Advance vocational Diploma in paralegal studies

Access to justice is an important right of citizens and Article 39-A of the Constitution of India mandates state to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity. The Report on National Juridicare Equal Justice-Social Justice (1977) by JJ P. N. Bhagwati and V.R. Krishna Iyer, first time emphasised the necessity of para-legals in India. According to this report “para-legal movement through social workers, who are in intimate and living contact with different segments of the poor and best in position to know their problem and difficulties and can easily inspire confidence in them and instruct and educate them effectively without encountering any psychological problem and barrier. Their reach to wider audience will be very helpful in implementing the legal literacy programme as well as legal service delivery system. These social workers may aptly be described as ‘bare-foot’ lawyer.
The University Grant Commission and National Legal Service Authority also emphasised the importance of paralegal education in India. The UGC Curriculum Development Centre in law (CDC) set up in 1990 under the leadership of Prof. Upendra Baxi, underscored the importance of inclusive legal education for wider participation in legal profession, judicial appointments and government. law offices.
NLUO is committed promoting access to justice for all and to cater unmet legal needs is important mandate of this university to its social justice mission through several research centres, societies and programme. The UGC community college vocational training scheme is offering two years full time course in Advanced Vocational Diploma in Paralegal skills.

The Community College is an alternative system of education, aimed at empowering the youth, disadvantaged and underprivileged through appropriate skills development leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industry and the community and achieves skills for employment and self employability. The Community College model will be accessible to a large number of individuals especially for the rural population of the community. It offer low cost and high quality education locally, that encompasses both skills development as well as traditional coursework, thereby providing opportunities to the learners to move directly to the employment sector or move into higher education. It provides a flexible and open education system which also caters to community-based life-long learning needs. It has a synergistic relationship between the community, learner and the job market.
The idea of establishing community colleges in the country was unanimously endorsed in the Conference of State Education Ministers held on 22nd February, 2012 and a Committee of Education Ministers of nine States was constituted to finalize the concept and framework of the Community College scheme. The Committee, after wide consultations with all concerned, presented its report to the Government of India which received the concurrence of the State Education Ministers in the conference held on 6th June, 2012. The Government of India accepted this report and decided to introduce this scheme during the 12th Five Year Plan.

Objectives of community colleges

The main objectives of the scheme are:

to prepare skilled driven paralegal to serve at grassroots level;

to integrate relevant employable skills into the higher education system;

to facilitate skill up-gradation, multi-skilling, multi-entry and exit, vertical mobility in a flexible manner

to cater the demands of various target groups by offering different level courses;

to provide employable and certifiable skills with necessary general education to Senior Secondary School pass-outs not willing to join existing higher education system; to offer bridge courses to certificate holders of general / vocational education, so as to bring them at par with appropriate NVEQF level;

What is paralegal?

Paralegals are an indispensible part of the legal system providing support to attorneys, law offices, government agencies and corporations by researching legal precedent, performing investigative work on cases and preparing legal documents.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the word paralegal means ‘a person who has some education in law and assists a lawyer in duties relating to the practice of law but who is not a licensed attorney’. Paralegals often assist attorneys with client interviews, research, preparation of documents and trial exhibits, tax returns, compliance forms, and other services.
Specific tasks of a paralegal include:

Research and investigating facts or laws related to a case.

Maintaining files and documents for various cases.

Interviewing witness to gather and investigate evidence.

Writing reports and compiling legal documents such as depositions, procedural motions, case briefs etc.

Taking notes for attorneys.

Collective work: working with other paralegals and attorneys.

Employment Opportunities

The current employment scenario offers plethora of employment opportunities for paralegals in the areas including banking, criminal law, real estate, family courts, administrative tribunals, corporate law firms, immigration, insurance etc. Moreover, they are eligible to start up own business offering services to attorneys, law firms, government institutions, NGOs etc.

About the programme

The Advanced Vocational Diploma in Paralegal Studies (AVDPS) will be of two years duration comprising four semesters, and offers 16 public legal education courses, 12 vocational legal skills courses and 4 practicum courses of learning based on Internship and field work.
The aims and objectives of the programme are:

 To developing a basic understanding of law and justice delivery system including legal rights and duties.

  To acquaint learners with vocational legal skills to advance the cause of justice

 To create community paralegals to strength justice deliver system.

  To train learners in public/community services by using several creative and innovative strategies of legal aid, public interest lawyering and community dispute resolution methods.

Duration

Name of the Course

Credit Points

Duration (Minimum- Maximum)

Advanced Vocational Diploma in Paralegal Studies (AVDPS)

120

2 Years- 5 Years

Governing Body

The University is constituting two committees for smooth functioning of the Community College, as required under UGC Guidelines, firstly Board of Management (BoM) and secondly, Board of Studies (BoS). The members of these committees will be from industry, academia, TISS, NGOs and Government.
This is an attempt to develop proactive role in educating the public about law and formulate legal empowerment using legal services and paralegal education. The course will also make an attempt to critically examine the contribution of legal education to bring the law closer to people and to reach out to communities. It will also examine the various efforts in India in strengthening legal aid and institutionalising paralegal education.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure facilities of NLUO consists of an Administrative Block, an Academic Block, 500 seating capacity Multipurpose Hall, 200 seating capacity Seminar Hall, a Library (under construction), Sports ground, Gymnasium and Yoga centre with modern equipment, separate boys and girls hostel.

