In most of the developing countries democracy is nurtured through rule of law and strengthening of democratic institutions. The Fundamental principles of rule of law form the basis for establishing a lawyer’s profile. Thereby it ensures integrity in law and everyone works within the law and not above it. Rule of law promotes predictable, impartial, accessible, timely and effective legal systems and non-discriminatory independent judicial systems. The degree of rule of law in a society is a reflection on the quality of its legal institutions which are directly dependent upon qualitative legal education. One of the concerns of good governance touches upon judicial independence. Further for the growth and development of an effective judiciary its members should have received a solid foundation in law during their stay in law schools. In any society a lawyer is one of the main actors in the legal process. He acts like a conduit pipe in the legal process and thus facilitates several transitional legal and developmental trends in the society. The role of a lawyer in a developing society is not that of a mere practicing professional rather he is more than the champion of the fundamental rights of the individual. He is in the fullest sense a part of the society and should understand the society in order to participate in its development and advancement. Since law is an instrument through which a society is preserved in its shape and character, it is viewed as a reflection of the society. As a lawyer he should be aware of the socio-political context and its implications for the development of the society and thus play an important role towards legal reforms. A society based on social justice can develop new institutions which can facilitate the maximum use of available man power The term legal education is centered within the frame work of training of lawyers, teaching curriculum, the conduct of training and the competence and standing of the lawyers so trained. In another sense legal education is the education of individuals who intend to become legal professionals or those who simply intend to use their law degree to some other end, either related to law (such as politics or academic) or business. It can include first degree in law, depending upon the country, can be studied either at the under graduate or graduate level. In some countries it may comprise of the course of vocational nature, that is compulsory for a prospective lawyer, and it may also be in the form of higher degrees. Apart from being criteria to become a lawyer, legal education can include higher degrees for a more academic purpose. Thus legal education is essentially a multi-disciplined, multi- purpose education which can develop the human resources and idealism needed to strengthen the legal system.
A lawyer, a product of such an education, would be able to contribute to national development and social change in a much more constructive manner. Therefore a student of law and an advocate has to be trained in professional skills to meet challenges and universalization of law to meet the 21 st Century requirements. With the advent of multinationals, as anywhere else, the task of lawyers would be highly technical and therefore an imperative need to have competent lawyers who would be trained in the right culture of legal education. The creation of new breed of lawyers is related to the need for a revised curriculum guided by one basic criterion i.e., whether the current doctrines and practice in particular area of law serve the promotion of democratic values.
The object of education is to bring out the latent good qualities and virtues in human beings. Truth, righteousness, love, empathy, nonviolence and altruism are the basic values which everyone should inculcate and put into practice in his thoughts, words and deeds. A good lawyer should be an ideal human being. Legal education should bring out the skills and virtues necessary for a humane and righteous lawyer. There was a time when lawyers profession was considered as the noblest profession. Lawful claims of illiterate people were presented before courts of law by utilizing the skill and eloquence of educated youths who could convince the judge, the nature of their clients grievances. Later, this service took the form of a profession. In the early stages, lawyers did not demand any fees for the service rendered by them. As a token for the service rendered, the clients used to deposit small coins in the small pocket on the back side of the lawyers gown. Thus the lawyers profession is not a liars profession. It is a charitable mission in which the skills of the lawyer are used to help the needy to prove their lawful and truthful claims before courts of law. The seven lamps of advocacy viz, honesty, courage, industry, wit, eloquence, judgment and fellowship are their armaments in this mission. Law students and legal professionals should remember the objectives of their profession and use their knowledge and skill for social welfare so as to uphold the dignity of their career.
DR. B. H. CHOUDHARY
Principal & Former Dean, Faculty of Law