IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL EDUCATION
IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL EDUCATION
Legal education is a professional education. Faculty of Law prepares its students to fill a variety of societal roles like becoming Judges, Lawyers, Corporate Executives, Public Services, operating NGOs and as Politicians. It is why a Law Faculty exists. Law Faculty is the first step in the process of preparing legal professionals, or for providing essential skills for the above careers. The basic obligation of a law faculty is to provide essential skills, legal knowledge, developing competence, and providing motivation for engaging with the moral dimensions of professional life. Law Faculty is the only place for presenting the greater dimension of law in issues such as the social function of law, the interaction of law with other forms of social control such as religion, relationship of law and ethics and awareness of their role in society. A good Law Faculty produces both the lawyer philosopher as well as the lawyer plumber. Both types of legal professionals are necessary for a healthy society.
NEED FOR GOOD LAW FACULTIES
Law Schools and Law Faculties have mushroomed in India yet the law graduates are not being prepared to discharge the responsibility of law practice. Most of the Law Schools/Faculties are not committed to prepare its students for legal practice. Leaders of the legal profession, distinguished lawyers, Judges and Academicians are worried that law graduates lack the essential skills and minimum competencies required to provide effective and responsible legal services. Every Law Faculty has responsibility to the Legal profession as well as to the society.
There is an urgent and compelling need for good Law Schools/Faculties that have effective academic programs, necessary infrastructure, competent faculty to provide essential skills and institutional commitment to do the best and a clear mission and willingness to achieve excellence. Law Schools/Faculties in addition to the study of core areas of substantive law, should involve in development of high level professional skills and a deep appreciation of ethical standards and professional responsibility in collaboration with the bench, bar and other legal institutions. Society needs Law Schools/Faculties who can prepare its graduates for the jobs that its students are likely to encounter as new legal professionals. Changes in the legal education are essential if the legal profession is to regain its lost ideals and identity as a moral community.
Law Schools are also criticized that they fail to develop in their students the practical skills necessary for the competent performance in addition to substantive knowledge, research and writing skills. We need legal professionals who are able to diagnose and analyze problems, to talk and listen to people, to facilitate conversations, to negotiate effectively, to resolve disputes, to use ever-changing technologies, to evaluate both economic and emotional components and consequences of human decision making. Law Schools/Faculties are not producing graduates who can provide access to justice.
THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDY OF LAW COURSES
Globalization, Economic Liberalization, Foreign Direct Investment, International Trade, Cyber Economy, enforcement of Human Rights Law & Environment Law has opened new areas in the world of increased specialization. New and innumerable fields of law have opened that awaits law school graduates to practice competently in any specialized field of law. Some of these include:
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Our democratic system is highly legalistic and based upon rights and individual liberty. Citizens are constantly forced into contact with law in order to advance their liberty by protection of individual legal rights that means seeking justice under law. People complain that the liberty and rights of the masses of people are being crushed and lost beneath the weight of the system. There is vast scope for law graduates to practice law having sound knowledge of Constitutional Law. They can also form NGOs or legal aid societies to deliver affordable legal services to people.
HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: It is impossible for a democracy to function unless citizens abide by the laws set forth by the institutions of government. The Rule of Law not only constrains individual behaviour but also protects the human rights of individual and prevents government from acquiring unbridled power or acting arbitrarily. Human Rights are protected by Rule of Law, and where the Rule of Law is not observed people resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression. Lawyers play a central role in maintaining the Rule of Law. Lawyers work as gate keepers to the judicial system which upholds and enforces the Rule of Law. International Human Rights agencies, International Human Rights Treaties and International Human Rights Courts have been established to prevent violations of Human Rights. A lawyer has an opportunity to practice in the field of Human Rights Law after having in-depth knowledge of substantive law, case law and upto date knowledge of international treaties by working either individually or by working with an NGO.
CYBER LAW & CYBER CRIMES: The rapid growth of Internet, E-Commerce, mode of Online payments has resulted in various forms of Cyber Crimes like Identity Theft, theft of Trade Secrets & Intellectual Property, Infringement of Privacy, On-line Defamation, On-line Obscenity and many other forms of cyber crimes which have outgrown the traditional form of crime. There are very few experts on Cyber Law either in enforcement agencies or in Judiciary or in Legal profession. The subject of Cyber Law and Cyber Crime is of utmost importance in this era of cyber society. Specialization in this subject provides law graduates an opportunity to practice Cyber Law. The coming era has a vast need of Cyber Law professionals.
LAW OF CONTRACT, INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION: In the global & liberal economy, Corporations and work force have moved from country to country. Trans-National Corporations (TNCs) are choosing manufacturing in Countries where labour is cheap, laws are less rigid, the government is liberal and where enforcement of Contract is effective. Legal professionals have wide scope in drafting legal agreements, contracts, advisory services and international arbitration whether as lawyers, in-house counsels or as officers of the different tribunals.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS: For every corporate house the most valuable and precious property is neither the land, nor the labour or machinery but its Intellectual Property. Every company requires creation of knowledge and Intellectual Property as well as its security and protection. The theft of Traditional Knowledge, Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property has become a serious problem. There is a high demand for professionals specializing in Intellectual Property Law.
LAW OF ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION: The practice of Mediation and Arbitration has become prevalent in almost every legal dispute and commercial litigation. The Courts are referring almost all the civil or commercial disputes for Mediation and Arbitration between the parties to settle disputes before the regular proceeding. International Trade Institutions like WTO, IMF, World Bank etc are adopting Arbitration practices. International investments or FDI’s disputes are also referred to be settled by Mediation and Arbitration. Thus subject of Arbitration and Mediation also has a bright scope for the students of law.
CORPORATE LAW AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: Almost all the business and service sectors are operated by incorporated companies. Furthermore, different Corporate Laws and Security Regulations require the need of legal professionals who have specialized knowledge in Corporate & Security laws and is also skilled in Corporate Governance. Every Company in its Director’s Report is required to report on Corporate Governance and Environment Safety. There is vast scope in working as a Corporate Lawyer.
ENVIRONMENT LAW: The strict regime on Enforcement of Environment laws and International Environment Treaties for the prevention of environment has increased the scope of legal professionals to have specialised knowledge of Environment Laws. Lawyers may either individually or by forming NGOs have ample scope to practice in Environment Laws. There is so much violation of Environment Laws that any lawyer can have a good scope to practice as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) lawyer.
Mr. Shridul Gupta
Faculty of Law, SGT University