Law & Us Blogs
Unravelling the metaverse: Virtual is real by Prof. Nishant Sheokand, Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor
Steven Johnson famously quoted "If you look at history, innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect." Metaverse is that idea and the environment. Fundamental question that needs to be answered before we dive deep into various aspects of Metaverse is its basic understanding. It is difficult, yet easy to explain. Why difficult? It doesn't exist, yet.
The humans are not new to the terminology Metaverse. It has been explored in novels, cartoons and in the Marvel Universe, the hologram technology used by Tony Stark. It was first coined by author Neal Stephenson, in Snow Crash, a 1992 science-fiction novel which envisions a next generation of the internet enabling people to use their avatars, connect, interact and have an immersive audio, social and virtual experience. The famous game designer Raph Koster describes different terminologies like multiverse and Metaverse. As we know, multi verses are different Spiderman (spoiler alert) coming together from various worlds, basically as Koster defines it "multiple different worlds connected in a network". Whereas Metaverse (behold marvel fans) is "a multiverse which interoperates more with the real world," incorporating things like augmented reality overlays, VR dressing rooms, and even apps like Google Maps. Simply put, a real time 3D world.
The Impact: just the hype?
In the 21st century where human touch is frowned upon (because of Covid-19, obviously), imagine a virtual world where you have your own house, office, friends, colleagues, shopping malls and whatnot and you can experience it all from the comfort of your physical home. Scientists from all over the world who keeps predicting and are trying to prove that there are other universes parallel to the one we live, well, here you are, it is a reality, The Metaverse. It has the potential to innovate how humans interact, connect and how the society operates. The cost of operating in the real world, business, our spending behaviours, social security etc, just imagine the possibilities, the advantages it may present once operational. In the true sense, the Metaverse is an environment to make the use of technology more inclusive by making it more intuitive. It will have the kind of impact industrial revolution had or the internet in itself had on the human race.
For example: One of the reasons that Comic Cons are a hugely popular event is because they help the fans meet like-minded people and also immerse in a reality which often exists only in fantasy. similarly, Facebook's Metaverse would provide people with the same fulfilling experience and much more through virtual reality.
Tangibility: An extended version of Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go hit the streets with similar hype and excitement as Metaverse. It offered that missing connection between the real and virtual world. Pokemon trainers could travel between the virtual world of Pokemon and real world, explore real locations, battle other trainers, make friends, exchange gifts, trade Pokemons, customise their avatars etc.
Metaverse offers the similar experience and benefit, most important being the connection between the virtual and real world i.e. the tangibility. Then the question arises, would it supplement the real w along with it the internet? For example- "NIKEIAND" (we will explore it later in the article). It offers virtual dressing rooms to try on outfits, their patented sneakers etc. Does it mean that it would replace the real tangible world which also happened with the emergence of app based shopping like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra or for a matter of fact Lenskart where you can try on the products virtually or is just an easy way to navigate between the two worlds.
All the experts around the world are trying to predict the kind of changes we can expect from Metaverse but it is not clear, yet. Usually, the best innovations are those which impact our day to day lives. For example: Facebook changed our social interactions, squeezed the world into our pockets and is now responsible for the outbreak of Metaverse on the internet. The Facebook as a social platform will remain the same but the company behind it is called Meta now. Is Meta going to succeed? It is a waiting game and what Meta proposes to do, they are just scratching the surface, the possibilities are infinite.
Civil and Military application of the Metaverse
It is definitely going to impact our day to day life from health to education, personal to professional, and outdoor activities to realistic gaming. What we do today, experiencing things virtually, simply put, you will be able to do it with others around as well, who are not in the same physical space as us. Although when we look at 'Snow Crash', it can paint quite the vivid picture of the verse but is that close to what future has for us?
A fascinating answer to this question would be what Nike is hying to do with its latest fan/customer retention model "NIKELAND" on Robolox, their own Metaverse. It is a virtual environment with Nike's headquarters in the backdrop. Fan can create, interact, do business, buy Nike's famous sneaker collection (having unique crypto id}and most importantly, they can share this experience in the virtual world. It is all done to promote Nike's goal to turn sport into a lifestyle. They are using blockchain technology, NFTs and fan tokens to relate it to the real economic world and also to wage a war against counterfeiting of their unique products (this warrants a separate article). Similarly, the Metaverse, companies like Meta, Microsoft and others are trying to create, would be a place which would encompass NFTs, blockchain, VR, personal avatars, its own currency which would be linked to the real world. Simply put, a fantasy game where you can create, explore, earn and interact but it won't be just limited to the virtual world but would eventually have the tangible benefits and consequences.
