Law impacts business and business impacts law. In this era of rapid globalization and privatization, professionals with multiple qualifications are often sought after. Regulation of industries is taking place rapidly, with multiple legal compliances being the need of the hour for a smooth business functioning. This article analyses the scope of legal knowledge in business administration and how a dual qualification might be put to use.
Law in India:
In India, Law is offered as an LLB Degree (Latin Legum Baccalaureus). It is either a 5 year integrated course along with some other degree like B.A., B.Com., B.B.A., B.C.A, B.Sc. etc or it is a 3 year course which may be pursued post completion of any under-graduation. In India, the legal education is regulated by a statutory body created under the Advocates Act, 1961 known as the Bar Council of India.[i] LLB degree in India is a full-time educational course. It cannot be pursued on a distance education basis since the Bar Council of India recognizes only full time LLB Degrees. Eligibility for admissions differs from college to college. Also, a predominant divide between the NLU and Non-NLU Students is seen in India.
After completion of legal education in India, conservative career prospects include –
- Independent Legal Practice (which by itself has several specializations)
- Law Firms
- In-house Legal Counsel in MNCs
- Legal Academia
- Judiciary Exams
- Government Jobs
However, to be more enthusiastic and try rather unconventional ideas there are lots of openings these days. One among the eccentric options would be to pursue MBA (Masters in Business Administration) post LLB.
MBA in India:
Masters in Business Administration degree in India is offered by a wide variety of institutes. Interested students may take up either General MBA or Specialized MBA. The Specialized MBA courses offered tends to be varied ranging from Accounts, HR, Finance etc. to Supply Chain Management, Health care Management, IT Management etc. MBA can also be industry specific like Oil and Gas, Aviation, Real Estate, Securities etc.
The most coveted MBAs are often the ones from IIMs, IITs, ISB etc. Apart from Government Institutes, Private Institutes also offer MBA that turns out to offer a lucrative career option. Admission to MBA is based on CAT Scores, GATE Scores, GMAT Scores etc. followed by a few stages of interview. The fee structure also varies according to the ranking of the Institute. There are also Universities that offer MBA as a distance education course.
Why pursue MBA after completing Law?
Interest in corporate restructuring, financial restructuring, mergers, takeovers, acquisitions, corporate governance, investment, banking, securities etc. and the willingness to diversify career prospects might propel an individual to pursue MBA after completing law. A legal qualification bridges the gap in the decision making process when it comes to understanding the complex legal system of our country.
For running any business, the basic laws that need to be understood include –
- Company Law,
- Commercial Laws like Law of Contracts, Property Law, and Intellectual Property Law etc.
- Securities Law inter alia including Listing, Delisting, Issue of Capital and Disclosure, Substantial Acquisition and Takeover, Prohibition of Insider Trading etc.
- Taxation Law including both Direct and Indirect Taxes
- Labor Law
- Environmental Law
Apart from these general laws, industry specific laws and the regulation process needs to be understood. A decision maker who is a law graduate will be able to bridge this gap than a non-law graduate.
“The legal function is now a strategic one,” says Aditya Ghosh, President of the low-cost carrier IndiGo. “Today, those who run businesses need to have a deeper understanding of the regulatory environment, because many fields – telecom, insurance, and sunrise sectors such as aviation – are highly regulated,” he says.[ii]
This interview extract of a law student who cleared the entrance to ISB is highly motivating.[iii]
What are the career prospects of a dually qualified individual?
Firstly, a person with a dual MBA and Law Qualification will be absorbed by MNCs that are in need of decision makers who understand the laws of the land. Secondly, becoming transactional attorneys who advise clients on daily business decisions is an option. Thirdly, and the most exciting of all is to become an entrepreneur and expand avenues whereby financial and personal growth can be exponential. Lastly, in-house legal counsels with dual qualifications are also much sought after.
Concerns of doing MBA after Law:
Though a dual qualification might seem appealing and alluring, it is a decision that has to be made after much contemplation, reflection and deliberation. The following are the main concerns involved in pursuing MBA after Law –
Cost – An MBA from a reputed institution would easily cost several lakhs in India. Student loans are often taken up for which the individual should again bear the brunt of repayment in the initial years along with interest, if any. Also, the opportunity cost of having been in a legal job has to be considered.
Time – The career trajectory starts late for lawyers since it is a five or a six year deal already. A lot has to go into the decision making process before considering spending an additional couple of years.
Inner Drive – Many law students and lawyers might not like the hassle of the Courts, the cumbersome process involved etc. and therefore they may consider MBA. However, it is imperative to have an inner drive that casts a thrust upon the individual to have a corporate career. An excessive interest in the commercial sector is a mandate for choosing MBA after Law. If the interest of the student lies in Human Rights, Criminal Justice Administration, Civil Service etc., then clearly MBA is never an option.
The scope of Law in MBA as much as it might seem limited is also very specialized. Those who look forward for a lucrative and exhilarating career can very well opt for this dual qualification, after giving due considerations to the individual concerns.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje