Report No. 184
5.12 Chapter V(b) of the Report refers to 'Fundamental lawyers skills as follows:
(1) diagnosing a problem, generating alternative solutions and strategies, developing a plan of action, implementing the plan and keeping the planning process open to new information and new ideas.
(2) identifying and formulating legal issues, formulating relevant legal theory, elaborating legal theory, evaluating legal theory and criticising and synthesizing legal argumentation.
(3) knowledge of the nature of Legal Rules and Institutions, knowledge of and ability to use the most fundamental tools of legal research, understanding of the process of devising and implementing a coherent and effective research design.
(4) determining the need for factual investigation, planning a factual investigation, implementing the investigative strategy, memorializing and organizing information in an accessible form, deciding whether to conclude the process of fact gathering, evaluating the information that has been gathered, assessing the perspective of the recipient of the communication; using effective methods of communication.
(5) establishing a counselling relationship that respects the nature and bounds of a lawyer's role; gathering information relevant to the decision to be made; analyzing the decision to be made; counseling the client about the decision to be made, ascertaining and implementing the client's decision.
(6) preparing for negotiation, conducting a negotiating session, counseling the client about the terms obtained from the other side in the negotiation and implementing the client's decision.
(7) advise the clients about the options of litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and have a fundamental knowledge of
(a) litigation at the trial-court level
(b) litigation at the appellate level
(c) advocacy in disputes between and Executive Forms
(d) proceedings in other Dispute Resolution Forums
(8) skills of efficient management such as formulating goals and principles, developing systems and procedures to ensure that time, effort and resources are allocated efficiently; develop system to ensure work is completed at the appropriate time; develop system or procedures to work effectively with other people, develop system and procedures for efficiently administering the law office.
(9) keep familiar with nature and sources of ethical standards, the means by which ethical standards are enforced, the processes for recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
5.13 The Mac Crate Report says that law schools and the practicing bar should look upon the development of lawyers as a common enterprise, recognizing that legal education and practising lawyers have different capacities and opportunities to impart to future lawyers the skills and values required for the competent and responsible practice of law. Each 58 law school, the Report says, should determine how its school can best help its students to begin the process of acquiring the skills and values that are important in the practice of law. Law schools should be encouraged to develop or expand instruction in such areas as 'problem solving', 'fact investigation', 'communication', 'counselling', 'negotiation', and 'litigation'.
5.14 One has to read the elaborate article by Prof. John J. Costonis, Dean of Vandebilt University: "The Mac Crate Report: Of Loaves, Fishes and the Future of American Education) in vol. 43 (1993) Journal of Legal Education, p. 157, which refers to several important developments in the field of Legal education.
5.15 We would think that the Members of Legal Education Committee of the Bar Council of India and UGC should study the above Report and various subsequent modifications of the same. Criticism of the Report is found in other articles in the Journal on Legal Education. The Bar Council and UGC committees must also look into similar Reports in UK, Canada and Australia so that our standards match with standards elsewhere and we are able to produce, in all our 460 and odd law schools and the 102 universities which offer legal education, students of the same calibre and knowledge. Apart from that, in the context of liberalization, privatization and globalisation, we have to keep pace with international standards.
5.16 The emergence of new econom.- globalisation, privatization and deregulation have thrown up new challenges. There are today revolutionary changes in information, communication and transportation 59 technologies which require corresponding changes in the legal system. Many highly specialized areas of law like intellectual property, corporate law, cyber law, human rights, alternative dispute resolution, international business transactions, have to be introduced in all our law schools.
The opening of trade and capital markets as a result of globalisation and the retreat of the State from traditional roles, have raised new legal issues concerning ways in which poor and marginalized sections can protect themselves from further impoverishment. Special emphasis has to be made on criminal justice. The very nature of law, legal institutions and law practice are in the midst of paradigm shifts.
5.17 Legal education must seek to serve distinct interdisciplinary knowledge domain.- law and society, law, science and technology; law, economics, commerce and management. To that extent, certain new law subjects should be introduced in the five year course of LLB in the first and second years.
5.18 Teaching must focus on building up the student, skills of analysis, language, drafting and argument. Teachers must bear in mind that while most of the students may choose a professional career as a lawyer, some others may choose a judicial career or career as a legal consultant or law officer in government or an academic career.
5.19 Alternative Dispute Resolution system.- mediation, conciliation, arbitration etc. must be and remain as a compulsory subject.
5.20 The curriculum should not make the mandatory element too large but subjects which are in need in the bulk of the courts in the mofussil, in the civil and criminal law, must be mandatory. While subjects mostly in use in the courts at the grass-root level must be mandatory and some new subjects can also be made mandatory, care must be taken to give more choice to the students in the optional subjects.
5.21 Syllabus could be structured not merely on the basis of mandatory subjects but also on basis of "credits" as done in the National Law School.
5.22 Accreditation and quality assessment of law schools must be introduced by the UGC & BCI fastly to build up a sense of competition between the different law schools. Legal education institutions are not today adequately subject to a rigorous system of quality assessment and accreditation processes. The various well-known parameters for evaluating the performance of a law school must be laid down by the UGC and the BCI and annual rating must be given to each law school and published in the internet to enable prospective students to compete for admission to the best law schools.
5.23 If necessary, this task may be performed by the UGC and BCI by taking the help of professional agencies who are well versed in accreditation processes of law schools. There must also be transparency about the quality of the assessment.
5.24 We, therefore, recommend substitution of the existing clause (h) of subsection (1) of section 7 which merely refers to "promotion of legal 61 education and laying standards in consultation with the Universities and State Bar Councils" as follows:
(a) for clause (h), the following clauses shall be substituted, namely:-
"(h) to promote legal education and lay down standards of such education in accordance with the recommendations of the Bar Council Legal Education Committee arrived at in the manner specified in section 10AA including, in the matter of-
(i) the prescription of standards relating to curriculum, admission of students, appointment and qualification of teachers;
(ii) the appointment of adjunct teachers from the Bar and from among the retired judges;
(iii) the prescription of conditions of service of the law teachers;
(iv) the prescription of student-teacher ratio;
(v) the laying down of guidelines for adopting different teaching methods;
(vi) specifying the conditions as to the location of law colleges, infrastructure, library and management;
(vii) promoting excellence in legal education for the purposes of the accreditation scheme if any, introduced by the University Grants Commission;
(viii) promoting alternative dispute resolution as a subject of academic study in the law schools for students;
(ix) promoting continuing education on alternative dispute resolution for legal practitioners;