LI and Mint, together every fortnight In today’s edition of Mint: Law firms enjoy unequal bargaining power in a market where the talent pool is deepening every year.

The sobering state of the economy has got India’s law students worried. For many, particularly at the top few schools, getting a high-paying job was the primary aim of their legal education. The higher pay packets also justified the pursuit of an interest in the law, especially when it came to convincing parents who would otherwise prefer their children aspire for admission to an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) or Indian Institute of Management (IIM).

peggy mad men Workplaces are structured to lose the women along the career ladder and colleagues’ and bosses’ attitudes do usually not alleviate the loss, was a hot topic of discussion in a room of 80 women at the Society of Women Lawyers’ (SOWL) annual conference in Delhi on Saturday.

imageWhen Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia started his term in May 2010 it was widely reported that he didn’t take the traditional May-June court vacation but worked through it, aiming to look at ways of reducing the time it takes to hear cases and making the Supreme Court administration more efficient.

I can get some satisfaction (graphics by Sandeep Bhatnagar/Mint) In today’s edition of Mint: Indian lawyers have it pretty good when compared with the average citizen, of whom only 8% are positive about their jobs—as a Gallup survey revealed last week. Nevertheless, the corporate law profession faces a crisis of confidence.

LI and Mint, together every fortnight In today’s edition of Mint: Legally India reveals the conundrum of how legal liability insurance has managed to catch on among India’s bigger law firms, despite no one being able to remember any lawyer ever getting sued for negligent advice.

1960s Advocates Act: Kaputt? The ruling in the Chennai writ petition was hailed as pragmatic for solving the nearly two-year-old deadlock foreign firms were in. But frankly it is likely to continue exposing the deficiencies of the 1961 Advocates Act in dealing with modern-day India. And it could possibly  plunge a number of industries into a world of pain via the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Report on NalsarUntil last Wednesday, an explosive 161-page document prepared by four judges was gathering dust in the office of Nalsar Hyderabad vice chancellor (VC) Veer Singh for nearly four months. Few, if any, had read it and most faculty and students claimed they were unaware even of its existence or any details.

The story of that report is Nalsar’s alone. But this is also a story of academic power struggles, law school management and students caught in between, that will have near-universal parallels in many Indian law schools.

Exclusive: A few years ago, Indian lawyers who took a top LLM in the US were inundated with job offers from prestigious US and international law firms. Many accepted. But in 2011 only five out of 60 students got such a ticket. Have $70,000 US LLMs just become a way for colleges to cash in on Indian students? Find out why the Brazilians seem to fare better than the Indians.

Madhava Menon’s national law school experiment of 1986 may have failed to pull hundreds of Indian law schools out of mediocrity but it has brought newfound respect to legal education, reports Mint today. Critics complain that the national law schools have mostly benefited corporate law but this may not be their fault. While no NLS grads have so far made it to senior counsel rank, some are making their mark in litigation.

Exclusive in today’s Mint: Revealing two years of research, over 20 interviews with current and former lawyers, and never-read-before insider details and accounts, read the most definitive and balanced account published so far of Fox Mandal Delhi’s financial woes and how the merger between Fox and Little & Co Mumbai unravelled. 

Mint: A page for the legal profession every second FridayMint - easily India’s best quality business daily - will now feature cutting-edge legal industry news and analysis in its pages every second Friday under an exclusive new content partnership with Legally India.

In today’s Mint edition, Legally India editor Kian Ganz’s colum demystifies India’s legal market: Despite India’s fairly average legal population density every lawyer here has to make do with only $1.4m of GDP. This, it turns out, is the lowest figure in both developed and developing legal markets. Click here to read the column on this, pseudo lawyers and more.

Please comment below or on Mint with suggestions for future topics or stories worth covering.

Also in today’s Mint: all-new research on salary progression at law firms, as well as how and why law firm salaries have risen so much in the last five years.

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Law firms pay lawyers with six years of experience up to around Rs 30 lakh per annum in Mumbai, revealed analysis of data collected in Legally India’s associate survey, as first published in Mint today.

imageLegally India editor Kian Ganz will now blog regularly in The Lawyer magazine’s new blogs section about the Indian legal landscape. Here is the first post.

By far the personal question that I get asked the most by lawyers in India and abroad is: “Why India?” You might want to ask A&O, CC, Links or Freshfields or the rest of the pack the same question.

The head of the Delhi roundtableEleven law firms, including six of India’s largest, Ashoka and the UK’s former attorney general Lord Peter Goldsmith QC have discussed how to develop a pro bono culture in Indian law firms as i-Probono, a UK not-for-profit and online portal seeking to connect lawyers to social sector projects, will launch in India to encourage law firms to do that which is “long overdue”.

dead-end-sign_by_Andrew-Mason The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) counter-affidavit filed in the AK Balaji Chennai case against 31 foreign law firms said that the BCI has decided not to relax the restrictions prohibiting foreign lawyers from practising and that the issue raised by the writ was “no longer res integra” because it had been settled in the 2009 Lawyers Collective case.

Legally India understands that the BCI’s thinking is that internal disparities at the Indian bar need to be eradicated through reform before making any decision on foreign firms.

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