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Legal education in India. Legal education and quality of law graduates have great impact on the quality of judiciary bar and bench. Legal education is also substantively relevant for other spheres of national life related to law-making and law-enforc

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Introduction

"Legal education is essentially a multi-disciplined, multi-purpose education which can develop the human resources and idealism needed to strengthen the legal system. A lawyer, a product of such education would be able to contribute to national development and social change in a much more constructive manner."-- S.P.Sathe 1 INTRODUCTION 'Law is the cement of society and an essential medium of change'. Knowledge of law increases one's understanding of public affairs. Its study promotes accuracy of the expression, facility in arguments and skill in interpreting the written words, as well as some understanding of social values. It is pivotal duty of everyone to know the law. Ignorance of law is not innocence and it cannot be excused. Thus, legal education is imperative not only to produce good lawyers but also to create cultured law abiding citizens, who are inculcated with concepts of human values and human rights. That is why Roscoe Pound described a member of legal profession as one pursuing 'a learned art' as a special calling, demanding high quality of study and research and a commitment to the cause of justice.2 The study of law must, therefore, be of that quality and standard as would justify Roscoe Pound's description of a professional. MEANING AND IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL EDUCATION According to Babylon's Dictionary, "Legal education is the education of individuals who intend to become legal professionals or those who simply intend to use their law degree to some end, either related to law (such as politics or academic) or business. It includes: * First degrees in law, which may be studied at either undergraduate or graduate level depending on the country. * Vocational courses which prospective lawyers are required to pass in some countries before they may enter practice. * Higher academic degrees".3 Legal education and quality of law graduates have great impact on the quality of judiciary - bar and bench. Legal education is also substantively relevant for other spheres of national life related to law-making and law-enforcing, governance and administration, corporate legal counselling and alternative dispute resolution. ...read more.

Middle

Every one should have some degree of knowledge of law. This will prepare legal professionals who play a decisive role not only as advocates practising in courts, but as legislators, judges, policy makers, public officials and civil society activists." He further said, "given the speed of development and the challenges in the 21st century, a working knowledge in law had become essential to other professions and it would not be a bad idea to impart lessons in elementary law to school children and the ongoing efforts to overhaul the legal education system included starting a graduation degree in law so that students after passing class XII could have the option of going for not only a BSc or BA degreee but also a BA (Law). The proposal to give an exclusive three-year graduation degree in law after class XII emanated from the overwhelming play of law in various other professions". His move is based on National Knowledge Commission's recommendations which had suggested that legal education should cater to a wider audience than only provide personnel for the purpose of administration of justice in courts. He said he was trying to evolve a consensus on the proposal. For this, he had set up a 12-member Committee comprising of legal experts and lawyers. Mr. M Veerappa Moily, Union Law Minister, welcomed the proposal of the HRD Minister to introduce a course on law in secondary and higher secondary level and in graduation. If the noble proposal gets nod of ministry then the future of legal education would be very bright which in turn would help in lifting the standard and improving the image of legal profession and judiciary in public esteem. POSITION IN OTHER COUNTRIES It is generally said that unlike India, the situation prevalent in England, America and in many other developed countries is convincingly different. It is further contented that in these parts legal education has long occupied a high niche among the learned curriculum. ...read more.

Conclusion

CONCLUSION Legal education is an investment which, if wisely made, will produce most beneficial results for the nation and accelerate the pace of development. The legal education granted at the law schools should be streamlined to the conventional and contemporary needs of the legal profession. It is further recommended to the Bar Council of India to constitute a Commission at regular intervals to review the working of the law schools and to make proposals for reorganizing the syllabi of legal education. The quality of legal education has a direct impact on the prestige of the legal profession. We must, therefore, identify the areas of default and initiate corrective action to repair the damage. Unless a drastic surgery is undertaken without loss of time, the patient, that is legal education, will be fatally wounded and consequently the country's justice delivery system will stand bereaved. All those connected with the maintenance of standards of legal education must, therefore, be prepared to take hard decisions to save the situation. A concerted action on the part of Bar, the Bench and the law teachers is called for to improve the deteriorating standard of legal education According to Justice A.M.Ahmadi, "Unless we face the bitter truth and come to grips with it, we cannot hope to improve the legal education system. We have failed to attend to the cracks which have since widened and if we fail to take urgent remedial measures, posterity may not pardon us".38 However, any overnight solution in this regard is not possible. But, at the same time, any dogmatic adherence to the old, traditional and existing system would be suicidal in the days ahead. So, a balance should be maintained in order to change the entire fabric of legal education system in India, keeping in mind the necessity of globalization. Therefore, let us gear up and make sincere efforts for reforming the existing system, so that Indian legal education can face the global challenges. In the end it would be apt to quote here English poet and dramatist James Shirley: "Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust. ...read more.

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