It is a mistaken belief that legal education

It is a mistaken belief that legal
education is solely for lawyers and those in law-related professions, it is also
relevant and necessary for other fields such as accountancy, engineering, management,
health and safety, bureaucracy and the like. It is also necessary, at a certain
level, for citizens to engage with the State, the market and other citizens.

Continued Legal Education refers to the
training received by professionals after they enter into practice in their
respective jurisdiction. It includes seminars, lectures, conferences etc
enabling the professionals to critically examine, discuss and reason over
various legislations and judgments. It also provides an ideal opportunity for
networking where both young and experienced practitioners are participating at
the same level which proves to be highly beneficial to the younger generation
of lawyers. Moreover, it let the practicing lawyers to contend with the
constant changing nature of law. This evolution makes it crucial for lawyers to
stay up-to-date with these changes so that they can assist the courts and put
forward with their clients appropriately. It further imparts, among lawyers,
ethical concerns surrounding their practice.

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In Pakistan, however, legal education is
facing a number of crises because of educational system, delay in legal
proceedings, disregard to the rule of law, corruption, violence etc.

One of the issues is that the
five percent seats are being reserved for sons/daughters of Advocates for
admission in law colleges and universities that should not be promoted by the
elected representatives of the legal profession, a profession that is supposed
to act as an embankment against discrimination and as the custodians of the
rule of law.

Moreover, in Pakistan, there are two existing
routes to acquire this professional qualification: five years BA-LLB and three
years LLB (external program of Uol). Both have their own selling points along
with few draw-backs.

For instance, concerning BA-LLB, it focuses on
rote learning, scoring marks and cascading facts rather than emphasizing on
logic and reasoning behind rules and policies hence destroying creativity and
lacking in inculcate these invaluable skills. This current system does not
train students for the work of identifying, distinguishing and challenging
precedents that revolves in and outside the courtroom. Pakistani classrooms are
devoid of meaningful discussions to evaluate the
legal system in a rational and systematic way. Ironically, the admission
policy in local law schools is at a minimum and the passing rate is at a
maximum. Another problem is the shortage of quality local textbooks on law with
many failing to adequately comment on and analyze the legal principles and
rules.

On the other hand, although LLB
degree of UoL instills critical thinking, it does not give any exposure to
Pakistani laws and procedures. However, one of the few schools have recently started
providing extra courses including Law Clinic course that introduce students to
real-life legal issues that are common in the society and Legal skills course
that provide students with a solid foundation in Pakistani laws, procedures and
legal skills. Nonetheless, it is one of the most expensive degrees in Pakistan.

Therefore, by improving the
quality of legal scholarship offered in the local LLB programs, producing good
quality legal research, attracting the best students to law programs and law
graduates equipped with the requisite skills, Pakistani society in general and
the legal profession in particular can be exhilarated. This profession requires
a fundamental revamp of the current attitude of the Bar Councils to legal
education with greater emphasis on the framework of legal academics with the
required teaching and research expertise along with changes in curriculum
design. Bar councils will need to take active steps for improvement of reward
to fresh law graduates and career development so that they can guarantee them
the adequate income.