Supreme Court Petition Pushes for Introduction of Three-Year LL.B. Directly After Secondary Education

Supreme Court urged to allow 3-year LL.B. post-school, citing unnecessary length of 5-year courses, financial burden, and delayed career starts.

In a recent development, a public interest litigation (PIL) has been lodged before the Supreme Court advocating for a significant reform in legal education. The plea, spearheaded by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, urges the court to permit students to pursue three-year law courses immediately after completing their secondary education.

Currently, law courses embarked upon after school span a duration of five years, while those pursued subsequent to graduation (LL.B.) are condensed into three years.

In the PIL, Upadhyay contends that the existing duration of five years for Bachelor of Law courses is unjustifiable, deeming it arbitrary and irrational. He emphasizes that students can adequately cover the necessary curriculum within three years, encompassing approximately 15-20 subjects over six semesters. Upadhyay underscores the violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution owing to the elongated duration of the current courses.

The petition argues that the prolonged nature of five-year courses is unsuitable for students and imposes a substantial financial burden. Upadhyay advocates for a shorter duration, asserting that it would afford students two undisturbed years to gain practical experience in legal environments or pursue further academic endeavors.

Drawing upon examples from eminent jurists like Fali S Nariman and Ram Jethmalani, the plea advocates for enabling students to commence their legal careers by the age of 21. It questions the necessity of a prolonged educational trajectory and highlights the success of individuals who initiated their legal journeys at a younger age.

Furthermore, Upadhyay criticizes the influence of expensive colleges in dictating the length of law courses. He emphasizes that civil servants can embark on their careers immediately after undergraduate studies, contrasting it with the elongated path required for legal practitioners.

The PIL also implores the Central government, the Bar Council of India, and the Consortium of the National Law Universities to formulate a comprehensive strategy to attract top talent to the legal profession.

Filed through Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, the PIL seeks to spark a discourse on the need for reforms in legal education, advocating for a streamlined and accessible pathway for aspiring lawyers.