He did his M.A. with Honours in English in 1942 from University of Bombay. He stood First Class First in the first and second L.L.B. examination in 1943 & 1944 respectively. He also stood first in the Advocate Examination of the Bombay High Court in 1946.
He started his professional career as a guest lecturer in Government Law College, Bombay from 1949 to 1952. Subsequently, he served as Honorary Professor of the College for several years. He was a Member of the First & Second Law Commission, of India in 1955 & 1958 respectively. In 1975, he was voted an Honorary Member of The Academy of Political Science in New York, United States, in acknowledgment of his exceptional public service and well-known contributions to the betterment of political science.
Palkhivala's post-Budget articulation in Bombay since 1958 have drawn national awareness and the public during his later addresses rose heavily. All those speeched were delivered unscripted. Though he was the finest jurist and intellectual of the country and was referred some times as "the conscience-keeper of the nation", he is an incarnation of humility.
He has fought a number of historical cases in the Premier Courts of India and abroad. Palkhivala affluently argued in front of the Supreme Court of India the cases, which proclaimed the fundamental rights of minorities to initiate and administer religious institutions of their selection and to choose the language in which education should be communicated. Most of the cases that were argued by him were without charging any money and he did it as a matter of service to the nation.