may be is, but the headline is my one-line takeaway for me after attending a recent symposium on the future of legal education. Held in New Delhi (cough cough) over the past weekend, the two-day event saw multiple panel discussions, each with a diverse mix of speakers.
For me (and Amicus Partners), the symposium was particularly relevant since it was organized by LSAC, and Harvard Law School’s Centre on the Legal Profession (CLP). For obvious reasons, I watch both these organizations with more than a little interest. After all, LSAC has been conducting the LSAT for Indian law schools for a while now; LSAC is also the preferred mode of LLM admissions for roughly half of all US law schools.
I was also keen to meet Professor Kellye Testy, the recently appointed CEO and President of LSAC, and our brief conversation (to be published soon) did not disappoint.
As for the CLP, well I have been following Professor Wilkins and the GLEE project for a couple of years now. They have managed to come up with some interesting publications, so if you have the time do take a look.
Anyway, I could not attend all the panel discussions but the ones I did attend were well worth the hike to Lutyens Delhi. The discussions also made me realize that there is such a pressing need to start publicly debating issues that plague Indian law schools.
Some of the pertinent (law is showing – Ed) points that I think deserve more discussion are:
- The funding structure of law schools and not necessarily only on the fees component. Do Indian law schools have a road map for moving away from government funding and/or student fees?
- How efficient is the entrance mechanism for law schools? And here efficiency includes access, as a means to measure one’s potential, and overall purpose.
- Greater involvement and/or support of the Corporate Bar when it comes to Indian law school
Sure, some of these topics fall directly in the clichéd category, but I don’t think that lessens their importance.
We need to talk about legal ed.
And we need to do it now.