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National Law School of India University

The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) is an institution of legal education focusing on undergraduate and graduate legal and policy education in India. It was the first National Law University to be established in India.

National Law School of India University
Motto Dharmo Rakshati Rakshita
Type State University
Established 1986 (1986)
Vice-Chancellor R. Venkata Rao
Location Nagarbhavi, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Campus Residential

Located in Bangalore, the National Law School of India University (or the Law School, as it is generally known) was established by a statute passed by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Karnataka.[1] The statute states that Chief Justice of India serves as the school's chancellor. The university's administration is managed by the Vice-Chancellor, currently being served by Dr. R. Venkata Rao. The school has an intake of around 80 students in its undergraduate law programme, 40 in Masters of Law and 40 in its, recently introduced, Master of Public Policy.



In 1987, NLSIU was established under the stewardship of its founder, then Vice-Chancellor N.R. Madhava Menon. The University has since had four more Vice-Chancellors, namely N. L. Mitra, A. Jayagovind, G. Mohan Gopal, and incumbent R. Venkata Rao, who took over in 2009.

The first batch of law students joined the school's undergraduate programme on July 1, 1988. Interestingly, classes commenced before the school's buildings had been fully constructed; thus, NLSIU actually began instruction at the premises of the Central College of Bangalore University and continued therein until November 1991. The school then formally moved to its present-day location in Nagarbhavi, a suburb of Bangalore.



One of the university buildings

NLSIU offers undergraduates a five-year integrated B.A./LL.B. programme which, upon completion, qualifies the student to sit for the bar to practice law in India.[citation needed] The LL.B. is the standard undergraduate degree in law offered in all common law countries[2] except the United States where the professional doctorate J.D. is conferred.[3]

The undergraduate B.A./LL.B. curriculum at NLSIU consists of a mix of social science and legal subjects. In the first two years, the law student attends courses on history, political science, sociology and economics alongside standard legal subjects, such as torts, contracts and constitutional law. In the latter three years, legal subjects dominate the curriculum.[citation needed]


NLSIU offers both coursework and research degrees at the postgraduate level. The LL.M. is a one-year coursework degree. The M.Phil., LL.D. and/or Ph.D. degrees are research degrees.[citation needed]

NLSIU also offers a two-year residential Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme, organised in six trimesters.[4] Candidates are admitted on the basis of a Policy Aptitude Test, followed by interview. Seats are for scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, physically disabled candidates and foreign nationals.[citation needed] In 2016 the UGC has asked NLSIU to change the name of MPP to Master of Arts (MA) in Public Policy.[5]

In addition to the above full-time programmes, NLSIU also offers several part-time distance learning programmes, including a Masters Degree in Business Law (MBL) and Postgraduate Diploma programmes in various fields.[citation needed]


Admissions to both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are based on Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). In 2015, for the Undergraduate CLAT, a total of 40,000 students contested for a mere 55 seats, making the examination one of the most competitive in India.[6]

For the MPP programme, candidates are selected through the Policy Aptitude Test followed by personal interviews held at the NLSIU campus itself.[7]


University rankings
Law – India
India Today (2017)[8] 1
Outlook India (2017)[9] 1
The Week (2017)[10] 1

NLSIU was ranked first by India Today's "India's Best Colleges 2017",[8] Outlook India's "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017"[9] and The Week's "Top Law Colleges In 2017".[10]

Melgiri Memorial National Law LibraryEdit

The Narayan Rao Melgiri Memorial National Law Library at NLSIU is the largest law library in the country, housing a collection of over 40,000 bound volumes in addition to periodical holdings.[11][12][13]

The Melgiri Library was inaugurated by Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti on August 27, 2005.[14] The library was built through generous contributions from the University Grants Commission (India), New Delhi and Chairwoman Sudha Murthy of the Infosys Foundation.[15]

UNHCR Chair for Refugee LawEdit

In 1995, the first UNHCR Chair for Refugee Law was inaugurated at NLSIU.[16] N. Subramanya worked on issues pertaining to refugees during his tenure as researcher under the UNHCR Chair and in 2004 two of his books about refugees were published.[17]

Student activitiesEdit

The Student Bar AssociationEdit

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the umbrella body that coordinates all student activities; all students are de facto members of the SBA. The SBA has created various Activity-Based Committees (ABCs) which are in charge of specific student activities.[18]

NLSIU has a total of twelve ABCs which coordinate the activities of the Student Bar Association (SBA). These committees are re-constituted every year. The Co-ordination Council consists of the Convenors/Joint Convenors of the ABCs. This Council is responsible for ensuring that the various ABCs function coherently. A wide range of internal as well as inter-institutional activities throughout the academic year are organised by the ABCs and the Co-ordination Council.

