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Legal Education In India

The law commission of India defines ‘Legal education as a science which imparts to students knowledge of certain principles and provisions of law to enable them to enter the legal profession’. 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, ‘Profession of law is a noble calling and the members of the Legal profession occupy a very high status.’ 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 practice.

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 a degree.

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 follows:
# To train students for legal profession;
# To educate the students to solve the individual client’s problems as well as to solve the society’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 one’s society and to influence values and attitudes.
# To generate different kinds of skills and knowledge needed for tasks in society.
# 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 facilities.

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.

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