Faculty of Law

Imparting Legal Education by Conventional Vs. Virtual Classroom Method

The current pandemic brought numerous jurisdictions observed lockdown (partial or complete), has advanced people to switch to technology. This has culminated in the need for digitalization and the promotion of virtual means. The education sector is not aloof to this trend. Perhaps, this sector has been forthcoming in using virtual means to teach, educate people, more so connected to masses.

The virtual classroom may be understood with Plato’s proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. The imperative need to adopt and function classrooms virtually has been felt lately. It can be opined that unprecedented pandemic has triggered the necessity to work with virtual or digital technology.

In so far as continuing with virtual classroom education in times of this unprecedented pandemic, it raises profound issues of digital illiteracy, limited resources, privacy, or IPR issues. Nonetheless, besides these obstacles, one essential aspect of the virtual learning-education system is the absence of non-verbal communication. Conventional classroom education has a major contribution from nonverbal communication i.e. non-linguistic means. It includes kinesthetic, paralanguage, haptics, olfactory, chronemics forms of expression that not supplement verbal communication but enrich the whole learning process.

A vital question proliferates, as a consequence of the unprecedented situation, whether conventional classroom education is replaced by non-conventional or the virtual classroom. Even more pertinent contention is the significance of nonverbal education imparted to law students. Can advocacy skills be imparted through nonconventional or the virtual classroom?

Distinctly, the black letter law can be taught by a virtual classroom. Black letter law refers to the basic principles of law, generally known and are devoid of dispute or doubt.

There is a plethora of e-books, articles, literature, lectures, videos, webinars, etc. accessible online that facilitates the teaching of the black letter law.

However, the core concern of imparting and inculcating advocacy skills through virtual classrooms exists. Legal education is an amalgamation of black letter law, personality development, practical and clinical learning that results in incumbent law professionals. Their learning is guided and supported by one’s advocacy skills, which is indeed very personal and individualistic. Albeit, this skill is built, developed, and nurtured in the course of every law programme. There are moot courts that build and brush the advocacy skills of a law student.

It may be noted that under the Bar Council of India, Rules on Legal Education, moot court exercise is of mammoth part of legal education. The Rules delineates the need and functioning of moot court exercise in law programmes.

The unprecedented pandemic has impelled academia to devise mechanisms to conduct classroom education and practical or pilot study virtually.

Moreover, an endeavor has been made by many varsities to conduct moot court competitions online. However, it takes one back to the point that does legal education rely on conventional education which in turn involves building advocacy skills in law students, in so far as nonverbal communication is inseparable.

The author is of the view that the seeds of advocacy skills can be sowed by the conventional classroom method because they include inter alia nonverbal communication.

A cursory perusal of qualities that an advocate ought to possess, suggested by Judge Edward Abbott Parry in his book The Seven Lamps of Advocacy (1923) resonates with the aforementioned view. One of the seven lamps of advocacy is the skill or the quality of eloquence. Justice E. Abbott Parry prescribed eloquence as one of the qualities of an Advocate because advocacy skill involves the skillful use of language, effective communication to convince the Bench. Even though the other qualities which are honesty, courage, wit, judgment, fellowship, and industry stand at the same level that of eloquence. The term eloquence does not restrict to way and fluency of speaking or the language used, it is more than that. It can be understood as expressing and communicating lucidly and effectively, be it drafting or oral arguments or submissions. The tone and tenor, the body language, the gestures, the expression of an advocate can be game-changer. Ergo, the conventional mode of legal education cannot be replaced or even substantiated by virtual education completely.

The new-age virtual teaching methodology will supplement conventional classroom training and education. Legal experts across jurisdictions can deliberate and disseminate their proficient knowledge to law students or professionals at the click of a button.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that virtual mode will play an assertive role in the overall educational system. It has emerged a new way of virtual education that will progress to the use of artificial intelligence that is devoid of emotional intelligence.

This virtual system might be the need of the hour however, it will not be able to replace the human interface in terms of their personal touch, sensitivity, emotions, tackling, convincing, negotiating, etc. It can, therefore, be concluded that conventional education systems are not inconsequential for professional courses like law and perhaps for the medical field.

Anchal Mittal
Faculty of Law
SGT University

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Let’s Learn To Coexist – SGT University

It would not be an exaggeration to say that for ages, the most important thing for humans has been human himself. All the other things in this universe have assumed secondary status for us. Even Mother Nature who inhabits all the living and non-living creatures including humans have found an ancillary status in the anthropocentric philosophy. It seems that the brunt of COVID-19 faced by the world is the manner of nature to make us realize that we, humans have made the biggest mistake of thinking ourselves to be too powerful; to be the master of this earth.

