Learning the Law: Rethinking Legal Education in Sri Lanka and Evaluating the Law School Culture
17 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2020 Last revised: 26 Jun 2020
Date Written: December 12, 2019
This paper reflects on the legal education in Sri Lanka over a century and presents critical perspectives on its status quo. Focused on the existing structure of legal education in the world, envisioned as a hybrid model, the paper primarily analyses the existing culture in State universities and Law College in Sri Lanka, and its effects on learning the law. The context for the paper stands on a descriptive background based on the evolution of legal education in Sri Lanka. In its analysis of legal education and the dominance of a culture of competition and conformity at the law school that follows the context, the paper explores some fundamentals such as, whether the law school set up inhibits progressive evolution of legal education; whether its culture hinders the achievement of stated objectives of modern legal education; whether there exists an inevitable distinction between legal scholarship and the legal practice contributing to make the law school system more like the practice and less like an academic discipline and finally, whether performing a culture of competition and conformity at the law schools leads to shut down the learner’s mind to the dynamic and imaginative thinking the 21st century legal practice and scholarship demand.
Keywords: Legal Education, Legal profession, Sri Lanka, 21st century lawyer
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