BCI sends circulars to law schools regarding internships

BCI sends circulars to law schools regarding internships

The Bar Council of India on September 11, 2014 issued a circular to all law universities and colleges in India.

The circular states:

“It is noticed that some of the Universities/Colleges are sending students for internship during academic session. The students can only take internship during the vacation (academic session is not on). The Universities/Colleges are directed that henceforth they should send their students for internship to the Law Firms, senior advocates only when there is a vacation of Universities/Colleges.”

The circular has been much ridiculed over social media considering the other rules that BCI has made but are rarely implemented. Such rules include the minimum period of internship and also that a person cannot intern from more than 4 weeks at a stretch. The rule regarding internship diary is also one which is observed more in violation.

However, it seems that at least one University in India is all keen to implement the circular. Jindal Global Law School has emailed to  its students on September 12 stating that the university will not entertain requests from students to permit internships during a semester. Also,  the Faculty members are requested  not to encourage this practice in an individual capacity.

The email reads as-“Dear Students and Colleagues,

We have received a circular from the Bar Council of India which prohibits us from allowing students to intern during a semester. In view of this, the university will not entertain requests from students to permit internships during a semester. Faculty members are requested not to encourage this practice in an individual capacity.

If a student’s internship spills over into February or August for a few days, he or she will be marked absent for those days and will not be permitted any special attendance exemption.

We understand that securing an internship during the peak season is now a very competitive process, and this new rule will make things very difficult for many students. However, there is little that we can do, in view of the Bar Council circular. We can only advise you to plan your internships well in advance, and improve your resume by securing better grades, involving yourself with research centres, publishing articles in student journals etc.

Best Regards,”

Well, it is in fact a good thing to follow the rules. However, it seems that JGLS chooses what to follow and what not to. Jindal Global University, a private university, comes within the ambit of Haryana Private Universities Act. Section 38 of the Act deals with Declaration of Results. The statute very clearly states:

The  university  shall  strive  to  declare  the  results  of  every examination conducted by it within a period of thirty days from the last date of the examination for that particular course and shall in any case declare the results latest  within a period of forty-five days from such date: 

Provided  that  if,  for  any  reason  whatsoever,  the  university  is  unable  to finally declare the results of any  examination within the aforesaid period of forty five days, it shall submit a report incorporating the detailed reasons for such delay to the Government. The Government may, on considering the report shall issue such directions to the university as it may deem fit.”

However, it is another case that results have never been declared within 30 or 45 days, as reported by some JGLS students.

In a country where the standards of legal education have reached a dismal level with students complaining about the quality of teachers, internships have become a method of learning while doing. Internships have also helped the students to secure jobs and grow in their career graph.

Moreover, the vacations of many universities are during the same time period, and as a result, everyone cannot bag an internship. What options does a law student have? To intern, learn and get a job somewhere, or follow some rules, which even the rule-maker does not follow.

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