The Path to Ensuring Access to Legal Education in India
This spring will mark the 11th anniversary of the Law School Admission Council offering the LSAT—India, a version of the Law School Admission Test designed specifically for high school students in India who want to study law there. Unlike legal studies in the United States, law programs in India are five-year programs that begin right after high school. Like the original LSAT, LSAT—India is designed to help schools identify students who have the critical reasoning and analytical skills to succeed in law classes and, ultimately, in the practice of law. Currently, 53 Indian law colleges accept the LSAT—India, and the number of students sitting for the test grows significantly every year.
The increased demand for legal education reflects India’s continued economic growth and its emergence as a powerhouse on the world stage. LSAC is proud to provide an admission test to help India’s law colleges identify future lawyers who can support India’s role in the global economy. But LSAC’s mission in India is broader. We partner with the country’s law colleges to ensure that their graduates can one day provide all kinds of legal services—services for families, small businesses, courts, and government agencies, as well as for international corporations and law firms. We strongly support efforts to ensure that members of historically underrepresented communities have access to legal education and can contribute their perspectives and experiences.
Last fall, we partnered with Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession to host a large conference in New Delhi on the future of legal education in India. The conference featured honorable justices from the Supreme Court of India and Indian government ministers, along with distinguished law professors from India and the United States. It was gratifying, and validating, to see students, faculty, and law professionals coming together to talk about legal education and the evolving work of lawyers in the world’s largest democracy—and what the country must do to meet the legal needs of India in the 21st century.
LSAC’s priorities in India mirror those we hold in the United States, but our goal is to support the growth and evolution of India’s unique legal, economic, and social institutions. We’ve seen how the passion of India’s young people can drive this evolution and thereby make the promise of the future real. When that promise is answered with widespread access to world-class educational opportunities and a robust legal system, India’s future will be at hand.
We look forward to sharing more information about LSAC’s work in India, and beyond, in the months ahead.