Tuesday, March 20, 2018

LAW as a Career Option for Science Students

PhD, LLM, Punjabi University
Associate Professor &
Head, School of Law, NCU

“The inventive step requirement makes a lawyer out of an inventor.” - Kalyan C. Kankanala

Today, Law is considered to be the most sought-after profession in the world. Law, legal education and development have become inter-related concepts in modern developing societies. In the present era, technology is encroaching each and every field and, therefore, learning law with a science background gives an edge to legal professionals over other disciplines. Law, being an interdisciplinary profession, students from varied background tend to choose law courses and prefer to club them with Management, Arts, Commerce or Science depending on their area of interest. In the present age of technology and science, one should expect to give a warm welcome, perhaps a permanent home, to science in our courtroom procedures. The legal disputes before us increasingly involve the principles and tools of science and the proper resolution of these disputes is essential not just for the litigants, but also to the general public who live in our technologically complex society and indeed want justice to be served. 

The increasing reliance on technology whether it be through forensic science in a criminal case, food testing in an adulteration case or data protection in cases of privacy, has led to the need of imbibing science into one’s legal knowledge, skills and profession. Whether it is biotechnology, pharmacy and intellectual property rights or digital privacy, health care, energy and environment policy, many legal specializations emerge from and rest on scientific foundations. 

Although a combination of law and science is referred to as an oxymoron, but it is actually a bitter sweet experience with enhanced results. Studying law after science improves and nourishes your analytical ability, planned execution, application of mind and various other skills that help in laying the foundation in the legal profession. The focus on science students opting for law as a career is not a matter of just today, but is traceable in history and many senior judges of the Supreme Court of India are science graduates and they pursued law degree after graduation. Well known senior advocates of India especially those who are in Intellectual Property Law would not have made their mark today had they not studied science before undertaking legal education.

Amongst the students of the best law schools in Delhi-NCR, approximately 30% students are the ones who opt for law after studying science courses in their XII class. The concept of inter-disciplinary education has further led to the rise of science students emerging as lawyers in the fields of Environment, Intellectual Property, Cyber Security, Corporate Transactions and many more. Some of the best Private Universities, like The NorthCap University, Gurugram have an added benefit where the School of Law encourages students into interdisciplinary methodology through engagement of experts from engineering and civil department. The students with science background when graduate from here work with reputed law firms, start their own practice and some pursue higher education in reputed Universities in UK and USA. As the time for admissions is approaching, even the science students must also appear in entrance examinations for law like CLAT, LSAT, AILET so that they throw open a plethora of opportunities for themselves in this competitive world. The students must keep in mind that they are the youth who will be adapting to their professions to become better citizens of tomorrow and contribute actively in the development of the nation.

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