My daughter is studying class 11 science. She would like to pursue a Barrister-at-Law degree. Please advise.
Wahid-Uz-Zaman, by email

A barrister specialises in courtroom advocacy, legal pleadings and gives legal opinions. A solicitor has more contact with clients and is more office based. In the USA, however, there is no difference between the two functions.

Barristers are governed by the Inn of Court to which they belong. There are four Inns of Court in the UK: The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. Students must take a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for a year at a recognised institution. Once they have completed their BPTC their Inn will call them and admit them to the degree of Barrister-at-Law. After this they have to undertake 12 months of pupilage before they can practise independently.

The entrance requirements for the LLB (the undergraduate honours degree in law) are that students should be at least 17 at the time of registration, have two subjects at A-level and be proficient in English. Some universities will ask that students take the LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law) as well.

In the UK your daughter could also do a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) which takes a year to complete and is available for non-law graduates.

In the USA all lawyers have to pass a bar examination. Attorneys specialising in court and case preparations are called trial attorneys. Most law schools in the USA require a bachelor's degree and a LSAT (Law School Admission Test) before admission into law school.

My son is taking commerce with maths as he is interested in chartered accountancy (CA). What is the procedure to study CA after class 12?
Roy, Dubai

There are three levels of chartered accountancy courses in India. The first is the entry level test: the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), the second, the First Stage Of Theoretical Education: Professional Competence Course and the third is the Final Stage Of Theoretical Education: Final Course.

You son can enrol for the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) for the CPT as early as the 10th class. In the 12th class he can sit for the CPT. The test is similar to other professional courses such as medicine and engineering. It has objective questions and there are negative marks for wrong answers.

After passing the CPT your son can take the PCT (Professional Competence Course) for articled training, which is practical training at a CA's office or firm and 100 hours of information technology training. You can only sit for the examinations after working for 15 months.

Once your son passes the PCT he has to register for the Final Course. When he passes this he can register with the ICAI to become a chartered accountant.

Having said this, I am not in favour of students pursuing their CA immediately after grade 12. If possible students should experience college as it will help them evolve and gain exposure.