Dean, Faculty of Law, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), Pune
With the rapid growth of universal economy, vertically and horizontally, the law schools in India are required to equip their students and teachers not only as skilled mechanic but as a social reformer, social engineer, a reconciler and a harmonizer. This article is an attempt to pen down issues and challenges relating to legal education and its sustainability in India.
Keywords: Legal Education, Economy, Clinical Legal Education,
Justice oriented education is essential towards understanding of values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, which can only be provided by a robust Legal education system. The Legal education system must prepare legal professionals who will not only play crucial leadership roles as advocates but also as judges, academicians, legislators, arbitrators, solicitors, social workers and international jurists. Thus there is an urge for genuine authentic legal research to innovate new legal knowledge and ideas. But due to various different challenges faced by the Law fraternity and students the legal education system has derailed in fulfilling the values enshrined in our Constitution.
Major challenges to Legal Education in India:
- Rapidly changing environment of political economy, trade and investment, Information capitalism demands proficient Law schools, teachers, students, advocates and judges to oblige to the needs of a new variety of legal consumers and clients.
- Passive approaches of Lawyers confining themselves with domestic matters and within the nation’s borders.
- Lack of minimum comforts and conveniences restricts the teachers and students to perform at the prime level. Inadequate infrastructure facilities are an immediate challenge.
- Inadequate faculty in colleges and universities hampers the quality of legal education and very less concerns on the part of universities and colleges to attract and retain talented faculty members.
- Passive approach of Government, Universities and reluctance of authorities of Colleges on upgrading the pay scales of teachers whether government law schools or private law schools.
- Lack of trained legal faculty in the practice of Continuous Legal Education and less inclination of traditional law teachers to update themselves with current laws. Clinical legal teaching in India is merely extension of classroom teaching and not practical or fieldwork training.
- Overall lack of research initiative in legal fraternity in India. Traditional law schools only focuses on teaching and learning of issues relating to Indian laws.
- Reluctance in adaptability of new emerging global laws on the part of law teachers is due to the load of administration work of college and universities rather than quality reading and teaching.
Sustainability of Legal Education in today’s era:
- In this ever-changing World of today and tomorrow BCI, UGC, MHRD and SCHE should focus upon International Legal Education and review legal education in India.
- Equip the Legal educators, jurists, students and practitioners with international legal education by theoretically and practically inculcating following courses compulsory: international and comparative law, international development of IPR , trade and technology, international business transactions and ADR, international environment and human rights issues, international adoptions and war crimes.
- Law schools should adopt all modern global laws in teaching and equip the students to deal with different perspective and promote them to stretch abroad.
- Sensitizing, attracting and monitoring the law Faculty by offering actual research facilities and availing financial incentives timely by upgrading their pay scales not only in private sectors but also public sectors.
- For better universal interactions need is to focus on International collaborations and student teacher exchange programs providing intellectual environment and financial incentives for foreign and Indian scholars.
- Equip the law teachers with Practical Legal Education so as to generate practically trained lawyers for future and serve as social asset rather than mere puppets running behind the senior advocates.
- For imparting Quality Legal Education law teachers specifically senior experienced (10-15 years) teachers should be allotted only quality teaching and research activities rather than administrative jobs of college or universities.
- Central and Global Complaint Cell/body has to be incorporated to hear to the grievances of law teachers so as to put checks on violation of their basic rights and curtail dominance of few in the colleges/universities.
Today the Legal education imparted at the law Institutes and Universities especially the traditional law schools, private law schools and national law schools are toiling to meet up with the globalised demands by implanting legal research centers, legal aid clinics and imparting continuous legal education but there is a need for gigantic transformation from traditional approach to contemporary needs of society in advancing the legal education in India