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Impact Of Globalization On Legal Profession In India

This research paper discusses about the Impact of globalization on legal profession in India. It deliberates as to what affect has the globalization caused on the advocates or legal practitioner practicing law inside and outside the territory of India. The paper talks about as to how and what impact does the international laws have on advocacy in India and also discusses its effect on advocates practicing the legal profession in the country.

Along with this the paper also talks about how globalization of legal profession has affected our economy as a whole. In this paper I have also tried to lay down the emphasis on the contrast between the present and past visions and goals of legal education. Since globalization has a far reaching approach, so, this paper has also discussed about the changed scenario of legal profession due to globalization. This paper also lays emphasis on the process of legal outsourcing and how it has boosted up our economy.

Advocates play a very vital role in the proper functioning of our economy; hence, this paper also talks about the role of the advocates in providing legal aid services. It deals with how the advocates have played a very significant role in maintaining and bridging the gaps between the societies and also try their best attempt to deliver justice to the true and needy.

The paper also talks about as to how the legal practitioners have helped resolving the disputes outside the courtroom by the process of arbitration, mediation and conciliation. This paper lime lights as to how our advocates or legal practitioners have always stood by the motto of our Indian Constitution i.e., SATYAMEVA JAYATE (Truth alone Triumphs).

The word Globalization has become an umbrella term that is used to describe a varied range of activities ranging from spread of innovations, to occupations, to trade and commerce, to the spread of public relations etc., across the globe. But before getting into much details let's first talk about what does the word globalization mean and as to what globalization of legal profession means?

So the word globalization means- Globalization means the speedup of movements and exchanges (of human beings, goods, and services, capital, technologies or cultural practices) all over the planet. One of the effects of globalization is that it promotes and increases interactions between different regions and populations around the globe�.[1] Globalization as the term refers is the spread of items, innovation, data, and occupations across public fringes and societies. And in monetary terms, it depicts an association of countries around the world encouraged through streamlined commerce.

Globalization of law may be defined as the worldwide progression of transnational legal structures and discourses along the dimensions of extensity, intensity, velocity, and impact.�[2]

The Indian Legal Profession

Legal education or legal profession has a far reaching and widespread effect on our lives today. In today's world of liberalization and globalization this legal profession or the legal education plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of our economy and helps us to match up the pace of the developed economies. We are all governed by the vicious cycle of law.

Law governs us from all the sides, be it, from the food we eat, to water that we drink or the air that we breathe in or the place that we reside in, and hardly do we realize that we are all under the surveillance of law. From a little kid who's buying a packet of chips, to two adults planning to spend the rest of their lives together, to all those homeless old age people who are being deprived of shelter, food and clothing they are all covered under the ambit of law. Law says that everyone must abide by the law and ignorance of law is not an excuse.

Effect of globalization on the legal profession and legal practitioners

Globalization of the legal profession has presented an ocean of change in the entire texture of law teaching and practicing legal profession in India. Legal profession is a venture, which if shrewdly made will create most gainful outcomes for the country and quicken the movement of advancement. Globalization helps in the advancement of the country on a global scale and accelerates the pace of the legal profession.

According to the Law Commission of India legal profession is defined as the science which imparts knowledge about various provisions and principles of law to students in order to enable them to enter the legal world and practice the profession of law. It is a practice which helps the future lawyers, administrators, judges and other legal practitioners to know about the three structures of the government i.e., the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Legal education also impacts knowledge to the legal practitioners as to how the three organs of the government are designed and how do they operate at different levels. Legal education is a methodology of precise and peaceful settlement of disputes and dealing of conflicts.

Legal education has a far reaching impact on the mind and brain of people as it makes a clear cut line of demarcation between the right and the wrong, between the just and the unjust and also tells as to how and to whom the justice has to be delivered. It also tells us how any dispute can be solved in a non-violent and peaceful manner without any breach of law and abiding by the rules of law.

Globalization impacts the legal field in multiple ways. It supports worldwide exchange of trade by encouraging the simple development of capital, work, products and enterprises across public fringes, along these lines driving financial development and the requirement for trained legal professionals.

