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BCI chairman Mishra: Slams academics | Remains anti-foreign-firm | Shutting more law schools | Several plans on ice

The world according to Mishra, digested
The world according to Mishra, digested
Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra in an insightful interview with legal website Bar & Bench reiterated his strong opposition to the entry of foreign law firms, noted that the BCI had been cancelling licenses for around 10 law schools per meeting, expressed a grouse against law teachers and promised to bring law firm misconduct under the BCI’s scanner with the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF).

Miles to go, promises to keep:

Mishra’s proposed one-year compulsory law graduate training programme is on ice since the new law minister came in, and will require some amendments to the Advocates Act 1961.

Also, some state bar councils have objected to the “very good decision by the BCI” to require bar licenses to be renewed every five years, so until there is a majority decision it won’t be notified.

The BCI will be training law teachers itself and banning those with distance education LLMs from teaching.

Pending till next year: Common national exam for lawyers, compulsory web-registration portal for law students, teachers and lawyers.

Foreign law firms: BCI opposing tooth and nail: “We are doing this for the benefit of the lawyers of the country. First, we need to protect the interest of our lawyers. If we allow foreign lawyers to operate without any restriction in our country then our lawyers will be in trouble. They put our lawyers to severe tests, which are very difficult to clear. If we have to allow the entry of foreign lawyers, it will be allowed only on the basis of reciprocity.”

Legal Education: In every meeting of the legal education committee BCI is closing down five to 10 law colleges. Will soon also disallow law teachers with distance-LLM degrees from teaching.

80 law teachers who said they wanted to be involved in BCI’s decisions on legal education: They are people with “vested interests” who “have tried to tarnish the image of the BCI” and “don’t believe in teaching the students, they only do politics”.

“We lay down the norms, but in a classroom the teachers are teaching the students. So, if there is any downfall in the standard of legal education, you [the teachers] are directly responsible. If there is any demerit in the syllabus you have never raised any question, you have never given any suggestion that this should be the standard and this should be the norm.”

The BCI had replied to the law teachers in September.

Law firms: We are framing rules against law firm misconduct in consultation with SILF president Lalit Bhasin. Until then, we can’t do anything about complaints against law firms.

All India Bar Exam (AIBE): Will generate Rs 6 crore, of which around Rs 2 crore could go to the independent contractor ITES Horizon. Sample questions won’t be supplied until four days before the exam. Also slams Legally India, BarHacker, and others [click to read AIBE summary].

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