpindi
- Rawalpindi Law College, Rawalpindi
- Muslim Law College, Rawalpindi
- Punjab Law College, Rawalpindi
- Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Sargodha
- Allama Iqbal Law College, Sialkot
- Muhammadan Law College, Sheikhupura
- Lyallpur Law College, Faisalabad
- S. M. Law College, Karachi
- Islamia Law College, Karachi
- Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Nawabshah
- Mirpurkhas Law College, Mirpurkhas
Universities in Pakistan which have Law College Department
- University Law College, University of Punjab, Lahore
- LUMS, Lahore
- Gilani Law College, BZ University, Multan
Further details about this profession can be had from the following Bar councils
- Pakistan Bar Council, Rawalpindi
- Punjab Bar Council, Fen Road, Lahore
- Sindh Bar Council, High Court Building Karachi