Sonipat (haryana): O.P Jindal Global University’s “Jindal Global Law School” has launched a 3-year B.A (Hons) Legal Studies, the universally acclaimed graduate course in law.
Harvard Professor Stephen. P. Marks launched the course at a special function here this past Wednesday, 16 October 2019. Prof Stephen himself is a proponent of this course. During his graduate years, he had pursued B.A (Law) from Stanford University. He underscored the importance of this course by observing that a graduate in Law could be an ideal change agent for the coming generations. Pulling out pages from his own past, Prof Stephen explained how as a teenager he was impressed and viewed law as a change agent during the civil movement against racism in the United States of America. He explained how law as a career had impressed him especially as it empowers and has the potential and power backed with knowledge to combat and set things rights whenever a wrong law is passed or gets enacted.
Professor Stephen told the students that as a law student he had the honour to be taught by legendary professors who then became change agents. He particularly referred to the legendary Law Professor Rene Samuel Cassin, who became a Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his work on human rights and the Universal declaration of Human Rights. He went on to emphasise how on becoming a part of the legal academia, he had challenged many prevalent notions, since he had the knowledge to bring about change.
Prominent among those who attended the inaugural event were Prof. C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Dean of Jindal Global Law School. Prof Raj spoke about the importance of law schools in the new millennia and said they are in a special position to contribute when it comes to giving direction to the decision makers on complex issues. In coming times, there will be convergence between artificial intelligence and legal issues, he said adding the will to call something as wrong comes only when one is able to decide logically by connecting it to human behavior and the study thereof.
Prof Raj gave a curtain raiser on BA (Hons) Legal Studies programme, which is an American way of learning, especially for the benefit of the students who had especially come to attend the function from various Schools of Delhi NCR. Law is now best suited to study in India and the students passing out from this stream will be real change agents as explained by Professor Stephen, he said.
At the outset, Deepu Krishna, Deputy Director Admissions and Outreach, threw light on the changing trend, from the decade of the ’90s onward. Students first thought about law as a career linked only with law courts but the legal profession has gone through a sea change and now it is one of the most preferred career options for students across all streams, he told the gathering and focused attention on the diverse areas where a person qualified in legal studies could build a career and how the young generation can pursue law and bring about change in society.
Prof. Anand Prakash Mishra, Director Admissions and Outreach took the session ahead by explaining the importance of BA(Hons) Legal Studies as an undergraduate stream and how this course had been brought to India by the efforts of eminent scholars from Jindal Global law School, who have created a course at par with what’s being taught in America.
The BA (Hons) Legal Studies programme is structured on four pillars:
(i) foundation in legal concepts,
(ii) advocacy and debating skills
(iii) experiential hands-on training, and
(iv) legal research and writing.
The BA (Hons) Legal Studies programme aims to prepare students to pursue careers in law and allied legal services and for further studies in law or in liberal disciplines. This degree will not enable its holder to enroll as an advocate to practice law. However, the degree offers numerous employment opportunities in law-related and allied fields e.g., paralegals, legal assistants, and policy professionals. In addition, the programme qualifies its graduates to pursue a three year LL.B. programme, certain Master’s programmes in law that do not require a Bachelor’s degree in law (e.g., M.B.L. degree of certain universities), Post-Graduate diploma in law, and all other PG programmes. The programme also serves as a springboard for pursuing further studies in law outside India, such as Juris Doctor programmes in the United States. In that sense, B.A. (Hons) in Legal Studies is like any other UG programme but it is particularly meant for students who have a stronger inclination to pursue the study of law but may not be willing to enroll in a full-fledged law programme in India.
The event was attended by those representing some top schools, and also teachers and counsellors. On this occasion, Prof Raj felicitated the teachers and counsellors and told the students that they should also aspire to become teachers, challenging the current trend, where students rarely want to take up teaching as a profession.