The post has been contributed by Mr.Shiv Prakash Pandey, Advocate -on -Record, Supreme Court of India. He has over 40 years of experience as an advocate. In this post, he has given simple tips for the aspring lawyers . These tips are wide enough touching even the lives outside Court rooms –
1. To become a better lawyer, you must study all legal news items appearing in the newspaper and magazines that you receive at your residence..
2. If you do not receive any newspaper and magazines, do buy one newspaper every day for this pursuit.
3. Learn one word of English with all derivatives and one word of your mother tongue every day.
4. Must search google to know all current Judges of Supreme Court of India and all current judges of the High Court in your State.
5. Start from the lowest rung of the ladder when you start practice in courts. Do not commit the mistake of starting from the Supreme Court of India or the High Court of your State.
6. Visit local slums in your district, visit poor people, sip tea in small tea shops, eat food once in a while in a small dhaba and see the life of the poor persons around you.
7. You must be clean shaven, with clean clothes, shining black shoes and two pens, pencil, etc.
8. Buy books on legal drafting, pleading, drafting of documents and read them at least once a week.
9. Do study the books, ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’ by Mahatma Gandhi, and ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D.Salinger.
10. Go to the local District courts, sit for 2 hours in the Court of the magistrate and then for 2 hours in the Court of the Civil Judge. Watch the lawyers how they address the Court and how they cross examine the witnesses.
11. Find out the name of all the judges in the local district courts.
12. Learn how to inspect the court file, how to prepare inspection application and how to obtain permission from the concerned judge.
13. Learn wherefrom to purchase the Court fee, the welfare stamp.
14. Learn how to fill up the vakalatnama, the process fee form, how to file a suit, a bail application, an appeal , a criminal complaint.
15. Join a clerk of an advocate to learn how to fill up and how to file application for obtaining certified copy of an order and where.
16. Learn how to study books on law and judgments in a law library in the District Courts.
17. Purchase bare Constitution of India, CPC, Cr.P.C., Indian Penal Code, Evidence Act , Indian Contract Act , Arbitration and Conciliation Act , and Information Technology Act and study them.
18. Learn how to operate a computer , Laptop, your mobile, the calculator.
19. Be thoroughly familiar with maps of your city, your district, your state, your country , your neighbouring countries and last, the world.
20. Read autobiographies of all the advocates and judges of India and books on political trials in India as available in Law book shops in your city and underline what you learn and make notes.
21. Try to have one hobby like, some sport, singing, gardening, bird-watching, stamp collection, food making, etc.
22. Learn all about shares, stocks, mutual funds, net-working, stock exchanges in India and abroad and the latest price indices in all, the gold , silver prices.
23. Watch one English , Hindi and one mother tongue movie or plays every month. Celebrate and enjoy every festival and distribute the dishes to the poor people around you in your locality.
24. Read each and every book written by Earl Stanley Gardner and John Grisham for his legal thrillers.
25. When you draft a particular case, purchase one good commentary book on the relevant law, read the relevant section of the Act, search google for all the material and judgments on that particular provision and only thereafter, draft the case.
26. Read one judgment of the Supreme Court of India every month and one judgment of the High Court of your state every week and make notes.
27. You need not buy any legal journal. Just click google and ask for judgments of the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts relating to your subject, say, divorce on the ground of cruelty, bail in a case of mob lynching, maintenance of old parents,
28. Stay physically fit by daily exercise, Yoga, meditation, cheerful attitude and healthy eating habits. Never indulge in self medication and don’t take medicines suggested by a friend, or chemist. Try to have Indian herbal medicines only. Have fresh citrus fruits and Amla daily for lots of vitamin C.
29. Listen to your client very patiently, take notes, ask him questions and go through his documents very deeply. Never give wrong opinion and never make wrong promise.
30. If you do not know about particular law, ask your client to visit you later on , then study the relevant law and then give correct advice.
31. Charge your client as per his capacity . If one is rich, charge him more and if one is poor, charge him less. Don’t give free opinion or advice.
Image from here