Competitive debatingEdit

NLSIU plays an active role in promoting parliamentary debate in India. The school regularly participates in many international competitions and is currently the highest-ranking Indian team in the World rankings.[19] NLSIU reached the ESL Finals in 2002 and in 2007 at the World Universities Debating Championship. It also recently won the 15th All Asian Debating Championships held in Dhaka in 2008. Three out of the four semi-finalist teams, and six of the top ten speakers, were from NLSIU. Another boost for the Parliamentary Debate movement in NLSIU came in the form of the Cambridge University Debate Competition 2009, where the NLSIU team became the first South Asian team to "make the break" and reach the second round of the competition.[20] NLSIU teams have also performed extremely well in the inaugural Asians BP Tournament held in Chulalongkorn University, with all three of its teams reaching the semi finals of the tournament, and two out of the top ten speakers (and four in the top 20). Since then, NLS has reached the Semi-finals of the United Asian Debating Championships held at Assumption University, Bangkok, in 2010. The NLSIU team of Anil Sebastian Pulickel and Aniruddha Basu have also been finalists at ABP. NLSIU speakers are consistently ranked at the top of parliamentary debates at the national and international level.

NLSIU also hosts South Asia's biggest Parliamentary Debate Competition.[21] The inaugural edition of the NLS Debate was held in 2002. The competition brings together participants from across South Asia. In 2011, NLSIU's Literary and Debating Society launched two new initiatives – the NLS Union Debate[22] and the NLS Debate Junior. Christ Junior College is also organising a parliamentary debate, in a tie-up with NLS.[23]

Moot court competitionsEdit

The entrance to the Justice Hidayatullah Moot Court Hall, named after former Chief Justice of India Mohammad Hidayatullah, at the university

NLSIU is the only law school in South Asia to have won the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition twice, in 1999 and 2013.[24] NLSIU won the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court competition in 2009[25] and in 2012.[26] NLSIU also participates regularly in the annual Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition at the University of Oxford.[27]

Journals publishedEdit

There are numerous journals published by the students and faculty at NLSIU.Notable among them are National Law School of India Review and Indian Journal of Law and Technology.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The National Law School of India Act, 1986" (PDF). Retrieved 7 April 2013. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ John H. Langbein, "Scholarly and Professional Objectives in Legal Education: American Trends and English Comparisons," Pressing Problems in the Law, Volume 2: What are Law Schools For?, Oxford University Press, 1996.
  3. ^ Association of American Universities Data Exchange. Glossary of Terms for Graduate Education Archived 2006-07-16 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed May 26, 2008; National Science Foundation (2006). "Time to Degree of U.S. Research Doctorate Recipients," InfoBrief, Science Resource Statistics NSF 06-312, 2006, p. 7. (under "Data notes" mentions that the J.D. is a professional doctorate); San Diego County Bar Association (1969). Ethics Opinion 1969-5. Accessed May 26, 2008. (under "other references" discusses differences between academic and professional doctorate, and statement that the J.D. is a professional doctorate); University of Utah (2006). University of Utah – The Graduate School – Graduate Handbook Archived 2008-06-26 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed May 28, 2008. (the J.D. degree is listed under doctorate degrees)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "UGC asks National Law School of India University to rename flagship course". 17 Feb 2016. 
  6. ^ Legally, India (28 May 2012). "CLAT 2012 result: Top 200 ranks sit on 20 marks, highest 159/200". Legally India. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "India's Best Colleges 2017: Law". India Today. 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017". Outlook India. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Karnataka / Bangalore News : Director thanks Dharam Singh". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2005-08-29. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  15. ^ "National Law School Of India University, Bangalore - 560072, Karnataka". Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  16. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1995-09-11). "Information note on UNHCR's activities for refugee law promotion, dissemination and training". UNHCR. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  17. ^ V. C. Keshava, Exploring Mysore: a complete data map in a special style, V.S.R. Prakashana, 2004
  18. ^ "ABC Overview". 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  19. ^ "World Debate Website". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  20. ^ "NLS Debate | Organisers". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  21. ^ "Lanka Law School wins NLS Debate". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  22. ^ "NLS Debate Union is Back". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  23. ^ "NLS Students Teach Student Debaters Verbal Warfare". The Bangalore Mirror. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  24. ^ "NLSIU Bangalore wins the 54th Jessup International Moot Court Competition". 
  25. ^ "NLSIU makes mooting history: India wins Manfred Lachs for the first time". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "2011 International Rounds in Oxford - Results". University of Oxford - Price Media Law Moot Court Programme. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 

External linksEdit