University School of Law and Legal Studies of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), has introduced two new papers on sociology and history in their Bachelor of Laws (Honours) programme, which is a five-year integrated law degree programme from this academic session. The reason behind introducing these new papers, according to D. K. Bandyopadhyay, VC, GGSIPU, is for young lawyers to make fair decisions. He says, "Today, people in our society deal with a number of problems in their day-to-day lives and sometime seek courts help in solving them. However, today's lawyers and judges don't have an in-depth understanding of the cases. With these add-on papers, our student lawyers will learn to understand the context of every problem and make fair judgments."
The university has also increased the total number of seats for the B.A & LLB course. This year there are 120 seats as compared to 60 seats till last year. Bandyopadhyay says, "It is because of the rising popularity of the course among students, which has increased its demand and, therefore, we have doubled the seats this year onwards. Also, the number of applications we receive for the course is around 12,000 every year." Because of the popularity of the course, the university has also introduced two new programmes in law at the Master's level.
These are, LLM in cyber law and intellectual property right (IPR) programme. To be eligible for the course, students need to have cleared +2 with a minimum of 50% marks. There is also an entrance test conducted by the university. The fee for the course is 53,000 per annum. Talking about job opportunities, Bandyopadhyay says the field opens a lot of avenues in terms of career for students. They can join the judicial services, corporate firms and can even opt for teaching.
Paralegal advocacy :
National Law University, Delhi (NLUD), is going to introduce a clinical course on legal services and paralegal advocacy as a compulsory subject in the 9th semester of their BA LLB (Honours) programme from this academic session in August 2012. According to Srikrishna Deva Rao, professor of law and registrar, NLUD, legal education in India is currently facing challenges about the goals, mission and its social relevance. In response, clinical legal education has emerged as a new method of learning to introduce issues on social justice to students and to prepare them as public interest lawyers.
He says, "The course attempts to develop proactive role in educating the public about law and strategise legal empowerment using legal services and paralegal education. The course will also make an attempt to critically examine the contribution of legal education to bring the law closer to people and to reach out to communities. It will also examine the various efforts in India in strengthening legal aid and institutionalising paralegal education." Elaborating on the subjects' concept, Rao says that legal aid is a basic human right and integral to right to life and personal liberty provided in the Indian constitution.
The ignorance about law is a major reason behind the perpetuation of injustice. The vast majority of people have no resources to protect their rights. There are not enough lawyers to provide legal aid services. Legal literacy is the first step in the legal aid movement to bring law closer to the communities. Paralegal education is an important duty of the state and academia to build legal knowledge and skills among people. It is an important tool and method to fulfil the unmet legal needs of the people. It will improve the overall quality of professional legal education while expanding the services for the poor.
As to the advantages of the course, Rao says, "This course will facilitate the community-based initiatives, combining participation and legal empowerment through the student support-groups." As part of this clinical course, students will also visit the NLUD project site of Legal Empowerment of Construction Workers in Noida and Dwarka and engage in two clinical tasks. Admission to the fiveyear BA LLB (Honours) programme is on merit, based on the All India Entrance Examination. To be eligible for the course, candidates need to have cleared +2 securing an aggregate of not less than 50% of the total marks.
Courtesy: Times of India