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Quality of Legal Education Not Quantity of Law Schools Need of the Hour

330 Days ago

Business Wire India

The Jindal Global Law School of O.P. Jindal Global University in collaboration with the Cornell Law School and Indian Law Institute brought together leading academics, scholars and practitioners for a compelling and thought provoking lecture by Eduardo M. Penalver, Dean and Professor, Cornell Law School who delivered the distinguished public lecture on "The Role of Legal Education in Protecting the Rule of Law".

Delivering the welcome address, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) and Dean, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), stated, “I believe the role of legal education is central not only to the future of the rule of law but also the administration of justice, we are delighted to be hosting this distinguished forum at a time when issues surrounding legal education as well as rule of law are extremely important debates in the country”.

Speaking on the issues surrounding the legal education system in the country, he said, “There are numerous challenges plaguing the higher education institutions in India and the issues surrounding legal education are at a critical juncture in the country. We need concerted efforts to address the inadequacies of the education system and shape the future of legal education in the country”.

Underlining the urgent need to set standards for the academic institutions of the country Prof. Kumar said, “The mediocrity that is deeply embedded in our institutions has led to a gradual and significant deterioration in the quality of people coming into the bar and bench of our country, the institutions of the nation are saddled with deep rooted complexities and there is a urgent need to set standards for the academic institutions in the country”.

In his address on "The role of legal education in protecting the rule of law", Professor (Dr.) Eduardo M. Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law Cornell Law School, New York, said, “that although the job markets of law graduates have improved, since 2010, the US has seen nearly 50 percent drop in applications to law schools, he blamed the shift in public attitude towards the law, the profession and legal institutions for the decline.

"Law schools are necessary for advancing rule of law, attracting new generation of bright young minds to legal profession for society's interest and to ensure work of lawyers, especially the young ones, is interesting, challenging and inspiring," he said.

Professor Penalver, further noted, “The rule of law is fragile and always at a risk of being eroded, it will only thrive if the legal profession is populated by well trained, large minded and morally based lawyers. Good law schools like Cornell, Jindal and the National Law University that are diverse, interdisciplinary and globally minded have a crucial role to play in producing those lawyers.”

Professor Eduardo M. Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. He became Cornell Law School's 16th Dean on July 1, 2014. Dean Peñalver most recently served as the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director, Indian Law Institute (ILI), highlighted that over 1200 law institutions exist in the country and affordability is not a challenge for those seeking an education in the legal domain.

Emphasizing that quality and not quantity is the need of the hour, he said, “What matters is not the number of institutions in the country but the quality of education that is imparted through these institutions.”

As the panelists delivered their thought provoking discourses, the evening also witnessed some very interesting and pertinent questions being raised by experts on the future of legal education framework and challenges surrounding the rule of law in the country, some of these discussion revolved around: What role are technology and innovation expected to play in the evolution of the future of legal education system? Should legal education be governed by the bar or does the institute teaching the student have the last say? Is legal education enough to protect the rule of law or is the inclusivity of ethics equally important?

Other distinguished guests at the function included Hon’ble Justice Ms. Gita Mittal, Judge Delhi High Court, Mr. Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India, Mr. P.K. Malhotra, Union Law Secretary, Government of India and Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi.

Photo Caption: At dias; Professor (Dr.) Eduardo M. Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law Cornell Law School, New York, Seated (L-R) Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) and Dean, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) Professor, (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director, Indian Law Institute (ILI)

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