"While litigation in the courtroom remains at the core of legal practice, a law graduate today finds many avenues open to him or her that were simply not available to previous generations," he said while addressing the gathering.
The President said that as our economy has grown, the legal profession too has expanded.
"Commercial and business law have become more important, complex and intellectually stimulating. Trade and commerce, international agreements and even the craft of diplomacy increasingly turn to lawyers and legal minds for negotiations and skilled drafting of texts. Arbitration and the globalisation of legal services have also linked today's lawyers with the rest of our planet," he said.
The President said that an advocate is a law officer of the court.
"He or she has a responsibility to the client, but also a duty to assist the court in delivery of justice. Our legal system has a reputation for being expensive and for being prone to delays. The use and abuse of the instrument of adjournments is often done by advocates who see adjournment as a tactic to slow down proceedings, rather than a response to a genuine emergency. This adds to the cost of obtaining justice for the litigant. It would be a travesty of our republican ethic if a poor person did not get the same access to the law as a rich person," he observed.
The President said that these are issues for the emerging generation of lawyers to ponder and to rectify.
"The opportunities and rewards of this profession - both intellectual and financial - are enormous. And this is welcome. But a good legal professional is not just somebody with a mind - he or she is also somebody with a heart," he reminded the audience.
The President was happy to learn that the National Law University, Odisha is equipping its students in new fields and introducing them to new possibilities.
Using the GIAN programme, this University has offered courses in international e-commerce law and in corporate governance in India. These have involved guest faculty from the United States and Singapore.
The President was glad to note the curriculum of the University is socially relevant.
From July this year, according to a press release from the president's office, a distance education and online course on Child Rights - developed with the support of UNICEF - will be introduced.
He stated that for all its advances, at its root the legal profession has a simple aspiration - for the lawyer to be a voice for the voiceless and to bring justice to the most deprived. "To secure the universal and inalienable rights of every child is an aspiration that makes the legal profession just so meaningful," he said.
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