Law graduates not equipped with even basics: KLSU registrar

Varsity to make practical-based programmes a must in colleges

Law graduates not equipped with even basics: KLSU registrar

The Karnataka State Law University has decided to make practical-oriented and skill development programmes mandatory in undergraduate courses in the 94 affiliated law colleges in the State.

The decision comes in the wake of the growing trend of inexperienced law graduates entering the field directly without necessary training.

The varsity has also planned to introduce ‘teacher empowerment programme’ to improve teaching methods and upgrading knowledge. This will entail residential orientation and refresher courses, for 21 days each.

Both these programmes will be introduced June onwards, KSLU registrar B S Reddy told Deccan Herald. The varsity, which has chalked out other programmes like e-content development and online admission/e-payment, submitted a budget proposal of Rs 2.5 crore to the State government last week.

Reddy said that though the Bar Council 2008 rules have made four clinical courses mandatory, undergraduate courses were largely theoretical in nature. Owing to this, undergraduates were in no way prepared to handle the challenges of the profession.

He said that students were exposed to limited drafting techniques, and it was imperative to introduce presentation, drafting, negotiation and mediation skills. “Forget arguing cases in courts, undergraduates are not equipped to draft a sale deed. Those who start practising immediately are found struggling even when it comes to basics like writing applications, petitions or filing objections. They need to be exposed to negotiations, counselling of clients, arbitration - all of which are necessary professional skills,” he said.
The two-day skill development programme will be held in all colleges in a phased manner, and the varsity has decided to sponsor the workshop and arrange for lectures by experts from across the country.

Students will get to interact with and learn from experts such as founder director of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Prof N R Madhava Menon, NLSIU vice-chancellor R Venkata Rao and eminent law professor N L Mitra.

Welcoming KSLU’s initiative, Menon said that restricting practical education to merely workshops would not serve the purpose.

“Presently in law education, though skills are taught, the practical training courses have to be strengthened by introducing additional programmes. Law colleges are producing law graduates and not lawyers. As the Bar Council of India or Karnataka has no machinery in place to execute this, law colleges should be made more capable to impart these skill components.”

He said that experiential learning cannot be achieved merely through lectures. It should be imparted by partnering with law firms and those in the industry.

“There should be diversified education through simulations in skills, attitudes and ethics. Students should be exposed to building live client relationships. KSLU has taken the first step in this direction, which is encouraging,” he added.

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