In a recently held meeting of the executive committee, the consortium of National Law Universities (NLU’s) has come to the conclusion that the faculty teaching at the law universities will be able to practice law in courts. The decision was taken at the meeting of the executive committee of the Consortium of NLU at Nalsar University.

As per the decision taken by the consortium of National Law Universities, law faculties will be able to pursue litigation 3 times in a month and not more than 15 hours in  a week. It has also been instructed to the teachers pursuing litigation that they have to necessarily teach a course on clinical legal education.

How important is the Clinical Legal Education? It is a multipurpose education aimed to help strengthen the Indian legal system. Clinical legal education is highly important considering the benefits to legal system and lawyers. Clinical legal education encompasses “learning by doing”; practicing which the students can examine legal and social issues in some depth; making them more responsible toward their work. Clinical legal education is also required for the development of the skills such as Research, communication, interviewing of clients, counselling, problem solving etc.

History of Clinical Legal Education

1949 – Bombay Legal Education Committee recommended development of clinical education in India.

Law Commission report of 1958 – institutionalizing and improving overall standards of the legal education in India. The idea of mock practices, seminars, discussions etc was born.

1977 – BCI announced the beginning of the 5 year integrated LLB programme which began from 1982. Practical training got its place in the curriculum.

1996 – BCI directed the all the law schools in India to revise their curriculum’s. It was also suggested to include 21 compulsory courses and 2 optional courses

1998-1999 – 4 practical exams were got included, a big step towards clinical legal education in India.

2002 – The law commission of India considered that Clinical legal education must be made a mandatory subject.

The consortium of NLU’s has also taken this decision also because of the requirement in the legal profession. The consortium believes the present situation of the legal system can be improved if law teachers will start practicing in the courts as lawyers and judges.

The present norms as per the rule 49 of part 4, chapter 2 of Bar Council of India prohibits the permanent employees from practicing law in India.

The point of view of the committee was in support to strengthen the legal system in India. As according to the viewpoint of the committee, this decision will encourage the bright students of the NLU’s to take up litigation as a career. The students will get encouraged to do so if the faculty members will start practicing at the courts, executive members of the committee said.

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