Most laws are bound by geography but students of law clearly don’t need to be. The number of students going aboard to study law is also growing.
As per Bar Council of India’s 2019 notification, it recognises degrees awarded by 99 foreign universities. Of these, the largest number, 43, is in the United Kingdom; 21 in Australia; and 16 in the United States of America. As per the latest statistics, over 1,000 Indians went to study law in the UK in 2018-’19.
Legal systems vary and typically, a lawyer trained in the laws of one jurisdiction is locked into it. However, studying abroad helps a student gain knowledge of the law of another country and develop a broader perspective of law as a discipline. It also helps students who may not be aiming for a career in litigation but for one in multinational corporations. Many countries also have transfer and conversion pathways for foreign lawyers to become licensed and in many, foreign lawyers work in international law firms.
“Law is among the top 10 industries of work for Indian students studying in the UK,” said Janaka Pushpanathan, director South India, British Council. “The ratio of Indian students studying law in the UK is higher than the global average, as per the International Graduate Outcomes Report 2019. A UK law degree gives students an outstanding variety of job opportunities because of the excellence of teaching at these universities, their global exposure and diverse culture. Apart from practising law in the courts, lawyers can also work in teaching, journalism, private companies, civil society, and politics. A law degree from the United Kingdom not only lets law students practice in India, but also in the United Kingdom. Thus, acting as a gateway to international legal career prospects.”
Indian student, foreign degree
An Indian student who has studied law at a foreign university but wants to work in India as a lawyer will need to qualify the All India Bar Examination, or AIBE, conducted by the BCI. The Bar Council of India has also framed criteria for declaring a foreign law degree equivalent to the Indian one.
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