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Bar Examination For Lawyers: Pros and Cons

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By Anonna Dutt:

”Any law student graduating in the academic year 2009-10 and after would have to appear for the All India Bar Examination, after enrolment as an advocate, in order to practice law in India,’‘ proclaims the website of the Bar Council of India.

Clearly, the Bar Council has made it mandatory for all the law students passing out from some 14 Law Universities (i.e. some 1000 colleges) in India to appear for the Bar Examination, if they wish to practice the profession.

Now, coming to the point, what exactly is the Bar Examination? It is basically a kind of screening test to choose the people who have the skills and the ability to practice the profession of law in the country. It takes into account not only knowledge of law but also the student’s analytical ability and his general communication skills that would help him to make his point. It would be held every six months on a payment of a fee of Rs 1,300 by every candidate (this includes the fee for preparatory material as well).

Also, there is still a doubt in the minds of the future lawyers whether it is absolutely necessary for them to appear for the examination. By law, YES, it is mandatory, but this answer would be very objective.

We should now look into the necessity of this examination, subjectively. As a part of their curriculum all the law students appear for a certain number of intra-university examinations which help in assessing their skills and abilities. After the thorough examination in the universities there is really no reason to have a screening process again. Also, from a student’s viewpoint, the examination means the waste of some six months for preparing and appearing for the examination. These six months can be extremely crucial in his/her life. It also implies that they have to pay an extra amount of fee for the examination even after paying a lavish amount for education in good colleges. All these arguments kept aside, this examination also poses a direct question on the credibility of the education provided by the institutions.

But, as it is said, every coin has a flip side, and so does this issue. The All India Bar Examination would help the students to know their performance at the national level. This would give them the perspective of their probability of success in the profession. It would also help them in knowing their strengths and weaknesses better and would thus help in improvement.

Apart from this, it might also lead to the curbing of a very serious problem. Many colleges have a problem of the leaking of exam papers. Even if this continues at the college level, the Bar Examination would ensure that only deserving students come forward when it comes to actually practising the profession. Similarly, it would also reduce the practice of bribing the staff members either for leaking of papers or towards lenient checking. Because even if it is done, the students would know that the final verdict will be their performance in the Bar Exam.

All said and done, the positive side of such an exam far outweighs the small problems of the students and thus the Bar Examination should be made mandatory for ensuring that the legal backbone of the nation is just and strong.


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  1. Saloni

    Being a law student, i would agree with Anonna that Bar examination should be made mandatory. I like the point which he had raised that in some universities papers get leaked or students follow the ‘law of jugaad’ and clear the examinations, thus, deceiving themselves and fooling others. So this exam would help in testing our performance to check whether we are really capable to fight for injustice prevailing in the country.

    1. Anonna Dutt

      Thank You for your support Saloni … By the way Anonna is a ‘She’!!

  2. ritika

    dear author 
    your views are appreciated. but i would like to point out something that making an exam mandatory for all students won’t help in maintaining efficiency in the legal profession bcz i came to know of the instances where  students were allowed to take preparatory book or notes in the examination hall. so its not going to help. it will only scare students (not all but there are some students) and put an extra burden bcz after going through a continuous tedious but rough and tough five years long experience they still have to prove themselves. there were about 52 students in my college when i got admission. and after semester exams number reduced to 30. that 22 students dropped out. they realized that can’t cope with the pressure in the very first year. so whats the point judging those 30 who had already proved themselves? 
    as for paper leaking ..that should be checked through other methods. to conduct an exam at all india level by professing that it would enable students to know their performances at national level seems a ridiculous idea. instead of wasting huge capital and time in conducting an exam they should utilize it to make sure tht there are no loopholes in the education system itself. 

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