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Origins and foundingEdit

Until the 1850s there was no formal legal education for legal officers and lawyers in India. Sir Thomas Erskine Perry, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Bombay, would deliver lectures on law after court hours. These classes were held on a very informal basis and were attended only by a select group.

However, it was not till Sir Perry left for England in 1852, that a conscious effort was made to collect funds in order to institute a chair in Jurisprudence at the Elphinstone Institution, the Perry Professorship of Jurisprudence. In 1855, Dr. R. T. Reid (first Judge of the Small Causes Court, Bombay) was appointed as the first Perry Professor of Jurisprudence and the Government Law School, as it was then called, was established at the Elphinstone Institution. The Government Law School has been affiliated with the University of Bombay since 1860. Government Law College, Mumbai is one of the premier law institutes of India.

Full time institutionEdit

The name Government Law School was changed to Government Law College in 1925. It was only in 1938 that the college was converted into a full-time institution. After this change of status, the Government of Bombay decided to allocate a plot, west of Churchgate railway station for the Government Law College building. The college today stands at this location.

Academic ProfileEdit

Affiliated to the Mumbai University, the Government Law College follows the semester system, and provides the 5-year integrated BLS-LLB as well as the 3-year LLB course. The 5-year course consists of a 2-year foundation in the liberal arts/sociology, followed by the 3-year curriculum of core legal subjects, which are common to the 3-year law course. Most of the 3-year law subjects are taught by practicing lawyers, rather than academics, most of them teaching part-time. The teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum for the three-year programme is thus geared more towards practical professional law, rather than theoretical, academic law. Current faculty include respected academics such as Prof Homer Pithawala and Prof Daswani, partners from India's top law firms (often with international legal experience), as well as advocates practicing in the higher judiciary.[3] Many of the more prominent faculty are alumni of the college.


Admission to the college is through the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test - the MH LAW CET, which was introduced in 2016. The entrance exam is compulsory for admissions for law colleges in Maharashtra, and tests legal aptitude, general knowledge, language, and reasoning skills. 85% of the seats are reserved for candidates from Maharashtra, and an overall reservation for various college seats is as high as 50%. In 2018, over 23000 students appeared from Maharashtra, and 16000 students appeared for the entrance test from the rest of the country for the 3-year course.[4] The total number of seats are 240, and typical cut off ranks for students from the "Maharashtra General Category" is an all-India Rank of 200, while those of students from outside Maharashtra is about 120.[5]

The 5-year course is less competitive, for many students consider alternate law schools, such as the National Law Universities, which do not offer 3-year degrees, and admit students on the basis of another test - CLAT. In 2018, over 15000 students appeared for the 5-year MH LAW CET admissions test.[6] Typical cut offs for 240 BLS LLB seats are at All India Rank 500 for Maharashtra students belonging to the "General Category".[7]


Five Year Law CourseEdit

The B.L.S. LL.B. program is a 10-semester full-time course open to students right out of High School (Class XII in the Indian system). The first 2 years (4 semesters) constitute a 'pre-law' course where the student is taught social-science subjects like Economics, Political Science, History, English and Legal Language etc. In the next three years core law subjects, like Contracts, Family law, Labour Laws etc. are dealt with. In their 8th and 10th semester, the students have the option of choosing some particular subjects along with some compulsory subjects. A total of 4 practical training papers are compulsory for all the students. The BLS or the Bachelor of Legal Sciences degree is awarded to the students by the University of Mumbai after successful completion of the 3rd year and the LLB degree is awarded after completion of 5 years. Students are eligible to exit with a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies (BLS) at the end of 6 semesters, but cannot practice law unless they complete the course in its entirety.

Three Year Law CourseEdit

A minimum of a Bachelor's degree is required for enrolling into the LL.B. degree. The LL.B. degree is a three-year program with classes devoted solely to the study of law, and graduates are eligible to practice as an advocate, as per the Rules of the Bar Council of India. A student who desires to learn the law but does not wish to practice as an advocate is eligible for the LL.B. (General) Degree at the end of two years.

Other coursesEdit

GLC further features specialised diploma courses which include Postgraduate Diploma Course in Securities Law, Post Graduate Diploma In Intellectual Property Rights and Diploma in Cyber-Laws offered in joint-collaboration with the Asian School of Cyber Laws.[8] Recently the College has started the Post Graduate Certificate Course in Human Rights. All courses are taught by leading practitioners and experts.

Prominent current and former facultyEdit

B. R. Ambedkar served as the Principal of Government Law College, Bombay from 1935 to 1937

Throughout its history, the college has had the honour of guidance from eminent legal luminaries who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. The long list of legends include:

The LibraryEdit

From its humble origins in 1856, GLC's library has grown into one of the foremost law libraries in the country, housing more than 42,000 books. In addition to its extensive collection of books and law reports drawn from all over the world, the library has maintained and preserved rare books that are out of print, some of which cannot be found in any other library in India. The Library additionally features a dedicated Electronic Research Room (ERR) for student use.

The Harilal J. Kania Memorial Library and Reading Room houses more than 42,000 books, including the original copy of the Indian Penal Code.

