Legal education: From being a Barrister to Wakil to Lawyer

“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”

– Louis D. Brandeis

Law is a very old prestigious field in the domain of education. Many freedom fighters of the country were from Legal fraternity. Mahatma Gandhi himself was a barrister who studied from South Africa. The first president of India Dr.Rajendra Prasad was himself a lawyer. PanditJawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India was also a barrister. So the kings as well as the king maker were lawyers.  Legal education has seen many ups and downs. There was a time when people were passionate towards this field and many bright students optedit as a career but there were also times when it was taken as an alternative. Judiciary is an independent body. It is known for its fierce attitude and bold decisions. Every citizen has to abide by its decision no matter they are the king or the pauper.  But the question is if law is such a respectable field then: why there is scarcity of good lawyers although courtrooms are filled with lawyers? Why there is less number of judges and there is vacancy for more? Why lawyers are not respected so much and they had to struggle to excel in society? And why the charm of Law was endangered?

Before independence legal education shares a very important place in the history of India. India has produced many renowned lawyers of all time in the field of criminal law. Many renounced lawyers who belong from non-legal field opted law as a profession and excel in it. In those days they were called barristers because they pursue law from abroad from the prestigious universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard etc. They were seen with respect and honour. With the independence the charm of law slightly got lowered as now the country needed more of the Technocrats than lawyers. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru emphasised on technocrats, as the free nation needs some repair work which was damaged by the British. There comes an era when engineering gained much more importance and it rose to its prominence. Law was looked to be an alternative choice for the people. Students who were not good in science and quite weak were forced to join law. Slowly a concept of Wakil came. People acquired their degree from any college and start to practice in court having no knowledge at all. Only in a few families law was seen as a respectable career since it was the profession of forefather and a legacy being followed in family. Law is something which needs proper guidance, discipline, clear concept and passion. If one is passionate about law then s/he is unstoppable. The courtrooms of 21st century are going through this phase of lawyers. High Courts are full wakil who don’t even know the jurisdiction as well the clear matter related with the case. Judges scold them and make fun of them. Even many renounced judges and lawyers have said that there is lack of good lawyers in the country. Ram Jetmalani, the renounced and respectable senior advocate of the country has said that hard work is the key to success in law.As a result a need was felt to bring back the lost charm of the law and National Law Universities as well as many Private universities and colleges came into being.It was Prof. N.R MadhavaMenon which changed the outlook of Legal Education and came with 5 years undergraduate course so that students after 12th can pursue this field. A specialised universities concerning with law all over the country came into being. The main idea of coming with NLUs is to give quality students to the country. Even private universities have come forward with such intention. There are private universities which are giving excellent opportunities to the students which are not available even in good NLUs. The concept of moots is evolved to improve the advocacy skills. Moreover there are other extra activities like debates, presentation etc. to build confidence in students.It can be said that the future of law is in safe hands. Earlier there were few NLUs like NLSIU Bangalore, NALSAR Hyderabad etc. but now there are almost 18 universities opened all over the India. Because of NLUs All India entrance exam is conducted known as CLAT and students are enrolled based on merit in various NLUs. Traditionally Legal education in India was conductedthrough the medium of non-specialized universities of India which granted law degree like any other graduated degree. Earlier there were only courtroom lawyers but now many doors are opened for a law student. S/He is not restricted just to courtroom but can opt for jobs in corporate or banking sector or firms.

Law has its own charm and elegance. Law is a synonym for justice and lawyers are the interpreter. A lawyer is a student forever no matter s/he become a judge or works in a corporate sector. It only needs patience and sheer hard work. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing which is true for law. As Martin Luther King, Jr has said “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

twinkle-singh

TWINKLE SINGH

It’s always being a difficult task for me to write something about myself but to start with, I am a law student studying in Chanakya National Law University. I love to write the articles based on law and it’s legal aspect. I believe in having a colourful life rather than being black and white. Apart from law, I love drawing especially cartoon characters but I made only for myself that too when I really feel like. I am active in social media quite a lot. I love experimenting such as in the field of making deserts, I love making cakes in the free time. This is my short and sweet bio which is not sufficient to describe myself but at least it can give some idea about me.

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