ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR’S NAME : Priyanka Jain
UNIVERSITY - University of Delhi, Campus Law Center, Faculty of Law



With the rapid changingworld where there is a lot of information overload, technological developments, globalization, traditional ways of teaching are not sufficient to inculcate required personality to navigate through the complexities of a fast – evolving world. Learning and teaching methods should be given a paradigm shift to make education more experiential, experimentative, tech-oriented,integrated, inquisitive, research oriented, enjoyable and building the personality of a truly global citizen. The National Education Policy 2020, promotes unique capabilities of learners, promotes multilingualism and the power of language. It emphasizes conceptual understanding and evades rote learning. It encourages critical-thinking, creativity, logical decision-making and innovation. It promotes life-skills such as resilience, team-work, cooperation, and communication. Focusses on regular formative assessment over to summative assessment that give rise to coaching-culture. It suggests extensive use of technology,respect for diversity and for the local context, continuous professional development of teachers as they are the heart of the learning process. It considers education as a public service that access to education is a basic right of every child. It envisions India as a global knowledge superpower. It aims to provide curriculum and pedagogy that develops a deep sense of respect towards Constitutional values and fundamental duties. To make all learners a truly global citizen.The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, has introduced several changes with far-reaching implications for legal education. Here are the key changes brought by NEP 2020 for legal education and their implications. Section 17 of the National Education Policy discusses about Professional Education as follows:


NEP 2020 emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to education.Law universities are stand -alone universities.Policy suggested by 2040, all the Higher Education Institutions(HEIs) including law universities are to become holistic and multidisciplinary educational institutions. This encourages law students to explore subjects beyond traditional legal studies, fostering a holistic understanding of societal issues. Subjects like literature, psychology, philosophy, political science, criminology will help students navigate through complex issues of daily life. Law is something that requires learning from the environment not only from text books and case commentaries.These will enrich student’s familiarity with the jargon of that discipline. It will also equip students with necessary skills to tackle legal problems from any discipline like engineering, medicine, finance, data-protection, economic offences.


Legal education needs to be competitive in global market, by adopting best practices and embracing new technologies for wider access to and timely delivery of justice. This has been incorporated by ways of several changes like adoption of technology. Allowing foreign universities to open their campuses, using technology. Even collaborating with the international law-firms to provide exposure to the law students.India must also take the lead in preparing professionals in cutting-edge areas that are fast gaining prominence, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3-D machining, big data analysis, and machine learning.


Since Policy suggests to replace University Grant Commission(UGC) with HECI, Higher Education Commission of India to set academic standards.Law universities may lose out funding from the State which may result in increased tuition fees and fees of other infrastructure, however, it may curb fake-universities or business approach of law institutes or new law universities.


The introduction of a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options provides flexibility to law students. This allows them to earn a basic degree after the first three years or continue for a fourth year to specialize in a specific area of law.These option of multiple exits may yield good results or may not. This will not encourage one to carry on full degree if they get any good opportunity. Due to peer pressure of job or marriage one may be forced to quit the degree in between. This may play with the dignity of a prestigious law degree as it may be pursued as a gap-filler in academic journey only to secure a good career opportunity or life partner.


National Education Policy 2020 envisions integrated education, combining legal education with practical training by the year 2020. Law schools are encouraged to establish collaborations with legal practitioners, providing students with hands-on experience and exposure to the legal profession.This is a good step to ensure removal of hesitation during the law studies itself and also erode initial year struggle as a legal practitioner. It will build networking skills, group-dynamics, leadership, understanding the perspective of others thereby improving critical thinking.


The policy advocates for the incorporation of clinical legal education, this approach encompasses learning theory and applying it to practice. It is experiential learning unlike rote learning. It follows the approach of learn, absorb and reflect, where students actively engage in real legal cases under the guidance of experienced practitioners. This approach enhances practical skills and prepares students for the challenges of legal practice.This will also help in capacity building of legal practitioners and their attitudes so that they are ready to face any professional dilemma with proper resolution.


National Education Policy 2020 suggests the amalgamation of technology in education. Law schools are encouraged to leverage online platforms, e-resources, and digital tools to enhance the learning experience. It also involves automation of legal tasks thereby reducing paper work, increased accuracy, time bound delivery of cases, fast drafting and more clientele.This prepares students for a technology-driven legal landscape. This prepares them for global out-reach. Now-a-days law profession is a legal technology, so must be acquainted with proper technology tools to deliver services that are at par with global professional standards.


The policy underscores the importance of research and critical thinking skills. Law students are encouraged to engage in research projects, write papers, and contribute to legal education. This emphasis aims to nurture a culture of inquiry and intellectual rigor. There is no substitute for critical thinking even any robot or AI tool cannot take the place of a polished critical thinker mind. Research skills will help in bringing out correct information on the table.


NEP 2020 places a strong emphasis on inclusion and diversity in education. Knowledge is a variable which depends upon place, time, situation, conditions.It includes recognition, appreciation, and use of the talents and skills of young minds of all backgrounds to add value to the legal landscape of our country.It keeps changing.Law schools are encouraged to adopt inclusive practices, ensuring that legal education is accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. This aligns with the goal of promoting social justice through legal education.