These days social media, T.V channels, newspapers, etc. are flooded with the photos, videos, and news of wild animals roving the streets, birds that were rarely seen in the past few decades are fluttering in the sky and aquatic animals coming on shores. The smoggy cities are now seeing clear skies and witnessing the twinkling of bright stars which had become a forgotten thing. These images and news are getting huge ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. The suspension of hunting in various countries, freeing up crowdie streets, unimaginable reduction of noise in the air, clean and pure air indicate a convivial season for other living creatures on the planet Earth.

One thing has become very clear that we all like and love to live in the lap of nature but we have forgotten the art of coexistence. We the children of Mother Nature are not able to live together with the other children of nature. We have caused irreparable damages not only to the habitat of all other creatures on the Earth but also inevitably ravished our own home.

Coexistence is the basic essence of living. One cannot survive in isolation. All the living, non- living creatures are tied together for their subsistence. In our modern and luxurious lifestyle, we have lost the fundamental understanding that this nature does not belong to us only. In fact, every natural thing that we see ought to have an equal right to enjoy its space in this world. This unprecedented period of humans being locked down in homes and animals on the street is loudly and clearly giving the message that we need to learn to live together with other creatures on Earth.

We assume on our self the responsibility of protecting nature only because we have been consistently destroying it. No other animal or bird attempts to preserve nature. The reason is simply that they never commit the foolishness of destructing their own habitat. The human-centric approach which considers that only humans are of intrinsic value and all other aspects of the environment are just to assist the subsistence of humanity has already done great harm. Now nature is reclaiming itself, communicating to us that we are not the masters, but only the beneficiaries like other beings and we need to decide our limits so that every being can live peacefully together on this beautiful planet.

Sooner we understand and learn the art of coexistence, there are more chances to preserve the human race else nature will find its way to renounce.

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The COVID-19 Lockdown Period and the Faculty of Law: A Report Card

The Covid-19 Pandemic forced Universities across the world as well as in India to suspend on-campus teaching and learning and shift to online classes. Online teaching and learning is an ideal method as it enforces social distancing and physical distancing to resist the spread of the epidemic. As soon as the Covid-19 crisis broke out in India, SGT University shifted to the online mode from Mid –March and as such remained unaffected by the extended national lockdown until now. The faculty members of the Faculty of Law started giving lectures online (on Zoom, Webex, etc). Study materials and assignments were shared on Google Class Room for the finished topics.  During the transitional period,  there were some technical glitches, but soon, both, the students, as well as the faculty members of the Faculty of Law, adapted to the online mode at ease.  As the online mode allows innovative methods of teaching with the help of technology and online tools, the teachers have been very enthusiastic about delivering their lectures by using the available online tools. As a consequence, the students have found it very convenient to access lectures, study materials, and assignments.  Even a shy or reticent student has participated in the class discussion with teachers through online mode by using chat options. There is a sense of feel-good factor among the students as they have been kept busy through this lockdown period with the scholastic activities, instead of sitting idle.

Shubhangee Sinha, a first-year student of BA., LLB  explains the merits of the online mode classes by saying that “I have been taking the online classes of the  Faculty of Law on Zoom every day ever since the lockdown happened due to the Corona outbreak. The student continued saying that, “The online classes are interesting because the teachers are helping me to understand the concept better with the help of different pedagogic tools available online”.

Nayan Dhari Singh, a first-year student highlights the advantages of online classes by stating that, “I appreciate the Faculty of Law for opting the online mode in the alarming situation like COVID-19…… I found the lectures very interesting because we all tend to lose our concentration while a lecture is going on in the regular classroom but in the case of online mode, I  could review my teacher’s lecture at any point in time by rewinding the audio or video of the lecture”.

Rohan Yadav, a first-year student says,I have been hooked up to  Zoom for a couple of hours to join the online lectures during this lockdown period. It is a novel initiative of the Faculty of Law to complete the syllabus on time.  I have been kept tight by the faculty members with assignments and study materials throughout this break”

However, some students faced problems because of poor internet connectivity and audio issues. Vanshika Sharma, a first-year student points out that the issue of internet connectivity is a key challenge for most students as “many students have the 1GB or 2GB daily data plans on their phones — not everyone has WiFi at home — and they have to manage classes on that” which becomes difficult. In general, the online classes were well-received and attended by the students.

Apart from online classes, the students were informed about the availability of diverse online study materials related to their course work in various platforms so that they could access those materials.  For example, the students can avail of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) of the National Law University of Delhi. The online materials of e-PG Pathshala, SWAYAM, the National Project on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), National Knowledge Network, (NKN), and National Academic Depository (NAD) can be accessed by the students. Further, the students were asked to register for free online courses of more than 3,800 courses and 400 specializations being offered by Coursera until July 31, 2020.

