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legal education

02 June 2010

examination-hall_by_comedy-noseThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has announced that it will carry out its all-India bar exam in association with legal market services provider Rainmaker as a multiple choice test of 100 questions on 5 December 2010 that will require a "basic amount of preparation" to pass, although the BCI admitted that graduating students would probably not be able to practice in courts until 31 December.

02 June 2010

exam-study_by_umjanedoanLegal market services provider Rainmaker will run the proposed bar exam for the Bar Council of India (BCI) as the BCI is set to unveil its new website at 1pm today which was set up by the company.

17 May 2010

book-open_by-pareericaThe proposed bar exam will be an open book test exclusively giving litigating lawyers a "license to practice" but would not affect transactional lawyers, proposed solicitor general and Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Gopal Subramaniam on Saturday, noting that the exam could also apply retroactively to unenrolled graduates from past years.

14 May 2010

Legally India newsletterIndian legal education finds itself at a pivotal time, with repercussions beyond just the student community. Yesterday, a number of NUJS Kolkata final year students led by professor Shamnad Basheer petitioned the Bar Council of India (BCI) to postpone the new bar exam until 2011, instead of holding it in August as originally envisaged.

Today, in a surprise U-turn, the BCI has agreed to push back the exam to December 2010.

14 May 2010

exam-study_by_umjanedoanThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has agreed to postpone the planned bar exam to December, BCI counsel KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court today in the case BCI v Bonnie FOI Law College & Ors, admitting the logistical challenge of holding the exam before September in a surprise U-turn.

13 May 2010

examination-hall_by_comedy-noseThe new bar exam for law graduates is understood to be held in late August with the Bar Council of India (BCI) set to announce the syllabus in a matter of days. Meanwhile, NUJS Kolkata final year students and Professor Shamnad Basheer have petitioned BCI chairman and solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam to postpone the exam until 2011 because they argue it prejudices students and is unconstitutional without amending the Advocates Act 1961.

06 May 2010

BooksNational Law Institute University (NLIU) Bhopal students have launched the first issue of their law journal called NLIU Law Review with the objective of increasing the academic standards and enhancing skillsets of students.

03 May 2010

Law-Minister-Veerappa-Moily_thumbThe Bar Council of India (BCI) and law ministry have now decided to forge ahead with a bar exam for all 2010 graduates and anyone applying with the BCI to practice as a lawyer.

23 April 2010

Legally India newsletterFew things showcase the globalisation of India's legal industry more than this week's volcano eruption in Iceland, which kept at least three Indian managing partners best known by their first names out of India and stuck in New York.

22 April 2010

examination-hall_by_comedy-noseThe Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2010 will see a total of 17,300 aspirants taking the exam, which is an increase of 15 per cent as against last year.

21 April 2010

Veerappa MoilyThe Union Government has announced a 'National Consultation' to radically overhaul Indian legal education, which will include the introduction of a common admission test for all Indian law schools, three new super-specialised LLBs focusing on transactional, litigation or public law as well as shortening LLM courses to one year.

05 March 2010

Legally India newsletterStudents may complain about the fees of some private law schools but in reality even national law schools are not the most socially representative places either.

The Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) rewards cramming and paid preparation courses with a place in India's legal ivy leagues. Those from less well-off backgrounds or rural areas often struggle to clear that hurdle.

09 February 2010

Jindal-Global-Law-School_Professor_Raj_KumarJindal Global Law School (JGLS) has launched its LLM programme a year ahead of schedule, hoping to attract professionals who want to gain the qualification in two years while working.

20 November 2009

LawQuest-Poorvi_ChothaniThe Mumbai chapter of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) is starting on its drive to become an organisation relevant outside of Delhi, kicking off with a continuing legal education programme for associates.

09 October 2009

Law-Minister-Veerappa-Moily_thumbLaw minister Veerappa Moily has reiterated his stance on liberalisation and vowed to set up four super-charged "law schools of excellence" throughout India.

25 September 2009

Professor_Madhava_Menon2_thLast week a Legally India reader confessed heartbreak after reading Professor Madhava Menon's views on the quality of Indian LLM degrees.

Now, as the LLM forum discussion nears 50 posts, we have asked Menon for his response on how domestic master's degrees have not been up to scratch.

24 September 2009

old_man-by_SukantoDebnath_thThe Mumbai Mirror wrote about a gentleman this week who is "probably city's oldest law student" at 80 years of age. If so, he is lucky to have slipped through the age-barrier net that has been woven by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Uddhav Alkari (not pictured) is an ex-employee of Madhya Pradesh State Secondary Education Board and the father of three children. According to tabloid Mumbai Mirror, he waited until his children were well settled to follow his dream of studying law.

He has had a tough time getting there, even without the BCI rules, as his 1967 exam scores were too low for law school admission and he had to get to law school in a round-about way.

In any case, hearty congratulations to Mr Alkari for his efforts and achievement.

However, despite most BCI members probably being of the same generation as Alkari, the body would probably not be pleased for him.

The Bar Council of India, Rules of Education, 2008 schedule III clause 28 stipulates that general category students seeking admission for BA (law) courses should not be above 20 while the age limit for the reserved category is 22 years.

The candidates for post-graduation course (LLB), in the general category should not be over 30 while for the reserved category the age limit is 35.

The Law Commission of India led by chairman A R Lakshmanan had also endorsed this rule.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recently stayed all further proceedings in 12 High Courts on petitions challenging the Bar Council of India Rule fixing upper age limit for admission to LLB.

Delhi University Faculty of Law alumni Shilpi Gupta had studied with much older classmates and believes there is some value in the new BCI rule.

"A majority of students in our class belonged to the age group of 30 and above," she tells Legally India, "consisting of working professionals who were not interested in serious pursuit of law as a career, but rather hoped for advancement in their established fields."

"Therefore, BCI's mandate on imposing maximum age limit for admission to a law school is a welcome step. It will ensure that more seats are available for younger candidates for whom law is a preferred career option and not a tool for value addition."

Photo by Sukanto Debnath

21 September 2009

Law minister Veerappa Moily has weighed into the debate over who should regulate legal education, opposing Human Resources Development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal's wide-ranging plans to take control of the sector.

The Times of India reported yesterday that Moily said: "So far as introducing an academic course is concerned, we have no objection. But when it comes to setting standards of legal education, the law ministry has to consider. That is the domain of the law ministry."

This follows the Bar Council of India (BCI) disapproving of the HRD's move to take control of legal education.

In Moily the BCI will have found a powerful political ally to retain its current remit.

18 September 2009

Prof_Menon_thHe has been called a "living legend of law" by the International Bar Association and is nothing less than the father of modern Indian legal education. But even at age 75, Padmashree Professor Dr. Neelakanta Ramakrishna Madhava Menon is not slowing down.

We have talked to him about his vision and hopes for the future of legal education and of India.

16 September 2009

Prof_Menon_thProfessor Madhava Menon has said that a master’s degree in law does not add much value if a student gets a quality LLB education, as the Legally India forum has attracted over 20 comments on the topic.

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