Friday, January 14, 2011

Legal Education In India Needs Reforms

Legal education in India is still governed by traditional fields like criminal law, civil laws, corporate laws, etc. A majority of law colleges still follow the traditional syllabus. Contemporary topics like cyber law, competition law, private international law, etc are taught in very few law colleges of India. Further, even if these subjects are taught in some colleges, practical aspects of the same are seldom taught in these law colleges.

Surprisingly even after the graduation in law, subsequent higher legal education is an exception than the norm. Very few students opt for masters and doctorate degrees. This is undermining the research capabilities of India in legal fields.

Surprisingly, concepts like lifelong learning in India (LLI) or continuing legal education in India (CLE) are still not much known in India. Even the law ministry is not very enthusiastic regarding CLE.

The present legal education is regulated by the bar council of India (BCI) that instead of improving the quality of legal education imposed the bar examination upon fresh law graduates. Fortunately, it has been postponed and may never see the light of the day.

Both BCI and law ministry must come out with a clear legal education reform policy that meets the requirements of contemporary times. For instance we need institutions like PTLB that provide practical techno legal trainings and education.

Further, with the growing use of information technology, e-learning and online platforms can further strengthen the legal education and training in India. This would also extend the reach of qualitative law colleges and institutions to areas where opening of traditional law colleges is not possible.

Law minister Veerappa Moily must urgently draft a concept paper on legal education reforms in India and include many concepts and areas that are still missing from the legal education of India.