Empowering India’s Future Lawyers and Leaders
New milestones and initiatives mark LSAC’s ongoing efforts to increase access to legal education in India.
In India today, the legal profession is growing in lockstep with one of the world’s most dynamic economies. It’s no surprise then— that in terms of absolute numbers— India’s legal profession is the world’s second-largest, with over 1.4 million enrolled lawyers in legal practices nationwide.
There are around 1,200 law schools in India currently, with close to 80,000 enrolments taking place every year. With increasing globalization and constant policy reforms in India, the demand for legal services is higher than ever before.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has been fortunate to play a small part toward meeting this increased demand for legal education in India, as the country surges its efforts toward providing universal access to justice. LSAC provides some of its key services and products to Indian law colleges and law aspirants, including the LSAT—India—an entrance test specially created for the Indian legal education system— for high school students who want to apply to law schools.
LSAC’s mission in India aligns with its larger global goal of improving access to legal education and adding to the diversity of the legal profession. As LSAC furthers its commitment to build a stronger legal education and professional community across India, it continues to launch initiatives in India that take this mission forward and support law school aspirants on their enrollment journeys.
LSAT—India: The first step toward a career in law
LSAC has been helping law schools in various countries evaluate the critical thinking skills of their applicants for more than 70 years. The LSAT was developed in the 1940s in response to a proposal from a law school admissions director seeking a test with a high predictive value for success in law schools. In India, this spring will mark the 12th anniversary of the Law School Admission Council offering the LSAT—India, a standardized test that measures skills that are considered essential for success in law school. The test has grown in size and reputation since its introduction and over the years, there has been increasing recognition of the unique value it brings to law college admissions in India.
Today, the LSAT—India is one of the leading entrance tests for undergraduate and postgraduate law programmes in India. Currently, many Indian law colleges accept the LSAT—India, and the number of students taking the test continues to increase every year. LSAC
recently announced that the next LSAT—India exam will be conducted on 17 May 2020.
A New Website: For Test Prep and More
In the final quarter of 2019, through its newly formed subsidiary company—LSAC Global India—LSAC launched a new website (DiscoverLaw.in) to give individuals seeking to study law in India a real-world idea of what it’s like to apply to law school, attend law school, and pursue a career in law.
Through the website, law school aspirants can learn about the various facets of the legal profession, interact with practising lawyers and connect with current and former law school students. They can stay updated on LSAC-hosted events such as open-house-style recruitment events that make it easy for potential applicants to research law schools on a more personal level.
DiscoverLaw.in is also an excellent resource for information about the LSAT—India. Law aspirants can obtain LSAT—India prep materials, including some free copies of past LSAT—India exams. In addition, the site features information about law colleges that accept LSAT—India test scores.
Law College Forum: Providing in-person opportunities
Building on LSAC’s expertise in planning education awareness events across the U.S. and Canada, LSAC Global India recently coordinated its inaugural event in India on December 6, in collaboration with LSAC. The Law College Forum — much like LSAC’s Law School Forums — was an open-house-style recruitment event for law schools to meet with prospective students on a
more personal level.
This particular event, held in New Delhi in December 2019, was designed for high school students who are interested in learning more about 5-year integrated law programs in law colleges in India and their admission process, and legal professionals and current law graduates in India who are looking to pursue an LL.M degree and other graduate law programs in the U.S. and Canada.
Twenty law schools from the US were represented at the event, and more than 600 law aspirants came to attend workshops and meet with the law colleges. Attendees could attend panels and workshops, connect with law college representatives from prestigious law schools and universities in India, Canada and the United States, members of alumni networks of LSAT—India associated colleges, and hear keynote addresses by reputed legal professionals and eminent thought leaders in higher education.
Honoring a Legacy: Basheer Access To Justice Scholarship
In India, it has been LSAC’s privilege to collaborate with some truly remarkable Indian lawyers, as part of its larger effort to help map the future of India’s legal system and provide the legal and policy frameworks to ensure the growth of the world’s largest democracy. Last year, we lost, we lost one of our dearest friends in the legal community—Prof. Shamnad Basheer. He was one of the most influential lawyers and pioneering academics in India and an incredible visionary.
We are honoring his memory by instating the Basheer Access To Justice Scholarship. This scholarship will provide access to deserving students from traditionally underrepresented communities who embody the values, grit, and tenacity that Shamnad Basheer truly exemplified across his life and career. Through this scholarship, we look forward to providing new opportunities, increasing diversity, and supporting excellence across a broad range of legal careers.
For anyone who has witnessed India’s remarkable journey to economic growth, it’s amply clear that this incredible promise needs to be supported with widespread access to world-class educational opportunities and a robust legal system. As LSAC works toward new milestones in the year ahead, it continues to be driven by the belief that access to justice forms the bedrock of every democratic society and empowers everyone. This belief remains at the heart of every partnership that LSAC forges and nurtures with law colleges in India—and the resources that they make available to aspiring law students.
Going forward, LSAC will continue to work closely with India’s law colleges to help ensure that their graduates can one day provide a wide array of legal services—for families, small businesses, courts, and government agencies, as well as for international corporations and law firms. Mirroring its objectives across geographies, LSAC is committed to achieving new milestones in India, opening doors for law school aspirants and lighting the way toward opportunity and justice for all.
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