As emerging business practices and new technologies are reshaping the legal industry, there is an urgency to upgrade curriculum of legal studies to promote responsive legal practitioners who can meet evolving industry demand. Senior legal practitioners deliberated on the gaps between the legal industry and academia during the 3rd Law Round Table organized by UPES, a leading multi- disciplinary university, in Delhi.
Delivering the theme address, Jyoti Sagar, Chairman & Founder, J. Sagar Associates said, “Improvement in the industry- academia connect to produce practice-ready lawyers is the need of the hour”. He also highlighted key professional competencies such as problem solving, identifying risk, research skills, communication skills, negotiation skills and practice management that are lacking in the current set of fresh law graduates in the industry.
During the first panel discussion on ‘Law education in India: The Missing Links’ moderated by Dr Tabrez Ahmed, Director, School of Law, UPES; Dr Akhil Prasad, Director, Country Counsel India & Company Secretary, Boeing India Pvt. Ltd. stressed upon the lack of exposure to law students in international standard practices. Madhavi Divan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, said “there is a lack of adequate sensitization of students about the Indian society and situations.”
Dr Manoj Kumar, Founder & Managing Partner, Hammurabi & Solomonwho was a part of the panelsaid“universities can also contribute towards formulation of policy frameworks and can involve their law students in this process.”
Highlighting a unique initiative by UPES to bridge the widening industry-academia gap, Dr. Tabrez Ahmed, Director, School of Law, elaborated on ‘Abhigyat’, a project under which UPES sends its faculty members for industry internships through which they are able correlate theory with practical application, in turn making teaching relevant to the industry and augmenting the realism of the classroom course.
Second panel discussion on ‘Role of a lawyer in society: Values ðics’ moderated by Justice Manju Goel, former Judge, High Court of Delhi witnessed some thought provoking discussion around a lawyer’s duty towards the courtroom and towards society. Expert participants, Mr AseemChawla, Founder & Managing Partner, ASC Legal, Ms. Meghana Mishra, Partner, Karanjawala & Co, Ms Mumtaz Bhalla, Partner, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices and Mr Nishant Venkat, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co agreed to the point that a lawyer must practice their fundamental duties as they are in a unique position and can do it effectively.
The session was concluded by a valedictory address by Dr. Lalit Bhasin, Managing Partner, Bhasin & Co who emphasized on the importance of good writing skills in the industry and incorporating a subject on legal writing in all law courses.
Founded in 2007, UPESSchool of Lawis not just a standalone law school but a part of the larger integrated eco-system at UPES. It offers law programs with specializations in Corporate Law, Energy Law, Taxation Laws, Intellectual Property Rights and Cyber Law.