In addition to this,  the online Mid-Sem Test was conducted from 8th April to 14th April 2020 to evaluate the academic progress of the students.  Further,  as there is a surge of webinars in this crisis period, the students of the Faculty of Law have been asked to attend virtual talks or panel discussions or conversations about the different dimensions of law. They were asked to enroll for online internships to enhance their professional skills as well as to enrich their profile as they have lots of time at their disposal now. The faculty members have been consistently informing the students about such activities regularly. The Faculty of Law recently organized an online legal quiz for the students in which the students participated in large numbers.

 In a nutshell, the academic activities were kept at its pace as planned in the academic calendar at the Faculty of Law despite the unprecedented health crisis that has unfolded. The online classes are off as the syllabus has been through now.  Yet,  the faculty members are in touch with their respective classes to clear doubts of the students and provide them updates about the academic events. The students are preparing for the forthcoming end semester exam with full confidence and are looking forward to a brighter next academic year.

Dr. Mahalingam M
Associate Professor
Faculty of Law
SGT University

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Kick Start Your Career in the World of Law with the Faculty of Law Offered by SGT University

SGT University came into existence in the year 2013 but the seeds for its magnificent growth were sown way back in 2002. SGT University’s Faculty of Law was established in 2014 with the aim to develop academically competent legal professionals. Highly qualified and experienced Faculty have not only designed their curriculum in keeping with the emerging areas in the field of law but also at facilitating the academic growth of students and groom them to compete for prestigious positions in the field of Law and Judiciary. Apart from studies, top law colleges also lay emphasis is also laid on organizing seminars, conferences and extension lectures on current legal issues, thus facilitating students to interact with nationally and internationally renowned legal luminaries.

SGT College in Delhi NCR is known as one of the best law Universities in Gurgaon.

Why Law at SGT University?

  • SGT University offers inter-disciplinary Research and Project-Based Learning
  • Student fraternity from all regions of India ensuring cultural diversity for a vibrant campus life
  • Student exchange programs with Top International Universities
  • Student-centric teaching methodology to make students future leaders

Student Exposure

The Faculty of Law organized its 5th Moot Court Competition in which students from across 35 law schools of the country participated. Hon’ble Justice B.B. Prasoon, former Justice, Punjab, and Haryana High Court was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural ceremony and Shri P. K. Malhotra, Former Secy, Law and Justice and currently Secy. General, ICADR. The valedictory address was delivered by Hon’bleMr. Justice Deepak Mishra, former Chief Justice of India. In addition to this, Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble judges from various High Courts and Lower Courts along with senior advocates and other legal luminaries have been kind enough to preside over many of our Seminars and other educational programs thus motivating to students to pursue the study of law. The students have been also provided internships at reputed institutions like the National Human Rights Commission, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Delhi, Delhi Dispute Resolution Society, Department of Law, Justice, and Law Affairs, Prayas NGO, Delhi, Law Firms, Gurugram.

Some of the important events conducted by the Faculty are a seminar on Introduction to Arbitration Law in India, Seminar on Electronic Evidence; Issues and Challenges, Conference on “Data Privacy Challenges and Solutions (Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018), among others. Further, a Workshop on Mediation was also conducted.

Career Prospects

At SGT University, students are provided with complete exposure to corporate culture, placement counseling, personality development sessions, core and, soft skill developments and many more things are done for all over the development of students. Our students continue to find professional careers in institutions like the National Human Rights Commission, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Delhi, and Delhi Dispute Resolution Society, etc. The Faculty of Law has an academic partnership with National Law University Bangalore whereby students get the opportunity for Interdisciplinary Research and Project-Based Learning. By pursuing law at SGT University, students find themselves competent enough to face the real world and build their space as a professional in Judiciary, civil services, public prosecutor, litigation, legal advisors in private firm, corporate counsel, intellectual property rights, NGOs and Thinktank, academics, Defense Services (JAG), Legal Journalism, Legal Process Outsourcing, Legal officer in Bank, Insurance Companies, Court Clerk and other Govt. /Private Sector Jobs.

Regular classroom Lectures are held adequately with Presentations, Interactive sessions, Group Discussions, Seminars are the various teaching methodologies to help teaching-learning. The course curriculum is designed in such a manner that for the honors courses, a student can choose two areas of his/her own choice for specialized study. This specialized study in their chosen fields equips them for professional challenges.

SGT University aims at providing knowledge to its students to such an extent that they find a suitable place in the court of law to provide justice to the society.

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