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Dear Mentor:

Which legal discipline is best for my sister?
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I visited your website. It is very good. I need your valuable suggestion. I have a sister, who has completed her BA and LLB [first degree in law] course. She is also doing Intellectual Property Rights course and Cyber Laws course. She has recently written the Osmania University, Hyderabad, LLM {Master's of Law] entrance exam. She has got a good rank. She has to choose one of the following disciplines in LLM. Could you please suggest what suits her the best: Constitutional, Corporate or International Law. The aim is to make some money and do social service. Looking forward for your valuable suggestion.

Siblilng Counselor, Hyderabad, India

Dear Siblilng Counselor:

Given a set of choices, different people would choose different options. This fact suggests that there is no universal truth of what is the right choice that is applicable to all. Your sister's choice must be based on her interests, ambitions, and goals. We recognize that you state making money and doing social service as at least two objectives.

Successful lawyers in most fields of law make a lot of money. An average lawyer, on the other hand, faces a mediocre financial return for mediocre quality of work. It is not particularly the field of law that determines one's earning capacity, but it is one's competence in the field, motivation for success, and hard work. Since your sister has done well on the entrance exam, she would likely be successful in any field she selects, given her continued motivation, focus, and hard work. Most fields in law, if not all, present opportunities for pro bono work (work without fee) for social good. The bottomline is her interests and goals.

Constitutional law deals with the due process, individual and property rights, rights of groups, role of the government, and so on. Intellectual property law obviously deals with the ownership of intellectual property, patents, trademarks, and copyrights. International law deals with the disputes across national boundaries. Legal cases in all these fields can be criminal or civil in nature. An attorney can be on either side of the case - working on behalf of the plaintiff or the defendant. The plaintiff in criminal cases is the State (or government) seeking probation, monetary penalty or imprisonment against the defendant, whereas an individual or a group of individuals are the plaintiffs in civil cases seeking financial compensation for damages from the defendant.

Constitutional law has been an on-going activity since the constitution was born. Intellectual property law is on a growth path, particularly due to the progress in information technology. International law is likely to see growth as the wave of globalization sweeps the world.

We wish we could pick, without any hesitation, the right path for your sister, but we can not. We suggest that she develop some objective criteria for selection.

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