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The Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law on February 19, 2012. The MoU paves the way for offering dual degree programmes for Indian and US students pursuing law in their respective universities.
The MoU was signed when Joseph L. Hoffmann, Harry Pratter Professor of Law, visited Jindal’s New Delhi campus on behalf of Indiana University. Hoffman also delivered a lecture on death penatly, an event which also had Justice Gita Mittal, Delhi High Court and Ashok Parija, BCI Chairman as speakers.
In her Presidential Address, Justice Mittal lamented the lack of clear guidelines with regard to the imposition of death penalty, resulting in judges exercising huge discretion.
Parija expressed serious concern over the quality of legal education in the 900-odd law colleges across the country and emphasized the need to produce outstanding law teachers in order to give access to legal education of the highest order to everyone.
As per the press release, the programme enables students to earn a JD degree from the Maurer School of Law and an LLB from JGLS in four years and a summer term. Students in Jindal’s five year integrated BALLB program will be in a position to earn degrees from each school in six years and a summer term.
“Law schools like Columbia, Cornell, and NYU have law degree programs with partner institutions in other countries,” said C. Raj Kumar, Dean of Jindal Law School and the O.P. Jindal Global University’s Vice Chancellor. “However, the partnership with Indiana Law is the first time an Indian law school and a US law school have worked together in this fashion. This is a unique initiative that underscores the importance of globalization of legal education and the legal profession.”
Professor William Henderson, Director of Indiana Law’s Center on the Global Legal Profession, added that “with this experience and background, we believe our students will be particularly attractive to U.S. law firms with growing Asia practice desks and to U.S. companies with operations in India.”
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Professor Raj Kumar explained that final year students (in both the 3-year and 5 year course) would be eligible to apply for the JD program at Indiana University. If accepted, these students can then complete the JD course at Indiana University, after which they shall be conferred with both degress, an LLB and a JD.
However, Raj Kumar is also quick to point out that these students must meet all the admission criteria of Indiana University and similarly, Indiana University students must meet the admission criteria of JGLS.
Explaining the benefits of this MoU, Raj Kumar told Bar & Bench that this dual degree programme would create “multi jurisidictional lawyers” and alllow Indian students to not only practice in India but in America as well. The partnership also reflects JGLS’s goal to provide quality education with a global outlook, says Raj Kumar.
Raj Kumar does not rule out the possibilities of entering into similar agreements with other Universities but maintains that this shall be the flagship agreement for JGLS. “Indiana is one of the top 25 law schools and has a global outlook. They have experts in Indian, Chinese and Japanese laws…” contends Raj Kumar and hence the choice of partnering with Indiana University was a natural one.
In 2010, O.P. Jindal Global University had collaborated with the Indiana University to promote global education along three inter-related disciplines, law, business and international affairs.