BHOPAL: The standard of legal education in the country has improved vastly and now the students have a greater opportunity of acquiring practical knowledge, including interning in courts, said Justice Indira Banerjee of the Supreme Court.
She was speaking on the concluding day of the three-day online '3rd edition of the NLIU-Link Legal National Client Counselling Competition 2020’ organised by the National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal.
Chief Guest Justice Banerjee said she had never visited a court till her third and final year in the law course. "I when i visited the court, I went to see a case being heard and not as an intern. I heard the pleadings and that changed the course of my life. I was preparing for the civil services exams and had cleared two stages. But then I decided to continue with my practice in the High Court. I found that not all cases were interesting. After assisting my seniors in the High Court, I started practicing solo. I had very little idea of the practical aspects of law," said she.
At the time, she said, it was widely believed that students who join law were not serious and did LLB just for the sake of getting a degree. “I am happy that I can see the future of Indian judiciary here,” Justice Banerjee said.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla, Judge, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir (Guest of Honour) said that the competition had taken him back to his years at the law school. At that time, they just used to have one event every year. Currently, many activities are held which provides students with practical knowledge as well.
"Client Counseling was very important and various skills are learnt in the client counseling competitions. The very important thing which a law graduate should learn is how to get clients. They also need to understand how to win the trust of the client," added Sanjeev.
“In law school we are often just taught the legal principles but practical training is sidestepped,” Shukla said.
The Bar Council of India has recently asked law colleges to impart practical training to the students. Law schools in India have realised that apart from the legal principles, students need to learn lawyering skills, too. Among the various skills of a lawyer, the most important one is the skill of interacting with the client, the judge said.
WINNER: Tamil Nadu National Law University (Anurathna Mathivanan and C.V. Shreya).
RUNNERS-UP: Government Law College, Mumbai (Tejal Kale and Esha Kapadia).
Best Counsel: Aditya Mohan from National Law University, Jodhpur.
Best Client: Bhakti Pathak from National Law Institute University, Bhopal.