Dr Ghayur Alam, Senior Professor; Dean, Graduate; and the Registrar of the University of the National University of Law, Bhopal, India talking about legal education in India like never before, we wonder if lawyers will grasp the powers of AI in the time to come!
What are the three most important things that need to change in Legal Education in India today?
There are three major things that need to change today in Legal Education in India
Law teachers should be allowed to practice law
The purpose of graduate legal education is to produce professionals trained in the creative thinking of law. The problem is that full-time law teachers are not professionals because they are not allowed to practice law under the rules framed by the Bar Council of India. Law professors are trained to think legally as experts. The path of the experts is different from the path of the experts. Legal professionals often lack hands-on experience, so they can’t bring the fire and thunder of the courtroom to the classroom, and they can’t share in their legal work with their students. This needs to change. It would be better, if India wants lawyers to be trained by lawyers. The idea of clinical legal education borrowed from medical education has not been translated. Clinical legal education (CLE) is often conducted through simulations and real courts, and in some cases, is formal. If legal education is to be a professional education, it must follow the principles of medical education.
The focus of legal education needs to shift to results-based learning
Students and teachers need to have a clear understanding of the goals and the processes and procedures to help achieve and achieve those goals at the macro and micro level. Students entering five-year law programs are usually eighteen years old, some of whom are close to reaching their majority. Learning behavior varies by age. Therefore, pedagogy and andragogy can be combined in order to meet the learning needs of this generation. Each subject in each subject must have clear outcomes and a measurable approach to assessment and evaluation (A&E). The focus should shift from summative assessment to formative assessment. Merely talking about marks and grades will not serve the purpose of A&E if the students do not know their strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome their weaknesses.
Methodology of legal education must change
Law schools in India have two claims about their curriculum. First, their curriculum includes law and other disciplines such as humanities, science, management and others. Second, their teaching-learning method uses the Socratic Method, Case Method, Case Study Method, and Clinical Method. Both claims, however, are debatable. As far as I know, there has been no consolidation, and the lecture method has not been reduced. Humanities, social sciences, science, and management are taught to law students the way they are taught to BA, B. Sc., BBA students and leave students to find connections of these programs and law. The practice of legal education, therefore, needs to change and the leaders of legal education in India need to focus on this aspect.
How strong is a dynamic curriculum in keeping up with the ever-evolving regulations and requirements of the industry?
The effectiveness of a dynamic curriculum, in line with ever-evolving regulations and industry requirements, can be defined and designed based on its method rather than its content. This does not mean that the curriculum should be irrelevant. Content should be used as an example to show how it can be learned and not learned and used for the purpose. The curriculum is broken down into subjects, the curriculum is broken down into sections/modules, and the sections are broken down into subjects that need to be leveled and, of course, rigorous. To be relevant, the legal curriculum must be responsive to local, regional, national and global problems and needs.
A valid point is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. In the absence of this concept, there is no law that can be enforced for all people who claim to be ignorant of the law. The truth is that no one knows all the rules and no one knows all the rules. The problem is that law school cannot teach all laws. But every law school can teach you how (not) to teach law. Law cannot be static. It must be strong and constantly growing. The old law may be amended, repealed, superseded, varied, modified, repealed, repealed, or repealed. The new law was created to meet the current challenges and problems. There is no curriculum, no matter how hard it is to cover all the rules. The purpose of legal education should be to build the strength and power of students by teaching them how to fish. First the students have to ‘how’ to understand the facts of each type. Information wins cases. The information can be simple or complex. Facts about daily life, society, economy, finance, politics, soft technology, and new and emerging technology. Second ‘how’ should equip students to enter the facts into the relevant legal section. There may be more than one legal category available for a given set of facts, or no legal category available to cover all or part of the facts. The ability to find the right area of law can only be achieved by acquiring a solid understanding of law through reading, thinking, researching, writing, speaking, discussing, and interacting with others. teachers and lifelong friends. Third ‘how’ to equip students with the ability to anticipate, mitigate, decide and solve problems with the help of law. The success of the curriculum can be measured if students develop a frame of mind and know (not) how to think like a lawyer, how (not) to read, write and speak like a lawyer.
What are the problems of universities that offer legal education that need the intervention of the industry or the government?
Some of the pain points of universities offering legal education are lack of government and industry funding; high fees and costs make access to quality legal education difficult for students from low-income families; poor student-teacher ratio; lack of innovative and socially relevant research due to lack of funding; multiple managers and the problem of transfer; the awarding of contracts and placement of academic and administrative staff; and lack of agency-management cooperation.
Your message to young lawyers
Work hard, not hard. If success is a habit, reading is a habit, hard work is a habit, writing is a habit, honesty is a habit, and helping others is a habit. Either one has meaning or it doesn’t. My advice to new lawyers is to:
Be proactive in keeping up with the industry
Don’t try to specialize in a particular branch of law early in your legal career
Practice at least initially in the trial courts
Make reading, writing, and speaking a habit
Think inside the box and outside the box
Keep updating yourself, read newspapers and a trial every day
Read the text of the Constitution of India; the Indian Contract Act, 1872; the Evidence Act, 1872; the General List Act, 1897; the Civil Rights Code, 1908; and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 whenever possible
Read landmark decisions of the Privy Council, House of Lords, Federal Court, Supreme Court of India, US Supreme Court and other Courts
Try to help, pro bono, those who cannot pay the cost of justice
Make the pursuit of righteousness the goal of life, not the pursuit of happiness
What is in store for the future of legal education in India?
The future of legal education in India will be largely defined by technology in particular and artificial intelligence (AI). AI is already being used for finding relevant legal terms and relevant case law. AI is also being used for preparing legal documents. Some of the old legal skills are obsolete, outdated, and eventually useless. We have entered the era of the AI assisted attorney. Therefore, legal knowledge must specify what AI does or can do. What AI does or can do should not be part of the legal curriculum. Students should be trained to use AI meaningfully and encouraged to acquire new knowledge and skills that will make the technology obsolete, if possible. Undoubtedly a higher order and the knowledge that tomorrow’s technology will go beyond AI and force homo sapiens to ask the question: if homo sapiens is more intelligent than genetic-enabled AI. Imagine an AI created by an AI – an AI that was not imagined by a human creator. . .
The future of legal education is becoming more and more challenging not only in India but everywhere in the world. Challenges also offer unprecedented opportunities. Technically savvy attorneys will do better.