Popularly known as GLC, Government Law College, Mumbai has the reputation of being Asia’s oldest law school. GLC boasts of a rich alumni base, like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Justice M. C. Chagla, Motilal Setalvad (first Attorney General of India), Justice Y. V. Chandrachud, Pratibha Patil (the former President of India), well the list is endless. Year after year, GLC continues to produce lawyers, who eventually establish themselves as some of the finest legal minds of the country.
This article has been co-authored by Supriya Sekhar – B.L.S. LL.B. (GLC Batch of 2017) & Kajol Punjabi – 3rd Year student and current General Secretary, Students’ Council. In this article, you will get first-hand information about the institute, especially helpful to law school aspirants outside Maharashtra.
Over the last few years, the infrastructure of the college has gone through a complete makeover, and it goes without saying, for the better. Further improvements are being made each year. e.g. the library was recently revamped. The spacious, ventilated and well-equipped library with an old world charm is one of the most interesting and busy spots at GLC. It is truly a treasure house and first drafts of many statutes like the Indian Penal Code can be found here. The library also has an electronic research room adjacent to it. Students use it for research work related to Moot court competitions or academics with Wi-Fi access to online resources. One may get tired of studying, but one can never get tired of food in the vicinity. The canteen, located on the ground floor of the annexe building, provides food at the most affordable prices in South Bombay.
Hostel Accommodation: While GLC does not have a hostel of its own, there are several hostels for male and female students located in South Bombay, which are close to the institute. Some students avail paying guest accommodation as per their budget in nearby areas.
Right from the first year, students have options to work with dozens of committees. The Law Review Committee and the Magazine Committee strive to develop research abilities and inculcate writing skills in the students. The Annual College Magazine – “MéLAWnge” is published by the Magazine Committee. GLC also has the Debating and Literary Society that encourages reading and critical thinking.
One of the most important aspects of any law school is mooting. That’s precisely why GLC has a Moot Court Association. This association helps students practise and improve advocacy skills by organising various National/International moot court competitions. The compulsory Freshers’ Moot is a daunting experience, but provides a great learning opportunity for the students.
The GLC Students Council is the apex student body. It helps students in admissions and other college related work. It organises guest lectures by sitting High Court/Supreme Court judges and eminent lawyers every year as part of the M. C. Chagla Lecture Series. The Placement Committee conducts two rounds of ‘Placement Week’ for final year students. It also posts regular updates about internships and job vacancies, not just for current batches but also for previous students to help them get into reputed law firms. Top firms like AZB, Amarchand Mangaldas, Nishith Desai Associates are regular recruiters@GLC. The Legal Aid Committee conducts jail visits with a dual purpose of helping students get acquainted with the bail application procedure and aiding underprivileged persons under trial. It conducts workshops across colleges in Mumbai to spread awareness about the Right to Information Act. It also organises visits to the Juvenile Home at Dongri. The college has other committees like Model United Nations Committee, SPIL, SSL, Sports Committee and Cultural Committee.
GLC is a mixed bag when it comes to faculty members. Students are fortunate to be taught key legal subjects by distinguished faculty members with extensive teaching experience. Many visiting faculty members work with reputed law-firms or practise in courts. This helps the students gain insights into the practical aspects of the legal profession.
At GLC, one gets an opportunity to interact with students hailing from varied backgrounds and different states. Some of them are avid debaters and possess exceptional literary skills. Such a competitive atmosphere motivates students to improve their written and oratory skills. At the end of the course, many students move on to pursue Masters in Law in India or abroad. Some have got through prestigious global schools like Harvard Law School and Cambridge. After the completion of the programme, many law graduates attempt state judicial exams or work with reputed law firms, banks and companies.
One major advantage of studying in GLC is the convenient class timings. Third year onwards, lectures end at 10.30 am. Students are free for the rest of the day. They get opportunities to pursue long term corporate or litigation internships and explore other educational courses along with legal studies. The possibility of being absorbed by the same law firm or moving up to a better law firm increases with growing internship experience. While GLC students possibly lose a few points on academic front, they make up for it through practical experience. This ultimately matters to get an entry into key corporate law firms.
However, there is a downside as well. The college is affiliated to Mumbai University, which does not have a great reputation of timely and accurate paper correction. Its image has also been tarnished by recent controversies. In the pursuit of practical experience, students occasionally end up ignoring studies during the semester and resort to guides just before the exam. Lastly, GLC has three stakeholders i.e. the State Government, Mumbai University and the Bar Council of India. Hence, it is difficult to adopt the new policies in a timely manner.
GLC has a rare combination of renowned status and affordable fees. GLC students grow accustomed to juggling college studies, internships and extra-curricular activities throughout the year. After spending half a decade at GLC, students are left with beautiful memories, along with with learning relevant practical skills to enter the legal profession with confidence.