Legal Education in India: From ‘what is’ to ‘what could be’

Right from the beginning, when a student frames his mind to take up the legal profession, then and there, he is made aware of the tedious route. From entrance test battle to decoding the ambiguity over placements, this route of legal profession never stops to offer surprises. Five-year academic or three-year academic, as the case may be, is considered to be the most crucial phase of this legal journey.

Indeed! Many novice law students consider B.A.LLB (5year) or LLB (3year) programme as a surety to mould them into legal luminaries. Well, their illusions disappear as soon as they encounter the over-academic syllabi of Bar Council of India. It comprises of twenty-eight subjects in total including eighteen compulsory, four clinical and six optional subjects.

No doubt, students celebrate its completion after receiving their degrees in the grand event of convocation. Though, end results of this academic journey do not seem to be satisfactory.  The time they enter the real world of the legal profession, things become clearer to them. In order to learn the fundamentals of their respective trade, they are commanded to unlearn some of their irrelevant academic learning. Someone has rightly said that we learn to unlearn and the system of legal education in India has beautifully applied the said adage.

To cover these loopholes, students are inclining themselves towards internships more than ever. Some get landed to right destination and get a little taste of trade while others who don’t hit their target in first go also learn some precious trade rules directly or indirectly. The idea is simple. During thirty hour mandatory lectures per week as prescribed by BCI, students are indeed motivated to learn more and more. In these enclosed classrooms, they just learn but it is only outside the classroom where they can apply their learning before it gets swept away.

Hence, classroom learning and outside training shall go hand in hand for an effective legal education system. Research papers, seminars, moot courts are also the effective tools of learning and boost the confidence of students. In the present context, ‘law’ has become a popular area of study. More and more students are being attracted towards it due to several reasons. It goes without any doubt that law is a unique area with tremendous potential and has so much to offer to the society.

With each passing year, we witness the establishment of new law colleges and encounter an army of law graduates with a degree in hands and high hope of future. Does it suffice?  The answer is an absolute NO. In order to guarantee a flourishing career, one’s legal background still matters in India, placements advantages are primarily offered to those from top notch law institutes. After facing the battle of law entrance and going through the academic training, only twenty to thirty percent of law graduates are found to be fit for the trade. This clearly proves that in the era of globalisation and specialisation, our very own system of legal education is failing us. In order to serve the real purpose, with up gradation of infrastructure, all we require is up gradation of legal education.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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DEEPIKA SANGWAN

Deepika Sangwan is a second-year student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali. She is an Editor at college magazine ‘AILITE 2016-2017’. She believes that writing gives clarity & depth to one’s thoughts. Apart from decorating facts with reasoning, cycling is her favourite pass time.

 

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