Law graduates to pass test before becoming lawyers

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 17:45

New Delhi: Come December, law graduates
will have to pass an All-India test before they can become
practising lawyers.

On December 5 this year, the Bar Council of India will
conduct the first nation-wide test with 100 multiple choice
questions for law graduates who want to enroll as lawyers.

"The All-India Bar Council Examination will serve as a
benchmark test to ensure a basic level of skill and knowledge
among those joining the legal profession," Solicitor General
and Bar Council of India chairman Gopal Subramanium said.

The test will be held every six months and any person
failing in it can reappear, he told reporters during the
launch of Council`s Vision Statement.

"There is no bar on taking the test," he said.

The test will have no grading system. A candidate
will either pass or fail in the test.

A legal consultancy firm, Rainmaker, will assist the
BCI -- which regulates legal education in the country -- in
conducting and managing the test.

The test will apply to law graduates of the session
2009-10 and will be held in nine languages for which
applications will be available from July 15 to September 30.

India has 1.1 million enrolled advocates and 1,000 law
schools which churn out 60,000 law graduates annually.

The candidates will have to shell out Rs 1300 for the
test, Subramanium said.

An expert committee, including former ISRO chief M
G K Menon and retired Supreme Court judges, will set the
paper.

Candidate will be free to take their notes and text
books for the examination.

Asked whether the BCI has taken approval from the HRD
Ministry to conduct the test, Subramanuim said as a statutory
body, the Council was not dependent on approval by the
ministry.

Speaking on the occasion, Law Minister M Veerappa
Moily referred to the contentious issue of entry of foreign
law firms in the country.

He said "while Indian lawyers claim they are afraid of
foreign lawyers, legal reforms could ensure that the world is
afraid of Indian lawyers."

Moily said people only talk of a few known lawyers
while his ministry believed in creating several such lawyers
who are world famous.

PTI




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