Here is why the demand for three-year Law programmes have increased

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Here is why the demand for three-year Law programmes have increased
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‘Law’ has the distinction of being the first academic degree to be offered in the medieval period. The early Law schools in the 11th century were known for their ‘Glossators’ from Italy, France and Germany. These scholars specialised in the study of Roman law. It is said the first university from Europe at Bologna was said to be founded by legal scholars. The University of Bologna model went on to be the sought-after prototype to study Law throughout Europe. England, however, was an exception which did not accept the Roman aw except for the admiralty and canon laws taught by Oxford and Cambridge.

The later-day nomenclature of ‘LLB’ stands for ‘Legum Baccalaureus’ in Latin. The Bachelor’s degree owes its origins from the University of Paris and later evolved in Oxford and Cambridge. Later, in the US and Canada – it gave way to juris doctor instead of the LLB.

In the Indian context, what we know as the ‘vakils’ of the Mughal era, came to be known as advocates in the British system. However, Indian practitioners were restricted from practising under the system before the ‘Legal Practioners Act of 1846, gave all nationals the right to practice in the court of Law.

In independent India, the Bar Council of India (BCI) created by the Advocates Act of 1961 became the regulatory body for the legal education system. The degrees that are recognised and awarded are LLB (Bachelor of Laws) and BL (Bachelor of Law).

The universities and colleges affiliated to BCI offer the three-year Law degree programme where a recognised first degree from any discipline is a pre-requisite. In the last few years, the demand for three -year Law has gained momentum. Those who aspire for the three-year programme need to look at four important factors: Firstly, if the programme offered is an ‘honours’ programme. This is essential as the candidates who graduates from the three-year stream have to compete with the five-year candidates with honours degree. Secondly, Law aspirants need to look at the faculty profile as it is essential to orient the students who come from various first degree programmes. Thirdly, the infrastructure in terms of electronic resources and the quality of the physical library. This is a crucial factor for the capacity building of the future lawyer. Fourth and final aspect, whether the three-year programme provides equal opportunity in terms of moot court participation, internship opportunities and related legal skills.

Bennett Law School has started its 3-year LLB Hons programme from the 2019-20 academic year and has structured its programme on the four essential inputs stated earlier. Additionally, Bennett’s School of Law has academic collaborations with Cornell Law School in the US. The latter’s faculty visit Bennett University for teaching courses are part of the curriculum.

Applications for admission to 2019-20 academic year are currently open with classes commencing from August 19, 2019. Bennett University is offering scholarships based on graduation or DU entrance test scores.
(The author is Dean, School of Law, Bennett University)

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