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Published : May 01, 2010 | Author : priya ravi
Category : Law - lawyers & legal Profession | Total Views : 20014 | Rating :

priya ravi
priya ravi

Legal Education
Legal education is a human science which furnishes beyond techniques, skills and competences the basic philosophies, ideologies, critiques, and instrumentalities all addressed to the creation and maintenance of a just society[1]. It provides occasions for articulation of theories of a just society and teaches us that articulation must be grounded in historical realities so that the truth of the working of the legal order is brought to the forefront.It is a subject of great importance in view of its dynamic role in moulding and envisioning the legal system of the country-thus being instrumental in the accomplishment of the cherished objectives of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity of a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic[2].Legal education is a broad concept. It includes the profession which is practiced in courts, law teaching, law research, administration in different branches where law plays a role and commercial and industrial employments and all other activities which postulate and require the use of legal knowledge and skill[3].

Encyclopedia of education defines legal education as a skill for human knowledge which is universally relevant to the lawyer’s art and which deserves special attention in educational institutions[4].In common parlance it may be termed as a science which deals with the practical aspect of the law of the land and consists of relating on statutes, moots or arguments on points of law and putting of cases[5]. Blackstone says legal education aims at imparting knowledge of the country as part of necessary culture of a gentleman, nobleman and common man engaged in a learned profession[6].The law commission also defines legal education as a science which imparts to students knowledge of certain principles and provisions of law to enable them to enter to legal profession.

Aims Of The Legal Education
The prime object of legal education is to produce professional lawyers. The term ‘professional lawyer’ does not only cover the ‘litigating, lawyer, viz.,’ the lawyer who argues before the ordinary courts but all persons trained in law, whose employment is mainly dependent on their degrees in law[7].

The committee of legal education of the Harvard Law School lays emphasis on double purpose of a law school
(1) To train men for the legal profession, and
(2) To provide a centre where scholars might contribute to an understanding of law and government and participate creatively in their growth and improvement.

Mr. Dean Wright of the University of Toronto suggested three objectives of a law school:
(a) education in the qualities that should be found in a legal practitioners,
(b) education which would train a man not merely in the work of solving problems of individual clients but of the society in which he lives, and
(c) To act as a centre of research and criticism and contribution to the better understanding of the laws by which societies are held together.

Lord Denning in his address to the society of Public Teachers of Law expressed three purposes of legal education:
(1) to show how legal rules have developed, the reasons underlying them and the nexus between legal and social history,
(2) To extract the principles underlying the existing legal rules, and
(3) To point the right road for future development.

Dr. Mohammad Farogh in his observations on legal education in a modern civilized society wants to include the following aims and objectives[8]:
(1) to inculcate students with the operative legal rules, both substantive and procedural,

(2) to provide the students with adequate experience to apply these rules,

(3) to equip the students with sufficient knowledge of the historical an sociological background of the country’s legal system,

(4) to provide the students with some knowledge of the other legal system of the world so that the students do not find themselves at a complete loss when it comes to adopting a comparative approach,

(5) Very significantly, the students should be encouraged to participate in discussions, seminars and challenge the very premise of legal concepts and their applications.

Legal education should aim at furnishing skills and competence, the basic philosophies and ideologies for creation and maintenance of just society[9].It must sensitize society to identify its problems and ensure social and economic justice through rule of law and to eradicate injustice, poverty, corruption and nepotism from the society. The legal education stands for enhancement of human sensibility and injects a sense of protecting human liberty and equality before law. The curriculum of legal education should be thought of in terms of its objectives.

Andrew J. Pirie has suggested that the process of systematic instructional design may involve four important steps:
(1) Performance Analysis – it lays emphasis on the identification of instructional goals, which are needed by the consumers of legal education. It can be used as a mechanism to determine whether, there is an important difference between what someone is already able to do and what it is intended for him to be able to do, and , if an important difference does exist, whether instruction or some other course of action is appropriate. Objective is what the student will learn.

(2) Task analysis is an earnest attempt to identify exactly what the student needs to know or do to achieve the goal. It is a careful description of what the competent person does or is supposed to do when he or she is doing job.

