Legal Education And Its Dilemma

Legal Education And Its Dilemma

It has been two years since I have been part of the legal education system in Karachi. I am frequently asked questions like: how can I become a good lawyer? Is my education sufficient to become a good lawyer? Will my studies make me a good lawyer and can this profession give me a good salary in the future?

Generally my answer is that there are no shortcuts and you have to work hard in order to become successful in this profession. But I have realized that students are mainly dissatisfied with the belief that the education in which they are investing their time will not give them a prosperous future. This is further fueled by a common perception in law colleges that the theory and practice of law are two different things.

Considering all these notions that we are surrounded by and the recent updates to legal education in Pakistan, there are two recommendations that should be added. Firstly, legal clinics should be incorporated into our curriculum as they provide the best opportunity to learn how to deal with the clients. Unfortunately, the legal system in Pakistan does not focus on the client at all.

Law schools mostly focus on mooting, which is based on advocacy skills. These moot court sessions help you practice advocacy and how to present your case to a judge. According to me, this is the second stage of a lawyer. The first stage is knowing how to deal with your client. Our law colleges do not give any training on how to talk to the client. There are different ways to talk to clients, for example you would speak to a corporate client in one manner but you would speak to a rape victim very differently.

Incorporating legal clinics into our education system will help develop client sensitivity and boost legal education to a higher level. Obviously, the process and requirements for obtaining a licence to practice law are already in place, but our system will surely benefit more from these additions.

With the high fees charged by law schools, it is their responsibility to incorporate clinics to help students develop certain skill-sets.

The next recommendation is to engage final year law students with the prosecution department and police. This can be done through internship opportunities and should be added as a mandatory coursework requirement to ensure compliance.

As a law teacher I feel that these two things are essential for law students. These ideas are not completely new as students completing their BBA and MBA have been building such skills throughout their degrees. Law students on the other hand have not been given such opportunities. These changes will help law students understand who their target audience is and how to best build a career that is suitable to their interests.

I believe our legal education completely ignores these two areas. By incorporating these two recommendations within our resources we can make legal education a worthwhile degree in Pakistan as well.

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any other organization with which she might be associated.

Sana Khan

The writer is an Advocate of the High Court and a lecturer at the School of Law, University of Karachi.



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6 Comments

  1. Hamad Zahid said:

    Mem I read it thoroughly,
    Iam agree with ur opinions, but I would like to add some suggestions. As for as other professions are concerned like doctors getting stiffen upto 25000 now a days in working as a house job, engineer , Mba, Bba , holder etc getting apprenticeships upto Rs ,12000 ,permonth . But as for as law graduate is concerned during pupil age no any such type of reward , remuneration, except such sourcefull students working through good link in best firms or with their relative ones.

  2. Hamad Zahid said:

    Secondly yes there should be such activities with moot courts in which the academy should train the students off final years,through thier best praticing lawyers to train them how to deal with a clients I.e how to deal with family matters , only few capturing points are there how to draft and what are the main points to lead ur case, like this in every field G & W, civil, stay , criminal . Etc. But sorry to say most of the institutions will shows u best depicts of teaching law in their prospectus but doesn’t follow that.

  3. Hamad Zahid said:

    3rdly the teaching faculty of mostly 2nd and final year should be practicing lawyers they will guide or teach with their practical experience then as for as my perception is concerned the gap of theory and practical can be cover.

  4. Hamad Zahid said:

    Finally u captured nicely the current situations faced by the law graduates , I have given my opinion based on 7 month as practcing lawyer to be a lawyer is too difficult in initial stage there is too hard to survive in this field , a good lawyer can reap the real charm of advocacy at least after five years latter. So I would like to draw attention of Bar Members Law Department to do something take some fruitfull steps for this profession . Thanks.

  5. Fatima Zia said:

    Thank you mam, for sharing this . Literally you are right and that’s my question also, we are in last year and we don’t know how to deal with our client and how to talk with victim or accused . Law documents also prefer how to make , or main thing these law schools should give opportunities to work with firm or or with best lawyers which we know how to work. Humesha kehdia jata hay practical life mein aplogo ko ayega . Phir jo itni mehnat karey at the end result fail isliye log professional life mein aksar profession change karte hay , point is prosecution and advocacy skills sahi law schools mein batein tu in future students ko bhot easily work ayega or good opportunities ayengi. Thank you

  6. Umair Mughal said:

    Assalam walikum mam, u said well, i would like to add one thing.why in law colleges, students think that the theory n practice of law r two different things? i think it is a wrong perception, n it makes students disappointed n it is very important for law student to believe in reality not make perception…

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