Dear Student,

Have you been wondering about what stream to choose after your 12th class? Are you confused about what is civil litigation law all about?

Have a glimpse on everything related to Civil Litigation Law

What is Civil Litigation Law?

When two or more parties get into a legal dispute that seeks money damages or specific performance (agreeing on certain terms and conditions under breach of a contract) rather than criminal sanctions, it is termed as civil litigation. For instance, if a car crash victim claims damages against the driver for loss or injury sustained in an accident, this will be a civil law case.Civil law differs from criminal law, which emphasizes more upon punishment than on dispute resolution. A lawyer who specializes in civil litigation is known as a “litigator” or “trial lawyer”. Civil law can also be divided into substantive law and procedural law.

Litigation Lifecycle

Civil litigation can be divided into seven stages:








Not every lawsuit passes through each stage of litigation; most lawsuits are settled prior to trial and many cases that reach a trial verdict are not appealed.

The lifespan of a lawsuit can range from several months to several years. Complex civil litigation often takes years to pass from pre-suit investigation through trial/settlement.

Discovery is the longest and most labor-intensive stage of civil litigation. Contrary to the image portrayed by television, civil litigators spend little time in trial; most time is devoted to the discovery stage of litigation.

What are the Types of Civil Litigation?

Civil litigation comprises of an extensive variety of disputes. Civil litigators generally specialize in one or two specific practice areas. Some common types of civil litigation include:

  • Personal Injury
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Intellectual Property
  • Employment & Labor
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Environmental Law
  • Products Liability
  •  Medical Malpractice
  • Construction
  • Anti-Trust
  • Education Law
  • Real Estate

The Role of the Litigation Professional

A Civil litigation professional’s role is very challenging and diverse. As we know that a lot of conflicts and arguments take place, thus, making the process a little time consuming. It is always advisable that a litigation attorney must be willing to assume an oppositional position and embrace conflict and controversy. Long working hours and occasional travel makes it a challenging profession.

What Skills are required as a Civil Litigation Lawyer?

  • Analytical and logical reasoning abilities
  • Knowledge of substantive and procedural law
  • Knowledge of legal research techniques and software
  • Ability to synthesize complex legal and factual materials
  • Superior interpersonal skills
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Client development skills

Pros and Cons of working as a Civil Litigation Lawyer

 Every civil lawyer will face certain pros and cons in his career and before you choose Civil Litigation Law as your profession, it is very important to know the following:



  • Litigation work is diverse
  •  Litigation can be fast-paced
  • Assisting clients in litigation is rewarding
  • Not every client is one you’re fond of.
  • Litigation is relatively recession-proof
  • Long hours
  • Litigation pays well
  • The litigation timeline is long
  • Each case tells a different story
  • Litigation can be repetitious
  • Litigation work breeds independence
  • Litigation entails conflict
  • Litigation provides an opportunity to gain trial experience
  • The plaintiff’s side: sometimes you lose
  • Litigation inspires passion
  • The defense side: billable quotas
  • Litigation offers transferable career skills
  • Mood swings
  • Litigation is exhilarating and rewarding


Stipends and salaries

As for the starting stipends offered, these can be quite unsatisfactory. The average stipends offered by established advocates to graduates whom they agree to take under their wings is a meager amount of Rs.5,000 to 10,000 per month and graduates of top-tier law schools can perhaps hope for as much as Rs.15,000 per month, but no more.

Therefore, it is advisable to work in the litigation department of a law firm and then shift to private practice after having a fair idea of the entire system and processes involved. However, one has to be practical in accepting the swings in income from month to month. Senior advocates in the Supreme Advocate reputedly charge around Rs. 3 lakh per hearing (considering that they may sometimes make up to three to four hearings a day if not more).

We hope that the information is helpful and is able to give you a clear picture of what civil litigation lawyer as a career would bring to you.

We at SmartPrep, will always be there to counsel you on your queries regarding choosing Law as a Career!

Please feel free to visit any of a nearest center and we would be happy to help you.


SmartPrep Team

What is Civil Litigation Law?

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