Law and journalism are two fields which demand up-to-date knowledge in this proliferating world. Neither of them is stagnant and obsolete. You think legal profession is only meant to argue in courts. Well then sooner or later it will dawn upon you that legal field has no periphery. It is as vast as any field could possibly be. Legal Journalism is one of the possibilities. Legal Journalism is worth a try for those media freaks who breathe law and never give news a miss. Legal Journalism does not mean court room reporting. We have come a long way from it. It includes everything from conducting legal interviews to publishing legal articles and much more.
It is a vast arena where legal issues are talked about, reported criticized and appraised. With the increase in the audience of television channels and in the readership of newspapers and magazines, people have found it extremely difficult to keep themselves away from the fourth estate, the media. People have become media hungry and to feed them is the job of a journalist.
There are reasons to which a law student with a media craving is the apt person to be a legal journalist. When students enroll themselves in a law college, they are taught how to write extensively and are tried to be made proficient in the legal skills, research and knowledge. Such a person when turns him/herself to legal journalism will know the exact way of portraying the news to the people. Legal field is technical and it is the job of a legal journalist to point out the important points and simplify them to put it out in front of the public. Plus it is full of fun and excitement. You never know what is going to happen the very next day. I don't think any legal job will provide such a ride of adventure.
If you think you are good at legal research, best in legal writing and the greatest in covering and reporting stories, this is the job to look out for. Yes, pay scales for now would not be as high as litigating lawyer or a firm lawyer but eventually, I don't think this comparison will even be considered. For a smooth transition from a law school to the field of journalism, social networking is very important. It is the very platform where information spreads like wildfire. Read anything and everything from Hitler to Gandhi. It makes the vocabulary fathom into you. Volunteer as reporters in legal websites. It will give a practical view of how this field works. Legal Journalism in India is in a nascent stage but with the increasing exposure, it might just turn out to be one of the mainstream professions later. Who knows, one might just land up as an Editor in some leading legal publishing house. (Actually, for a beginner right now, that is not too much to ask for).
Nikhil Nair is a Student Reporter at Live Law and also a Student of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies/IP University, New Delhi
Category: Law School, Law College, Law Students