Mahindra University School of Law: Redefining the Legal Education in India

Mahindra University School of Law
Mahindra University School of Law

‘Law’ is a rule of human conduct recognized imposed, and enforced by the State. The legal history in Indian records suggested backing to the Vedic period. There is some evidence to say that the civil system was developed by the Indian civilisation during the Bronze age and in the Indus Valley Civilisation. The ‘law’ in the ancient context has always been associated with customs, Dharma, various religious prescriptions and philosophical discourse.

Moreover, the great Indian dynasties like Maurya and Chola also set a system under which many rights and duties were developing among the citizens. Various systems of ‘law’ were reformed continuously, as it is said that change is a continuous process forever.

As the British brought from rulers and the changes found British systems. The law replaced the earlier cultural changes and changed the British system. Theodore Roosevelt stated, “No man is above the law, and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favour.”

Over the years, the law structure has evolved, and some laws and rights developed that with reasonable limitations. Over time, various changes established the law’s rigorous practice.

The role of the rule of law over the new spirits was being found. We have the new instruments, legal activities, and the study to uphold the true spirit of the law.

Mahindra University’s School of Law, with one institution, has been set up to groom new generation students in an ideal atmosphere on the campus. The university has been making continuous efforts to support and improve the legal system in the country and produce lawyers who would not only prevail in justice but also ensure the faith of the citizens in the legal and judicial systems.

In an exclusive conversation with the Professor and Dean of the School of Law, Dr. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu shares some detailed insights about the university and how the School of Law helps groom prospective lawyers and judges of the country.

Article I – The Inception

Following the philosophy of creating a just society, Mahindra University’s School of Law was established to equip the country’s legal system with capable professionals and nurture them to become better citizens of the country. This is attained by inviting bright and deserving candidates with strong research acumen and tech-savvy aptitude for developing a just society. Highlighting the school’s journey and the founding stone the school is set up on, Dr. Sridhar says, “Working under the aegis of Tech Mahindra, it has a sturdy corporate culture as its founding stones, which keeps inculcating an industry needed skill-sets for its bright legal scholars. Thereby providing the industry with the precise legal professionals who have prodigious incorporation of management, humanities and science.”

Article II – A Complete Institution of Law

After completing BCI’s (Bar Council of India) required protocols and compliances, Mahindra University’s School of Law commenced its pre-launch operations in January 2022 and finally launched its foundation batch in September 2021.

Explaining the academic courses and opportunities offered by the school to its students, Dr. Sridhar says, “The first batch is offered with two distinctive integrated courses of BA-LLB (Hons.) and BBA-LLB (Hons.), each covering a duration of five years. The academic industry and society have taken the opportunity to join the industry-sponsored Mahindra brand with great enthusiasm and confidence. Since then, we have been growing with leaps and bounds, with a series of industry and academia-supported events, which have set up the moment for the next academic year, viz. 2022, where our seats have already been oversubscribed.”

Article III – A Just Leader

Dr. Sridhar Acharyulu, being a professor of Law at the core, always play a very instrumental role in the inception of this incredible institution of Law. Around his four decades of academic and research experience in premier institutions across India, he brings insightful industry experience to the table. Moreover, from 2013 to 2018, he also served as Central Information Commissioner with the Government of India.

Emphasising his journey with the School of Law and his role in the school’s success, Dr. Sridhar says, “When I took charge as Dean of School of Law at Mahindra University, I have worked relentlessly to inculcate the most-acclaimed industry standards of not only the premier institutions and judicial bodies; but also, to develop a sense of corporate social responsibility, in our budding legal scholars.”

“Financial freedom and success may have been the necessary goal for some, but serving society and developing it, with a sense of accountability, has been our prime motive in all our efforts. So, be it in our internships, workshops, seminars and any given international collaborations, we have upheld our commitment to society as our first duty,” he further adds.

Article IV – Freedom of Holistic Learning

Being an institute of academic excellence, the School of Law currently offers two integrated programs, namely BA-LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Arts with Legum Baccalaureus (Honours) and BB A-LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Business Administration with Legum Baccalaureus (Honours).

Explaining the intricacies of both the courses offered at the institution, Dr. Sridhar says, “In essence, the BBA-LLB as well as BA-LLB courses, both end-up being on the same track, i.e., creating the new lawmakers and legal professionals of tomorrow, with honours.”

Focusing on the course speciality of the BBA-LLB course, Dr. Sridhar further says, “Nevertheless, BBA-LLB specifically focus on the culmination of Law with the various aspects of business, like management, finance, economics and even emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, along with their individual as well as collective relationships with Law. This truly seeks out the students who are keen on looking for a career in corporate finance, taxation, entrepreneurship, and business analytics.”

