Chief justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur has pitched for a holistic reform in the legal profession, emphasising the need for setting higher standards at the entry level in law colleges to make legal education qualitative.
He advocated the same on Saturday, addressing a seminar on “continuing legal education for lawyers and its benefits”, organised by the Jharkhand State Bar Council (JSBC) in Ranchi.
Comparing legal education with medical, engineering and other technical courses, the CJI said it was easy to become a law graduate in India than to become a medical practitioner for the obvious reason that the latter course required tough standards for entry.
Referring the vast number of lawyers (about 30 lakh) in the country, he said, “How many more we require now? In the prevalent system, anyone can become a lawyer and this was one of the reasons of sub-standard of profession and malpractices plaguing the legal system. A holistic overhaul and reform is therefore needed to raise the level of legal education and higher profession excellence.
“Over 1,000 law colleges exist in the country, of which nearly 70% impart three-year LLB courses,” said Nilesh Kumar, vice-chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI), which visits and inspects universities and law colleges in the country as part of its statutory function of promoting legal education and setting standards.
The CJI mirrored a picture of coming days in the profession beckoning entry of multinational law firms in Indian legal sector and urged for this reason to lawyers to keep them updated with ever changing law dynamics. He also called for keeping an eye on the pulse of the litigants who demand greater accountability, speedy and affordable justice.
The CJI had also word for lying opportunities ahead for practitioners saying in the era of globalization where distances have shrunk, India with large number of litigations offer a promising market for marketing legal skills.
The CJI also laid the foundation stone for a lawyer’s academy — the country’s second after Kerala — and the foundation stone for the proposed Jharkhand Legal Services Authority (JHALSA) building.