Criminal law is the career choice of a large number of lawyers in India. While there are many people working in this domain, it is often said that there are very few really good criminal lawyers. It is perhaps because criminal law practice takes a long time to master.
It is not an area where one may start earning the big bucks, get to work in an air-conditioned office or get fame soon. Criminal lawyers must start from the lower courts where work condition is rarely attractive to young lawyers. It takes years of patient service of clients to learn the art as well as make a name for oneself.
However, due to the perception of criminal law being a difficult practice area to crack, it also has much less competition when it comes to quality lawyers ready to put in the hard work. Once you start getting results for clients, your name spreads fast amongst those in need.
Also, criminal lawyers deal with people’s life and liberty at a level that few other lawyers can claim to do. Their services are essential and critical to the clients and people do not ask too many questions about fees when the lawyer is someone they can trust and find reliable. From that perspective, criminal law is definitely a great area of law to invest your career in. Also, the job satisfaction of a criminal lawyer who helps in delivering justice is difficult to match.
These days, many lawyers who are even doing civil litigation also do criminal litigation. This has become a trend in bigger cities especially because criminal cases may turn up even when you are servicing business or corporate clients.
On the other hand, in smaller towns, criminal law is staple for most bars. It is very difficult to build a practice unless one is good with criminal cases in small towns. It is also exceedingly difficult to find a place in a good chamber unless one has some way with criminal cases and a good understanding of the procedure.
Unfortunately, this procedure is not only found in statute books like the CrPC or the Indian Evidence Act. There is much more to learn, and that is where we felt the need of a specialized course on criminal trials.
In any case, if you are going to be a litigating lawyer, it is not a good idea to skip criminal law or trial advocacy for most young lawyers. However, very little is available to learn in the way of practical lessons about how to go about practicing criminal law at the trial level.
After years of demand from many lawyers and students, we collaborated with Nishant Gokhale, a Supreme Court lawyer with extensive trial court experience, who is currently working on the prestigious death penalty project at National Law University Delhi and impacting high profile death penalty cases at a national level, and a few other practicing criminal lawyers with many years of experience to launch the certificate course on Criminal Laws and Trial advocacy.
Who can benefit from the criminal law certificate course
- Practicing criminal lawyers – not only you will learn about best practices in handling your cases, practical insights and engage in an intellectual process that will elevate your ability to deliver results to your clients, you will also earn a valuable certificate from a top National Law University in the country which will increase your credibility with prospective clients.
- Those looking at transitioning into a criminal law practice – if you are someone looking into transitioning into a career in criminal law from another area of practice, this course will provide you a great starting point and learning environment that will quicken your progress.
- Law students with an interest in criminal law – if you are a law student looking forward practice criminal law when you graduate, this course can give you a big headstart. Learning this during early years of your law college education will open new opportunities, help you to impress the seniors when you go to intern, open doors that were otherwise unreachable and give you the satisfaction of learning something that your peers have no idea about. Gaining practical insights that lawyers gain after many years of practice early in your career provides you a great orientation about what counts and what will make you grow faster as a criminal lawyer. You will continue to build on what you will learn in this course in the first place, so doing it early in your law school journey is not at all a bad idea.
- Any person interested in learning about criminal law and the trial process – criminal law and the trial process is a mystery for many stakeholders, those accused of a crime and their family members. This course will be a great opportunity to understand how the system works, how to lawyers perform their duty and how to get the best from the lawyers and navigate the complex legal system. It is not for everyone, but any concerned citizen interested in getting in-depth knowledge and understanding of criminal law and criminal justice system in India will immensely benefit from this course.
What would you learn in this criminal law course?
- What kind of work do criminal lawyers do? What challenges will you encounter as a criminal lawyer? What motivates the best criminal lawyers? You will learn about basics of criminal law practice.
- What are the myths about criminal law practice and the reality one needs to be grounded in. You will learn how lawyers work within and with the system as well as how lawyers go about working on specific matters. Learning this side of practice is invaluable for young lawyers and for the more experienced ones, it is a great opportunity to touch base with the basics and get the grammar of their practice right.
- Various different types of work that criminal lawyers have to do while representing different types of clients
- How to deal with police and agencies like CBI and ED
- New emerging areas in criminal law practice, white collar crime related defense work, special interest litigation etc.
- How to understand the physical infrastructure of courts and the rules, how investigations are done, different stages of criminal trial and the work that lawyers have to do at different stages
- Drafting of various types – how to use formats, use fact situations, application of law and persuasion, disclosing vital information in writing/complaint
- How to correspond with police and jail authorities, reply to summons, file protest petitions, bail and anticipatory bail applications, application for discharge/ quashing, appeal, summoning of records, application for exemption from appearance, application for release of property, application for compensation of victim and a lot more.
- How to prepare a litigation strategy for your client
- Filing and case management, managing client expectations
- How to inspire a client’s confidence, building your authority in specialized areas of practice, managing your law office effectively
New content is regularly added to the course, especially on the suggestion of students to increase the value provided through the course.
How will you access the criminal law course? How will you learn?
This is a self-paced course. You have to log-in into a learning management system and learn. You will have textual material to read, videos to watch, self-assessment tests to see if you are getting the concepts right, and when you are done with the course you can take the certification exam.
The course is accessible 24×7, and can be accessed through a smartphone app as well apart from any computer, and it allows you to study even when you don’t have internet access.
This makes it possible for busy lawyers, students, and professionals to convert their unproductive time into productive, as you can learn while you are commuting, waiting in a queue or even sitting on a flight.
Normally there are no live classes as a part of this course but from time to time you may benefit from a webinar that may be given access to to the students of this course. The exam is online and can be taken from anywhere.
This is an online course and no hard copy material is provided or required to successfully complete the course.
What certificate will I get after doing the course?
You will get a certificate from National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, delivered to your address via courier on successful completion of the course.
What is the course fee?
At present the course fee is INR 5000 only. It may be increased without further notice by the University.
How can I enrol into the course? What is the eligibility?
All graduate or undergraduate students, lawyers and professionals who are graduates are eligible for this course. One must be at least class 12th pass, proficient in English and should be able to use computers.
To enrol into the course, you can visit this link, click on enroll now option. Following this, you will be taken to a payment page, and then you will have to fill up an admission form. After filling up the form, you will have to take a print-out and send the same to the University address provided in the enrolment page along with two passport sized photos and certificate indicating that you are a graduate or class 12 pass as may be applicable.
How can this criminal law course help in your career?
You will be able to directly apply what you learn in the course to your practice. Your clients, peers, and judges before whom you appear will notice a difference in the quality of your work, your strategic approach and expertise in assisting the process of law.
When you go for internships with criminal lawyers, your understanding and ability to assist senior lawyers with exactly what they want will stand out. You will start to build your career in criminal law if you are interested in that, where you are right now, rather than waiting to graduate and someday work on it.
Your skills and knowledge will be unparalleled compared to your classmates where it comes to criminal law, and from your teachers to peers, everyone will be pleasantly surprised and impressed by your level of practical knowledge and skills.