A society needs the rule of law because it establishes a standard of behaviour for its members. Legal education serves society in general by providing law students with a social and cultural education that helps them become more ethical, law-abiding citizens. Students who receive legal education learn the value and necessity of democratic culture.
In contemporary developing societies, which are striving to become social welfare states and are attempting to improve the socio-economic situation of the populace through peaceful methods, the notions of law, legal education, and development have come to be intertwined. The same is valid for our nation. In a developing nation, it is essential for legal education to educate lawyers who have a social conscience.
Law school prepares students for a variety of legal careers and societal roles through professional education in the legal field. For instance, policymakers, attorneys, legal educators, administrators, etc., whose range and breadth are constantly expanding in contemporary democracies. In light of this, legal education’s need for breadth is understood in contemporary India.
In India, legal education started during British rule. Law programmes were established at Hindu College in Calcutta and Elphinstone College in Bombay a long time before India attained its independence in 1947. The primary goal of legal education at the time was to prepare future attorneys to assist the High Courts and subordinate courts in the administration of justice.
All persons involved in administration, trade, or business must now have a basic understanding of the law. A citizen must have a basic understanding of at least some legal concepts in order to effectively exercise his civil rights. The law and its underlying principles and ideals must be understood by officials and other people who play significant roles in the administration of justice, such as police officers, businesses, and politicians.
Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) New Law College, Pune, is one of the top institutions committed to providing society with top-notch lawyers by cultivating in students the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help them become good citizens, assisting others in becoming aware of their rights, and protect society from injustice.
We headed Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute while looking for Most Recognized Law Institutes of the Year 2023, where we spoke with Dr Ujwala Bendale, the Dean and I/C Principal. She then discussed the institute’s founding history, vision, and future endeavours in an interactive conversation with The Knowledge Review.
To learn more about the institute, scroll down.
Enlighten us about the college’s journey from its inception to being a prestigious law college.
Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) New Law College, Pune, is one of the premier institutes imparting legal education in the country. The College was established by our Founder Chancellor, Dr. Patangrao Kadam, way back in 1978.
From a mere sapling to an ever-growing and ever-flourishing ark, the College indeed has traversed a long but glorious journey, and today, it appears like a glittering diamond in the crown of legal education in India. Today, it is one of the top law colleges in India, imparting quality legal education. The College has secured 2nd Rank by the Education Post Magazine, 2022, 5th Rank by Outlook, 2022, 11th Rank by India Today, 3rd Rank by the CSR Magazine, and has consistently been ranked among the top law schools in the country. The institute has been re-accredited with an ‘A+’ Grade by NAAC in 2017, received ‘Category-I’ Status by UGC and has also been ranked 68 by NIRF.
Tell us about the mission, vision, and core values of your esteemed law school.
While our mission is to spread the fragrance of law and to ensure the real taste of justice to the masses, our vision is to uphold the dignity of human beings and also to promote awareness of the rights and duties of a citizen and render social justice to the poorest of the poor.
Dissemination of the knowledge of the laws, professional expertise in the process of law, to make the student of law good lawyers who are alive to the role that law plays in the social, political and economic advancement of the country, exposure of the law students to ‘Court Room’ work, the achievement of a comprehensive ‘map of reality’ about the inter-relation of the legal and social process are some of our goals and core values.
Kindly brief us about the featured person and their contribution towards the college’s success.
Dr Ujwala Bendale, Dean and I/C Principal, is well known for her academic contributions to legal education. National Law Day Award-2022 is recently conferred on her at the hands of Hon’ble Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Former Chief Justice of India, in the presence of many other legal luminaries.
She has also won the prestigious ‘Best Law Teacher Award’ on several occasions. She also headed a delegation of Students and Faculty Members at Harvard Law School in the recent past. Her vast experience, global outlook and her contribution towards the College’s progress are commendable. Besides, she is also a champion of human rights and lauds the rights of the vulnerable section of society.
What are the course objectives and expected learning outcomes of your college for your students?
The Course objectives and expected learning outcomes have indeed become the need of the hour. We at NLC deploy a very scientific method to identify, map and attain the learning outcomes. The Programme objectives, Programme Specific Outcomes, Course Objectives, and Course Specific outcomes are identified and defined with the help of the experts and the technology-driven atmosphere, which makes our college a fun place to study as we focus ultimately on global employability-driven teaching and learning atmosphere.
Are there any unique programs introduced by the college to help students have a global understanding of law?
Besides the traditional UG law programmes like BB.A LL.B 5 Year, BA LL.B 5 Year, LL.B 3 Year, PG law programmes like LL.M 2 Year, the College has a Diploma programme in 14 diverse research areas such as Labour Laws, IPR, Tax Laws, Foreign Investment Laws, etc.
In tune with National Education Policy, the College has also introduced several Value added Courses in association with The Mediator’s Academy, London, which further provides a depth understanding of global laws. The College will soon introduce several specialized law programmes in regional languages so as to boost local and regional employment.
What kind of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and events do you conduct at your school? How do you ensure maximum student engagement in these events?
While some extra-curricular activities such as Moot Courts, MUNs, Mock Parliament, and Debate Competitions remain an integral part, the College ensure the organization of several key events like Oxford Style Debate Competitions, Justice P.N. Bhagwati International Moot Court Competition on Human Rights, Surana and Surana National Trail Advocacy Moot Court Competition and Judgment Writing Competition, Regional Conclave on Legal Education, International Conclave on Legal Education, Panel Discussion on various issues, Madhyasthta- the ADR Cell related activities etc.
How do you help your students prepare for their future? What kind of special facilities/arrangements/ initiatives have you launched for the same?
While embracing the traditional Classroom and Moot Court Room Teaching, the College firmly believes in the Gladiator Model of teaching and learning with a fine sense of social justice. Thus, the College actively encourage students to undertake training programmes in various specialized subjects through legal experts. The College regularly invites Judges from Supreme Court and various other High Courts, Senior Advocates, and renowned academicians so that students can interact directly and get real legal world experience.
Please mention your college’s most notable achievements, accolades, accreditations, and awards.
The College has received ‘IIRFEducation Impact Award-2021’. The College has also received a ‘Gold Star Award’ from the Bar Council of India. The College is also known for its legal aid and extension activities and has, thus, received ‘The Best Legal Aid Centre’Award-2020.
Besides this, the College has secured 2nd Rank by Education Post Magazine 2022, 5th Rank by Outlook 2022, 11th Rank by India Today, 3rd Rank by the CSR Magazine, and has consistently been ranked among the top law schools in the country. The institute has been re-accredited with an ‘A+’ Grade by NAAC in 2017, received ‘Category-I’ Status by UGC and has also been ranked 76th by NIRF.
How do you envision the future of your prestigious college going forward?
With its firm focus on academic and administrative innovations, global employability, and nation-building, the College, with its technology-driven approach, would certainly march ahead to achieve overall excellence. I am quite sure that the College soon would transcend all boundaries and would become a leading legal research hub for leading scholars and researchers from all across the world.