The Supreme Court, on Thursday, asked the Bar Council of India (BCI), to consider the suggestions of the Amicus Curiae to provide incentives to Advocates who take in young lawyers as their juniors.

 Apart from this, the Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh also requested the High Court Judges to engage young lawyers as law clerks. It noted

 “BCI has constituted a High Powered Committee to check legal and constitutional validity of compulsory chamber placement…submission of Amicus in this regard can be placed before the committee for consideration. Most High Courts have provisions for law clerks. This is an opportunity for young lawyers to get guidance. At times these posts are not filled in. We request the Hon`ble Judges to give the opportunity to younger lawyers by facilitating their working as law clerks based on the selection of each judge.”

 By way of the affidavit filed by AdvocateonRecord, Mr Durga Dutt, the BCI had apprised the Court that it has constituted a High Power Committee to check the validity of compulsory chamber placement with designated Senior Advocates or Advocates having 25 years of standing at the Bar for young law graduates. Once the Committee determines the validity, the BCI would request such Advocates to engage at least 5 such juniors in their chambers.  Responding to the proposal for making the placement of juniors compulsory, Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate KV Vishwanathan suggested that providing incentives would be more effective in encouraging the participation of Seniors in the chamber placement process of young lawyers.  The Bench was hearing a petition assailing the judgment of the Gujarat High Court, which allowed persons with other employment, whether full time or part-time, to enrol as Advocates without resigning from their jobs. On previous occasions, the Bench had encouraged BCI to revamp the existing system of induction into the legal profession, primarily, by improving the quality of the Bar Examination. It has also urged BCI to evolve a fair placement mechanism for juniors. In this regard Senior Advocate, Mr S.N. Bhat, appearing on behalf of BCI, had submitted an affidavit addressing the concerns raised by the Bench.

 BCI also proposed to frame Rules to conduct an online objective test on the basis of which the young lawyers can be placed. The meritorious ones would be placed in the chambers of Senior Advocates or Advocates having 25 years of standing at the Bar, while the others would get placed in the chambers of Advocates having 1520 years of experience.  Considering the system of placement of juniors in the chambers is unregulated, the Amicus Curiae, Mr K.V. Vishwanathan had made some suggestions. Each state bar association must seek the motivation of attorneys in various positions for 710, 1015, 15 years or more, including designated senior attorneys, and junior attorneys with 17 years of experience seeking placement. .. Each bar association forms a mediation committee. These committees can set qualification parameters for older people who are willing to take on juniors and younger lawyers who want to get a job. The committee will review the application.

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