Military: Mission critical decision making
on a higher level, the requirements for this complex Metaverse system would be to try and capture the political, social, economic, and media dimensions of cities, states and the countries. We innovate to make the human life better, to save it, to bring the worlds together. To name a few examples: A soldier is preparing for an on field dangerous operation, it would help in strategic military decision making and provide for maintaining situational awareness, as well as generating and evaluating possible courses of action, evaluating threats without the loss of life and military offensive resources. Further maintain a near real-time precision, and timeliness in underlying knowl edge gathering so that it is not fai·removed from the real world it is mirroring. It can easily be related to the "Mirror Dimension" from the Marvel cinematic Universe of Dr Strange. The ever present but undetected and the real world is not affected by it, they use it to train, keep surveillance and most importantly contain the threats.
Dress it fresh and you may avoid the legal/regulatory implications?
The questions I am going to raise needs answers and as famously quoted by Uncle Ben, a character by Stan Lee that "with great powers, comes great responsibilities". Facebook, now Meta, is infamous for affecting its users negatively be it through Facebook or the impact on teenagers on Instagram. For example: Frances Haugen revelations. But, Meta is not the only company aspiring to be the front runners in the world of Metaverse. lt is going to be a combination of various organisations, companies, and states coming together to build a multl verse Metaverse. It sure will have its positive as well as negative impacts.
Let's talk about the negative aspects as well. Whether the rules of the vil·tual world would be the same as compai·ed to the real world? Would it be possible to att1ibute the same essential ingredients of a crime in the virtual world? For example: "Sweetie 2.0", a chatbot devel oped by Terre des Hommes that can be used globally to fight webcam sex with children. The issues with such an experiment were related to Sweetie 2.0 being an AI and not areal person. Can one be prosecuted for the crimes against an AI? Same logic and issues can be attributed ed to the Metaverse as well. A person in the Metaverse is subjected to sexual harassment? The fundamental question would be: Can you sexually harass someone in the virtual world? If yes, what would be title implications and ai·e we looking at the total overhaul of the legislations in the world. Although Meta has promised and announced that they will ensure that it is built responsibly and with a safe space to avoid expected violations. It is going to be enough? Is it going to the real world "Skynet" and yeah, who names a positive AI, Skynet, but jokes apart, it is a waiting game and what we can do is tread carefully.
Thoughts for the future:
Metaverse is going to be like a new religion or simply put, the God. No one single person, entity or organisation would own it. But few would be the front runners and succeed more than others. It has its challenges, advantages and disadvantages but as we discussed it offers real time life and resource saving solutions to the life threatening problems. For example- The already advanced health care innovations can be merged with Metaverse and it would allow unprecedented diagnosis and solutions to health problems. A patient's avatar could visit a hospital in Metaverse, and the experience would be like the real life where in the avatar must go to the reception, interact with the receptionist, fill up a cai·d, explain the problem, be advised about the consultation, provided an appointment for consultation, maybe visit the lab for some tests and finally end up interacting with the Doctor. Though the avatar would move in the Metaverse based on instructions, processes would get activated in the backend triggering a lab agent to come home to collect samples and the results would be sent out as a link to the Doctor. Just imagine curing a Covid patient, without coming in touch with the patient physically, it would have changed the way we fought the pandemic.
The conjunction of physical and the real world has given rise to a dynamic between the principle requirement for the Metaverse and now it requires an extended set of design rules and principles for developing such a world. Over and above, when we b1ing in the importance of physical interaction, "are people going to accept and value the Metaverse as the legitimate and main source of interaction and work? Or would it be limited to entertainment and sports industry as we have seen the success of NFTs, virtual platforms and fan based tokens in the world of football, basketball etc. For example- Manchester United's fan token or AS Roma getting a lucrative 42 million dollar partnership deal. Like many in the past, Metaverse will be monetized similarly.