In the case of Bar Council of India vs. A.K. Balaji and Ors�[3] the division bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India consisting of Justice A.K.Goel and Justice U.U.Lalit passed a judgement stating that the foreign lawyers or foreign firms are not permitted to practice law in India until and unless they do not abide by the requirements of The Advocates Act, 1961 and the Bar Council of India Rules.

In this case, the main averments were to practice law in India
  1. One must be citizen of India
  2. Should have a degree in law from recognized university in India.
  3. Citizens of other nations could be admitted as legal practitioners in India only if nationals of India are permitted to practice their profession in such other country.
  4. The recognition of the Bar Council of India is required to have a foreign degree of law from a university situated outside the territory of India.

Indian advocates are not allowed to practice their profession in the U.K. , U.S.A., Australia and such other foreign nations until and unless they do not comply with their proficiency tests, experience, work permit etc. Thus, the foreign practitioners should not be allowed to practice their profession in India without reciprocity. Under the Advocates Act ("the Act"), a foreigner is not entitled to practice in India in view of the bar contained in Section 29 of the Act.[4]

The issue arose from the judgment of Hon'ble Madras High Court in the matter of A.K. Balaji v. The Government of India�[5] as well as the judgment of Hon'ble Bombay High Court in Lawyers Collective v. Bar Council of India.[6]

Entry of Foreign Lawyers on "Fly-In and Fly-Out Basis

In the case of A.K. Balaji v. The Government� of India the Hon'ble Madras High Court held that foreign practitioners or foreign law firms are not supposed to carry out their profession of law in India either on the litigation or non-litigation side until and unless they do not abide by the requirements of The Advocates Act, 1961 and the Bar Council of India Rules.
Anyway there was no restriction for foreign practitioners or foreign law firms to visit India for a brief period on a "fly-in and fly-out" reason for offering legitimate guidance on their own arrangement of foreign law and on differing worldwide lawful issues.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court altered the above request and explained that the expression "fly-in and fly-out" will just cover a part-time visit not adding up to "practice". And in cases if there arises an argument as to whether a foreign legal advisor was restricting himself to "fly-in and fly-out" on a part-time basis or was in substance doing prohibited legal practice can be controlled by the Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India or Union of India will be at freedom to make fitting guidelines in such manner.

The Supreme Court of India after due thought held that if the Rule of Institutional Arbitration applies or the issue is secured under the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 foreign practitioners may not be suspended from conducting any arbitration proceedings emerging out of international commercial arbitration taking into account Sections 32 and 33 of the Advocates Act, 1961. Hence, they will be regulated by the code of conduct of the Bar Council of India with respect to the legal profession. Thus, the Bar Council of India or The Union of India is at freedom to draft rules in this regard.

Thus, foreign practitioners and foreign law firms do not have the right to practice legal profession in India. And if they do they will be governed by the rules laid down by the Bar Council of India.

Effect of Globalization on the economy

Globalization and legal profession in today's scenario go hand in hand. Today globalization has completely reformed the changing aspects of the polity and the society. Right now the entire world is recognizing the value of knowledge economy. Since the rise of knowledge economy, the foundation of educational organizations of worldwide excellence alongside changed new educational plan of worldwide standard should turn into the need of the developing nations like India. Globalization of the legal education has presented an of ocean change in the whole texture of law teaching and legal profession in India.

Globalization has got a far reaching impact on the economy. Globalization of legal profession has created the need and urge of competition in the global market. Due to globalization our legal practitioners practicing the profession of law in India are now-a-days getting worldwide acclamation. They are being recognized on an international platform that gives boost to our economy. Recognition of advocates on a global platform creates opportunities of wealth creation in our economy. They raise the standard of our profession and directly or indirectly attracts Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into our economy. Collaboration with foreign institutions also lifts up our economy.

The Present and Past Visions and Goals of Legal Education

For almost a century from 1857 to 1957 a stereotyped system of teaching compulsory subjects under a straight lecture method and the two year course continued. The need for upgrading legal education has been felt for long. Numerous committees were set up periodically to consider and propose reforms in legal education. The University Education Commission, was set up in 1948-49 and in the year 1949 the Bombay Legal Education Committee was set up to promote legal education.

