Legal education in Pakistan
In any society, legal education assumes a key part. It is fundamental in advancing mindfulness about the rights and commitments of public institutions and citizens. It must be advantageous to identification and reform of social problems, while giving instruments to inculcate democratic ideals in its students. It should look at and study social and legal norms and accommodate intends to guarantee legal and democratic accountability of government and its different organizations. Graduate schools and their classes are in charge of shaping the next generation of jurists, legal advisor, lawyers, judges, lawmakers, human rights activists and social reformers, and it is fundamental that what they are instructed in the classroom will train and groom them for the obligation that lies ahead.
In Pakistan, the legal profession is confronting various crises, huge numbers of which can trace their origin to a great extent to the steady decrease in the standard of legal education and its failure to satisfy the purpose of legal education. Defilement, corruption, gender disparity, viciousness, disregard of the rule of law, trouble in the enforcement of contracts (Pakistan positions 151 out of 189 nations regarding authorization and enforcement of contracts), and delay in the legal procedures. These are only a couple of real issues that our legal system has failed to address. The seriousness of requirement for legal education reforms can be gauged by the number of strikes by legal counselors, lawyers and episodes of violence that lawyers are involved in the premises of different courts in Pakistan, particularly those against judges. Subsequently, it is basic that the legal education system of Pakistan be of a quality that can deliver law graduates furnished with the tools to address these issues.
In Pakistan, there are different colleges and universities offering a Bachelor of Law (LLB), (professional degree required, keeping in mind the end goal to practice in Pakistan) however there is no consistency when it comes down to the educational programs and its approach. Over that, there are two noteworthy routes prevailing in Pakistan to secure this professional degree, which are:
• Five years BA-LLB
• Three years LLB from the University of London
Both of these courses have their own offering focuses, yet both contain a great edge to improve
2. Teaching methodologies for law education required in Pakistan
i. Utilize (or adapt) existing course materials, activities and exercises to make explicit connections between the course and the lawyer’s work as a public citizen
a. Find the public citizen lawyers in your current textbook.
Are there legal counselors in your course book that are satisfying the role of public citizen? Talk about them when you see them.
b. Use course materials to help students identify and discuss injustice
Enable your students to looking for lawyers by helping them recognize injustice.
c. Discuss needs for reforms in law in the subject area of the course
When you experience zones of required law change in course material, examine how legal counselors and lawyers can have an impact in making the change.
d. Use writing assignments to give students experience advocating for law reform
For composing assignments that expect students to prescribe or draft proposed changes to the law, make the explicit association that this one way the legal counselors and lawyers satisfy the role of public citizen. Like, they advocate for development in the law. Provide them roads to distribute, talk about, and generally promote their work.
e. Lawyer speakers should be asked to discuss how they serve
In case if you normally invite lawyers and legal advisors to class to discuss course related subjects, provoke them to discuss the things they do to serve people in general and the legal profession.
ii. Make new activities and exercises that integrate course material and the lawyer’s role as public citizen
a. Prompt students to create a professional development plan
Particularly in classes where students may have regular common career objectives, incite students to expound on their qualities, interests, and values, and to make a plan for the future, including a plan for service.
b. Integrate service learning into the class
Discover an open door for the class to speak to a client or clients or serve a group association or populace that is associated with the topic of the class.
c. Create a law reform activity for the class
Take part in real life as a class to change the law in a zone of need associated with course material.
d. Require students to interview a lawyer
The interview should cover course-related material and additionally the attorney’s support or lawyer’s service of poor people, general society, and the profession.
e. Organize a book club
Recognize a genuine law-related book with an association with your course material and that gives a springboard to examining the lawyer as public citizen.
iii. Share information about yourself as a public citizen
a. Be inspiring
Tell a motivating tale about what another lawyer’s service is intended to you or about what your service may have intended to another person and how that affected you.
b. Talk about yourself as a new lawyer
Tell stories about your encounters and experiences as a new and fresh lawyer endeavoring to satisfy the role of public citizen. What did you gain from those exercises? Did you have mentors or ideals that propelled or empowered you?
c. Note the times when you struggled
Share the circumstances in your law career when you have battled with adjusting the challenges and demands of training, your own life, and serving general society or public. What worked for you and where do you keep on struggling?
d. Incorporate examples connected to course subject matter
Weave in cases of what you at present do to serve the general population and the profession and clarify why you serve.
iv. Satisfy the public citizen role with students outside of the classroom (not necessarily connected to a course)
a. Provide access to justice
Take part with your students in sorted service activities.
b. Improve the law
Enroll students to help and support you to get ready to affirm or do investigate about a recommended change in the law and bring the student along when it is possible.
3. Learning methodologies for law education required in Pakistan
i. Utilizing traditional and innovative technologies on the law lesson
The main objective of legal education is to make conditions for training and improvement of learning and aptitudes of every student, building on the standards of level differentiation, including thought of their individual attributes and capacities.
