Tuesday 8 March 2011

Legal Education In India

Legal education is India is passing through a transformation phase. For a very long period of time, legal education in India has been ignored. This is more so regarding specialised courses and higher legal education in India.

If we analyse the numbers of masters in law and doctors of law in India, the figure is not very pleasant. Very few law graduates prefer to opt for master and doctorate degrees. This is largely attributable to the academic nature of our legal system that is neither competitive nor professional in nature.

If we keep on teaching theoretical aspects of law and that also belonging to the era of 1980s, little is expected from the law graduates. The resulting output of lawyers is not qualitative and a majority of them re law graduates but not professional lawyers.

Defective policy decisions are also responsible for poor quality of lawyers in India. The Ministry of Law and Justice has not yet come out with a legal education policy that can help in producing qualitative legal personnel in India.

The quality of legal education is presently managed by the Bar Council of India (BCI). However, even the BCI has failed to maintain the quality of legal education in India. Neither law universities/faculties not BCI are doing much in this regard.

Take the example of recent bar examination proposed by the BCI after getting a law degree. The proposed bar examination of India 2011 is faulty on many counts. It is just a formality with no quality testing purpose. If the test is not going to check the quality of lawyers entering the litigation stream, there is no sense in having the same.

Legal education in India needs serious reforms. Presently, the legal education is not professional in nature, suffers from being excessive academic in nature and is producing law graduates who lack good research and analytical skills.

Foreign universities and institutions are looking towards India for establishing their branches or centers but the poor quality of education and bad policies are restraining them from doing so. Hopefully Law Minister Veerappa Moily would look into the matter urgently.