The All India Bar Committee made certain recommendations in 1951. In 1954, XIVth Report the Law Commission (Setalvad Commission) of India discussed the status of legal education and recognized the need for reform in the system of legal education. It depicted a very dismal picture of legal education. It was only from 1958 that many universities switched over to three year law degree courses. It was only by 1967, that it became onerous task for the three year law colleges to include procedural subjects into the curriculum of their law school.�[7]

For about 50 years ago the concept of legal education was just limited to produce graduates who were just restricted to the bar, while there were a only few who would go into law teaching. The Advocates Act, 1961 was set up in order to achieve the objective and to prescribe minimum standards for entry into the legal profession and for their practice in courts. For any advocates who have to practice law have to enroll them to the Bar Council of India. But now after the introduction globalization and liberalization the concept of legal profession has completely changed.

Today, in the times of globalization, legal profession just not have to meet the needs of the bar, trade, commerce and industrialization but also have to go hand in hand with globalization. With the advent of globalization new subjects with global, measures have also come into picture. With the involvement of Foreign Direct Investment and the acclamation of our advocates on international platform, many new opportunities have been created for our advocates in general.

Earlier the role of an advocate was just limited to advocacy but now the scenario has changed. Today legal education is just not limited to advocacy but it has many roles to perform such as legal consultant, business advisor, policy planner, negotiator, lobbyist, law reformer etc. Earlier there was only the five year integrated program of legal education but now with the introduction three years programs in education system the things have been changed. It has made the lives simpler easier. It has made our lawyers more comfortable and confident to interact with other professionals on equal footing. Hence, with the changing time the legal profession has also evolved for the better and has made many changes with the changing times for the betterment and upliftment of our legal practitioners.

Legal Outsourcing in India

Legal process outsourcing means outsourcing of one's legal work from a jurisdiction where it is comparatively expensive to perform to a jurisdiction where it can be carried out at a comparatively reduced cost. LPO i.e. Legal Process Outsourcing is a new modern branch of KPO i.e. Knowledge Process Outsourcing and has gained a tremendous growth in the recent years in India.

It achieved success by producing service such document review, legal research and writing drafting of briefings, litigation document management etc. India. In areas like the United States, Europe etc. the cost of performance of any legal work is very costly and hence their advocates charges hefty amount of fees for the performance of their work. Thus such countries outsource their works to countries like India where the cost of performance is comparatively cheaper as compared to the US, Europe etc.

Legal process outsourcing units do not work on Indian laws or for Indian clients as a rule. Bar Council of India prohibits them from doing so. The lawyers in the LPOs work on matters relating to foreign laws. The work involves drafting of certain documents on the basis of templates, reviewing documents, running company searches, legal research, Compliance to various laws, proofreading documents etc. The work is done online with the help of specialized software.

Advantages of legal outsourcing:

  1. Cost saving:
    Cost saving is one of the most significant advantages of LPO. The organizations can reap tremendous cost benefits by outsourcing their work because the wage differential between in-house legal attorneys and outside legal personnel is huge. For example: A firm situated in US hires an in-house legal personnel for resolving a dispute would charge $140 per hour, whereas if the firm outsources its work in a country like India, here the outside vendor would just charge $70 per hour. So, the cost just reduced to half of in-house personnel.
  2. Access high level talent:
    Outsourcing of legal work to offshore personnel allows the organizations to have access to high level of talent. Outsourcing legal work gives a privilege to the organizations to have niche expertise that they sometimes lack within their organization. It helps the organizations to have personnel's that are experts in their respective fields. For example: if a litigation firm lacks litigation support they may outsource their work to external talents and thus, have access to niche expertise. Offshoring sometimes also fills the gaps between internal competencies.
  3. Reduced workload:
    Legal Outsourcing reduces the workload within the organization. The workload can be distributed to a great extent by employing a combination of in-house and external talent allowing the law firms and organizations to reduce their liabilities in response to workload and client demands. Doing this would also reduce the burden of the in-house employees.
  4. Flexibility:
    Outsourcing of legal work can also increase flexibility within the organization. This can reduce the burden of fixed costs associated to the firm which they have to pay in the form of salaries and other overhead expenses to their full-time employees. Thus, legal outsourcing enhances flexibility within the structure of the firm.

