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Lawyering has become business, rues Sibal

Statesman News Service |

Press Trust of India
Bangalore, 1 September
Union Law and Justice Minister Kapil Sibal today expressed concern that lawyering has become a business, and it is no longer regarded as a profession.
Noting that the nature of lawyering has changed over the years and lawyers have always been regarded as providers of services, he said: “That is why law is a profession.”
“However, over the years, I found that it has become a business,” Sibal said, delivering the 21st annual convocation address at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) here, at the ceremony, presided over by Chief Justice of India, Mr Justice P Sathasivam, who is also its Chancellor.
“Please, do not ever fall into the trap of wanting to make a monetary killing while providing a service to your client. In a business, the relationship between the customer and the business-person is not that of personal trust.
“The relationship between the client and a lawyer is a relationship of trust. Never breach that trust. Keep the compensation part as an element which is of least priority,” he said.
The minister said pro-bono (done without compensation for the public good) lawyering should be strongly encouraged in India which would allow underprivileged sections to have access to quality legal services.
NLSIU Vice-Chancellor, Professor R Venkata Rao said the future agenda of the NLSIU, established 25 years ago, in the next phase would be to focus on developing adequate responses to the exponential growth of science and technology. “The goal is to develop an excellent research centre in Law and Science and Technology.”
He appealed to Mr Sibal to explore the possibilities of identifying NLSIU as a centre of excellence.
NLSIU would focus on restrategising its approach with thrust on justice education which shall be carefully structured keeping in mind the Indian realities, rather than following any external model.
“This is a tremendous challenge. The challenge for law and legal education is to reorient its strategy once again to see how the post-liberalisation challenges can be successfully handled to ensure justice to all,” Mr Rao said.
Namrata Shah stole the limelight at the event, bagging as many as 16 gold medals.