In 1856-57 a collection of law books was purchased for the use of the students of the college at the suggestion of Mr. E.I. Howard, Bar-at-Law and the then Director of Public Instruction. But this could only be housed at the Native General Library at Dhobi Talao for the lack of space. Eventually, in 1891, Government Law School and its Library were accommodated in Elphinstone College Building at Kalaghoda and on 13 July 1891, the Government sanctioned a grant of Rs.2,000/- for the purchase of furniture and other equipment for the Law Library. Every Principal in its own way tried to enrich the library in order to make it useful to the students as well as to the practitioners. During his tenure Dr. B. R. Ambedkar prevailed upon the Government to make an additional grant of Rs. 1000/- which was sanctioned in 1936. The Harilal J. Kania Memorial Library and Reading Room on the third floor of the college has been a part of this college since 1952. This Reading Room was created from the Harilal J. Kania Memorial Fund, which was instituted to honour the memory of Sir Harilal J. Kania, the first Chief Justice of India and an ex-student of GLC. This Reading Room can accommodate as many as 200 students at a time. The other two floors, i.e. the first and the second floors of the annex building, house various books on case law, many of which are more than a hundred years old.

The library enjoys the distinction of being the archival repository of the Civil Procedure Code of the East India Company’s Courts in the presidency of Fort St. George, and the original copy of the Indian Penal Code as drafted by Lord Macaulay in the year 1886.

Scholarships and awardsEdit

The college provides scholarships to meritorious students. Special awards such as the Ranganathrao Trophy, the Yashwant Dalal Cup for Overall Excellence, the Diwan Jotimal Chuganee Trophy and the B.M. Vardhan’s Trophy for best Debater/Elocutionist are instituted for the overall development of students.[9]


The college has been publishing the college magazine since 1930 and the Law Review for the last few years.[10]

Student lifeEdit

The college is known for an active student life and college teams have a consistently exemplary record in many sports.[11] The GLC campus is located at Churchgate, to the west of the railway station, with close proximity to the Bombay High Court. The college has 17 classrooms, a Mooting Room, an Auditorium, an audio-visual room and a canteen for the benefit of students. The campus has a basketball court and a mini gymkhana at the back of the auditorium (for table tennis, carom, etc.). The students also use the nearby Oval Maidan or Mumbai University ground for sports such as cricket and football. The college has no hostel of its own. However, 62 seats for male students of the College in the Government Colleges Hostel, "C" Road, Churchgate and 20 Seats for male students at the Ismail Yusuf College at Jogeshwari, Mumbai has been provided.[12]

GLC has been encouraging activities like Moot Courts, debates, essay competitions and other activities which help improving the legal knowledge and the oratory and literary skills of the aspiring candidates. Moot court competitions have been a regular feature since 1936. The student committees also encourage sports, music, dance and drama.[10]

List of Student CommitteesEdit

  • Moot Court Association
  • Magazine Committee
  • Smt. Vinatadevi Tope Social Service League
  • Placement Committee
  • Entrepreneurship and Leadership Cell
  • SPIL Mumbai
  • Model United Nations Society
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Cell
  • Alumni Association
  • Sports Committee
  • Rotaract Club
  • Leo Club
  • Legal Aid Committee
  • National Service Scheme (Unit)
  • Dramatics Committee
  • Music Circle
  • Hindi Parishad
  • Marathi Mandal
  • Gujurati Mandal
  • Bazm-E-Urdu
  • Debating and Literary Society
  • Cultural committee

Rankings and Graduate OutcomesEdit

University rankings
Law – India
Outlook India (2017)[13]7
The Week (2017)[14]12

Overall, the Government Law College, Mumbai was ranked 15 in India by Outlook India's "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017"[13] and 12 in India by The Week's "Top Law Colleges 2017".,[14] though student-based rankings, which often hold magazine law school rankings in disdain,[15] generally rank it higher.[16]

Graduate outcomes include prestigious scholarships including the Rhodes, placements in law firms including AZB, Trilegal, Khaitan, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas etc. Students have also been placed in banks, regulatory institutions, in-house positions for corporations, Big-4 auditing companies, public service undertakings, the higher civil services, NGOs etc. Many alumni have been admitted to post graduate law programmes world-wide, including those at Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, King's College London, Sciences Po etc. Many graduates also choose a litigation career at the bar, often working in the chambers of Senior Advocates.

Recent alumni include managing partners/principals of Indian firms, founders of well known start-up law firms, partners at law firms, both in India and abroad, as well as judges.

Notable alumniEdit

Legal LegendEdit

Chief Justices of IndiaEdit

Supreme Court and High Court judgesEdit

Senior AdvocatesEdit

Government officials, politicians, reformers and industrialistsEdit

Smt. Pratibha Patil, the first woman President of India

Notable Legal ProfessionalsEdit

  • Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
  • Shardul S. Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangalada
  • Homer Pithawalla, Solicitor & Advocate, Supreme Courts of India, Hong Kong & England & Professor, Government Law College, Mumbai[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017". Outlook India. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  14. ^ a b Singh, Abhinav (18 June 2017). "The Week - Hansa Research Best Colleges Survey 2017: Top Law Colleges - All India". The Week. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ H. J. Kania
  18. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  20. ^

External linksEdit