Role of Advocates in Providing Legal-Aid Services

Advocates play a very vital role in the proper and cordial functioning of the society. It not plays the role of an advocate in the society by serving the interest of justice and defending his/her clients by the rights and privileges attached to him but also plays the role of a counsellor, legal advisor, business analyst etc.,. The role of advocate is beyond advocacy in today's time. They help clients to know about the right and wrong, the just and unjust, the moral and the immoral. The role of advocates puts them under many legal, moral and ethical obligations.

The role of advocates is manifold:

  1. Independence:
    During the discharge of his duties an advocate must perform independently. He should not act in a biased manner. It is the duty of an advocate to be free from all influences while discharging his duties. An advocate shall be independent and should be careful towards professional standards and not work under any external pressure which can have a negative impact on the client's case.
  2. Trust and respect towards one's profession:
    Advocacy is a very noble profession. Thus, an advocate must work only if his reputation, honesty and integrity is not under question. He should follow morals and principles during the discharge of his duty. He should not perform any such action that raises a question of doubt on his honesty, credibility, integrity and reputation in the minds of general public. He should act in a respectful manner towards the society and his clients.
  3. Confidentiality:
    Confidentiality is the essence of advocacy. Hence, an advocate must keep the information of his clients confidential and should not transmit it to others for personal gains. He should maintain secrecy of his work that is provided to him by his client. He should keep the information, evidences and all necessary documents to himself and between him and his clients. The object of confidentiality and secrecy should not be limited with time, but should also continue after the closure of the case. Disclosures of cases are only allowed if and when permitted by law.
  4. Respect toward the rules of other legal bars and societies:
    An advocate should not only be respectful towards the bar of his country but should also abide by all the rules and regulations imposed on him by the bar of the other nation in which he is practicing his law.
  5. Client's interest:
    An advocate must always act in the best interest of his client. He must act in accordance with the professional conduct and should always keep the interest of his client over and above his own interest.
  6. Relationship with the chamber:
    An advocate should maintain cordial relationship with the chamber. He must pay the chamber a membership fee in the prescribed manner. An advocate is bound to perform and abide by the decisions of the chamber and act in accordance with that. He should not present any false or derogatory information to the board. He should provide a valid e-mail id to the chamber to be contacted in times of need.
Hence, these are the roles of an advocate that he must follow in order to keep the society in balance. An advocate has to perform many other duties also with must be in consonance with The Bar Council of India Rules. An advocate must act in best of his capacity to deliver justice to the true and needy without any biasness and external pressure then only will he be able to keep up the essence of his profession.

Role of Advocates in Informal Settlement of Disputes

The advocates play a very major role in outside court/ informal settlement of disputes and helps in avoiding those long court proceedings that drag on for years and years. An informal settlement of dispute takes place when the two parties involved in a case comes to a conclusion to have a claim without the involvement of a judge to come to a decision in the case. The best way of settlement of dispute outside the courtroom is to enter into ADR i.e.

Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR mainly includes of:
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation and
  • Conciliation.

Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.�[8]

Through the process of arbitration the lawyers try to settle the disputes of the parties outside the courtroom. The process of arbitration is consensual, which means it only takes place when both the parties involved, agree to enter into it. The process of arbitration is typically faster and cost effective as compared to the courtroom proceedings that may extend to days and days.

In arbitration the parties submit their arguments to the appointed arbitrator or the tribunal. This is generally done by a way of an arbitration agreement. The arbitration agreement consists of the number of arbitrators (that should be an odd number), the seat of arbitration (location) and also the procedural rules governing the process of arbitration. As per the agreement each party would present its position during the hearing to the tribunal to which the tribunal would give its award (decision).

Objectives of Arbitration:
  1. One of the main objectives of arbitration is to obtain a fair settlement of disputes in a fast and a cost effective manner without the recourse of the court.
  2. Arbitration also aims that the parties should be free to express their views and have the same opinion as to how the disputes are being resolved, keeping in mind the general interest of the public.
  3. In arbitration the intervention of the court should be restricted.

