The law commission of India defines â€˜Legal education as a science which imparts
to students knowledge of certain principles and provisions of law to enable them
to enter the legal professionâ€™. Law, legal education and development have
become inter-related concepts in modern developing countries. The main function
of the legal education is to produce lawyers with social vision. However, in
modern times legal education should not only produce lawyers, it should be
regarded as a legal instrument for social design.
According to Justice. Krishna Iyer, â€˜Profession of law is a noble calling and the members of the Legal
profession occupy a very high status.â€™ Law is the foundation of every society
and it develops abiding citizens, lawyers, academicians and aspiring judges.
Legal education in India refers to education of lawyers before their entry into
Historically speaking, legal education traces back to ancient period, where the
kings and princes were given teachings about dharma and nyaya. Then the concept
of legal representatives came into existence during mughal period. Legal
education was in existence even before Indian independence as many of our
freedom fighters are from legal background. But, it gained its significance
only in post-independence period. Law courses are offered for a term of three
years in some traditional universities but it can be pursued only after getting
Later, introduction of five years law courses and establishment of
National Law University at Bangalore have made legal education quite popular in
twenty first century. At present, there were about 21 national law universities
in India and about 1200 law colleges including public and private universities.
This article deals with the role of bar council of India regulating the legal
education in India.
Aims of Legal Education
Legal education should not only produce lawyers but should be regarded as a
legal instrument for social design. The main aims of legal education are as
# To train students for legal profession;
# To educate the students to solve the individual clientâ€™s problems as well as
to solve the societyâ€™s problems in which he lives;
# To provide a centre where scholars might contribute to understanding of law
and participate in their growth and improvement;
# To inculcate students with operative legal rules and to provide them adequate
experience to apply these rules;
# To point the right road for future development.
Thus, legal education should aim at furnishing skills and competence, for
creation and maintenance of just society.
Objectives of legal education
The objectives of legal education may be multi-fold in a developing democratic
country like India. They are,
# To develop perceptions and to understand the problems of oneâ€™s society and to
influence values and attitudes.
# To generate different kinds of skills and knowledge needed for tasks in
# To broaden opportunity and mobility in society- notably among groups who may
have been deprived.
# To develop research of value to education and society with use of educational
Importance of legal education
Legal education is a broad concept. It includes the profession which is
practiced in court of law, law teaching, law research and administration in
different branches where law plays a pivotal role. It injects a sense of
equality before law. The standard of bar and bench is the reflection of the
quality and standard of the legal education acquired at the law school.
Knowledge of law increases, if one understands the affairs of the state. The
importance of legal education cannot be over- emphasized in a democratic
society. It is necessary duty of everyone to know the law. Ignorance of law
cannot be excused. Thus, legal education not only produces efficient lawyers
but also creates law abiding citizens with human values and rights.
Factors that influence legal education in India
Legal education is influenced by a multitude of factors. They are as follows-
# Governmental policy
# Bar council of India
# University grants commission
# Affiliating universities
# Private governing body of law colleges
# National litigation policy
# Developments in legal profession
# Developments in the legal system
# The kind of students who enroll
# The caliber and commitment of the faculty
# The infrastructure available
# Technological advancements
# The developments in other fields of education
# The changes in the society
Legal education institutions
Private universities have played a significant role in exploring the changes in
legal education over the last decade. They engage in field of legal education
and strive to improve the quality of legal education in India. On the other
hand National Law Schools laid emphasis on specialized learning. Many
institutions have conferred altogether with the lecture method of teaching and
have instead opted more interactive and innovative methods of learning. Law
schools in India have a proliferating culture of moot courts which has made
legal education for more practical and behavioral than simply learning the
letter of law. The significance on co-curricular activities like Seminars,
Workshops etc. have now become indivisible part of the course. Internships
during the period of study are now a mandatory requirement. On campus
recruitments become a common feature of most of law schools.
Legal education in India is going through a very exciting phase. Though India
has the largest population of lawyers in the world, there is need for eminent
lawyers. The opportunities for bright law graduates are massive and the new
generation law schools have a major role to improve the standards of legal
education in India. Hence, the scenario of legal education is becoming more and
more specialized as was envisioned by the well wishers of the legal profession.