A Study of Experiential Legal Education in India

A Study of Experiential Legal Education in India
Legal education is crucial for a democratic country. The role of Lawyers in a society is well known and undisputed. Lawyers are products of legal education, and quality of Lawyers is directly impacted from the quality of the curriculum followed in a law instittue. There fore, it is important to ensure legal education provides the best.
Over the years, legal education has been criticised for being out dated, theoretical, and failing to prepare law students for their professional life. There has been greater emphasis on “the academic study of law rather than on training in lawyering skills or values” even though various reforms were initiated in the past century.
The reason for such set backs have been the focus on the old-fashioned pedagogical approach of lecture method in law institute.
It was pointed out that , lecture method alone wouldn't suffix training law students to think like lawyers. It was time to move beyond the method. Th method created a disconnect within The learners to putting the theory in practice. The disconnect overlooked of social justice lawyering resulting in lawyers failing to have a robust grounding in law as it actually is. Thus, it seems that there is an ever growing division between society and lawyers, which poses significant threat to society.
India is home to over 1500+ centre's of legal education under five broad categories based on their pedagogical autonomy. To understand the rationale of the criticism and reviving the intellectual resources wasted, an evidence-based study was conducted. It was a quasi experimental research using concurrent triangular strategy. The research investigated into the role of experiential legal education in preparing law students to be competent and efficient lawyers. Samples from institutions across India, including stakeholders from different dimensions, authorities, and different agencies involved in Legal education. The research involved qualitative and quantitative method. Qualitative method through focused group discussions, interview to capture perceptions, input for improvement etc. where as quantitative input to understand the quality of curriculum, the interrelation between different learning methods etc.
It was surprising to see the divergent approach to framing and executing the curriculum. The research unfolded many best practices in India, which was underrated but also brought to light a large amount of intellectual resources that was under used. It was hard to ignore the these centers have great potential, when tapped rightly could redress societal challenges and bring in progress. To address the challenge, based on the research, suggestions were laid down at three levels: Institutional, university and regulatory.The three tier suggestion was considering the feasibility of implementing, and sustainable. Most of the institutional recommendations do not face logistically challenges, which ensures transformed learning experience to the students. Let educational instructions and society no longer work in solace, rather, let the institution be the center of transformation.


Rhea Roy Mammen

Defended in

1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2021

PhD defended at

National Law School of India University, Bengaluru


Social Sciences


South Asia