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'Indian lawyers the best in Asia'

The legal fraternity here is gaining an edge over its counterparts with its perfect English, says a US dean of law, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 02:52 IST

Indian lawyers, especially those engaged in corporate law, have an advantage over their counterparts in other Asian countries, thanks to their inherent proficiency in English, David E Van Zandt, Dean and Professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

"That is why, it is of essence that India, being an emerging economic superpower, take part in the global competition of corporate law practice with aspirants here receiving world-class training at reputed international schools like ours," he said.

It was this view that brought Professor Zandt to India to introduce prospective law students to the various programmes of his institute, designed to make international legal experts out of those who would otherwise have been ordinary lawyers practising regional law.

On November 12, Professor Zandt made a presentation on the opportunities that exist internationally in the field of business and law in front of an audience of future law students and practising legal experts in Delhi.

"With so much talent and promise existing in India, it is only fair that Indians come to know of the opportunities that exist at reputed universities. The response during the presentation was extremely positive," he said.

Professor Zandt said that the world of academics in business and law at the Northwestern University School of Law offers, among other things, three very "useful" programmes: a nine-month LLM degree, a two-year degree in association with the renowned Kellog School of Management and a unique concept known as the Excutive LLM Programme.

"If all goes well, our world-class faculty might come to India to teach practising lawyers the nuances of international business law under the Executive LLM Programme. It is not a refresher course; it is like learning new things altogether in a better way," he said.

India's "pool of talent", he said, could play a leading role in shaping the dynamics of corporate law and business. "That's why, we would love to see more Indians in our classrooms. At present, the number is not very encouraging because most aspirants do not known about the opportunities we provide. But very soon, that lack of information will cease to exist," he said.

Like in most reputed schools in America, studying in Northwestern, too, does not go easy on the pocket. "But good things in life do not come cheap anyway," said Professor Zandt, adding that the institute has fee aid and other programmes for financial support for the truly meritorious.

Professor Zandt headed for Mumbai on Wednesday to make a similar presentation and meet legal experts there.

First Published: Nov 16, 2006 01:44 IST