As the Bar council of India - the apex regulatory body for profession and education of lawyers – opposes the entry of foreign lawyers in the country, Chief Justice of India HL Dattu on Saturday suggested having international internships for Indian law students to give them global exposure.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day conference on Global Legal Education organised by the Confederation of Indian Bar at KIIT University, the CJI underlined the need for a revamp of law courses in the wake of globalisation. He emphasised the importance of having more interactive curricula instead of the traditional classroom mode of teaching.
"Students must be exposed to legal courses related to foreign relations. There should be international exchange programmes and internship programmes with foreign firms to enable students understand the needs of global markets," CJI Dattu said. There should also be partnership with foreign legal institutions and faculty, he added.
"The curriculum must also include international perspective. We must move to smaller classrooms," he said.
In the post-liberalisation era, law has emerged as a preferred career choice for students. According to the Ministry of Human Resources Development, 1.55 lakh students got enrolled in under-graduate law courses in various universities across India and 61,124 students successfully completed the course in the academic year 2011-12.
There are 17 national law universities offering 5-year LL.B. courses, besides many private universities that have also started law courses.
These are in addition to the traditional three-year law courses offered by various central and state universities across India.
The CJI underlined the requirement of having more legal clinics in institutions to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical experience.
To match international legal practitioners change in curriculum ought to become a priority, the CJI said.
"Legal education should consider globalization and its implication on the legal field - both domestically and internationally - to empower the future generation to succeed," he said, adding "India must produce world class scholars."