“On similar pattern, BA-LLB majorly focuses on the humanities and social aspects like sociology, history, political science, which makes various career opportunities available in the social and political reforms along with certain proactive policy making,” he further elaborated, while explaining about the offerings of BA-LLB course.

Article V – Sharing the Shared Love for Law

A career in the legal system is a very well-tested and exciting career which entangles a person in every aspect of society. This helps the student to understand and connect to every system or organisation; and equips them with a logical understanding of limits, rights and duties.

Highlighting how the School of Law grooms the students in a holistic manner for their career, Dr. Sridhar says, “Our students undergo a rigorous and continuous evaluation program through academic as well as industry skill-up initiatives like workshops, certifications, legal-aid training sessions, internships with leading corporate houses and well-established firms. This not only tests our scholar’s ability to choose their right specialisation but also nurtures them to have their own judgement on social, corporate, and legal affairs.”

Further explaining the beauty of Law and how it feels to have a career in Law, Dr. Sridhar says, “Law not only develops a critical analytical skill, but it also enables us to ask the right questions; so that we can unearth the real facts and truth, which are mostly hidden under many layers of perceived truths. Law prepares every person who studies Law to create a just society and helps them in making well-informed decisions in management, engineering and other disciplines too.”

Article VI – A Vision to Serve the Society

Mahindra University’s School of Law’s vision is to create knowledge bearers to serve society at large. With the sheer commitment to fulfilling the responsibilities, the school mentors the scholars right from the first semester, walking them through the various legal camps and legal services training sessions. This unique grooming of students is done so that the students overcome the fear of standing alone for the reasonable causes for positive social reformation.

Further talking about how the school grooms the students towards a well-rounded career in serving society, Dr. Sridhar says, “At the end of every two semesters, our scholars have a mandatory and a very demanding internship program, in which they work closely with many nongovernmental, non-proitmaking organisations along with some well-established legal firms, so they can honeup their legal skills to deliver best of their skills to serve the society.”

Article VII – United We Stand

Mahindra University’s School of Law understands that for the smooth running of the institution; and to create a secure future for tomorrow, unity will be the key to the robust growth of everyone. Also, focusing entirely on academics will result in just the academic growth of the students. In view of completing the learner’s arc of the students, the School of Law celebrates every festival and important day with pride, joy and a message to society towards a strong foundation based upon unity.

Talking about the curricular and extracurricular activities initiated by the school, Dr. Sridhar says, “We have some distinguished in-house clubs focussing on various social and legal concerns like women and child protection, environment, sustainability, corporate governance, social media etc. Through these clubs and committees, our institution makes a clear remark on the best corporate social responsibility standards.”

“Besides, our students actively participate in various national as well as international moot-court competitions and workshops, which inculcate a spirit of fair competition into them. So that they deliver the best in their respective domain, to which they have been training persistently round the year,” he further adds.

Article VIII – Guidelines to Initiating Change

Advising the younger generation entering the field of Law, Dr Sridhar says, “Re-underlining the vision of our school of Law, we reiterate with an unshaken commitment towards creating a just society and better legal professionals for tomorrow. Thus, all young scholars who seek to choose Law as their career must clearly comprehend that the legal profession has its prime duty toward the society it serves. Thus, no ulterior motive or objective should find a place in our career other than serving society at large. Let the Law be the tool to reform the society we wish to create.”

Article IX – Roadmap to the Future

Envisioning the future of the institution moving forward, Dr. Sridhar asserts, “Foreseeing the potential and acceptance, we are now in the process of doubling our intake for the current courses in the coming academic year. Besides, we are also in the process of commencing a 3-Year LL.B. (Hons.) Program in the coming month. This LL.B. (Hons.) 3-year program is more focused on pregraduate students who are in the midst of their respective corporate careers and would like to scale up their legal skills as a booster to their career graph. Depending upon the background from which they graduated, they may find their respective opportunities available in the fields of corporate compliances, corporate finance and taxation, economic policymaking, and the usual criminal and civil legal affairs.” He further says, “Being a research-based institution, we are also launching a multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in law next year to develop an innovative and practical research base, with ignited minds, who seek their interests and destiny in law.”

“And down the lane, by next year, we also have a daring objective to commence the B.Tech.-LL.B. program, so that we can also bring in bright engineering minds too, on the legal boards, along with the innovation and ingenuity into the legal profession,” he concludes.

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