Conciliation is another form of out-of-court settlement of dispute like arbitration and mediation where a neutral 3rd party a conciliator is involved who meets the parties individually in order to settle their disputes. It is a voluntary and flexible process where the parties involved are free to have similar opinion to come to the resolution of dispute. The conciliator thus, lowers tensions, improves interactions between the parties and helps to find out probable solutions for the dispute.

The process of conciliation is very flexible which gives the parties the leverage to define time, constitution and the contents of the procedures involved in conciliation. It involves discussion between the parties and the conciliator to look into the existing disputes and come out with the probable resolution of the dispute. Here, like the arbitrator, the conciliator does not make any decision on behalf of both the parties instead he comes up with a solution that suits with all the parties involved.

Mediation is yet another form of alternative dispute resolution where an independent intermediary i.e. the mediator, helps the parties to mutually settle their dispute. The mediator by himself does not settle the dispute but helps the parties involved to stay in touch and and try to resolve their dispute on their own. The process of mediation is mostly opted I the case of a family dispute or a business dispute.

Characteristics of mediation:
  1. Non-binding procedure:
    The process of mediation is a non-binding procedure which is controlled by the parties, which means, the parties are not bound by the outcome that comes out of the process of mediation. Unlike the decision of the judge or an arbitrator the mediator in a dispute is not a decision maker rather he is just a third party who helps the parties to in the settlement of the dispute.
  2. Confidential procedure:
    In the process of mediation the parties cannot to compelled to disclose the confidential information, unlike in the case of court proceedings or arbitration. If in order to come to a resolution one party choses to disclose some confidential information then under the WIPO MEDIATION RULES those information will be kept confidential which helps the parties to communicate freely and without the fear of publicity.
  3. Interest-based procedure:
    Mediation is an interest-based procedure in the sense that unlike arbitration and court proceedings which involve the disclosure of facts and figures, mediation does not require any such thing. As mediation majorly includes of family and business disputes thus, the interest of the parties can be put into consideration.

With the introduction of globalization in the economy legal profession and all around development of the economy goes hand in hand. Globalization has opened doors of opportunities to the people who excel in various fields and our legal profession is one of those. The advocates and the legal practitioners have become more socially and technically sound to cater to the needs and demands of the 21st century.

Globalization of the legal profession has led to many world-wide changes in the economy. It has fostered the growth and development of legal outsourcing with has impacted and boosted our economy in many ways. It has given our in-house attorneys to collaborate with international firms and gain a world-wide acclamation. Our advocates not only help us to settle our dispute inside the courtroom but have also helped in the settlement of dispute outside the court by the processes of arbitration, conciliation and mediation, which is economical and, thus, helps to avoid the long court proceedings that is carried on for years and years.

Globalization of the legal profession has taken our country and our economy at a global level and gained a world-wide acclamation. It has helped our advocates to present nationally and internationally abiding by the rules of the native as well as the foreign countries. Our advocates have always worked for the betterment of our country and our society and kept up with the motto of SATYAMEV JAYATE (Truth alone Triumphs). They have not only abided by the rules of the Council but have also worked on the lacunas and the loopholes of the legal system. It's also said that the legal education and the legal profession are directly related to each other.

The impact positive or negative affects the other also in the same manner. So, if we don't take direct and strict action towards the loopholes of the system then it will hamper the prestige of our profession. Thus, measures should be taken to drive off the lacunas or else our judiciary will stand diluted. We have to overcome all this in order to achieve and equip ourselves to meet the present and future needs and to match with the pace of the developed economies.

  • The Advocates Act, 1961 (Act No. 25 of 1961)
  • Legal Ethics (Accountability for Lawyers and Bench-Bar Relations) � Dr. Kailash Rai
Websites End-Notes:
  1. Globalisation, defined at: (last visited on 20/09/2020)
  2. Globalisation of law, defined at:,sity%2C%20velocity%2C%20and%20impact (last visited on 20/09/2020)
  3. AIR 2018 SC 1382
  4. The Advocates Act , 1961,s.29
  5. AIR 2012 Mad 124
  6. 2009 SCC OnLine Bom 2028: 2010 (2) Mah LJ 726
  7. Sumit Kumar, Legal Education: Impact of Globalization on Legal Education in India
  8. Arbitration defined at:,instead%20of%20going%20to%20court. (last visited on 10/10/2020)

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