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BILSHow to Become a solicitor?

In furtherance of its object of encouraging intensive study of law and practical training and experience BILS conducts the Solicitors exam twice every year. A student/candidate who appears for the Exam is required to appear for 6 papers which cover a vast variety of subjects which are broadly mentioned hereunder:-
(i) Civil Procedure Code which also includes the Bombay High Court Original Side Rules,
(ii) Company Law which includes the Companies Act, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, various Rules under the Companies Act,
(iii) Corporate Law which includes the SEBI Act and various regulations thereunder, the Competition Act, portions of the Income Tax Act,
(iv) Commercial Laws which include the Contract Act and other acts,
(v) Conveyancing which includes the Transfer of Property Act and various other Acts and also requires drafting of various deeds and documents and
(vi) General Acts which include the Arbitration Act, the Trust acts, the Prevention of MoneyLaundering Act, and various other acts as also the Rules of Etiquette and Professional Conduct.

A candidate appearing for the Exam is required to have an in depth knowledge of all the subjects and the relevant case laws. It is an intensive Exam and requires thorough preparation.Each Exam is presided over by a Sitting Judge of the Bombay High Court who vets the Examination Papers and suggests changes if necessary. It is before such Judge that the results of the Exam are placed by the Examiner in Charge. All papers are set by Solicitors and corrected by the Solicitors who set them. Other than the Examiner in Charge, no other person is ever informed who the paper setter is.
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• To be eligible to appear for the Solicitors Exam a student/ candidate is required to sign articles of clerkship with a Solicitor having a minimum of 5 years of practice as a Solicitor.
• Students who have cleared their third year LLB exams, if they are in the five-year course or those who have completed their first year LLB exams if they are in the three-year course are eligible to sign articles. ( The articles of clerkship are similar to articles of clerkship required to be signed by students who wish to appear for the Chartered Accountants Exam)
• The period of these articles of clerkship is presently three years at the completion of which the student /candidate can appear for the Solicitors Exam. This period of 3 years would normally include the period of study leave that a student would need to prepare for the Exam.
• It is only students who have cleared their final LLB Exams who are eligible to appear for the Solicitors Exam at the completion of the period of the Articles.
On passing the Exam the student would be entitled to call himself/herself an Advocate and Solicitor.

• As the student during the period of his/her clerkship would be working with an experienced Solicitor he or she would get a vast variety of experiences and opportunities to see and handle different matters whether litigation or non-litigation, depending on the practice of the Solicitor under whom he is articled.
• As the student would be working with the Solicitor for a period of 3years he/ she would also have the opportunity of dealing with clients, other advocates etc.
• The student would also gain considerable practical experience of the functioning of Courts and the legal profession and probably have the opportunity of drafting various pleadings and documents.
• It is unlikely that a student who does only a limited period internship would get the same in depth experience as an articled clerk.
• Further as the syllabus prescribed for the Solicitors Examination covers a wide variety of subjects, as mentioned above, and requires in-depth study a student who studies well, would have a considerable added advantage to a student who has only passed the LLB Exam.
• Further once a student has cleared the Exam he is not only entitled to call himself/ herself a Solicitor but also can immediately file his/her Vakalatnama as an Advocate On Record in the Supreme Court of India without having to appear for the Advocate On Record Exam conducted by the Supreme Court.
BILS presently has more than 1100 Solicitors. Though we maybe small in number our tribe continues to grow with more than 100 students appearing for each Exam conducted by BILS. Further though a small body we are one of the Associations along with the Bombay Bar Association and the Advocates Association of Western India who are recognized by the Bombay High Court and involved in decisions which affect Advocates.
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