Chennai Law Students Need Practical Experience: High Court Asks for New College Location

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Chennai, March 22nd, 2024: The Madras High Court has urged the Tamil Nadu government to prioritize the needs of law students by finding a suitable location within Chennai city limits for the Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, formerly known as Madras Law College.

Madras High Court Asks Tamil Nadu Government to Find New Location for Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College in Chennai

Chennai Law Students Need Practical Experience: High Court Asks for New College Location

A College Steeped in History Faces Modern Challenges

Established in 1891, the Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College boasts a rich history. It originally functioned from a heritage building conveniently located near the Madras High Court. However, in 2015, the college’s location became a safety concern due to the ongoing Metro Rail project, necessitating a shift to campuses in Tiruvallur and Chengalpettu districts.

A bench led by Chief Justice S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice M. Bharatha Chakravarthy highlighted a crucial aspect of legal education in their ruling. They emphasized that legal education has undergone a significant shift. Today, it goes beyond rote memorization and classroom lectures. Modern legal education requires students to gain practical experience and interact with the functioning legal system. The court believes that having a campus in Chennai, closer to the High Court, would be immensely beneficial for the students.

Law Students Seek Improvement in Infrastructure and Location

The court’s decision stemmed from a batch of petitions filed by law students seeking better infrastructure at the college, as mandated by the Bar Council of India for quality legal education. Senior Advocate NGR Prasad argued that the current location in Tiruvallur and Chengalpettu significantly disadvantages students. The distance hinders their ability to attend court proceedings and pursue part-time law firm jobs while studying, which are valuable experiences for aspiring lawyers.

The court acknowledged the past necessity for relocating the college due to safety concerns related to the Metro Rail project. However, keeping the students’ best interests in mind, the court believes that the situation has changed. With the construction likely complete, the college can now prioritize the educational benefits of a location closer to the Chennai courts.

The court directed the Government Advocate to obtain instructions from the state regarding a suitable location within the city. The case has been adjourned to April 25th, 2024. (Case Title: K Elangoo v the Secretary and Others, Case No: WP 11806 of 2017)

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The Madras High Court’s decision highlights the evolving nature of legal education and the importance of providing law students with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. With a new location in Chennai, Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College can continue its legacy of excellence while preparing its students for the realities of the legal profession.

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