The Indian Law Society established the ILS Law College in 1924. The campus was set up in the western Indian city of Pune, considered amongst the country’s foremost educational hubs with campuses of many prominent higher educational institutes located there. Originally, the institute was affiliated to the University of Bombay but with the founding of the University of Pune in 1949, the college became a constituent of the latter.
Regarded as amongst the best law colleges in India, the institute has nurtured some of the best-known legal brains in the post-Independence era, which includes the likes of Y.V. Chandrachud, former Chief Justice of India, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union Minister for Home Affairs, and M C Chagla, former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, among others.
The campus offers students a holistic environment that encourages exposure to social, cultural, and physical activities that complement the top-of-the-class legal education imparted by the college. On campus, the administrative offices are housed in the Saraswati Building which also has the central library with its over 45,000 volumes and around 95 national and international magazines and journals. The academic section is housed in the Lakshmi Building.
The ILS Law College offers a 5-year integrated BSL, LLB degree course under the University of Pune, apart from a 3-year LLB, a 2-year LLM and autonomous diploma courses in Housing Laws, Labour Legislation & Labour Welfare and Taxation Laws. Several short-term courses are also conducted on campus. Admission to the under-graduate course is purely based on merit. The college does not conduct any entrance test. Prospective students apply with the mark sheets of their last qualifying exams, based on which a merit list is published. Students are offered admission after a round of individual interviews. The college follows the same admission process for its LLM programme. The college receives applications for admission from as far as Bhutan, Nepal, South Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, US, Switzerland, Kenya, Canada and other countries.
The academic team at ILS is amongst the best in India, with professionals and academicians having expansive experience in legal research and practice. Vaijayanti Joshi currently leads the academic team as the Principal of the college. She has been associated with the college since 1980 and is also a Member of the Legal Education Committee of the Bar Council of India. With 15 core faculty members and over 30 visiting professors – mostly legal practitioners and CAs – the college offers an ambient academic support system for the students to pursue legal studies.
ILS is one of the three Indian institutions to take part in the POROS Project – an EU-India relation strengthening initiative in cultural and education matters, more particularly in legal studies. Students at ILS can apply for this diploma course, on successful completion of which, the top academic performers from the programme get a chance to go on an exchange programme to European Public Law Centre in Greece for a semester of advanced study.
ILS has etched its name as one of India’s most sought after academic institutions. It has extended its academic excellence to the social sphere as well, offering free legal advice and litigation assistance to the economically underprivileged. Started in 1976 with grants from UGC, CILAS, Maharashtra government and the Ford Foundation, the Legal Aid Programme tries to inculcate a sense of social responsibility in its students. Participation is compulsory for all students as it is part of practical training and skill development.