Lawyers can play an important role in reducing the pendency by advising their clients to settle their disputes at the pre-litigation stage itself. Supreme Court judge, Justice NV Ramana said..Lawyers should give proper advice to their clients as to how to pursue their legal claims without abusing the process and must keep in mind not only their duty to their clients, but also their duty to the Courts, to society and to the law, Justice Ramana said.Towards this end, law students should be made to understand from the very beginning about the true duty of a lawyer, which is to unite people, he added..Justice Ramana, who is set to take over as the next Chief Justice of India, was speaking at the convocation ceremony of the Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Vishakapatnam.He further opined that poor quality legal education has an impact on the exploding pendency in the country stating that large number of law colleges in the country are below par and the judiciary is attempting to rectify this issue..“We have more than 1,500 Law Colleges and Law Schools in the country. Nearly 1.50 lakh students graduate from these Universities including the 23 National Law Universities. This is a truly astounding number. Wrongly, but what proportion of graduates who are fresh out of college are actually ready or prepared for the profession? I would think less than 25 per cent,” he said.He clarified that his remark is in no way a comment on the graduates themselves, who certainly possess the required attributes to be successful lawyers..“Rather, it is a comment on the large number of sub-standard legal educational institutions in the country which are colleges merely in name. There are many sub-standard Colleges in the country, which is a very worrying trend. The Judiciary has taken a note of this, and is attempting to correct the same,” he added..Justice Ramana also exhorted law students to use their skills and legal education to further rule of law and help vulnerable persons who are victims of human rights atrocities either by the State or by anti-social elements.“As young advocates, you are best placed to strongly oppose the same through legal action. You must be the conscience bearers of the nation. Educate people as to their rights, and provide legal guidance whenever you can. These are heavy burdens to bear, but I am sure you are all strong enough to bear it,” he said..Lawyers are the stewards of this nation and custodians of a very rich tradition. "Remember, your voice matters," he said as parting words of encouragement.