The starter pack of any entity today is the social media presence and the digital mai·keting, now, emergence of Metaverse would look to advertise in the virtual world, come up with sti·ategies, innovative ideas to market. Would it lead to a world where you are surrounded by different advertisements in the virtual world like it has been depicted in the "Fifteen Million Merits" episode of the Black Mirror, directed by Euros Lynn? It shows an alternate universe, future reality, thousands must ride exercise bikes for how·s earn credits to purchase basic products while surrounded by mindless advertisements throughout the day. If rid of the evils it stands to bring along, multiverse of Metaverses are going to be determined by the user demand and behaviour. A universe driven by market, all the activities from the actual world, our life will also continue in the virtual world but it is up to us what kind of world we are going to create, a world where after years we will require new SDGs or the world with amazing innovation and new frontiers.
ARMCC Experience by Ms. Chanchal Chaturvedi, BBA LLB 2020-2 5
Mooting is a very crucial part of a law student's life. From the beginning of our five-year-long journey we are made to understand the importance of doing a Moot Court. It does not necessarily mean the need to excel in moot courts, I believe it is more of the takeaways and lessons that matter. That one hour in front of your judges, answering their questions, defending your client, making your arguments and rebutting your respected opposition council, teaches you way more than any classroom ever can This is why law schools pay a lot of importance to their mooting culture.
IFIM Law School has its own intra-college moot court competition, namely, the Annual Ranking Moot Court Competition (ARMCC). As the name suggests the competition takes place annually open to all the students at the Law School. Last year, because of the Corona outbreak and the lockdown restrictions the competition was held online and even though it gave us a little taste of how things are done, it lacked the exposure gained from actual physical mooting. And in everyone's best interest, this year the Moot Court Committee was able to successfully organize a physical moot court competition. This was my first ever moot and as much as it was exciting and thrilling, it was also way more nerve-wracking to be honest. Since last time the speakers were still at ease being behind the screen of their devices at the comfort of their homes, this time we had to face the judges. Everything mattered from our articulation to our body language, from our tone to our written memorandums, from how we presented ourselves to how we presented our arguments, everything was noticed.
The oral arguments have always been a scary part for me, even the thought of standing in front of the learned judges unaware of the fact that from where a question might arise and figure out how to back up everything your memorandum holds with proper facts and case laws is enough to send shivers through one's spine. I believe it's not just the test of your knowledge but also the test of your sense of self. I have come to observe how important it is in moot courts to accept what you know and what you do not know. I think it's the biggest lesson for me- To not be in attack mode. It is almost like an art to keep yourself always poised and maintain your composure, answer what you know and own it if your knowledge lacks in a certain line of questioning.
You do not have to aggressively defend yourself if you have committed a simple mistake which is pointed out by the judge. It is better and easier if you just own and move past it. This happened to me when one of the judges pointed out a spelling error in my memorandum. Even if it does not seem much, that one error completely diverted the meaning of my whole sentence, but instead of panicking all I had to do was to remind myself that a mistake has been committed and it is completely okay. I am glad I was able to remind myself of it during my Oral round and was able to apologize for the mistake, correct it and move on.
When all was done and results were announced, I turned out to be the Best Speaker in the Junior group. The whole experience makes it all so worth it - the excitement, the nervousness, the shiver through my spine, the stumbling to answer questions thrown in my directions, the cold feet and most importantly the sense of satisfaction after my round ended. Everything was just worth it, and I would not take anything back.
Subject Preparation Tips by Ms. Poorvi Gyanchandani, BBA LLB 3rd Year
Exams are just round the corner. Having too much to read and less time? Stress and pressures taking toll? Well, this is a time when we all lose patience and start freaking out because of exam pressure and often tend to be confused about how to go about with subjects and the biggest question is where to start from. Today this article will help all my readers to make a good strategy of how to go about subject preparation and how to remain calm and composed before exams. The most important thing is to first divide your subjects into two parts i.e., Easy and Difficult. Now what do I mean by easy and difficult subjects?
Easy subjects are the non-core subjects or the subject area in which you feel you have a good command. Few examples of easy subjects can be Personality Enhancement Program, General English and so on. Make sure you carefully observe and know your subjects before dividing them. Difficult subjects can be categorized as essentially the core subjects like Constitutional Law, Law of Torts, IPC and so on. These subjects require deep study and good knowledge of concepts so that you don't end up mugging up the subject rather understand the concept and prepare well. Difficult subjects need a good amount of time and practice as in the case of subjects which have numerical. Subjects like Financial Management, Financial Accounting need regular practice so make sure you deal with them accordingly. One strategy could be that you just start with the easy subjects and quickly get done with it but it could also be done other ways that if you feel difficult subjects take time then complete them first and then move on to easy subjects.
