DEVELOPING CULTURE OF LEGAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIAN LAW SCHOOL
- DR. KALPESHKUMAR L GUPTA
Founder - ProBono India, Legal Startups, Chief Administrator – Law Teachers India
In today’s world, all of us know that innovation is the key to excel in any field. Each and every field is required out of box approach to deal with the existing and future situations/circumstances. Legal Education and Profession deal with having a law abiding atmosphere in the country for this we need an efficient and effective system in place. Starting from imparting legal education till providing legal services needs reforms in its delivery.
Let me share my experience in the Startup, Legal Startup field. I started working as an Associate at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad where I was involved in assisting various courses, conducting research and various allied activities in 2010. I also attended various sessions by Entrepreneurs and Experts which gave me an idea, insight of entrepreneurship and startup. I have been involved in legal aid and awareness activities for more than a decade and started doing small awareness activities mainly in Right to Information and some other basic laws. In the year 2016, I came up with the idea of creating a platform for legal aid and awareness named as ProBono India which has gained a lot of name and fame in the recent past because of its some innovative activities. In 2017, I joined Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU) as a faculty and on the very second day of joining was also given assignment of looking after the affairs of the GNLU Legal Incubation Center which is India’s first of its kind Legal Incubation Center. It was being operated as a center for a few years and in 2018, a separate company (Sec. 8, Companies Act, 2013) named as GNLU Legal Incubation Council (GLIC) was created to carry out various activities under the initiative. GNLU has its own funding and funding received from Industries Commissionerate, Govt. of Gujarat, and Education Department also which have helped it immensely to have a sound ecosystem for nurturing Legal Startups and allied ones. When I joined the institution, I noticed that there is very less awareness about Legal Startups amongst the students as well as faculty members. Looking at the same, I came up with the idea of creating a platform named as Legal Startups (www.legalstartups.info) for promotion of Legal Startups in India in 2018 later got financial support from GLIC, GNLU Gandhinagar as an alumni of the institution under the State’s Student Startup & Innovation Policy (SSIP) launched by Education Department, Govt. of Gujarat. Since then I have been conducting workshop, seminars on Legal Startups and Innovation across the country that benefited hundreds of law students across the country. In addition to this Legal Startups is also involved in research and publications related to Legal Startups and allied matters. I have been noticing significant awareness and curiosity amongst law students in terms of starting their own ventures in last few years which is an encouraging trend.
Following are some suggestions to develop a culture of legal entrepreneurship at the law school.
1)Set up a centre/cell on Legal Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
2)Carry out different activities viz. Expert talk by Legal Entrepreneurs, Workshop on Legal Startups, Business Plan competitions and other competitions focusing on startup/entrepreneurship etc. under the banner of said centre/cell.
3)Offer Elective/Seminar/Value Added course on Legal Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
4)Add entrepreneurial elements in some subjects being taught at the law school wherever possible.
5)Encourage/facilitate students to do internships with Legal Startups or other general startups to know the working/operation of it.
6)Collaborate with Legal Incubation Centre/Cells set up in some of the law schools e.g. GNLU Legal Incubation Council, A Section 8 Co. established by Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Lastly, I would like to conclude with the statement that if we want to make legal field at par with other fields, legal entrepreneurship and innovation is only option to grow.
Published in Inaugural Issue of Juris Infinitum can be accessed here https://jurisinfinitum.com/magazine.html