Creative legal training is a blend of development, expressed in the system of activities and tasks of instructive exercises that enable you to rapidly and successfully accomplish the anticipated consequences of diagnosed legal training. They turn out to be to extremely beneficial in another sort of schools and instructive establishments, where numerous examinations, aced unfamiliar to mass education pedagogical technologies. The novelty and uniqueness in the legal education is relative. Regularly those instructional methods that offer the right specialists to the modern teacher are not at all new. It can be well-overlooked instructing strategies that have been the part of past; those utilized now, however in the education system to other sciences.
Customary innovations of legal training are the set of pedagogical advancements existing in the legal education throughout the years. They are an entrenched and by and large acknowledged. Teacher reports, knowledge transfer, structures and abilities, in light of the introduction of new material (report, presentation), playback disciples, and assesses the outcomes of this play. It is difficult to feel that the conventional teaching law obviously has a negative character. Despite what might be expected, it is tried practice, it has various testing and improvement, permitting such a system to improve and make strides. The system of traditional or conventional teaching law additionally emits dissimilar types of association of instructional sessions. The system of inventive methodologies dominates dynamic and interactive types of classes. On the right lessons the instructor should start autonomous work of kids. In this manner, during the time of learning new topic it is prudent to offer the student a little question, an issue for talk or discussion. Discussion of these issues can’t be tightened, and in this way response algorithm is important to clarify the students write down on paper and posting as required. Innovative or creative learning methodologies right now centered around the development of dynamic student attitudes. The modern system of legal training enables the teacher to ideally combine the act of customary and creative innovations.
ii. Utilizing game technology in the law learning
Game, it is a definite integral reality, always somehow correlated with the existing world (“piece” of life). People act and interact in this reality. The components of the experience can be both knowledge and emotional experience, and skills and some understanding (insight, catharsis), and to develop or change in attitude, to something or to himself and more. Activities party games related to the content of its role, functions and gaming scene. Playing a role in deciding one way or another by knowing the reality of the game, and then analyzing the last game, he studies the phenomenon, which served as a prototype model of the game. The result of the participation in the game may be as emotional, personal, and intellectual changes. Didactic role or simulation games involve the identity of the participants. The personal involvement in the events of the game, the emotional intensity, the intensity of these games often increase learning motivation, stimulate students’ interest in the phenomenon under study. Activities in terms of the relative uncertainty over the decisions that must be made, allowing escape from the common reproductive side of education – a mere repetition once studied methods of action are not always able to ensure success. The game requires creative thinking about the situation, the search for new solutions, which in turn leads to the development of independent creative thinking. Games-dramatization, role-playing games, simulation games, business games, organizational and active and organizational thinking game. Some of them are very easy to define, identify other merge with each other, confused. It is difficult to share simulations and business games, business and role. Either way, each type of games has a set of attributes (they may be the same for different games), get to know them you can refer to the literature
4. Teachers training required for legal education in Pakistan
Paul Woodring, quoting the seventeenth-century writer Comenius, notes that the main object of teacher education is “to find a method of instruction by which teachers may teach less but learners may learn more”. Teachers training required in Pakistan:
• to redesign courses and programs in teacher training and educational sciences programmes to include modules that transfer a basic knowledge of (education) law to the students in teacher education and educational sciences with or without a previous legal education;
• to develop learning (for students) and teaching (for staff) tools on education law and rights in education;
• to create Open Educational Resources and an online testing system;
• to enhance multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary consisting of effective collaboration between educators and lawyers specializing in different fields of law;
• to support partners with methodologies and pedagogical approaches including the description of learning outcomes for each of the modules;
• to develop an innovative approach on teacher education and the role of law in education;
• to improve the professional level of staff;
• to align teacher education to international standards.
5. Students training required for legal education in Pakistan
Students planning to attend law school should develop the ability to:
Law students must demonstrate a strong ability to read, write, speak, and listen. Often they must read large amounts of complex material and use the information to write persuasive documents; therefore, if you wish to succeed in law school, your ability to comprehend information and write about it is crucial.
Law students must also present their arguments orally before peers and faculty members. Participation in group projects or leadership positions in student groups will help you develop critical communication skills, including the often overlooked skill of listening.
ii. Attention to detail
A sharp eye for accuracy is crucial to the success of your legal career. A single word out of place can completely change the meaning of a clause or contract and misspelt or ungrammatical emails, letters or documents can give clients a bad impression, costing your firm their business.
