MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK
The Academy wants its campus, class rooms, clinical settings and ambience to provide a different experience. No doubt, the Academy will make you think and teach you skills and ways of thought, where much is expected from the student. The Academy wishes to ensure that its training gives you the strong basement and foundation needed for a successful legal career.
I was privileged to be involved in the establishment of the Academy in 1966 along with the legendary jurist late Justice V R Krishna Iyer, late Chief Justice P Subramanium Potti, late Justice V Sivaraman Nair and late Sr Adv Narayanan Potti, who were then outstanding lawyers in the Kerala High Court. Even after becoming judge, Late Justice V R Krishna Iyer, was always involved in the management of the Academy and functioned as the President of the Academy for a long time till his death in 2014.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that the alumni of the Academy includes a former Supreme Court judge, several former and sitting high court judges, innumerable judicial officers, reputed senior advocates, leading lawyers and leaders of the Bar, reputed Vice Chancellors of national law universities, reputed law Professors, academicans and law teachers, Multinational Corporate Global Legal heads, Corporate lawyers, senior law officers, Cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, senior Government officials, etc.
I am proud that the Academy is the only institution from Kerala to get selection to represent India five times (in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999 &, 2000) in the prestigious Philip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition (Jessup International rounds), held at Washington D C., USA. The only other institution from Kerala to get selection to represent India in the Jessup International rounds is NUALS, Kochi in 2005 and no other law college/law school from Kerala had represented India in this prestigious international rounds. So also the Academy is the only institution from Kerala to get selection to represent India four times (in 2002, 2003, 2005 & 2010) in the prominent Stetson International Environment Law Moot Court Competition held at Florida, USA and to get selection to represent India in the prestigious Louis M Brown International Client Consulting Competition in 2000 held in Dunedin, Newzealand.
Let me tell you that law is all pervading and a brooding omnipresence and the life of law is justice. Justice depends on the judicial and legal process and in turn on the quality of judges, lawyers, law makers and ultimately on the quality of law teachers. Hence it is obvious that quality legal education is the need of the hour.
It is most important to note that judges are guardians of democracy and justice and so their quality is important for the smooth progress of our society and delivery of justice. Hence it is essential that the best are attracted to law and to the judiciary and those who join judiciary should have excellent levels of quality and integrity in administrating justice. Only sustained training can help in this regard. As the legendary United States Supreme Court judge, Justice Cardozo, said, “the training of the judge, if coupled with what is styled the judicial temperament, will help in some degree to emancipate him from the suggestive power of individual dislikes and prepossessions. It will help to broaden the group to which his subconscious loyalties are due”. Hence law schools should be Centers for developing integrity and the right judicial temperament.
While, the United States and other developed nations have evolved their law universities as effective Centers of research, our law universities are yet to think in these directions. The law schools like Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Stanford law schools in United States are legal laboratories, which bring out new concepts, original thinking and critical reasoning, and contribute to the judicial and legal process of the nation.
As early as in 1911, the traditional lecture method in the study of law has been supplemented by the case method introduced by Langdell in Harvard, and then by the problem method. Now the emphasis in methodology has shifted from doctrinal analysis and legal reasoning to the broader spectrum of practical skills. Skills and values development, clinical and practical training, and research paper presentations have become the key factor in professionalizing the study of law. [See Carrington Report (1971 Washington), Crampton Report (1979 US), MacCrate Report 1992, (which was endorsed by Law Commission of India report 2002)].
One of the important recommendations of the MacCrate Report 1992 and the Law Commission Report 2002 emphasis appointing adjunct teachers from the Bar and the Bench. (The 2002 law Commission report devotes a whole chapter, (Chapter VII) for stressing the need for adjunct/ part time teachers drawn from the community of experienced lawyers and retired judges).
Any methodology of teaching law aimed at excellence should have orientation on the practical, clinical and research sides. Our aim is to build the Academy as a legal laboratory and Center for excellence in research encouraging original thinking, critical reasoning and development of concepts of justice.
New pedagogic strategies and training methods designed at the Academy, aim to equip you with the necessary tools to become a complete professional lawyer by the time you graduate. Many innovative subjects and programmes to develop lawyering skills are included. We use a wide range of methodologies and insights from various other disciplines. I am certain that legal studies structured with stress on scientific elements will mould your professional development during the law school years.