Pointers to bear in mind for subject preparation:
- Create a Study Plan - It is essential to plan for your subjects before starting to prepare. It will help you get a clear vision and sight of what are your priorities and the order in which it needs to be done.
- Time management - The basic and yet one of the most important aspects to prepare for exams is managing time accordingly. Make a list of subjects and based on the number of days left before exams begin give time to each subject accordingly.
- Make your own study notes - It is important to have your own notes made so that at the time of revision you will not have to turn pages of the big fat books and you can revise the topics you wish to at the last moment.
- Take Breaks - Itis always said to take short break sessions during study hours as it helps our mind to relax and can retain all that we learn and process.
- Healthy Diet - Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is important for the proper growth of the body. Therefore, we must try to eat healthy food especially during exams. We must take short meals in intervals to keep the body and mind energetic to study for long hours with short breaks in between.
- Proper Sleep Cycle - Taking adequate amount of sleep helps the mind to retain better and sharpens the memory. For an average adult it is advised to take 8 hours of sleep which helps the entire body to relax. Therefore, during exam days, one should take at least 7-8 hours of sleep to help the mind retain all that you have studied.
- Previous Year Papers - Be it exams or any competitive paper, solving previous years question papers helps to give a fair idea.
I am sure by now that you all must be motivated and shall start preparing with full zeal Hope these points help you a long way in your journey as exams are a continuous part of life. I thereby wish everyone Best of Luck for their upcoming examinations.
Preparing for Law Exams by Shinjinee Namhata, BBA LLB 3rd Year
Examinations are well termed as necessary evil. Our system of education is usually examination ridden which aims at the test of achievement and success. We can’t escape exams.
A student under KSLU, within his/her few days of law school gets to hear from their friends, teachers, seniors that they are trapped in the hands of a university which doesn’t give marks despite writing well in the exams. I also got to hear the same things during my first-year days. That undoubtedly scared me a lot which turned out beneficial for me in fact. The very first university result made me realize that if we follow a definite pattern of studying and put continuous toil, no one can prevent us from scoring good.
Preparing for law subjects - remembering thousands of case laws and sections is no doubt a challenge but a methodical way can help sail through it.
- Give a bare thorough reading of the Section/Article or any particular topic you are studying. Read again. Break the Section/Article into elements and jot it down.
- Try to prepare examples and illustrations from your own to clear the concepts.
- Sort out chapter wise questions and prepare own detailed notes.
- While studying cases, write the names and brief the subject matter of it.
- Study the notes during exams.
Since 2020, due to unexpected COVID situation, classes and exams are being highly affected. We started to get sudden exam notifications from the university, and within a short span we are supposed to write our exams. Indeed, this creates stress and pressure in the students’ minds. But again, stressing cannot help us score; we should calm our minds and engage ourselves in smart work.
Here are some of my last-minute exam preparation tips-
- Don’t totally dedicate yourselves into books and studies. Watching a movie in between sometimes really works in reducing stress.
- Organize the time, prepare a schedule and dedicate specific hours for every subjects.
- Go through past papers and figure out what seems the most important.
- If you haven’t prepared notes earlier, don’t panic. While studying, just write in your own words the subject matter of that topic briefly. Writing in own words helps us remember more effectively. Prepare summary of answers and try remembering through points.
- Read the cases fully once or twice, and on a sheet of paper write only the names. At times, look over the names and try recalling in your mind the gist of it. If you cannot recall any, immediately read that over again.
- Sometimes group study proves to be very effective. Ask each other doubts and questions and get that clarified.
- Keep hope and give your best in the exams.
I agree KSLU is a little miser in the case of giving good marks. However, we should not procrastinate. We must remember, good marks in exams won’t suffice; practical knowledge is needed. We need to learn and understand rather than simply memorize and vomit during exams.
All the best, Happy writing exams!
Chill, you got this! by Neha Mary Bipin, BBA LLB 2nd Year
Have you ever felt like dinosaurs growling inside your belly or in the worst case your soul detaching your body in an exam morning? As a 19-year-old law student, I would say, exams are scarier than the apocalypse. My exam day routine is not very complicated, I don’t wake up as I don’t sleep in the first place, have no breakfast, take no shower, tie my hair and straight to the exam hall. Woah, I know you do the same!
