Updated: Jul 30, 2022
Legal education in India is regulated by the BCI, which was founded in 1953. The Bar Council of India recognises all law schools that want to offer legal education in our country. It is a mandatory requirement for the schools to get this recognition and follow all the guidelines prescribed by the Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India gives representation to all the bar councils of the states in our country, and its members are elected from the bar council of each state for a term of five years. Members of the Bar Council of India also include the Attorney General and the Solicitor General of India. The chairman of the council is elected by the members for a period of two years. The Bar Council of India also acts as the representative of the community of the advocates and also protects their rights while also prescribing procedures in case there are complaints against an advocate.
Recently, the Bar Council of India laid down its plan for revamping legal education in our country before the Supreme Court. According to the affidavit filed by the Bar Council of India on April 11, 2022, the scores obtained by young lawyers in an online legal aptitude test could lead to getting them placed under senior advocates or those with a standing of 25 years or more in the bar. According to the reforms proposed by the Bar Council of India, senior advocates may have to share their chambers with at least five young lawyers. This was done in response to the questions from the court and the bench imploring the bar council to bring reforms to the legal education system, which starts from the law colleges following the prescribed standards to the placements of the graduates.
Another significant change in reforming the system is the introduction of new state-level exams for admission to law schools instead of the schools conducting their exams separately. The council also submitted that they are planning to form a rule of conducting an online objective-based examination of the law graduates, the result of which will be valid for six months.
The Bar Council, in their submission, also stated that they had taken measures to prevent the mushrooming of law colleges and the lowering of the standards of these institutions and also put forth some of their complaints regarding the conditions of government-run law schools. One of the measures was the issuance of a three-year moratorium back in August 2019 to increase the standard of the law schools and opening of new ones, which was later held unconstitutional by the Punjab and Haryana High Court as it considered the moratorium to be a violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. In June 2021, the Bar Council of India stated that the moratorium was no longer.