The most prestigious position in the Indian legal system is that of a judge. But how to acquire that position? How to plan things to fetch that position? How to prepare for it, should we prefer self-study over proper coaching preparation? How to manage preparation with your Bachelor’s in continuation?
We are here to answer all these questions through a step-by-step analysis.
For those law enthusiasts, who possess an interest in social service and value respect over everything – judiciary is the perfect career option for them. Now depending upon your choice, you can step into this profession. The question that arises next is what should we do to fetch the position.
The simple answer to this question is that if you are a law graduate or final year law student enrolled in either of 3-year LLB degree or a 5-year integrated degree you can write Provincial Civil Service – Judicial Examination (PCS-J) which is an entry-level examination for becoming members of the subordinate court.
All the candidate needs for appearing in judicial services examinations for lower courts is to be enrolled or qualified to be enrolled under the Advocates Act, 1961. Now you might be wondering, what if we wish for higher courts. There is a slight change in eligibility for the same that is minimum experience of 7 years in litigation in addition to the criteria followed for lower courts.
Now that we know the eligibility criteria, let us now discuss the structure of various judicial services examinations. It is divided into 3 successive stages namely Prelims, Mains, and Viva Voce (interview).
- In the preliminary stage, you must clear a pre-decided cutoff which makes you eligible for writing Mains. Prelims scores are not evaluated in the final selection and it is an objective type exam.
- In the Mains stage, you will have to face subjective questions and your scores will have a say in the final selection, unlike prelims score.
- Three times the number of vacancies are then called for an interview. Viva will consist of practical questions on the applicability of laws in different hypothetical situations. After clearing the interview you’ll be designated as a Judge.
When it comes to the syllabus, it is broadly divided between civil law, criminal law, and the language paper. The mains examination consists of 6-7 papers with almost 70-75 % of the weightage given to law subjects and the remaining part to the language subjects. The syllabus may vary from state to state.
Now that we know about the syllabus and the eligibility criteria, let us discuss the plan of action or in simple words, the strategy to move further.
- Have a proper understanding of the syllabus and begin your preparation accordingly: You must have a proper strategy and implementation of the same should be diligently done. What approach you would be following should be pre-decided, make up your mind, and engage yourself in it.
- I would suggest you join a proper coaching institute to channelize your preparation. But in case you are not financially capable of joining a standard coaching institute, do not worry. Dedication and arduous work pays-off and there are a hell lot of examples to show that candidates can crack judicial services exams without enrolling in coaching centres.
- Read newspapers and magazines regularly and besides the knowledge of law subjects, you must also be aware of current affairs. For prelims, you have to focus on bare acts; for mains, on conceptual clarity and for viva, your focus must be on current affairs, basic general knowledge and important concepts of law.
Which year to start from is a major question which depends upon person to person, on basis of several pointers.
If you are someone who stepped into law with the dream of becoming a judge in future and you are very clear with the idea, then you must start preparing yourself from the first day of the law degree.
- In the first year, get a deep understanding of polity, history and economics.
- In the second year, improve your writing skills and get involved with law journals of your college.
- In subsequent years you must learn to read and interpret statutes and have a proper understanding of laws.
- The last year of law school must be your practising period wherein you should practice previous years judicial services papers of respective state judicial services exam you aspire to clear.
In the end, stay calm and give your best in exams. If you are dedicated, no one can stop you from acquiring that position.