INTERVIEW with Maj-Gen Nilendra Kumar, Director of Amity Law School, Noida, Amity University, on the occasion of the launch of his book, ‘Clinical Legal Education’ in Amity University on 4th APRIL 2013
Sir, we want to congratulate you first on this achievement before we proceed with the interview.
1) How many books have you written so far?
Frankly, I have not kept track. Perhaps it is the.... twelfth one...
2) Why this topic of clinical legal education?
Law is to be studied for its application, be it family law, property law, criminal, taxation or any other branch of law.Hence the importance for a law student to know and master its application. This is the purpose of clinical legal education.
3) Who is this book written for?
The target readership of the book is the student in various law colleges and universities in India and also their faculty, who, in most cases, do not have background of law application and practice.
4) Which areas does the book cover?
The book’s contents relate to the syllabus framed by the Bar Council of India. For example, trial advocacy (mock trials) followed by appellate advocacy (moot trials), legal aid clinics, client counselling, community lawyering and legal writing, etc.
5) What do you think are the challenges faced by the Indian Legal System today with regards to legal education?
The most critical challenge before Indian legal education and for that matter in the subcontinent is the absence of faculty who is equipped with the requisite experience to introduce their students to clinical legal education.
6) Do you mean there is a gap between legal education and the legal world?
Yes, I agree in the sense that a law student when he/she comes to the actual world, be it in Court, or an office, or law firm, he has a sense of bewilderment. He does not know what he has to do, because his education focuses on the theoretical aspect mostly.
7) So, your book represents basically a bridge between the academic and real legal world?
In a way, yes. This book is just a small step towards sensitising the academic environment about clinical legal education.
8) At what level would you recommend this book to be prescribed in law schools and colleges?
I would recommend each student to procure a copy of this book in the first semester itself, and retain it throughout their stay for legal education.
9) Do you believe the book can also be relevant for foreign lawyers and academicians?
Yes, this book may be useful for them to get an exposure about the functioning of the courts, tribunals, authorities and also about the approach of legal studies in India as regards its pedagogy.
10) On a personal note, how do you feel after writing this book, and how much time did it take you to write it?
It took me more than two years to write this book. Its publication has given me huge satisfaction and a sense of achievement in the sense of having contributed my small part to make legal education emerge more relevant.
11) Will you be coming with a sequel to this book or another one sometime soon?
As I mentioned, this is a first step. The comments and suggestions from my faculty colleagues and also the students on one hand and the law practitioners on the other would be needed to make its contents meet the expectations of various quarters.
12)Do you have a word of advice or suggestions for the law students re clinical legal education?
Get hold of a copy of the book at the earliest and make use of it to the maximum. And also, approach me without hesitation if you have any suggestions as to making the book more purposeful.
13)Finally, to whom would you like to dedicate this book?
I wish to dedicate this book to my students of 2008-13 batch of Amity Law School, Noida!
Interview conducted by:
1) Ms Mokshda Bhushan- Assistant Professor, Amity Law School, Noida
( Mokshda Bhushan has read law from London School of Economics,UK and is a qualified barrister from Mauritius. She teaches criminology, legal communication skills and cyber laws in ALS,Noida.
2) Ms Palka Rishi- Assistant Professor, Amity Law School, Noida
( Palka Rishi has read law from IP University, Delhi. She teaches constitutional law in ALS,Noida.)