When applying for jobs or training contracts bear in mind that employers look for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. If your cover letter is vague, too long or littered with spelling mistakes, a recruiter may question what a potential client would make of your letter of advice. To improve your proofreading and attention to detail volunteer your proofing services to student publications such as newsletters and magazines and get used to going through your own work with a fine-tooth comb.
iii. Writing Skills
As you seek to prepare for a legal education, you should develop a high degree of skill at written communication. Language is the most important tool of a lawyer, and lawyers must learn to express themselves clearly and concisely. Legal education will provide you with good training in writing, and particularly in the specific techniques and forms of written expression that are common in the law. Fundamental writing skills, however, must be acquired and refined before you enter law school. You should seek as many experiences as possible that will require rigorous and analytical writing, including preparing original pieces of substantial length and revising written work in response to constructive criticism.
iv. General Research Skills
Although there are many research sources and techniques that are specific to the law, you do not have to have developed any familiarity with these specific skills or materials before entering law school. However, it would be to your advantage to come to law school having had the experience of undertaking a project that requires significant library research and the analysis of large amounts of information obtained from that research. The ability to use a personal computer is also necessary for law students, both for word processing and for computerized legal research.
v. Task Organization and Management Skills
To study and practice law, you are going to need to be able to organize large amounts of information, identify objectives, and create a structure for applying that information in an efficient way in order to achieve desired results. Many law school courses, for example, are graded primarily on the basis of one examination at the end of the course, and many projects in the practice of law require the compilation of large amounts of information from a wide variety of sources. You are going to need to be able to prepare and assimilate large amounts of information in an effective and efficient manner. Some of the requisite experience can be obtained through undertaking school projects that require substantial research and writing, or through the preparation of major reports for an employer, a school, or a civic organization.
6. Suggestion for law education
Continuous legal education (CLE) will provide a further opportunity for learning even after passing strict entry tests. Young lawyers will get a chance to learn from senior members of the bar. There is a dearth of good lawyers in Pakistan. CLE will help meet this challenge. However, adding more lawyers to the bar will saturate the profession, increasing the likelihood of occasional clashes between competing and frustrated young lawyers.
The law continues to change, so lawyers must learn continuously. CLE is mandatory in the United States. Every lawyer has to undergo a certain number of hours of compulsory education to remain a member within the state bar. In the United Kingdom, the four Inns of Court provide continuous training to barristers. The Law Society of England conducts such training for practicing solicitors.
In Pakistan, however, CLE is even more necessary due to our poor legal education system, flawed entry requirements, and lack of training for working lawyers. CLE is even helpful for those who are trained through external degree programmes. In a nutshell, CLE will strengthen our bar and the legal profession.
Further legal education can be provided when lawyers are appointed as judges. In developed countries, constant learning in every profession is a norm. Every idea is being challenged and constantly improved. The performance of legal institutions is being examined in the context of politics, sociology, and economics. The education of judges, therefore, has become increasingly important. Lawyers are trained to draft pleadings, issue legal opinions, and argue before court. Judges, however, are required to do a very different job — evaluating legal arguments and writing judgments. Judges also need to perform administrative tasks. So, they need suitable training.
Presiding over a court requires patience and other social skills to interact with the bar, the litigants and state functionaries. It is essential for judges to be trained in court/case management to use the court and its resources wisely. This is only possible through education at judicial academies.
7. Role of HEC, Government and Law Institutions
Legal education has never been prioritized by our policymakers. Thus, it is no surprise if the judiciary is failing to match the expectations of the people. Unfortunately, by many, the legal profession is considered to be a profession of ‘dropouts’.
Legal education is generally provided through public sector universities and also by private institutions which adhere to the curriculum and the standards prescribed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in consultation with the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), a statutory body which regulates the legal profession and to some extent, legal education.
In fact, no effort for legal reform can succeed without impro¬ving our legal education system. The Higher Edu¬cation Comm¬ission must review its policy regarding law schools’ procedures for new registration and admission, and provide guidelines on the syllabus. Law schools must learn from other seats of legal learning in developed countries.
The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan should ensure a study is done in collaboration with the HEC to make appropriate changes in laws/rules relating to legal education. The HEC’s role is like a facilitator to provide a podium to all public (and private) sector institutions and the members of the Legal Education Committee of the PBC, to sit together and to review the curriculum every three years. This is done through a committee called the National Curriculum Review Committee (NCRC). The recommendations of the NCRC (Law) are then deliberated upon by a joint meeting of the representatives of the universities and the members of the PBC (Legal Education Committee). These recommendations are then forwarded to the universities for adoption of the proposed curriculum and its implementation. Under Section 10 of the Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002, HEC’s mandate includes the formulation of policies, guiding principles and priorities for higher education institutions. It can also prescribe conditions for the manner in which higher education institutions function
Having stated the role of the HEC and the PBC, let us briefly look at the role of the universities. The functioning of the public sector universities is marred by mis-management, unresponsiveness of the academicians, widespread politics, unbound pressure groups (of teachers, administrators and students) and unprofessional conduct. Much of the productivity of universities is wasted to resolve these issues and thus policies remain ad hoc. The main task of improving the standards of legal education is that of the academics who do not pay due attention and are unable to carry out their responsibilities. In many institutions there is no permanent teaching faculty. The teaching as well as administration of these law colleges is in the hands of practicing lawyers who due to their professional commitments are unable to do justice to legal education. In the University Law Faculties and Law Colleges the academicians are not focused and are deeply influenced by the ‘academic environment’ of their respective universities. This out-and-out apathy of the academicians has practically destroyed the system of legal education in Pakistan.
