One of the most respectable profession in the country of India is that of legal profession. But harder as it may sound there is an urgent need to revamp the entire legal education and the profession of advocacy to bring it on par with the other respectable professions in the country. In its endeavour to do the same the Supreme Court embarked on one of the most arduous of journeys of initiating long overdue reforms in the legal education and the profession of advocacy to bring the LLB on par with MBBS and B.Tech.
The bench said any addition to the pool of legal professionals must be talented and of good quality. “Administration of justice is as important as the profession of a doctor. If one is not permitted to become a half-baked doctor, you can’t also become a half-baked lawyer,” the CJI said. Though it questioned the statutory force behind the Bar Council of India’s decision to hold All India Bar Examination, it said in principle it was not against the screening test as there was a dire need to weed out non -serious persons from joining the profession. “Let the AIBE go on as scheduled. We are not averse to the examination to screen those entering the profession of advocacy. We want to strengthen it. The filtering mechanism needs to be strengthened so that the profession is not open to one and all,” the bench said. “Every year, 60,000 more join the profession, of which 2,000-odd are from National Law Schools,” it added. A law graduate must clear the AIBE within two years of enrolling as an advocate to be able to continue practicing in court.
The bench referred the matter to a three-judge bench for evolving criteria to weed out non-serious Laweyrs India from entering the profession. The CJI said, “In Jammu and Kashmir, there was a sound system where a law graduate enrolls as a pleader and practices for two years . After that, he gets enrolled as a ‘vakil’ and practices on the original side of the high court for three years. But now, a fresh law graduate can come straight to the apex court and argue cases. We ask them questions and they do not appear to know much about the practice and rules.”