Avenues of Legal Education in India
Legal education in India refers to the educational programs that lawyers study before starting the practice of law. Indian universities offer law education at different levels.
There are many specialized institutes focusing on law studies that offer under-graduate, post-graduate, and PhD degrees.
The following article discusses about law courses and law colleges in India.
Academic degreesStudents seeking to pursue a career in law can enroll for a law course in one of the many law universities of India. Ideally, an aspirant can imbibe legal education through the standard national law institute norms.
A student can undertake the integrated law program spanning over a period of five years, soon after completing senior secondary school.
The following are the different levels of courses that impart education in legal studies.
- Bachelor of Laws or LL.B. – The most famous law program, LL.B. is a three-year course that awards students with an under-graduate degree. Most of the law universities follow a set curriculum for this program.
- Integrated undergraduate degrees – The integrated programs include courses like B.A. LL.B., BBA. LLB, B.Sc. LL.B., and B.Com. LL.B. These courses are generally offered by the autonomous law schools and are spanned over a period of five years.
- Master of Laws or LL.M. – LL.M. is one of the most popular post-graduate law courses with duration of one to two years.
- Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D.
- Integrated MBL-LLM or MBA-LLM. – This is a three-year integrated course offering double degree with business law specialization.
- Master of Business Law
Admission to Law SchoolsAdmission to programs like LLM and LLB in many independent law schools takes place on the basis of Common Law Admission Test or CLAT. The National Law University of Delhi and other private autonomous institutes, however, have their own separate admission tests.
There are many global schools, like Jindal Global Law School, that offer admission based on the scores of LSAT. The LSAT exam is conducted by the Law School Admission Council of USA and Pearson VUE.
The traditional universities offer admission based on a test by the college or a common entrance test for the affiliated institutes, like Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Others admit applicants based on merit and scores in the previous examination.
Indian Law CollegesHere is a list of top law colleges in India –
- National Law School of India University – Based in Bangalore, this prestigious university has a sprawling campus spread over twenty-three acres of land. Its faculty includes many retired Supreme Court and High Court judges who help the institute with teaching and the research programs. Learning from professionals with first-hand experience of the industry is a thing of pride and gives the students an edge above their contemporaries. National Law School of India University or NLSIU offers B.A. LL.B. (Hons.), an undergraduate integrated course of five years, admission to which is based on CLAT results.
The eligibility criterion for this course requires the candidate to have passed 10+2 with more than 50 per cent aggregate marks. The student must also be less than 20 years of age during the month of July. The law school also teaches LLM - Master of Laws, M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy), LL.D. - Doctor of Laws and Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy.
- National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University - NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, is a residential university set up in the year 1998. The university aims at imparting comprehensive legal education to students at all levels. It intends to organize advanced education and support research in all sub-disciplines of law. NALSAR is known to conduct many lectures and organize seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia for the benefit of the students. The institute also promotes training projects associated with law, judicial institutions and legislation. Its law programs include B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M.Phil., PhD, and many exchange programs.
- National Law Institute University – Based in Bhopal, this law school was set up in the year 1997. The Bar Council of India recognizes NLIU, which has a yearly intake of 80 under-graduates through the CLAT exam. These students complete 15 trimesters in order to receive the combined degree of B.A., LL.B (Hons.). Among the post-graduate courses, NLIU provides the LL.M. degree course. The institute is part of the Association of Indian Universities. The Chief Justice of India is the patron of this prestigious institute.
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences – This is an autonomous law institute that offers under-graduate as well as post-graduate courses for students aiming to become lawyers. Based in Salt Lake City in Kolkata, it is among the best law schools of the country. NUJS invites leading academicians from top-ranking law schools of the world as guest lecturers and visiting faculties. NUJS periodically teaches selective short-term Certificate and Diploma courses. These courses include Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws, Post Graduate Diploma in Nuclear Law, Post Graduate Diploma in Business Laws, Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights and Post Graduate Diploma in Air and Space Law.
- Indian Law Society's Law College – Commonly called ILS Law College, this institute is located in Pune. It was set up in 1924 and teaches degree courses with duration of three and five years. Situated on Law College Road in Pune, ILS offers the following law courses – BSL, LLB, LLM, Diploma in Taxation Laws, Diploma in Labor Legislation and Labor Welfare, and Masters in Labor Legislation and Labor Welfare.
Devika Arora is a prolific writer who compiles relevant facts and analyzes the current state of affairs pertaining to the domain of education in India. She is currently writing informative articles and blog posts on Indian educational institutes and the various courses offered by law colleges in India.