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National Law Schools

Quite in contrast with the existing pattern of legal education in India, the proposed autonomous law schools varied in structural design and in various other respects. Some of these can be identified through the characteristics they carry, these being; Autonomous status of the law schools: This implied that the law schools carried either a 'deemed university' or a 'university' status, which empowered them to grant their own degree and which was recognized by other institutions in terms of the University Grants Commission regulations. Five year law programme: Earlier law degrees were granted only to those candidates who had already completed their graduation and after three years of formal legal education. However, the admission to these autonomous law schools were only to those candidates who had completed Grade 12. Integrated degrees: In these autonomous law schools, students studied for a law degree in integration with another degree of their choice. This allowed prospective advocates to have understanding of areas other than law. It also compensated for the lack of three years of formal education of other subjects that candidates in traditional three year law degree programme carried. Initially the choice of second degree was confined to B.A. (Bachelor of Arts). However, later with time other choices were also being offered like B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science), B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration), B.Com.(Bachelor of Commerce), etc. Intensive legal education: These law schools were given autonomy to devise the imparting of the curriculum in a manner which would best suit the candidate's ability to understand legal concepts and ability to appreciate various issues involved in legal setting and instill in them the merit and reasoning standards required for a high professional conducts. Also a standout features of these institutions is that these are single subject universities where the main thrust of education is on law with other complementary social sciences. National status of law schools: These Schools are recognized by the university grants commission as "state universities" and are affiliated to the Bar Council of India. Each of these law schools were to be established under a specific legislation, to be passed by the State legislature of the State desirous of establishing a law school. In terms of these legislation, these law schools were required to establish and practice excellent and high standards, at par with other national level institutions imparting education in other wakes of social life. The conferment of national status also make admittance to these law schools at a prestigious choice and thus inviting meritorious students to get inclined to join legal profession. Involvement of legal luminaries: To improve standards of legal education and ensure education imparted in these institutions met desired standards, the Bar Council of India involved various prestigious and talented individuals with these law schools. The most notable of these was the involvement of highly placed constitutional functionaries, such as the Chief Justice of India or the Chief Justice of various High Courts as the "Visitors" and often "Chancellors" of these law schools, which implied a constant involvement and supervision of elite figures of legal profession in India with these law schools.

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