The Indian Legal Service (ILS) will be revamped to attract fresh and talented law graduates – and not just experienced officers – to various government services, officials in the law and justice ministry said Friday.
The Indian Legal Service, a channel of appointment of legal professionals in the service of central government, is an all-India service that has existed since 1956. Its officers are generally appointed through a competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The examination, however, is open only to people with legal experience of over 10 years as practicing advocates or judicial officers – and not to fresh law graduates, said the ministry officials.
The ministry has moved a proposal for opening up the UPSC examination to fresh law graduates for selection as ILS officers, said the officials adding that it was consulting the ministry of personnel and training on the issue.
ILS officers are generally appointed at various levels, beginning with the rank of under secretary in various departments and wings of the law ministry.
The three important departments of the law ministry include the legal affairs department, the legislative department and the justice department.
While the legal affairs department is entrusted with the task of giving the government and its ministries legal opinion on various issues, the legislative department drafts bills piloted by various ministries. The department of justice is concerned with the issues of appointments in the higher judiciary.
The law ministry also has the Law Commission of India under it for conducting legal research and evaluating the need for amending various laws or updating them.
The posts of officers in these departments are filled up by ILS officers, largely appointed by the UPSC, but often officers are taken in on deputation from other departments as well.
Similarly, ILS officers are also appointed as advocates in the ministry’s central agencies at the Supreme Court of India and high courts all over the country, liaisoning for the central government.
But fresh law graduates do not have these opportunities and are virtually left with no direct opening for central government jobs.