i. Restructuring of Legal Education
The HEC has realized that it is necessary to streamline and transform the legal education in Pakistan. Under the leadership of its Chairman, HEC has taken concrete steps to regulate the legal education. In this connection a project has been approved whereby the HEC will set up three Law Universities in Pakistan. Forty LL.M./Ph.D. scholarships have been notified in the national press which will be awarded to young law graduates who will be inducted as faculty-members in these universities. Thus a comprehensive and sustainable scheme has been prepared to reform and modernize the legal education in Pakistan.
The Law and Justice Commission has also announced a substantial grant specifically for the improvement and innovative approaches in the field of Legal Education under its ‘Access to Justice’ project. It is submitted that the grant meant for Legal Education may be transferred to the HEC to strengthen its Legal Education Project.
ii. Some suggestions
Higher education systems everywhere are in a constant state of change. In particular, the changes in the socio-economic context caused by the impact of globalization have inevitably led to changes in the higher education sector. To check the declining standards of legal education critical actions are required by all concerned.
a. Setting up of a Legal Education Reform Commission.
The setting up of a ‘Legal Education Reform Commission’ is absolutely necessary because it will scrutinize the functioning of law schools and examine all aspects of legal education including the contemporary trends in other countries. The recommendations of the commission may be placed before all stakeholders and consensus may be developed for reforms in legal education.
b. Removal of Dual Control
Currently the HEC, PBC, the universities and various boards of governors jointly administer and control the legal education. The PBC, being a elected body, is not in a position to prescribe standards of legal education, whether alone or in consultation with universities. Legal education is an academic subject and the universities must be given exclusive authorization to prescribe various courses with the support of the HEC. It is proposed that all Law Faculties and Law Colleges jointly form a curriculum review committee comprising of the senior members of their respective Boards of Studies/Boards of Faculties. This will be a modified form of the existing NCRC functioning under the HEC. The new NCRC will be a body that may meet annually under the HEC, or without the HEC, and deliberate upon new schemes/ techniques to meet the needs of legal profession and the market. The committee may prescribe minimal core courses for all law students. The rest may be left to the local needs and requirements of the concerned university. The power to recognize law degrees may still continue to be vested in the PBC.
c. Better Employment Prospects
The improvement of Legal Education is dependent on better terms and conditions of service for law teachers. The universities and other law colleges offer inadequate salary packages to law teachers as legal education is being treated as par with other disciplines. However, law is a professional subject in great demand, and cannot be treated at par with other sub-sectors or disciplines of education. Thus it may be possible to get a good chemist, botanist, historian or a political scientist with the present salary package but it is extremely difficult to employ a bright person as law teacher at the same package. The result is that there is a constant erosion in this area. Realizing this aspect of legal education, the S.A. Rehman Commission (1958-59) proposed an attractive package for law teachers. It is unfortunate that this aspect of the recommendation was always ignored not only by the policy-makers but also by the PBC.
8. Role of Bar Councils
Bar councils rarely offer apprenticeship certificates and other credentials. Making the bar a professional and more respected institution requires immediate reforms. The bar must check fake degrees and certificates before granting licenses. It must conduct a fair bar examination. Bar councils must functionalize their legal education committees to ensure that law schools impart education relevant to fast-changing needs of the legal profession. They should also review their mandate providing for CLE for lawyers and paralegal staff. The bar must make this training mandatory for renewal of license of every lawyer each year and offer certification and awards to encourage participation in continuous legal education. It may give cash awards, medals, and law books to new entrants in the profession and arrange international conferences of lawyers to support CLE efforts in Pakistan.
The focus must be on eradicating fake apprenticeship certificates and fake law degrees from substandard law schools and a strong argument should be put before the government for establishing centers of excellence for legal education at the federal capital and provincial headquarters.
9. Final Say
The importance of a legal education can also be gauged from the fact that it acts as a supply as well as fuel to the legal profession and the state machinery. The reason for this is that a majority of the law graduates eventually become judges, law officers, bureaucrats and advocates. If the standards of legal education are not good, then we cannot expect good advocates pleading before good judges and expecting good verdicts.
Similarly, we should not expect justice where complex legal issues are involved since it is not possible to reconcile this predicament without resolving the core issue – legal education. Countries which have strong criminal and civil justice systems have one thing in common quality legal education.