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INTRODUCTION Legal education is the basic which only would create such responsible and responsive social lawyering.Every society has its contingent demands now need to be fulfilled by an instrument of law,which is purposive human enterprise. In a democratic welfare society, the significance of legal education cannot be over – emphasized. In a democracy where prevails the dogma of the Rule of Law, law defends and promotes the individual and the interest of the individuals, who constitute the society. Today law is viewed not merely as an instrument of social control but also as an instrument of social change. Such education will in still into the students the significance and relevance of democratic culture. As professional education. Legal education equips law students for filling different roles in society, and discharging various law jobs, the range and scope of which are always expanding in the modern democratic society, e.g., policy makers, administrators, lawyers etc. Accordingly, it is realized in modern India that legal education ought to have breadth, depth and wide perspective. Law, Legal education and development have become inter – related concepts in modern developing societies which are struggling to develop into social welfare states and are seeking to ameliorate the socio – economic condition of the people by Peaceful means. The same is true of India. It is the crucial function of legal education to produce lawyers with a social vision in a developing country like India. LEGAL EDUCATION BEFORE INDEPENDENCE The imparting of legal education in India had begun during the British period much before India gained its independence in 1947.Law courses were started in the Hindu College,Calcutta,Elphinstone College,Bombay and at Madras,as early as 1855.In course of time,legal education expanded and several institutions at various places began imparting it.The primary aim of legal education at the time was to equip law students so that they could help the lower courts and High Courts in the administration of justice.Before India gained Independence in 1947,the study of law was not taken as a very serious exercise.Although India could boast of many outstanding lawyers,and lawyers were at the time in the vanguard of the Independence Movement,yet,by and large,this was not because of the quality of legal education being imparted but in spite of it .The condition of law school was not good.There was a great variety in duration,courses and standards for the first degree in law from one university to another.Some had two years course after graduation;somehad three year after graduation.In some universities,the first law course was too much oriented towards practice.In some universities it was mainly oriented towards making cultured and liberally educated persons.There were no adequate law libraries.The teachers were not good qualified.There were no traditions of research or academic legal writing.There were no proper text books.Whatever books were available were those written by practising lawyers and were primarily designed to meet the needs of the profession rather than of the law students.Only traditional subjects taught in the law schools,and such subjects as Labour Law,Administrative Law or Taxation Laws etc. did not find any place in the legal curriculam. Much of this state of affairs could be attributed to the limited role which a lawyer was then expected to play in the society.A lawyer was then confined mostly to practising before the district courts.There were only a few number of High Courts.The highest appellate court sat in England.and the top legal positions were the preserve of the British Barristers.LAISSEZ FAIRE was the prevailing dogma and the government was more in the nature of a police state,rather than a welfare state.Opportunities available to the lawyers were extremely limited and this state of affairs was bound to have its impacts on the quality of legal education being imparted at the time in India.If a person wanted to be on top in legal profession,he had better go to England to acquire Bar-at-law as much more prestigious and social status attached to this qualification rather than to mere LL.B from an Indian University. LEGAL EDUCATION AFTER INDEPENDENCE With the dawn of Independence in India in 1947,the whole scene concernin legal education started undergoing transformation.WiththeIndependence,perspectives about legal education started undergoing a change and efforts began to be made for its improvement.The Supreme Court has replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the highest court in India.Chief Justice A.M.AHMADI pointed out in one of his lecture,”I think we have waited long enough to repair the cracks of the legal education system of this country and it is high time that we rise from our arm chairs and start the repair work in right earnest”.So from during the last several years now there has been a lot of ferment in the area of legal education and it has been very much discussed and debated subject.Law is now being used increasingly by the people for the assertion of their rights and for the improvement of their socio-economic conditions.The role of a lawyer in the society is now viewed in a much larger perspective than merely as a technical practitioners of law before the courts . There is now a deeper consciousness not only among the law teachers, judges and the lawyers, but also among the other people. The law has to play a vital role in a democratic society and the lawyers should play an active role in rebuilding the Indian society. Since the independence, two developments of consequence are noticeable in the country in the field of legal education. One, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of students studying law as well as in the number of law schools teaching law. Two, sustained efforts have been made over the years to improve legal education. A greater consciousness has now dawned on the concerned authorities to improve legal education . As a result the legal education has been subjected to close scrutiny from time to time by various bodies for its improvement. As a result thereof, a lot of literature has accumulated on the subject of Indian legal education ROLE OF BAR COUNCIL IN DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL EDUCATION A very significant development in the area of Legal Education took place when the Bar council of India was set up under the Advocates Act 1981. Under the Act, the Bar Council enjoys very significant functions in relation to legal education. Under Section 7 CW of the Advocates Act, one of the most important functions of the Bar council of India is “to promote legal education and to lay down standards of such education in consulation with the Universities in India importing such education and the State Bar Councils.” Under Section 7 (i), the Bar Council of India is also empowered “ to recognize Universities whose degree in law shall be qualification for enrolment as an advocate and for that purpose to visit and inspect universities.’ Section 49 (d) empowers Bar Council to make rules prescribing, among other thongs, “the standards of legal education to be observed by Universities for that purpose. “ The Advocate Act thus conferred regulatory powers on the Bar Council of India vis-a-vis the Legal Education. Section 24 (1) of the Act provides that a citizen of India will be enrolled to be admitted as an Advocate, if he has obtained his degree in law from a University recognized by Bar Council. Thus the Act has conferred power to standards of legal education To enable it to discharge it’s regulatory function of legal education, the Bar council of India is required to have a Legal Education Committee consisting of the Advocates and the law teachers. The Legal Education Committee consists of five members of the Bar Council of India and five members co-opted from outside and they represent Judiciary, Law Ministry, University grants Commission and Academicians. It effect its own chairman. The decline in the standards of legal education in the country has been engaging the attention of concerned authorities especially the Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India has felt urgent necessity to improve the standards of legal education. In this regard, the Council has been taking several steps including revision of curriculum and decision to close down the evening law colleges which are not following the norms prescribed by it for imparting legal education The Bar Council has thus got a powerful leverage in its hands to influence the quality, content and standards of legal education in the country. The Bar Council can play a very vital role in the process of progressive development of Indian legal education. The Bar council exercises its influence on legal education from a vocational point of view because only such law degrees as are recognized by the Bar Council shall be a sufficient qualification for admission to the profession. The Bar council can lay down standards which a law degree must fulfill before it can be recognized by it for enrolment into the legal profession. According, the Bar Council has used it’s power and prescribed the subjects of study which a L.L.B course must contain, some of there subjects are elective and some are compulsory. Thus the Bar Council of India is playing a very important role in imparting quality legal education. NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL The concept of a national institution to act as a pace-setter and a testing ground for bold experiments in legal education came up before the Bar Council of India in the context of the Councils statutory responsibility for maintaining standards in professional legal education (under the Advocates Act). The NLSIU Act, 1986 of the Karnataka legislature, Bar Council of India has decided to start National Law School at Bangalore with a view to improving the quality of legal education in the country.There is no doubt that legal education needs reform.But the creation of an elitist in situation for a discipline like law when standards of legal education in general are so poor may have unanticipated and undesirable consequence.Any reform of legal education must be contemplated in the light of Indian conditions.Further,legal education can not be considered in isolation but as part of higher education generally. The very remarkable achievement and development has been the setting of National Law School at Bangalore, with the setting of this institution a new attempt was tried by making legal education available after 10+2. After Independence, the courses the universities offered was a 3 year course which was available after graduation, but it was a five year course. The NLSIU monopoly over what was then hyped as the revolutionary five-year B.A.LL.B. program, lasted for the next fifteen years . In 1999, there was an explosion of the law school phenomenon, with many other states decided to follow suit. NALSAR in Hyderabad, NUJS in Kolkata, NLIU in Bhopal and NLU in Jodhpur were established by their respective state governments. Ten years hence, the prestige of gaining admission to these law schools is comparable to that of any IIT. This concept has been a success and now there are thirteen National Law University’s in total. These institution has brought legal education at par with other professional courses such as medical and engineering. The school represents a unique effort in promotion of legal education in India. Hopefully, its import on legal education will be felt far and wide in India, Hopefully, its improvement of legal education in the country and this experiment will fulfill the needs of the society. In addition, the Bar Council of India has amended the rules concerning three year law course to provide that all law colleges which are exclusively running evening classes should switch over to day classes during the academic year 2000-2001 onward, failing which they would not be entitled to approval for affiliation by the Council. The Bar Council of India has also been visiting and inspecting various law colleges in the country and disapproving affiliation of those colleges which are not following the rules led by it asking them to improve by giving them appropriate directions. PROBLEMS WHICH WE ARE FACING IN