‘An urgent need to maintain quality’ says NLU Delhi VC
There was a paradigm shift in legal education with the establishment of establishment of National Law School, Bangalore first and then NALSAR University of Law followed by other National Law Universities. In the last five years we have seen law becoming a preferred career choice of a lot many students and there has been a lot of awareness. Today, people coming to National Law Universities are by choice, in some cases even preferring these to IITs and other prestigious colleges. The law universities today are attracting the best and the brightest youngsters and they are proving their mettle in whatever field they decided to choose post law school.
Reverse brain drain
Another development has been that a lot of alumni of these Law Universities who did LLM and PhDs from Universities outside India are returning and entering academia. I always used to say, when I studied law the students used to join it by chance, whereas the faculty was there by choice. After the early ‘90s the trend reversed and the students started coming by choice whereas the faculty came by chance. In the past few years we have witnessed both the students and the faculty joining the law universities as their first choice. Lastly, there is a greater focus on increasing the diversity in classroom. Many law universities and other initiatives are providing all the incentives to make sure that these law schools become accessible to everyone in the society.
Prof. Ranbir Singh
When I studied law, the students used to join it by chance, whereas the faculty was there by choice. After the early ‘90s the trend reversed and the students started coming by choice whereas the faculty came by chance.
Need for various models
Irrespective of which course one offers, 3-year of 5-year, there is an urgent need to maintain quality. Earlier there was a mushrooming of 3-year LLB colleges with no infrastructure, library or the faculty. Now the same has started happening to 5-year LLB colleges, which are almost more than 1000 in numbers. Out of all these 3-year and 5-year colleges not even a mere ten percent adhere to best practices and norms for legal education. Unfortunately, for the last 20 years after the introduction of the ‘Rotational Headship Schemes’ in the law faculties and also because of ‘Automatic Promotion Schemes’ in the Universities, the standards of academic research and teaching has decreased in a drastic manner.
India has a huge requirement of good lawyers, and this would require that we will need to experiment with various models, however the focus should be on the quality of education, building a good library and other facilities.
The Bar Council of India has involved academics in the framing of the curriculum and certain other committees, however it is imperative that they include more academics and people involved in legal education more closely.
Law Universities today provide maximum career options to the students. Even though some people believe that these graduates should join the bar, I personally believe that everyone should have the freedom to choose a career of their own choice and we need to provide an enabling environment for that.
Making litigation attractive
Most students admitted to these law schools are from middle class families and are first generation lawyers. No substantial effort has been made by the Government, BCI, the Bar Association of Supreme Court of India or the respective High Courts and by the Senior Advocates of the Supreme Court and High Courts to attract the young talent who maybe highly competent to join litigation.
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