(3) Skill analysis spells out a deice to identify the steps which a person is required to undertake to achieve the goal. It involves information skills, intellectual skills or psychomotor skills. The skill analysis breaks down each of these identified steps into its component part. But if the steps involve higher-level intellectual skills, such as application, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation, the skills analysis becomes more complex. Skills analysis can involve the production of a very larger list of necessary behaviors, depending upon the task.

(4) Writing performance analysis is the stage where both the instructor and the student are able to understand what a person must know or be able to do to accomplish his task.

Legal education is to develop two fold skills-

(1) Effective learning- is a step involved in competently completing a number of tasks, such as interviewing a client or preparing to cross-examine a witness.
(2) Ability to remember facts client communicate.

Effective listening is a step involved to competently completing a number of tasks, such as interviewing a client or preparing to cross-examine a witness. Ability to remember the facts the client communicate is another skill that the legal education must develop in the advocate. These skills may be generated through performance objectives which involve three requirements- performance, conditions and standards. The aim of legal education is revolutionize the traditional legal system by developing in every law graduate skill concerning counseling the clients, interviewing witnesses efficiently and negotiating with parties at the appropriate point of time[10].It not only need to train the lawyer in solving the problems of individual clients but of the society in which he lives so as to contribute to the better understanding of the laws by which societies are held together[11].

An eminent justice S.B.Majumdar pointed that one aspect of legal education seeks to impart appropriate training which should be made available through professionals. It needs to enable law student to think like a lawyer, to make him familiar with the basic concepts and principles of law, and make him to learn the basic skills which are the tools of every lawyer. Only a well-trained lawyer will help the court in the quick and proper disposal of cases, doing justice to the litigating public and thus help his client too. The prime aim of legal education at present day should be to transmit to the rising generation “the accumulated knowledge” about the management of the legal process. The student should be enabled to gain a comprehensive picture of his legal system. The basic aim should be more to inculcate knowledge of the principles than detailed rules.

Professor Gower supports the view that the legal education should encourage the students of law to enrich their knowledge in economics, political science, sociology and if possible psychology. Knowledge of all allied social sciences is necessary to understand the whole complex of social structures, values, institutions and processes. The legal education also needs to promote congenial ethical environment and skill, which may help in the effective administration of justice, playing a vital role in the maintenance of rule of law. It needs to mediate conflicts of interests and values of society and discover techniques and tools of repression of disorder and deviance. The report for the improvements of the legal education prepared by the eminent jurists while concluding the seminar on the role of legal education suggests that in the present set up it is necessary that citizen should receive general education in law, because such education has inherent cultural value and it also make citizens more conscious of their rights and their obligations.

The real challenge today is on the legal and legal profession because people see lawyers as more equally than themselves. They regard lawyers as trained persons to use the freedom granted by the country’s constitution and to show them the way and also to protect in case these freedoms are violated. So, the responsibility of legal education is very heavy, as lawyers are meant to preserve the society and act as ‘healers’ and have to contribute not only to their purse but more so to the happiness of the mankind as a whole.
[1] Report of “The curriculum Development Centre in Law”, Vol, U.G.C, New Delhi, 1990, p.12.
[2] Bharti, “Legal Education-Some Critical Issues”, 1999, p.122
[3] Gajendragadkar Committee on the Re-organization of Legal Education in the University of Delhi, 1964
[4] The encyclopedia of Education, Indo and Libr, (1971), Vol.5, p.355.
[5] Hallsbury’s Law of England, (1953), Vol.3,p.3
[6] Agarwal,S.K.,”A Report on Legal Education in India-Problems and Perspectives”(1972)
[7] D.N.Mishra, “Legal Education in India: Present Status and Prospects”in book, “Legal Education in India in 21st Century”, Jan.1999,p.19
[8] Dr.Mohammad Farogh, ‘Legal Education: Contemporary Trends and Challenges”, AIR, 1998(6)
[9] Hassant Azmi, “Legal Education in India in the 21st Century”, (1999)
[10] Vincent Luizi, “Philosophy in Legal Education”,Journal of Legal education,Vol.29,No.4,1978
[11] Leonard L.Baird,”A Survey of the Relevance of Legal Trainning to Law School Graduates”, Journal of Legal education,Vol.29,1978,pp.264-75

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: priya@legalserviceindia.com

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