There is always room at the top they say. However, when it comes to legal education in India, this room does not seem to be well utilised. The state of legal education in India portrays two quite extreme sides, when it comes to the nature and quality of education being imparted. There are the elite national law schools and other first tier institutions and then there are the others. Law may remain the same, however, due to lack of opportunity and high standards of assimilation of knowledge, the ‘others’ clan often produces an army of educated unemployed devoid of practical application skills.
This is the reason behind the mythical perception of legal education beyond the ambit of the elite law institutions. Indirectly, it not only leads to a qualitative as well as quantitative decline in the number of professionals in the legal arena, but also affects the prospects of law as a vocational option. As such, it is the responsibility of the legal fraternity as a whole to pool in the available resources and improve the existing scenario for the sake of the students and channel out this improvement in the broader perspective. Project LIEN marks the introduction of one such initiative, which seeks to connect the high end resourceful branches of the legal fraternity to the lower end of the law students and thus develop an extensive knowledge assimilation program. It provides a platform for the expert academicians in various fields of law to interact with the students of the ‘other’ law colleges and instigate a cycle of sharing information and skills among the students.
Project LIEN on one hand provides a unique opportunity for the legal fraternity to contribute towards the grass root development of the legal education sphere, and on the other hand a chance for the students to develop practical skills. There have been several plans coming up regarding setting up a National Law School in every state in the country. However, LIEN operates on the line of thought of making every other law institution in India an equivalent hub of knowledge and skills as the top law institutions of the country.
The Project proposes a four staged process. Initially, the students are sensitized by various legal experts as to the various areas of law, for instance, mergers, acquisitions, intellectual property regulations, etc. This forms the First Stage and would facilitate insight into various legal dimensions, delivered by the experts themselves. The main objective of this stage would be to deliver an extra edge of practical application of law to the students, besides the basic theoretical concepts.
The second stage would include the formation of student groups. These groups will be formed by the students among themselves after the sensitization process is over. The groups will be formed according to the interests of the students in the various areas of law. For instance, there may be an IPR group constituted by students interested in the Intellectual Property Regulations. Each group shall also appoint a team leader. These student groups will then sensitize each other on the area chosen and will get updated to the maximum. Each student can pick up a specific sub-topic and update the other group members regarding the same. In this way, each student will be able to get a comprehensive insight of the particular area.
After the intra-group sensitization concludes, the groups begin an inter-group approach and assimilate the knowledge of their areas to students of other groups. This can be done by organising seminars, workshops and other such activities. This forms the Third Stage.
After the extensive exercise of information exchange, the process of institutionalisation will start, when the students will initiate the process of forming academic power houses among themselves. The students create a platform and then participate in the subsequent developments in their respective areas of interest by analysing and commenting on the advancements happening in the legal arena. This forms the fourth stage.
The project derives its origins from a program conceptualised by the batch of 2011 of National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. Unfortunately, with the lack of proper monitoring and support, the desired results could not be achieved. As such, Stripped Law founder Raghul Sudheesh has now decided to reinforce the idea by compiling and collaborating available resources with adequate monitoring so as to take this to the next level. Project LIEN derives its basis from a system supported by the academic fraternity of the legal education sphere and the assistance of the students and teachers of the target institutions. It involves a collective effort to bring about success in achieving the objectives targeted by the project.
So far, eminent personalities like Prof. MP Singh, Prof. Shamnad Basheer, Apar Gupta and Advocate M.A. Rashid have joined the Board of Advisors for the project. Many academic experts have volunteered for the sensitization program.. The Pilot project has already been initiated in the Government Law College, Calicut.
In furtherance of advancing the collaboration between the different spheres of the legal regime, Project LIEN calls for volunteers from all levels of the legal fraternity to aid this initiative and contribute to their social responsibility.
Law Students can apply as volunteers for implementation of the program at the institutional level. Interested Student Volunteers can apply with a statement of purpose to the email id given below.
Further, partnerships and collaborations from all the people and institutions of the legal fraternity are invited to further strengthen this noble project.
Any inquiries in this regard can be made to
Mr. Raghul Sudheesh
Mob: +91 87221 53555.
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