Sometimes it’s the mental pressure or insufficient preparation or sometimes it’s the noise in your head telling 'you aren't good enough, believe me, I have gone through it all. If you are someone who’s tasted all these, well buddy, you've got exam fear and anxiety. But the good news is, I have jotted down a couple of strategies that can help you get through this stressful exam season. Trust me, these little tricks will make your lives much easier. It is very normal for you to feel anxious while giving exams or before that.”
Exam anxiety is a type of performance anxiety that leads to an intense moment of fear or panic before or during an examination. The level of anxiety differs from person to person. Some may experience low-level anxiety whereas others might have to go through an extreme level. A person with low-level anxiety may even be able to reap benefits out of it- most of the time low-level anxiety helps you stay motivated. The adrenaline rush that one encounters when chased by a dog makes one run faster, and this is the kind of response that our body makes to anxiety and danger. But if the anxiety increases past an optimal level, it will bring negative impacts, especially when we deal with something cognitive, like a test. Speeding heartbeat, damp hands and rapid breath are some of the commonly experienced physical responses to high-level anxiety. The mental responses may include negative thoughts, loud noises in the head and forgetfulness. Even though these responses aren’t harmful to the human body, they don’t make any positive impacts rather results in low concentration.
Exam anxiety prevails among students of all age groups. As this is a dilemma for most of us and affects such a large spectrum of people, let us figure out how to overcome it. I suppose, there is no specific cure for anxiety. It’s about overcoming it and never giving up. Here, I have listed down some strategies which seemed helpful to me. Happy reading :)
Early preparation The first and the obvious one is anything, if done with planning, has very little chance of going wrong. Starting proper and regular revisions at least one month before the examination is very important. This will not only give you ample time to clear your doubts but would also help your brain digest the concepts well. Studying the night before might result in a very confused and mixed-up understanding of the concepts. Solving previous years papers and practice papers would help boost confidence.
Relax Relax Relax This is an activity which you will find most helpful. There are many ways to relax your nerves and one of them being 'mindfulness. Mindfulness is where we try to focus on the present rather than the past or the future and accept our anxious feelings. You can also practise visualising soothing scenes or soft music to calm your nerves and focus better. It is always advisable to focus on the present rather than getting caught in the tangled thought of 'what if'?
Talk to yourself Do you talk to yourself? If you don’t, start doing it. Even though this practice is a little strange, it helps you be in the present and vent out frustration. Most often, self-talking brings fake confidence which may be temporary but helps! See that you motivate yourself before giving an exam. This will diminish the impact of exam anxiety. It’s certainly a powerful tool.
Breakfast, Exercise and Sleep - Self-care Yes, breakfast is important, you must never skip it on exam mornings. Try having a fuller breakfast, add egg, nuts and milk. A good breakfast will boost your brain functioning paving the way to reduced anxiousness. Exercising is yet another key to nullify exam stress. Engaging in aerobic exercises oxygenate the brain and help release endorphins, which according to scientific studies proves to decrease stress hormone levels. Take care of yourself during the exam period by eating well, sleeping, and exercising regularly.
Be confident and think positive The last and the best strategy is to stay confident and think positive. When you feel like giving up, self-affirm. Remind yourself how hard you have worked for this and chant the magical phrase - all is well. Never let your negative thoughts take over. Replace those with more accurate and positive ones. Every single time I ruin my test, I ask myself if that’s the end of the world and the obvious answer would be a big no, All sorted!
Here's hoping these strategies help you crush this exam season!
Exams: Here we go again… by Aditi Narayan, BBA LLB 3rd Year
Examinations have been a very important aspect of our student life since forever. From the year we got enrolled into pre-primary up until today when we are in college, we have always beenencouraged to score well. But do you remember how much you got in your 4th standard exam? I surely don’t. The one thing I do remember is the stress we were under even then ever since primary.
How many of you have heard the phrase, “Just score well in your 10th board examinations, your life is set after that!”
Has life ever been set? Not in my 21 years of experience.
Examinations are held to make sure that you remember what you have studied. Is this one trait of remembering well that is enough to judge your intelligence?
Except for a few students, we have always wished for something to somehow cancel our exams. Why should exams be so daunting? Why can’t it be made into a learning experience that students look forward to? But this is a far-fetched idea for our current education system.
For us exams are important because we need to Graduate, but that’s all.
When I was in my 1st semester, my seniors told me that scoring in KSLU is very difficult. I was petrified when I gave my first exam. But today, let me burst that myth by saying gaining marks in KSLU is an easy enough job. Just write clear and apt answers in your best handwriting. Viola! The job is done. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you score. It matters that you pass. Yes, you heard me right.
