One of the world’s largest democracies – India, is blessed with a democratic setup that is not only inclusive but also progressive in its nature.
In order to ensure such progressive nature of society, legal studies have become very important, as all human activities revolve around it. With appropriate awareness of the law, individuals can become equipped to avoid unnecessary litigation. And, to ensure that every citizen (national or international) is facilitated with their due justice, University Law College (ULC), Bangalore, made its prime mission to educate the global youth with judicial knowledge and wisdom. It provides each student with skills in the areas such as the Organization of Moot Court Competitions, Legal aid and literacy programme, Courts and Jail visit, Internship programme, and NSS programme.
ULC is the first Indian Institute to offer a 5 Year BA and LLB program. This has made ULC the pioneer in Legal education. The institute turns every adversity into an advantage and empowers students to become the legal torchbearers of the future. Also, the institution is famous among the law fraternity for being an ecosystem that is aligned with the Bar Council of India, New Delhi.
At the forefront of this transformation is the institute’s Principal, Chairman, and Dean Faculty of Law—Prof. Dr Suresh V Nadagoudar. He is one of the standout educational leaders who believe in holistic development and focuses on incorporating contemporary social issues that prevail in Indian and International Society. He mentions, “Many bright students are attracted to the profession of law, even though it is a very tough and challenging subject. This positive trend has really encouraged the management to provide the best of the infrastructure facilities and quality teachers to cater to the needs of the law students.”
Knowing these dynamics, we at the Knowledge Review ventured into an interview with Prof. Dr Suresh V Nadagoudar to learn about the University Law College, Bangalore University and the educational leadership implemented in the institute from Prof. Suresh.
Let’s dive in to learn more about this unique kind and one of the best Law Colleges in India.
Walking Through the Journey
The foundational stone of ULC dates back to 1948 when the Government of Mysore (now, State of Karnataka) started this college which was known as the Government Law College (GLC). However, in the year 1964, GLC was brought under the Faculty of Law of Bangalore University, and since then, it has been known as University Law College (ULC).
Initially, it offered a two-year LLB programme. But a turnaround in legal education in India came about with the introduction of 5 years of BA, LLB. By the year 1987, ULC became the first institution in the country to introduce the five years LLB programme under the dynamic leadership of Prof. VB Coutinho, the then Principal of ULC.
This initiative was aligned with the mission of BCI, New Delhi, which has been on a mission to raise the education standards of legal studies. Today, ULC is well known for organizing many academic, research, literacy, and extension programs such as national and international seminars, conferences, legal aid, moot courts, and many cultural events too.
Exploring ULC Campus
From the early days of its inception, ULC was situated in the Central College Campus of Bangalore University, close to Vidhan Soudha & High Court of Karnataka. However, since its academic year 2006-07, ULC has been shifted to a new, spacious building located on the Jnana Bharathi campus of Bangalore University.
This state-of-the-art new facility hosts eight classrooms where formal teaching sessions are conducted for both BA LLB, BA LLB (HONS) and LLM programs. It has two seminar halls, an independent library, and an administrative block with chambers for the Principal, the Chairman & Dean, and all teaching faculty members. Separate hostel facilities are available for male and female students within the Jnana Bharathi campus of Bangalore University.
Apparently, the college is also reaching out to society by organizing extension activities apart from bringing out publications on issues of contemporary relevance. The University is providing quality teaching and encouragement with its goals aptly symbolized by its emblem ‘JNANAM VIGNANASAHITHA.’
Vision and Mission
ULC prepares its students for success based on operations that are aligned with their respective vision and mission.
Vision: To achieve excellence in legal education for the realization of a vibrant and inclusive society through knowledge creation and dissemination.
Mission: To impart quality legal education, promote scientific tempo, and blend theoretical knowledge with practical skills. The institution aims to access all sections of society to pursue higher education. This will promote leadership qualities among students, making them socially sensitive citizens.
Generally, law colleges face challenges, particularly in a public institution – in providing t required infrastructure, recruiting quality teachers, ensuring student attendance, and getting them involved in participating in field learning and activities.
“The constraints have been overcome in our institution by the construction of fully furnished infrastructure, which includes smart classrooms, fully furnished moot courtroom and so on, with the constant help of university funds and alumni cooperation,” says Dr Suresh.
ULC has also taken measures to ensure the appointment of quality guest faculty through a transparent selection process and further encourages students to take up internships, moot court competitions, MUNs and other fieldwork as a part of the curriculum mandate.
Creating Opportunities – Legal Aid Service Clinic
ULC avails the honorary service of five distinguished visiting faculties who are eminent designated Senior Advocates of the High Court and Supreme Court to get the required practical exposure for our students. Secondly, “Through its Legal Aid Services Clinic, ULC provides legal aid to the poor and needy. This is one of the components of the LLB programme in which the ULC puts its heart and soul into its realization,” states Dr Suresh.
He adds, “Students of the law programme could visit villages and enquire into the deficiencies prevailing in the villages through a scientific questionnaire. This includes the day-to-day problems they face, their level of literacy, and their lack of legal knowledge. Through this method, the students ascertain the socio-legal problems in these villages.”
In this programme, a group of students, assisted by a staff member, would provide the necessary advice to tackle their legal, social, and economic problems.
University Law College has been consistently holding this programme since the introduction of its five-year LLB programme in the year 1985-86. As a part of the Legal Aid Service Programme, the college has adopted the villages in the Bangalore district. The Legal Aid Services Clinic and Literacy programs are conducted by Dr N Sathish Gowda, who is the Coordinator of the Legal Aid Services Clinic. The College is also having NSS Unit and organises many community service programmes in the villages with Dr Chandrakanti as Coordinator.
In addition, as part of the curriculum, all the students of LLB are mandatorily able to undergo an internship programme during vacations under eminent Judges, Advocates, Bureaucrats, and in other Government and Non-Government offices to hone their skills and get practical exposure.
Advising Young Generations
Since the observance of the law in the present era has become challenging in terms of sustaining legal ethos, Dr Suresh advises, “Young generation students should work with commitment for the cause of upholding the rule of law and justice. In addition, the younger generation in the field of law should express their views on each and every issue of public importance for the overall development and interest of society.”
Dr Suresh looks forward to achieving the vision for his organization’s growth by leading in the following direction:
- Increase and diversify the available legal curriculum in the college by introducing courses such as BBA, LLB, and Bom, LLB programmes and certificate and diploma programmes in areas of current relevance.
- Implementation of measures for encouraging students to engage in experimental learning to harness their lawyering skills.
- Involve alumni in further college development activities and growth.
- Expansion of legal aid facilities and literacy activities.
- Creating MOUs with many more national and international academic institutions creates a global learning atmosphere.
- Development of infrastructure to accommodate new courses.
University Law College has achieved numerous milestones, through the constant support of its distinguished colleagues, alumni and the University.
- Infrastructure development: Smart classroom with projectors;
- Gender inclusive admission: Transgender reservation (friendly environment to LGBTQ community)
The college encourages students to truly identify themselves as to who they are; Anti-ragging and Anti sexual harassment mandate is strictly followed in the college, and it has established dedicated committees to ensure the same;
- Dedicated Moot courtroom, which is a replica of a court set up; Arrangement of special lectures by eminent guests
- Introduced distinguished visiting faculty who are eminent senior advocates of the High Court and Supreme Court
- Introduced Model United Nations (MUN) and successfully hosted the annual MUN competition
- Publication of law journals, research & development activities
- MOUs with prominent legal education institutions for student and faculty exchange programme
- Updated the course curriculum of LLB and LLM programme.