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Step by step strategy if you have already completed 4 years of practice or are a senior lawyer

  • Your time to start preparing is now. Aim for the 2023 exam if you have managed a commencement certificate, else start doing that now and attempt the exam in 2024. 
  • Study 2 hours per day. Alongside your preparation, it is a good idea to build your track record by assisting other AORs and senior lawyers at the Supreme Court remotely with research and drafting.
  • Develop corporate litigation and arbitration skills and start reaching out to corporate clients and startups. 
  • Your goal must be to start earning INR 75000 – 1L per month at least in the next 12 months. 
  • If you are already earning this amount, your goal must be to increase your earnings at least by this amount.

If are a young lawyer with less than 4 years of experience 

  • You can prepare over a longer period of time, and this gives you an advantage. Reach out to startups and assist them with contracts, compliances, and other initial work – this is a great way to build trust and could hold the key to getting a lot of your own litigation and arbitration matters in the next 2-3 years.
  • Initially, the goal is not to earn money, but to build trust and prove that you can deliver. You can build a track record with about 5-10 startups in 3 months. After that, you can charge, and clients will happily pay. 
  • If you are working with a senior, your goal should be to go independent as soon as possible – this could take you anywhere between 6-12 months. Once you are earning about INR 30,000-50,000 per month on the side, you can have the confidence to do this. 
  • Once you are working full-time you can earn INR 1 lakh per month or more.
  • You can also start preparing for the AOR Exam – initially, focus on key topics like practice and procedure and drafting so that you can help other AORs as well. You can also earn on the side by pursuing drafting work and later get introductions to AORs with 10 years or more standing. 
  • Double down on AOR Exam preparation as the exam draws near.  
  • After you qualify as an AOR, you can earn additionally from your Supreme Court matters, higher conversions in district/High Courts and you can even charge more. In total it is possible to comfortably cross INR 2 lakhs per month or more of ADDITIONAL INCOME.
  • Plus, if you want, you can set up your own firm. Many firms will also want to hire you as a partner to set up or expand their litigation practice. 

If you are in college and it is your long term goal to become an AOR/ build a Supreme Court practice 

  • Focus on corporate litigation + assist early stage startups in India, and network with AORs and help them with drafting and research.
  • Even if you have recently graduated, you can do this. It will take 3-6 months to get initial results. 
  • If you are in college, pursue long-term internships as much as possible, even after class hours, with lawyers who pursue arbitration, NCLT, real estate matters, tax matters, AORs at the Supreme Court and with litigation firms which have at least one or more AOR as the firm’s partner. 
  • It is possible to earn INR 10,000-20,000 per month as a student by doing this after a few months of low bono or pro bono work 
  • By the time you graduate:
    • your goal should be to be independent and earn over INR around INR 70,000 – 1L per month – you could work independently, or in disputes firms. Some lawyers at the Supreme Court also pay this amount to their juniors. 
    • You may get some opportunities to represent your startup clients in arbitration and commercial matters if they have disputes work. Plus, they will be in a position to pay you well as they trust you. There could be SLPs to file as well – where you can brief seniors or get an experience of arguing yourself 

Starting early is always better as it gives you more time to prepare, and it also gives you more options in the future. Wherever you are, the best time to start is today. 

Even if you are late, it is still possible to start earning more, crack the AOR Exam, build your own practice, and even join a law firm as a disputes partner if you want to – but make sure that you do not lose any more time, due to inaction or going in the wrong direction. 

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