When I asked advocates who have their own law firms, I was told that marks are never the first criteria based on which they hire. “A KSLU gold medal does not guarantee your placement in Amarchand Mangaldas.”
Moreover, we all have different dreams after we graduate, and all those dreams come with custom made requirements. Move forward keeping them in mind. So, my advice is, don’t stress, know your concepts, study well, but don’t make marks your soul purpose of studying.
We are all here for a reason, most of us share the love for law. But the sad truth is that lawyers are replaceable. There are more than 1000 law colleges in India. And each student is your competition. Do you think your marks is the only variable that matters?
Make yourself irreplaceable, do things that make you different from all those students. And for that you need to explore other variables than just marks and studies. As the saying goes, Jack of all trades, master of none; but oftentimes better than master of one.
KAAMYAB HONE KE LIYE NAHI, KAABIL HONE KE LIYE PADHO.
To quote Phunsukh Wangdu aka Rancho; “This is a college, not a pressure cooker, even a circus lion learns to sit on a chair in fear of the whip, but you call such a lion ‘well-trained’ not ‘well-educated’. What do you want to be?
Report on the Launch of Delta Lawyer V-blog by Prof Mukul Rani and Prof Bob Nathanael
On October 21, 2021, IFIM Law School launched the Delta Lawyer V-blog in the presence of the students, faculty members, guests, and Keynote speaker Professor Arjya B. Majumdar, Executive Director, Office of Rankings, Benchmarking, and Institutional Transformation (ORBIT), Jindal Global Law School, O. P. Jindal Global University, India.
The Master of Ceremony (MC) for the launch event Ms. Aditi Narayan, BBA LLB student, extended a hearty welcome to the participants and shared how important it is for an individual to write and communicate their experiences. Ms. Aditi questioning the stereotype attached to law students about their limitation to law books said that this platform Delta Lawyer V blog is an initiative to voice thoughts, opinions and to read about different perspectives and experiences for a law enthusiast.
Prof Mukul Rani, faculty head of V-blog introduced the Delta Lawyer V blog by answering the questions What is Delta? What is a Delta Lawyer? Why Delta Lawyers V blog? Delta means a change that affects everyone. The term Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet and triangle shape, which connects variables or function. The term Delta lawyers was coined to acknowledge the change in the law curriculum and the legal profession. It is an outcome of intensive research and report by the Institutions, bar associations, and scholars on legal education & profession across the globe.
The Delta Lawyer Model is represented by a triangle symbol that describes the importance of triple P (People, Practice and Process) as competences for a new age lawyer. This V blog aims to acknowledge the change (Delta factor) in the legal profession. Firstly, to motivate individuals to know and share their strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats (SWOT) and help others. Secondly, to focus on competency mapping which means to know your triple P competencies for a new age lawyer. Prof. Mukul incentivized the participants by sharing the long run foreseeable outcome of this platform which would encourage individuals to write and communicate their experience.
Professor Bob Nathanael, faculty head Delta Lawyer V-blog, introduced the Keynote speaker Professor Arjay B. Majumdar. Professor Majumdar is an expert in the field of corporate law who has published widely in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), crowdfunding, and Cryptocurrency. Professor Majumdar has more than 8 years of experience as an Attorney advising large corporate and the Government of India. After entering the field of academia, he has been a visiting research fellow at the University of Liverpool, the National University of Singapore and University of Melbourne. He is an inspiration for the corporate lawyers, academicians and students who believe in understanding and learning law with an interdisciplinary approach.
Prof Arjay B. Majumdar in his keynote address referred to a metaphoric sphere with human knowledge where communication in the center starts growing with us through knowledge gained and experienced. He said, ‘as academicians, lawyers, and students we push the boundaries of the human knowledge’. Prof. Majumdar referred to examples how the basic structure of the constitution pushed the boundaries of the core constitutional provision and added to human knowledge. Citing an example, he explained how the journey of law drafted by the bureaucrats, debated by the elected politicians, assented, and dissented by the President of India is deliberated on the constitutional validity at the highest court.
The conversion of the law from an idea to constitutional valid provision passes through multiple disciplines, and as lawyer, we cannot be isolated from the world we seek to serve. Hence, the idea of interdisciplinary is important and this platform is an opportunity for scholars to share that law cannot be seen in isolation. Prof Majumdar requested everyone to identify their interests, share what they think about it, communicate with people such as your family, friends and people they know, and make them understand the importance of law. Prof. Majumdar extended his best wishes and defined this initiative as a ‘V-blog by the lawyers for the World.’