EXPLORING THE LEGAL EDUCATION However, the pace of change towards improving the quality of legal education was watered down by the very same Bar Council through a series of compromises adopted in the course of the last two decades.These include ; ( a ) Not following the distinction between professional and liberal legal education in categorizing the over 500 law teaching institutions for extending BCI jurisdiction; ( b )Reducing the eligibility criteria for admission to the professional law course; there is need to fix the age to get entered into a law college, like law school all other law colleges should fixed the maximum age with in 20years for the general category students 23years for a economically backward students ( c )Inability to mobilise funds for supporting improvements in legal education, particularly among institutions located outside metropolitan cities; the institution situated out side the metro city is suffering from various problems due to lack of fund. They could not afford a good law library. They did not have the chance to get other facilities of the metros. They could not invite good faculty for these lack of fund. On the other hand all these good faculty prefers to stay in a Metro cities. ( d )Inability to deter full-time teachers from practicing law and thereby depriving students of the benefit of services of these teachers; after completion of the course every one hade to go for the practical use of the law. So it is very important to know the practical situation from a person who is expert in that particular field. In that case none but the practicing lawyer is the best teacher. On the other hand law papers like Criminal Procedure code, Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act cannot be understood except practical knowledge and practices that are followed in the court ( e )All the experts of a particular discipline should start detailed studies on that subject. In the recent years we saw Indian Institute of technology, Khargapur come out with new course on law related to Technology and Computers. No other institutions than IIT, IISc, ISI are the best in their respective field of Science and technology and statistic. So if they start to use their intellectuals in this field then the development in law will be the unimaginable.Like wise if the Business schools comes out with different law courses on the corporate management then it will be beneficial for the corporate law field. To be able to solve these problems we must have an awareness of the challenges involved and the changes taking place in contemporary times. These relate to unmet legal needs of different sections of society, delay and cost in accessing justice, impact of globalisation on equality and human rights, vast technological changes especially in information and communication, the relative incapacitation of the state by market domination and the role of professions in justice, peace and development. In all these changes legal education and lawyers play a decisive role of facilitation, moderation and control. Law without justice is an empty shell. It is the nature of and access to institutions and procedures, which make justice possible. In structuring the institutions and procedures, particularly in periods of transition, lawyers will have to assist communities, interest groups and governments keeping in mind the requirements of equity, justice and fairness. CONCLUSION Law is the cement of society and an essential medium of change. A knowledge of law increase’s one’s understanding of public affairs. Its study promotes accuracy of the expression, facility in accuracy of the expression, facility in arguments and skill in interpreting the written words, as well as some understanding of social values . The quality of standard of legal education acquired at the law school is reflected through the law school is reflected through the standard of Bar and Bench and consequently affects the legal system. The role of Bar council in promoting legal education is worth appreciation and it is due to these efforts which has not shaked the faith of people in Judiciary. Effective reform in Indian legal education will require energy, imagination, and devotion; nor can such reform alone resolve the dilemma in which the Indian legal order finds itself. For the reasons discussed above, however, education seems the most favorable point of entry and offers greater leverage for productive change than reform at any other point in the legal order. But reform in legal education cannot succeed ultimately unless the Indian legal order as a whole moves in a complementary direction. One must hope that reforms and insights from an invigorated and reshaped legal education will help to stimulate movement in other areas of law until, in due time, the several efforts will multiply and become self-reinforcing. If challenge determines response, the enormous challenges to Indian legal education and to the Indian legal profession should produce a tremendous effort to improve legal education . So much needs to be done even to understand the problem and to fashion for India the kind of legal order that she needs. India today requires superlative legal education much more than does the West because in India a far less viable balance is struck between the society's requirements and a reasonably effective exploitation of the law's potential for contributing to the meeting of those needs. Events are moving fast and reform in legal education cannot wait any longer. If it is moulded to sub serve the purpose of the society and to fulfill the current needs, our legal instructions will not only command respect but will also be able to play a vital role in the achievement of the common goal. Society is undergoing rapid transformation and the pace of change is likely to gather speed. In the context of change ahead, it will be important to devote thought on how to adopt our legal education to modern conditions so that the coming generation may fit in the new society that is envisaged. Legal education is an investment, which if wisely made will produce most beneficial results for the society.
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