At the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore, it is not just the LLB and LLM courses that are on offer. Along with the regular corporate and civil law courses, students can choose from a number of programmes in infrastructure contract, business and human rights, corporate finance, cyber crime, law acquaintance and finance management, etc, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
"There is as much demand for these new courses as for the traditional ones. These new courses have been designed, keeping in view the needs of the industry," says R Venkata Rao, NLSIU's vice chancellor. In all, the university offers more than 40 courses.
Not just at NLSIU, other law schools in India are looking to provide niche courses to choose from.
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), too, has taken a step forward and is offering postgraduate programmes in nuclear law, air and space law, business law, among others.
Air law and space is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of these subjects along with some fundamental principles of public international law related to air and space.
"While the legal response to air technology has been primarily at the municipal level, despite a number of conventions at the international level, the legal response to space technology has been primarily at the international level, though now it is percolating into the municipal sphere," says NUJS in its programme brochure. It adds the increasing volume of disputes in the field of air and space has also resulted in manifold increase in legal practitioners working in the field of air and space in developed countries. This is a one-year course that is offered at the distance education mode.
The school has started a one-year postgraduate diploma in business laws for the entrepreneurs, executives working in the corporate sector and others. Larsen & Toubro is the first recipient of the programme.
At NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad, postgraduate diploma programmes through proximate education, in patents law, media law, cyber laws and international humanitarian law. Further, in collaboration with the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution the University also has a Post-graduate Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Post-graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution as evening courses.
"Niche courses are the need of the hour. While general LLB courses are being pursued by students, those who want to specialise in other fields except criminal law and corporate law often do not have many courses to choose from. Hence, institutes are looking at offering these specialised courses to cater to such segments," says the academic director of a south India-based law institute.
While some schools are offering full-time postgraduate programmes, others also offer PG diploma programmes. Symbiosis Law School, for instance, offers PG diploma in tax management and tax administration, international business laws and corporate laws, corporate mergers and acquisitions, among others.
Government Law College (GLC), Mumbai too, offers postgraduate diploma courses in securities law, intellectual property right and diploma in cyber law.
According to education sector experts, student demand for short-term courses has also been the prime reason for the rise in specialised courses. "After completing their LLM, most students today want to pursue niche courses like nuclear law, where demand is high and supply is low. An LLM degree is more suited for students with an academic bend and for those wanting to pursue research," says the education sector head of a consulting firm.
- At National Law School of India University, Bangalore, apart from the regular corporate law and civil law courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, students can choose from courses in infrastructure contract, business and human rights, corporate finance, cyber crime, law acquaintance and finance management among others
- West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences offers postgraduate programmes in Nuclear Law, Air and Space Law, Business Law, among others
- At NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad, postgraduate diploma programmes in patents law, media law, cyber laws and international humanitarian law are offered. It also has a post-graduate diploma in alternative dispute resolution and post-graduate diploma in family dispute resolution
- Symbiosis Law School offers PG Diploma in tax management and tax administration, international business laws and corporate laws, corporate mergers and acquisitions, among others
- Government Law College, Mumbai, offers postgraduate diploma courses in securities law, intellectual property right, and diploma in cyber law