The policy emphasizes the incorporation of professional ethics and values in legal education. However, the Bar Council is responsible for professional standards and ethics in legal practice.Law schools are expected to instill a strong sense of ethical conduct and social responsibility in aspiring legal professionals.


NEP 2020 promotes global exposure for students. Law schools are encouraged to establish collaborations with international institutions, organize exchange programs, and facilitate opportunities for students to gain exposure to international legal perspectives.This will instill a desire to perform their best by taking a challenge from foreign attorneys, solicitors and even paralegals. Foreign jurisdiction’s paralegal are also not less than lawyers. Indian law students can learn a lot from them.


The policy advocates for a shift in assessment methods, moving away from rote learning. Continuous evaluation, project work, and practical assessments are encouraged, providing a more comprehensive evaluation of a student’s understanding and application of legal concepts. This approach will help them build their sample work, identifying their practical weak spots. If law is something to be read and learned then it undermines their contribution as a lawyer. Ultimate job of a lawyer is to understand the scenario, application of legal mind, take decisions and provide recommendations. Practical assignments and project work will help lawyers to shape their personality.


The Policy has also taken steps to curb commercialization of higher education as a whole, by providing not-for-profit educational institutions not restricted to mere legal education. Since the last few decades education, preferably legal education, has been commercialized. There are a lot of law institutions that have started growing like mushrooms, however, they have received recognition from the Bar Council of India, but they are not recognized by the University Grant commission. They started selling degrees in place of awarding degrees. Such degrees were liked by those who suffered a setback in their career, they started enrolling themselves in such degree programs so that they are carrying out their current business and pursuing degree even without studying and preparing for exams. Such students are not valuing the dignity and decorum of this prestigious degree. So, the policy put forth a good step to curb this menace.However, para 10.3 of the National Education Policy, 2020 provides for an Autonomous degree-granting College (AC) will refer to a large multidisciplinary institution of higher learning that grants undergraduate degrees and is primarily focused on undergraduate teaching though it would not be restricted to that and it need not be restricted to that and it would generally be smaller than a typical university. This may further lead to commercialization unless Higher Education Commission of India, set some criteria to curb this menace.As every legal norm has a social solution , so implementation of this clause require lot of care and scrutiny and subjecting such Autonomous Degree- granting colleges(AC) for time to time submission of final report regarding their accounts or balance-sheets.These changes collectively aim to transform legal education in India, aligning it with contemporary needs, fostering a well-rounded skill set in law graduates, and preparing them for the dynamic challenges of the legal profession. The impact of these reforms is expected to be substantial, shaping a new generation of legal professionals equipped to navigate the complexities of the legal landscape.


There are several issues regarding law education. That is not addressed by the policy, the policy is a comprehensive document with respect to higher education in India, but not giving a specific thought to challenges faced by the law-graduates.While pursuing law studies students are not allowed to pursue any other course because of the dignity of the degree. The logic behind this ideology emanates from the era of British India that the field of law is unique and it demands utmost focus to maintain integrity and dignity of the degree. One should not pursue any other occupation after getting this outstanding degree. Do we follow all the standards of British India even today? Is it justifiable to follow the Barrister practice approach of Mahatma Gandhi’s time, where he had to struggle a lot. Whether the purpose of law degree is only to uphold the standards and reputation of degree. What is worth-while, reading a book and sharing its knowledge or preserving the book in the library for generations to come? So, this traditional aspect of legal knowledge needs further reconsideration for optimization of potential of Indian law graduates.After graduating from the law university, graduates can apply for one option like only advocacy, only Master’s degree, only in-house counsel. However, this issue is beyond the scope of National Education Policy, but relevant for the discussion about its impact. There is no use of multidisciplinary approach or use of technology, if graduates are restricted because of high standards of degree. It will suppress the full potential of budding lawyers, particularly in the global market. Higher standards should act as allies to the professional grooming and success of the lawyers rather than barriers.


To sum up, we may say that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 acts as a catalyst for crucial changes in legal education in India. It envisions a future where critical thinking, innovation, global exposure through global legal practitioners and faculties, have been given more weightage than score-card. The metamorphosis of legal education is evident in the suggestion for four-year undergraduate programs with multiple exit options, integrated education and proper training, clinical legal education, and a strong emphasis on ethics and values. The introduction of technology and a departure from rote learning or learning for examination signal a departure from traditional ways of learning and preparing young minds for a dynamic and technology-driven legal landscape to build their personal brand rather than looking for job opportunities to kick start their career.As legal education aligns with contemporary needs, it evolves into a holistic experience that is much more than only reading and interpreting bare-acts, learning casenames and citations and applying law to the facts of the case and presenting arguments in the courtrooms to win the case. It is a fusion of diverse disciplines, where one is not just a lawyer but also a analyst, a psychologist who understand the mental state of his client, a criminologist who try to understand the cause of crime rather than requesting the judge to deliver maximum punishment to the accused.The Policy furnishes a floor for critical thinking, and a bridge to global perspectives. It provides not only the floor to stand but instills certain high demand skills to compete and succeed in the legal career. NEP 2020 envisions legal professionals not just as practitioners of law but as legal technologists, architects of change, equipped with a deep sense of ethics, a global outlook, and the ability to navigate the complex issues of an ever-evolving legal profession.Policy has enabled higher education to be given a new thought and come out of the cookie-cutter approach that was actually suppressing the true personality and capabilities of young minds of India.

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