The lost generation of litigators


Nepotism, poor remuneration and competition from law firms are starving India’s courts of good litigators. As Rebecca Abraham reports, justice is the loser

A recent article in the school a losing game?” set the blogosphere alight. It described a world where “newly minted” gradu New York Times titled “Is law – ates saddled with debt face the grimmest job market in decades.

There are 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools in the US, and in 2009 they produced 43,000 Juris Doctor degree holders. India, by contrast, has around 900 centres of legal education, which reportedly churn out around 80,000 law graduates each year. And while India’s law schools may not be producing “a crop of furious young lawyers who say they mortgaged their future under false pretences,” as the New York Times says their American counterparts are, the fact remains that despite the country’s surging economy, job prospects in the legal profession are patchy.

Rapid economic growth has been a boon for those seeking employment in the country’s commercial law firms. Yet, other areas of the profession, particularly litigation, which is crying out for new talent, are perceived as being off limits to a large number of new graduates. And this despite the huge backlog of cases that continues to paralyze the country’s courts.

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