Ms. Urrvi Chawla, BBA LLB student extended the vote of thanks to the keynote speaker for his inspiring address, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the participants for their enthusiastic participation, and congratulated the IFIM Law School for the Launch. Ms. Urrvi Chawla extended special thanks to the Dean IFIM Law School, faculty members and administrative staffs.
Special thanks and special mention for the faculty heads Prof Bob Nathanael and Prof Mukul Rani who organized this event along with the core committee members: Ms. Neha Mary Bipin, Ms. Aditi Narayan, Ms. Urrvi Chawla, Ms. Suvarna Pradeep Powar, Ms. Shinjinee Namhata, Ms. Poorvi Gyanchandani, Ms. Samya Dwvedi and Mr. Nimit Jain.
Law is the New Liberal Arts by Prof. Padmanabha Ramanujam
We live in an era that is obsessed with the fields of science, technology, and business where the media constantly sensationalizes these professions as propellers of modern-day revolutions. Such professions may indeed promise an envious career, fame, and provide timely big fat cheques. As a result, the ‘value’ of other professions fades from people’s calculations and remain as mere backup options. This phenomenon is particularly true in underdeveloped and developing countries where the struggle to fend for oneself and in most cases, one’s family is very much real. Consequently, in this ‘war’ between professions, the importance of the legal profession often is left with little articulation. This is particularly true in a country like India where, unlike countries such as the U.S., the legal profession is at the opposite end of glamour and status. This article builds on the arguments put forth by the liberal arts bloc that a law student undergoes a holistic and interdisciplinary legal education with the required integration of the liberal arts subjects in the presence of the unique 5 years integrated law course. It renders them competent to unriddle complex problems across a copious range of subjects, not merely from an arts point of view but also from an additional legal point of view.
The proponents of liberal arts argue that though the careers associated with STEM and business play a leading role in transforming and modernizing the society, in the absence of knowledge of the liberal arts such a transformation is merely abstract or at best, comes riddled with complex high-cost problems both local and global. These problems may include income inequality, privacy, climate change, and difficult problems of ethics such as surrogacy, abortion, euthanasia, etc. Any societal transformation sans the liberal arts would lead to a rigid and frail society. Why is that so? The answer lies in the holistic and intimate nature with which the subjects of the liberal arts are associated with society. So, how does integrating liberal arts with legal education help in the all-rounded understanding of the world? A holistic and integrated law course produces ‘Delta’ lawyers rather than the ‘I’ or at best ‘T’ lawyers which the 3-year law courses do. All an “I-shaped model” requires is the basic legal knowledge and skills of the given profession. An evolved model is the “T-shaped”. This is a relatively advanced system of the I-shaped model wherein one is not merely skilled in the core of their profession but is holistically educated in other subjects as well, which are bound to be interwoven with the law such as commerce, ethics, technology, etc. This model seeps into the 5-year law course curriculum.
The Delta Model builds further upon the T-shaped model to inculcate the targets of the ‘Practice, the Process, and the People competencies.’ Practice situated at the bottom signifies the foundational skills of traditional legal practice such as identifying and framing issues, legal analysis, research, and drafting. The Process aspect which occupies the right side aims at the development of interdisciplinary skills such as analysis of data, efficient use of technology, project management, business fundamentals, etc. The People dimension which occupies the left side of the triangle aims at people’s skills such as, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, self-management, communication, entrepreneurial skills, etc. Depending on the nature of the work/ job requirements/specialization, the proportion of the three dimensions will keep adjusting. This model can be used by both students and professionals to calibrate the dimensions of the Delta model and carve themselves into the lawyers they want to be. Such a course would also help produce a more ethical generation of lawyers and bridge the gap between the law and society. The 5 years integrated law course based on the Delta model thus can help in grooming lawyers as social engineers.
Our cultural and political milieu influence the laws that we adopt. There is no understanding of the law without understanding society and vice versa. Thus, the law not only governs the society but is also a study of the society itself. When legal education is integrated with liberal arts, it provides an all-inclusive view of society and its governance. An integrated law degree using the Delta Model takes liberal arts degree a step further by training the students in law as well. It is this holistic understanding of the society that makes a case for law as the new liberal arts.