CLAT Results: NLSIU Founder, NALSAR VC Call For Splitting the 5-year Law Course
As law school aspirants across the country check their Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scores and zero in on the college where they would want to study for the next five years, Professor N R Madhava Menon, popularly known as the father of modern legal education in India, told News18 that he would like the 5-year law course to be split into a 4+1-year program to facilitate specialized training.
New Delhi: As law school aspirants across the country check their Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scores and zero in on the college where they would want to study for the next five years, Professor N R Madhava Menon, popularly known as the father of modern legal education in India, told News18 that he would like the 5-year law course to be split into a 4+1-year program to facilitate specialized training.
According to Menon, the last year should be used for training the students according to their choice.
“I would like the 5-year integrated LLB Course to be split into a 4+1-year programme under which the first four years will be law school-based teaching of compulsory and optional subjects, and the final year would be devoted to customized training in the field under the supervision of the law school. This final year training will depend upon the career choice of the student, namely (a) Litigative Practice (b) Corporate Transaction Practice (c) Mediation & Arbitration (d) Community Lawyering (e) Judicial/Civil services, etc,” Menon told News18.
With many students now opting for distance legal education, Menon called it fit for serving the purpose of “public legal education”, and not something beyond that. “Distance education is ideal for public legal education. However, for professional legal education, which involves training in skills, ethics and attitudes, distance education has to be necessarily supplemented by practical training programmes in an institution,” said Menon.
Prof. Menon’s views were echoed by another eminent jurist and the Vice Chancellor of National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, who told News18 that the idea of splitting the law courses was good, but should only be limited to the ‘crème de la crème students’.
“In NALSAR, a student had to earn 180 credits before he or she could be awarded the five-year law degree. But I made it 200 credits by establishing a relationship between attendance and credits earned. Prof Menon’s idea of splitting the law course will hold good only if students can complete earning their 200 credit till the 4th year. Then, the last year could be reserved for honing one’s interests like judicial services, litigation, or corporate practice. But this idea cannot be implemented all across India as it would only suit the best of students,” said Prof Faizan Mustafa.
However, Professor Mustafa also called for a complete overhaul of the uniform law syllabus in the country and said that “the uniform law entrance or syllabus in India does not meet the need of our diverse country.”
“I do not support the Uniform Civil Code and prefer piecemeal reforms. Similarly, India should also get rid of one single common law entrance exam for the entire country or a uniform law syllabus across the country. It does not meet the demand of a diverse country like India. Today, law students are hardly prepared for the real action which takes place in the lower courts. Separate curriculum and courses will help, which will teach one things like the Shop Lifting Act and Goonda Act. If a student wants to practice in Rampur, why are we teaching him International Trade Law?” said Prof Mustafa.
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