Library

NLUO is having an well organized, structured and comfortable library with latest books and periodicals. It consist of more than 10000 books in various disciplines such as constitutional laws, criminal laws, banking, insurance, family law, corporate, patent, trademark etc. Moreover, it has subscribed fifteen online databases which is accessible to students and faculties. Most subscribed e-resources allow unlimited downloads subject to copyright regulations. It is open for users from 8 AM to till 12 AM on all working days.
Computer Lab It consists of twenty computers terminals with modular furniture, proper cooling and uninterrupted power supply. Library assistance and other staff are providing assistance to students and faculties on demand.

Internet

NLUO is well equipped with free wi-fi and LAN connectivity in the campus. This would enable the staff and the students to access online journals, database anywhere in the campus. Besides, through OPAC the students can also access university database even outside the campus as well.

Audio Visual Support

NLUO is having well equipped Conference halls and class rooms with the facilities of :
 Conference rooms with Video Conference, Mikes, screen and Projector.

  Smart Class Rooms with Interactive board, mikes, screens and projectors.

 Class Rooms with mikes, screens and projectors.

 Language Lab with Desktops, screen and projector.

Course Structure

First Semester

 

SL. NO. NAME OF THE COURSE SUJECT LIST CREDIT POINTS
1. GENERAL COURSE (G.C.) 1.    Introduction to Law and Governance 3
2.    Indian Constitution 3
3.    Consumer Rights Law 3
4.    RTI 3
2. SKILL COURSES (S.C.) 5.    Language and Communication 4
6.    Basic Computer Literacy 4
7.    Office Management and Documentation 5
8.    NGO Internship and Field Work 5

Second semester

SL. NO.

NAME OF THE COURSE

SUBJECT LIST

CREDIT POINTS

1. GENERAL COURSE (G.C.) 1.    Criminal Justice System 3
2.    Police, Prisons and Human Rights 3
3.    Juvenile Justice 3
4.    Local Self Governance 3
2. SKILL COURSES 5.    PIL and Legal Aid 4
6.    Legal Research and Advocacy 5
7.    Advanced Computer Literacy 4
8.    Legal Services Authority Internship/ Field Work 5

Third semester

SL. NO.

NAME OF THE COURSE

SUBJECT LIST

CREDIT POINTS

1. GENERAL COURSE (G.C.) 1.    Child Rights Programming 3
2.    Child Protection 3
3.    Land Rights and Land Survey 3
4.    Forest and Tribal Laws 3
2. SKILL COURSES 5.    Dispute Resolution 5
6.    Counselling and Guidance 4
7.    Legal Writing and Skill 4
8.    Internship with Lawyer (JJB/ CWC/ Family Courts) 5

Fourth Semester

SL. NO.

NAME OF THE COURSE

SUBJECT LIST

CREDIT POINTS
1. GENERAL COURSE (G.C.) 1.    Women  and Law 3
2.    Labour Law 3
3.    Disaster Management 3
4.    Social Entrepreneurship 3
2. SKILL COURSES 5.    Property Laws and Transactions 4
6.    Rural Credit and Micro Finance 4
7.    Field Work and Internship with Commissions/Courts/Lawyers 5
8.    Project Report 5

Credit System

The two years programme is of one hundred twenty (120) credits. General Legal Education is of 48 credits and Skill Components including internship is of 72 credits.

Admission Information

MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION: Odiya/Hindi/English
ELIGIBILITY: 10+2 Examination or Equivalent thereto.
INTAKE: 50 ( Fifty)
AGE: No upper age limit
FEE STRUCTURE: Rs. 6000/- year
SCHOLARSHIP: Rs.1000/- month
RESERVATION: Reservation of seats for SC/ST/ PWD will be made as per government of India rule.

The students on completion of two years of Advanced Vocational Diploma Programme in Paralegal Studies may join directly the third year of Bachelor of Vocational Degree Programme ( B.Voc)
Important Instructions.

Original documents to be produced at the time of admission:

Candidates must produce certificates and mark sheets of all the examinations passed at the time of admission for verification.
Caste certificate certificate for candidates of reserved categories must be produced at the time of admission.
Provisional selection list will be published in the university website

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For further query, please contact

Mr. Ramakrishna Das.P.R

Assistant Professor of Law

Principal Coordinator and Nodal Officer Paralegal Studies,

National Law University Odisha

Phone: 0671- 2338003 Ext-5038

Mob- 8280007019

Email: rkdas@nluo.ac.in

 

Ms. Suddatta Barik

Research Associate Cum Teaching Assistant

National Law University Odisha

Phone: 0671- 2338003 Ext-5021