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Harvard Professor Suggests to Make India a Hub for Legal Studies

Published: | September 02, 2019
Harvard Professor in OP Jindal Law School

Wilkins, Vice Dean, Harvard Law School,  convocation address of O P Jindal Global University said India has the potential to be one of the premier countries for legal practice and legal education.

Professor David V Wilkins of Harvard Law School claims that India has the all required potential to become a hub legal studies. He said that the Indian Bar Council should not be afraid of competing with lawyers from both India and abroad.

The Indian bar, therefore, should not be afraid of competing with lawyers from around the world, both here in India and abroad. The Vice Dean of Harvard Law School delivered the convocation address of OP Jindal Global University. According to him, some regulatory barriers were necessary until a certain point to allow India's legal profession to develop. However, it is a mistake to believe that such barriers will exclude competition from foreign lawyers in the long run.

The Indian legal market has been widely explored by foreign legal practitioners through fly-in-fly-out policy. With the advancement of technologies, it will create more ventures for them to grow in Indian legal markets. He expressed that the Indian Law Firms have high potential pointing at the growth and development of the sector in the past few years.

Wilkins noted that the foreign law firms willing to set up their offices in India is an unlikely scenario and if some of them do, they will only deal with commercial/corporate laws. Foreign lawyers have very little incentive to appear before Indian courts as they may lack thorough knowledge of Indian legal proceedings. He added that any Indian or foreign litigators will prefer experienced Indian Lawyers like Harish Salve, Kapil Sibal, Fali Nariman, Gopal Subramanium & Abhishek Manu Singhvi than appointing foreign lawyers in a course in front of the Supreme Court.

The Vice-Dean finally said that the Indian legal firm sectors should be open for foreign practitioners as it will help Indian Law Firms to learn and adopt best foreign practices and vice versa for their own benefits. It will also give the talented Indian Lawyers aspiring to work for law firms opportunity to stay in India rather being a part of Brain Drain.

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In a book published recently named ‘Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalisation: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society’, Wilkins has said that though a few government institutes like Delhi University and Private Establishments like OP Jindal Global University has rendered quality law education to the Indian youth, the number of students these institutes train is a fraction of the total number of aspiring law professionals in India. The existing other law schools in India which are about 16,000+ in number do not match with the quality of education rendered in these previously mentioned institutes. They strictly need quality up-gradation.

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Professor Wilkins said that if the other schools upgrade their quality, there can be nothing unachievable for the Indian Lawyers and they will be at par with Foreign Lawyers in the near future.

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