Raising South Asian Voices

Cynthia Dettman:  Author

How Many Lawyers: India and US?

Did you know that India and the US have the largest number of attorneys in the world?  Not quite sure why.  Perhaps because Americans are litigious and want their rights protected?  And India is a burgeoning economy with plenty of corporate jobs?  Or is India churning young law graduates who may not get jobs?  Each year, the country graduates 60-70,000 law graduates.

India has a VAST youth population, and in general, not enough jobs for that enormous mass.  About 600 million people, more than half India’s population, are under 25 years old; no country has more young people.

The law school I’ve been visiting has multiple options for students; clearly law education is encouraged!  They have around 1200 students who are getting a combined bachelor’s and law degree in five years.  So they start at age 17 and have a law degree at 22.  A smaller group arrives with a bachelor’s degree and gets a law degree in 3 years, similar to the US system.  And then an even smaller group arrive with a law degree and achieve a masters degree in 2 years.  Apparently this last group will be prepared to start law as an associate professor.

Because it’s a government school, the fees are about 1/2 the cost of a private law school.  So the competition is stiff, and entirely based on 12th grade exam scores from high school!

My impression is that most of these young people want to work in the corporate or business sector.  It will be interesting to see how many want to bring a social justice orientation to their future work, as the protagonist in my novel does.

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