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In India, Law education was traditionally offered as a three-year degree course. However, the structure of law education has been changed since 1987 under the Advocates Act, 1961. This is the act that grants the law degree in India and the act is also a law passed by the Parliament of India which dictates the aspect of legal education and the regulation of the conduct of legal profession in India. The Act also states that the Bar Council of India is the supreme body that has to power to regulate the legal profession in India and also to ensure that the laws are being followed and maintained by the practitioners of the legal profession in India. The Bar Council of India also conducts the AIBE (All India Bar Examination), which is an exam that law students need to take up in order to practice law in India.
There are other exams being conducted in India such as the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) which is conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities. The body consists of 21 National Law universities that have collaborated with each other to improve the standard of legal education in India and the justice system of the country. The admission test is conducted to weed out candidates who are not capable of providing any value to the process of law education and the justice system of India.
The Indian law education system consists of various degrees that a candidate can achieve after studying the required course. Some of these degrees/courses are:
- Bachelor of Law (LL.B)
- Integrated Undergraduate Courses such as BA LL.B, BBA LL.B, B.Sc. LL.B, B.Com. LL.B
- Master of Law (LL.M)
- Master of Business Law
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Integrated Postgraduate Courses such as MBL LL.B, MBA LL.B
Candidates pursuing these courses will be trained according to the requirements of the Indian Judicial System and they will be learning the regulations of the legal profession.
History of the Indian Judicial System
The system of law in India has evolved from Religious Prescriptions during the Vedic times to the constitutional and legal system that we have today. There are records of a civil law system that was being used during the Vedic times which differed from region to region. The arrival of the British Empire brought about a change in this system where a common judicial system was introduced. But this was accessible only to the English, Irish, and Scottish professional bodies up until the freedom of India. Once India was a free country and the constitution was set up, the Indian Judicial System was created based on a few characteristics of the British Law System.
Law Education in India
The Bar Council of India decides the minimum curriculum for the law degree courses in India. This council also does periodic supervision of institutions to monitor the institution and the teaching methods and only then the institution and the degree being conferred by it, is recognized by the council. Previously, the candidates aspiring to pursue a law degree were required to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any other field. After a lot of discussions and debating, the Law Commission of India established the first Law Degree College for India in the city of Bangalore, The National Law School of India University in 1985.
In the following years, new curriculums and courses were developed in these law universities and candidates had the choice to also pursue integrated courses in law and other related fields. This gave way for new job opportunities for candidates after the completion of their degrees. Candidates interested in pursuing an integrated law course can apply to recognized institutions through the CLAT exam. There are a lot of promising individuals in the country that are willing to make a difference in the Indian Judicial system and bring about a change in the way Justice works. These individuals can be considered well-equipped to be a part of the supreme body that dictates justice towards the citizens of the country. But in order for an individual to be able to do this, he/she must be a part of the Bar Council of India. This can be done if the candidate can qualify the AIBE conducted once every year in the country of India.
Students pursuing law education are made aware of the laws and gain general and cultural education which allows them to be good law-abiding citizens.