To work as legal practitioners, it is mandatory to pursue legal education. The legal education in India is multidisciplinary and liberal. It has now become important for the law schools to promote justice, and not just compelling the students to learn various acts and sections of Indian Penal Codes. The law education in India has to be contextual of social realities.
Sir John Salmond has defined law as “a body of principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice”. Laws are man made, and the laws are the body of rules and principles that regulate the human conduct in the social circles. Law is a profession, which brings in lots of money and power with it. Law and legal education plays an important role to protect the democracy and the governance, and this is the reason why lawyers are often termed as social engineers.
As a career option, law compares well with other domains like medicine, engineering, management, finance and others. In some cases, the law education even excels these domains. Such a condition is based totally on the skill sets of individuals and the opportunities he/she has found. Since India is a common law country, it has the benefits of having a legal system that is similar to the law systems of other countries. As a result of this, the law firms from other countries also tend to select talents from India.
Improving Standards of Legal Education in India
Over past many years, the standards of education has gone down past many years because of less scope of innovation in the course design and introduction of ideal teaching modulus. The lack of autonomy has affected the working of these universities and colleges, and because of this, there has been drastic fall in the number of students taking up these courses.
The establishment of national law schools across the country had challenged the institutionalized mediocrity and such colleges have been successful in attracting talented students to pursue law education. The establishment of top LLB institutes in Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and other cities has worked in favor of improving the educational standards. With the introduction of five year integrated programs in law, there have been many takers of such top LLB courses in Pune and other cities.
Change in Curriculum
With the cultural diversity and change of the social attributes, there arises the need to shift focus from the traditional laws to contemporary topics, which should be taught in the law schools. As a matter of fact, the traditional role of a lawyer, which included solving disputes in the courtroom, has changed to that of legal advisor, policy planner, mediator, law reformer, and many others. The lawyer is responsible to interact with other professionals and offer them the legal solutions.
For future, our curriculum designers needs to include other contemporary issues like biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, information technology, ecology, public health and other technical issues. Nowadays, the need to emphasize on Cyber Crimes is getting increasingly important. Another area of interest is the Intellectual Property Rights segment, which cannot be undermined.
Only after meeting all the legal demands of varied sects of society, we can address the issue of globalization, and the students will then be able to contribute for the betterment of the society.
To achieve such a target, the universities and colleges should allow the students to research work in their areas of preference. The Bar Council of India should perform a role of supervisor to equip and fund the libraries.
Role of Teachers
To produce a generation of talents, teachers play the most important role. In India, the teachers usually do not get much exposed to the practical world of law and the courts, and join the institutes after finishing their LL.B, LL.M, or Ph.D. With such a teacher population, it is hard to shape up individuals who have the exposure to the abovementioned practical world and after joining the field of law, they may look lost in the courtroom. It is important for the teachers to gain the work experience by going to the law courts and equip the students with the same skills and legacy can be carried forward.
Four factors, which should be considered to improve the standards of legal education, are:
- Global curriculum
- Global faculty
- Global degrees
- Global interactions
Effect of Globalization and Free Trade
The dynamic economy of our country and the onset of globalization have presented new challenges for the governance. The increasing criminal cases and the slow justice systems have been the main issues that need to be addressed. There is need to shape up a breed of rational thinking lawyers, which can work for the development of knowledge economy in our country. This can be achieved if the law colleges could attract the best lawyers to make a commitment to teach, learn, and conduct research programs to inspire the law education aspirants for working towards establishing a law-abiding society in India.