Legal Education: Meaning & Role

Like other science or social science subjects, law subject is also a well−defined area of education. In the education system, there are separate schools and universities that offer bachelor’s degree (LLB) and master’s degree (LLM).

What does Legal Education Describe?

According to the Indian Law Commission, "Legal education is a discipline that conveys to students, knowledge of specific principles and legal provisions and enable them to enter the legal profession." In contemporary developing nations, law, legal education, and development have converged. The primary goal of legal education is to create socially conscious lawyers. Recently, legal education ought to be seen as a tool for social design as well as a means of producing attorneys.

The Honorable Justice Krishna Iyer stated that "the legal profession occupies a very high stature and the practice of law is a noble calling." Every society's foundation is law, and it produces law−abiding citizens, lawyers, academicians, and future judges. In India, legal education refers to the training and education received by attorneys prior to their admission to the bar.

Development of Legal Education

During the ancient period, especially in monarchical system, the legal education was the teachings related to dharma and nyaya, which were usually delivered by kings and princes during to ensure the justice. Then, during the Mughal era, the idea of legal representatives emerged. Due to the fact that many of our liberation fighters had legal backgrounds, legal education existed long before India gained its independence.

Subsequently, in the modern era, legal education is given by way of a specified and recognized institutions that accredited by the UGC and associated with the Bar Council of India. Likewise, in the modern era, an aspiring student can pursue either 5 years integrated LLB degree (after his/her 12th) or 3 years LLB degree (after his/her graduation).

Aim of Legal Education

The main goals of legal education are −

  • To provide a center where students can get the facility to learn the law and contribute towards its growth and improvement;

  • To instill organizational legal rules in students and to give them enough experience to apply specific laws;

  • To train students and make them legal professional;

  • To educate the students in solving the problems of the individual client and in solving the problems of the society in which he lives;

  • Pointing out the importance of the rule of law;

  • To provide a center where scholars can contribute to the growth and improvement of the law;

Thus, the goal of legal education should be to provide students with the knowledge and abilities necessary to build and uphold a just society.

Legal Education in USA

There are three types of law degrees in USA to practice law. These are as follows −

  • Juries Doctor,

  • Master of Law and

  • Doctor of Juridical Science.

Juries Doctor (JD)

It is equivalent to India’s LLB degree. To pursue JD program, Applicants must have bachelor’s degrees at minimum. However, the prospective students don’t need to take any undergraduate law courses or have prior experience with the judicial system.

Master of Law

The Master’s degree programs, which are considered to be the first level of graduate degrees, the Master of Law is the second professional law degree after the Juris doctor.

Doctor of Juridical Science

The most advanced law degree in the United States is the Doctor of Juridical Science program. It is equivalent to PhD program, which is offered by Indian Universities. This program is for established legal professionals, usually who has substantial years of working experience.

Importance of Legal Education in India

The concept of legal education is broad. It encompasses the profession that is exercised in a court of law, as well as administration in several fields where law is essential. It promotes equality before the law. The caliber and standard of the legal education received in law school are reflected in the bar and bench. If one is aware of state issues, one is more equipped to understand the law. In a democratic society, the value of legal education cannot be overstated. Everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the law. Law−related ignorance is not an excuse. As a result, legal education not only builds effective lawyers but also law−abiding individuals with respect for human rights.

Factors that Influence Legal Education in India

Many elements that affect the legal education system are as follows −

  • Government strategy

  • The time−to−time, rules of Bar Council of India

  • A private organization that oversees law schools

  • Strategy for federal litigation

  • Changes in the legal profession

  • Changes to the legal system

  • The infrastructure that is accessible, the technological breakthroughs, the advancements in other areas of education, and the social changes

Roles of Legal Education

The main roles are −

  • to develop the varied knowledge and skill sets required for social tasks. This increases social mobility and possibilities, particularly for marginalized groups.

  • Forming values and actions, understanding social challenges, and forming beliefs.

  • Utilizing educational resources and develop interest−based research for education and community.


India is going through a tremendously culinary journey with legal education. India still needs intellectual and mature lawyers despite having the highest population of lawyers in the world, as India’s population is very high. There are many opportunities for talented law graduates, and India's new generation of law schools must play a significant part in improving the standard of legal education. As a result, the legal education landscape is evolving in the direction that those who wish the legal profession can avail it easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is legal education crucial?

In order to understand the country’s legal provisions, judicial systems, and on top of this to understand own fundamental and legal rights, the legal education is crucial. Under the legal education, law students need to study the organization of governments and courts of law, including the system of appeals and other adjudicating authorities, as well as the processes for creating laws, resolving disputes, and regulating the legal profession.

Q. What are the legal requirements to practice law in the court?

A person who has completed his degree from any university that is affiliated with the Bar Council of India. And, after completing the graduation, he/she needs to enroll himself/herself with the respective state’s bar council.

Q. What is Indian legal education?

In India, legal education primarily refers to the training that lawyers receive before beginning their careers. There are many law schools and universities that offer graduate (LLB program) and post−graduate (LLM program) course. Besides, there are dozens of certificate and advance short−term courses that designed to enrich the lawyers’ legal knowledge.

Q. What is the full form of LLB?

The full form of LLB is Legum Baccalaureus (Latin term) popularly known as Bachelor of Law.

Q. What is the full form of LLM?

The full form of LLM is Legum Magister, which is a Latin term and it is equivalent to the master's degree of law or in other words Master of Law. LLM is a post−graduate degree program.