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HISTORY OF LEGAL

EDUCATION IN INDIA

LEGAL EDUCATION
Legal education in the India
generally refers to the education of
lawyers before entry into practice.
Legal education in India is offered by
the traditional universities and the
specialized law universities and schools
only
after
completion
of
an
undergraduate degree or as an
integrated degree.

LEGAL EDUCATION IN ANCIENT


INDIA
The concept of dharma, in the Vedic period,
can be seen as the concept of the legal
education in India.
Although there is no record of formal
training in law, the dispensation of justice
was to be done by the king on the basis of a
self-acquired training.
Justice was also administered by the King
through his appointees who in turn were
persons of known integrity and reputation of
being fair and impartial.
The guiding force for the King or his
appointee was the upholding of the
Dharma.

LEGAL EDUCATION IN BRITISH


INDIA

First concrete step in the direction of organising


legal profession was taken through Regulating
Act of 1773 which empowered to enrol advocates
and Attorneys-at-law to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court was established in Fort
William in Bengal through a charter issued in
1774. At that time Indian Lawyers had no right to
appearance in the Courts.
The Bengal Regulation VII of 1793 which
created for the first time a regular legal profession
for the companys courts, which allowed the
appointment of Vakils or native pleaders in the
courts of civil judicature in the provinces of Bengal,
Bihar and Orissa.

In 1861 three High Courts were established at


Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. At this time
three bodies of practitioners viz, Advocates,
Attorneys and Vakils were in existence.
Advocates were the barristers of England or
Ireland but the Vakils were Indian Practioners.
Legal Practioners Act, 1879, provided for
enrolment to only those practioners who had
taken LL.B degree from Indian Universities
Under Section 41, the High Court could dismiss
any advocate or suspend him from practice by
giving an opportunity to defend him.
Bar Councils Act, 1926 unified two grades of
legal practioners, the Vakils and Pleaders, by
merging them in the class of advocates.

Formal legal education in India came into


existence in 1855 when the first professorship of
law was established at the Government
Ephistone College in Bombay and Madras and
Hindu College at Calcutta.
At that time the primary aim of legal education
was to equip law students so that they could
help the lower courts and the High Courts in the
administration of justice by enrolling themselves
as Vakils or becoming judicial officers, and thus
serve the interests of the Administration.
In the year, 1857 legal education was
introduced as a subject for teaching in three
universities in the presidency towns of Calcutta,
Madras and Bombay.

LEGAL EDUCATION IN INDEPENDENT


INDIA

In 1954, XIVth [14th] Report the Law Commission (Setalvad


Commission) of India discussed the status of legal education and
recognized the need for reform in the system of legal education and
made certain recommendations.
1. Only graduates should be eligible for legal studies.
2.The theory and principles of law should be taught in the law
schools and the procedural law and the law of practical
character should be taught by the Bar Council.
3.The university course should be for two years and the Bar
Council training should be for one year.
4.The principal method of teaching being lecture to be supplemented
by tutorials, seminars, moot courts, and case methods.
5. Admission to law schools should be restricted on merit and
seriousness.
6.All India Bar Council should be empowered to ascertain whether
law colleges maintain the requisite minimum standards and
should be empowered to refuse recognition for law colleges.

After the year 1961 the Bar Council of


India was empowered to lay down
standards of Indian Legal education.
In 1967 this body established a uniform
three years LL .B Course with annual
examinations and prescribed compulsory
and optional subjects to be taught at LL.B
level. Most of these subjects were
traditional topics and there is no
guidance relating to curriculum planning.
It was only by 1967, that it became
onerous task for the three year law
colleges to include procedural subjects
into the curriculum of their law school.

In response to popular demand, the Bar Council


of India published the Rules in its final shape
as applicable from 30 November 1998.
The minimum qualification for being an advocate is
an LLB Degree, generally a three year course, which
can be obtained after graduation in other disciplines.
A debate as to its efficacy in the recent past led to a
proposal of a five year integrated course after an
intermediate (10+2) examination (from 1st class to
12th class - total period of 12 years of study).

The three year course itself came to be


restructured into a semester system and several
papers came to be included and excluded as per the
Bar Council Guidelines. Hence, the Council today
allows both the 3 year course and 5 year course to
continue.

In India, a student can pursue a legal course only after completing an


undergraduate course in any discipline. However, following the
national law school model, one can study law as an integrated course
of five years after passing the senior secondary examination.
The following
Universities:

are

degrees

conferred

by

different

Indian

Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) - The LL.B. is the most common law degree
offered and conferred by Indian universities which has a duration of
three years. Almost all law universities follow a standard LL.B.
curriculum, wherein students are exposed to the required bar subjects.
Integrated undergraduate degrees - B.A. LL.B., B.Sc. LL.B., BBA.
LLB., B.Com. LL.B. These degrees are mostly offered in the
autonomous law schools having a duration of five years.
Master of Laws (LL.M.) - The LL.M. is most common postgraduate
law degree which has a duration of two years.
Master of Business Law
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Integrated MBL-LLM/ MBA-LLM. -Generally a three years double
degree integrated course with specialisation in business law.

LAW UNIVERSITIES IN INDIA


The first law University in India was set up in
Bangalore which was named as the National Law
School of India University (popularly 'NLS'). .
NLS offered a five years law course upon the
successful completion of which an integrated
degree with the title of "B.A.,LL.B. (Honours)" would
be granted.
In Tamil Nadu The Dr.Ambedkar Law
University is established in the year 1996.
The next in line was National Law Institute
University set up in Bhopal in 1997.
It was followed by NALSAR university of law in
1998

LEGAL EDUCATION - INDIAN


LAWS & COMMITTEES FORMED
First Indian University Commission, 1902
Recommendations of Chagla Committee,
1910
Bills on Legal Education 1936-49
Bombay Legal Education Committee, 1949
All India Bar Committee, 1951-52
Rajasthan Legal Education Committee,
1955
Law Commission of India, 1958
Advocates Act, 1961

Establishment of Bar Council of India Trust,


1974
First National Convention on Legal
Education, 1977
All India Law Teachers Conference, 1981
Report of Bar Council of India, 1982
All India Council for Technical Education
Act, 1987
Report of the Curriculum Development
Centre in Law, 1990
Bar Council of India Training Rules, 1995
Report of Professional Legal Education
Reform Committee, 1996

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