Navigating the Path to Advocacy: A Guide to Enrollment with the Bar Council

As a student graduating from law school, you encounter lots of questions and doubts about the process of enrollment with the Bar Council, the required documents for it, applicable fees, and most importantly, the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) and the issuance of a Certificate of Practice. Here is the detailed information that will guide you through the process of registration with the State Bar Council from scratch and get you started on your journey to this noble profession as an advocate.

Enrollment with the Bar Council Eligibility:

  • You must have a L.L.B. degree from an university recognized by the Bar Council of India. This might be a 3-year LL.B. program after graduation in any discipline or a 5-year integrated LL.B. program following 10+2.
  • You need to be at least 21 years of age to register with the Bar, and there is no upper age limit for the same.

Documents Required for Enrollment with the Bar Council:

  • Class 10 and Class 12 marksheets
  • Law graduation degree, along with the mark sheets of all semesters/years
  • Attendance Certificate issued from the university/college
  • Recent passport-size photograph in formal lawyer attire.
  • Character Certificate
  • Photo ID card such as Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, or Passport
  • Proof of Date of Birth 
  • Residence or Address Proof (self-attested)
  • Rent Agreement along with photo ID and signature of the landlord, in case you intend to practice in a state other than your home state
  • Affidavit as per the requirement of the State Bar Council

Enrollment with the Bar Council:

Purchase the Bar Council registration form from your nearest district court or visit the official website of your State Bar Council; from there, you can download and print the registration form. Here’s the link to access the registration form for the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh (Registration Form UP Bar Council) and to apply online with the Bihar State Bar Council (apply online with BSBC). 

Fill out the form carefully (whether offline/online) and meet the essential requirements. Attach photocopies (upload in case of online services) of the required documents with the form and affix your passport-sized photographs.

Affidavits and Payment of Fees

Each state requires a specific set of affidavits to be submitted, so you need to check the required affidavit in your state and get it prepared by the district court in your area. The contents of the affidavit are usually provided on the website of the State Bar Council for the perusal of candidates.

After preparing the affidavits, have a Demand Draft prepared by the bank as per the instructions from your State Bar Council for the application fees you need to pay for enrollment. If you have chosen online registration, use the payment method provided on the website to pay the application fees. 

Now, you need to collect all the required documents, including the registration form and Demand Draft, and post them to the official address of your respective State Bar Council.

Verification of Documents and Approval:

The Bar Council, upon receipt of your application, will send it to its enrollment committee, which will verify the details, such as your degree and other affidavits. Once they verify and approve all the documents, they will add your name to the roll of advocates maintained by the State Bar Council. Then, you will be issued a certificate allowing you to practice law in that state.

The State Bar Council forwards the enrolled advocate’s details to the Bar Council of India for inclusion in the All India Bar Council.

Appearing for AIBE and Qualifying it:

After getting your name enrolled with the State Bar Council, you are required to clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) within two years from the date of enrollment. The All India Bar Examination is a certification exam conducted twice a year by the Bar Council of India for law graduates willing to start practicing their profession as advocates. 

The AIBE is a qualification exam that assesses your understanding of law and legal ethics. The exam is conducted in 50 cities, with 140 centers as open-book exams. The exam is in a multi-choice model and conducted offline for three and a half hours.

Issuance of Certificate of Practice:

After clearing the AIBE, the candidate will be awarded a ‘certificate of practice’ and will become eligible to practice in any court in India. A qualified member can attend court hearings in any tribunal, court, or administrative body.

Your Journey as an Advocate Begins Now:

The practice of law is regulated in India through the Advocates Act 1961 and the guidelines issued by the Bar Council of India and respective State Bar Councils. The AIBE can only be taken by advocates enrolled under Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961. Advocacy is considered a noble profession; therefore, such procedures are followed to uphold its sanctity and strengthen people’s trust in the judicial process.

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