The number of cases pending in the various courts of the country is an indication of the enormous amount of work awaiting disposal at the hands of our legal professionals. According to the Annual Report (1993-1994) of the Ministry of Law, Justice & Company Affairs, there were 97, 170 cases
pending in the Supreme Court as on June 30, 1993. In the high courts, in the year 1992, a total of 24,27,197 cases remained pending.
The judiciary represents the third wing of any democratic system; the other two being the legislature and the executive. It is the organization that guards the rights of an individual and upholds the tenets of the Constitution. It therefore affects every facet of life and even death.
The increasing complexities in the changing structure and functions of society, its social fabric, as also in business and industry is likely to ensure the increasing need for lawyers. The Bar Council estimates that 1200-1500 lawyers enroll every year.
The authorized strength of judges in the Supreme Court is twenty-six, and that of judges and additional judges in the eighteen high courts of the country is 512. Legal professionals continue to be held in high esteem in our society, and law is among the more highly sought after professions in the country.
Of late, more women have been joining this profession, which had for many years been considered a male reserve. Although very many more women study law today, very few actually take up the practice of law. Working conditions in the district courts are still poor, and prejudices persist.
Women lawyers are also reluctant and cautious to take up criminal cases like rape and murder. These social restrictions discourage many women from practicing in court. Most prefer to work for legal firms, or as legal officers in banks, corporations and companies. However, today there are several women judges at the high courts in the country.
Having the right contacts can take one places in this profession. It also helps to have a family member who is already established in his practice.