Who is an Advocate?

Last updated on Jun 21, 2022

An Advocate is a person who argues  for the cause of another person in front of any other judicial authority. This could be a civil matter such as a contractual dispute between two individuals, or a criminal matter where the State punishes those who commit crimes with imprisonment etc. The majority of India’s  legal professionals represent clients in courts and other judicial bodies.

Qualifications needed to be an advocate(( Section 24(1), Advocates Act, 1961))

An advocate is simply  someone who is enrolled in any roll under the Advocates Act.(( Section 2(1)(a), Advocates Act, 1961))

A roll is a list prepared and maintained by the State Bar Councils, which contains the names of all advocates registered under the specific Council. The respective State Bar Councils have the duty to prepare and maintain rolls, and admit advocates to be listed on the roll.(( Section 6(1)(a); 6(1)(b), Advocates Act, 1961)) To qualify, the person applying to be an advocate should:

  • Be a citizen of India. However, foreign nationals can also be advocates if they come from countries where Indian citizens can practice law.(( Section 24(1)(a), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • Be at least 21 years of age.(( Section 24(1)(b), Advocates Act, 1961))

Degree in Law

The person applying should have a degree in Law:

  • Before 12th March 1967, from any University in India (Includes Pre-Independent India before 15th August 1947).(( Section 24(1)(c)(i); Section 24(c)(ii), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • After 12th March 1967, from any University in India recognized by the Bar Council of India, after undergoing a three-year course in law.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iii), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • After undergoing a course of study in law (at least two academic years) from the academic year 1967-68 or any earlier academic year from any University in India recognised by the Bar Council of India.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iiia), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • From any University outside India whose degree is recognized by the Bar Council of India.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iv), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • As a Barrister who has been a member of the Bar before 31st December, 1976.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iv), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • After passing the examinations specified by the High Courts of Bombay or Calcutta for enrolling as an Advocate in that High Court.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iv), Advocates Act, 1961))
  • Any other foreign qualification recognized by the Bar Council of India.(( Section 24(1)(c)(iv), Advocates Act, 1961)) See here for the list of recognized foreign universities.

Other conditions

For the purpose of enrolment, the applicant has to pay the required stamp duty to the State Bar Council. The applicant also has to pay an enrolment fee of Rs. 150 to the Bar Council of India, and Rs. 600 to the respective State Bar Council.(( Section 24(1)(f), Advocates Act, 1961; Rule 15(1), Part IX, Bar Council of India Rules, 1975))

Moreover, persons wanting to enrol as advocates may also need to fulfil any other conditions put forward by their respective State Bar Councils.(( Section 24(1(e), Advocates Act, 1961)) For example, the Bar Council of Delhi requires advocates to make a declaration that they are not engaged in any other trade, business, or profession. In case they are involved in something, they have to disclose the full information about it at the time of enrollment.(( Rule 104, The Rules of the Bar Council of Delhi, 1963))

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.8 / 5. Vote count: 5

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Please share your feedback about this post!

Sharing feedback will help us improve our content. Tell us how!

If you want to keep your feedback confidential, please mention it in your feedback. If you have a question, please ask us in the comments or Ask Nyaaya sections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a question you want to ask our legal experts?

Related Resources

An Advocate’s Duties towards the Court

This post speaks about the certain standards of professional conduct and etiquette in Courts that an Advocate has to maintain towards courts.

Complaining against an Advocate

Complaints against an advocate can be with regard to professional or other misconduct by the advocate. State Bar Councils accept complaints.

An Advocate’s Duties to Clients

This post enumerates the duties that an advocate has to fulfill towards clients, especially loyalty and upholding client confidentiality.

Duties of a Medical Professional or Doctor

A doctor should uphold the dignity and honor of their profession, and their prime objective should be to render service to humanity.

General Duties of a Clinical Psychologist

This post speaks about the general duties of a clinical psychologist which must be followed legally in India.

Misconduct by a Doctor/Medical Professional

Violation of any of the doctor’s duties will qualify as ‘misconduct’ and can result in disciplinary action being taken against a doctor.