Government Law College, Mumbai

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Coordinates: 51°45′40″N 1°15′12″W / 51.7611°N 1.2534°W / 51.7611; -1.2534

Government Law College, Mumbai
GLC - Mumbai.jpg
Government Law College, Mumbai seal
MottoNe Vile Fano (Latin)
Motto in English
Let No Evil Enter
LocationMumbai, India
AffiliationsUniversity of Mumbai, Bar Council of India

The Government Law College, Mumbai, (GLC Mumbai), founded in 1855, is the oldest law school in Asia.[1] The college, affiliated to the University of Mumbai, is run by the Government of Maharashtra.[2] The college celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2006.[3]


Origins and founding[edit]

Until the 1850s there was no formal legal education for legal officers and lawyers in India. Sir Thomas Erskine Perry, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Bombay, would deliver lectures on law after court hours. These classes were held on a very informal basis and were attended only by a select group.

However, it was not till Sir Perry left for England in 1852, that a conscious effort was made to collect funds in order to institute a chair in Jurisprudence at the Elphinstone Institution, the Perry Professorship of Jurisprudence. In 1855, Dr. R. T. Reid (first Judge of the Small Causes Court, Bombay) was appointed as the first Perry Professor of Jurisprudence and the Government Law School, as it was then called, was established at the Elphinstone Institution. The Government Law School has been affiliated with the University of Bombay since 1860. Government Law College, Mumbai is one of the premier law institutes of India.

Full time institution[edit]

The name Government Law School was changed to Government Law College in 1925. It was only in 1938 that the college was converted into a full-time institution. After this change of status, the Government of Bombay decided to allocate a plot, west of Churchgate railway station for the Government Law College building. The college today stands at this location.

Academic Profile[edit]


The college does have an admissions test for matriculation. It takes up admissions through MH CET LAW introduced in 2016. The entrance exam is compulsory for admissions for law colleges in Maharashtra.


Five Year Law Course[edit]

The B.L.S. LL.B. program is a 10-semester full-time course. The first 2 years (4 semesters) constitute a 'pre-law' course where the student is taught social-science subjects like Economics, Political Science, History, English and Legal Language etc. In the next three years the actual law subjects, like Contracts, Family law, Labour Laws etc. are dealt with. In their 8th and 10th semester, the students have the option of choosing some particular subjects along with some compulsory subjects. A total of 4 practical training papers are compulsory for all the students. The BLS or the Bachelor of Legal Sciences degree is awarded to the students by the University of Mumbai after successful completion of the 3rd year and the LLB degree is awarded after completion of 5 years.

Three Year Law Course[edit]

Graduates have the option of enrolling for the LL.B. degree. The LL.B. degree is a three-year program with classes devoted solely to the study of law. A student who has successfully completed three years study is entitled to the LL.B. degree and is eligible to practice as an advocate, as per the Rules of the Bar Council of India. A student who desires to learn the law but does not wish to practice as an advocate is eligible for the LL.B. (General) Degree at the end of two years.

Other courses[edit]

GLC further features specialized diploma courses which include Postgraduate Diploma Course in Securities Law, Post Graduate Diploma In Intellectual Property Rights and Diploma in Cyber-Laws offered in joint-collaboration with the Asian School of Cyber Laws.[4] Recently the College has started the Post Graduate Certificate Course in Human Rights. All courses are taught by leading practitioners and experts.

Prominent current and former faculty[edit]

Government Law College, Mumbai
B. R. Ambedkar served as the Principal of Government Law College, Bombay from 1935 to 1937

Throughout its history, the college has had the honour of guidance from eminent legal luminaries who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. The long list of legends include:

The Library[edit]

From its humble origins in 1856, GLC's library has grown into one of the foremost law libraries in the country, housing more than 42,000 books. In addition to its extensive collection of books and law reports drawn from all over the world, the library has maintained and preserved rare books that are out of print, some of which cannot be found in any other library in India. The Library additionally features a dedicated Electronic Research Room (ERR) for student use.

The Harilal J. Kania Memorial Library and Reading Room houses more than 42,000 books, including the original copy of the Indian Penal Code.

In 1856-57 a collection of law books was purchased for the use of the students of the college at the suggestion of Mr. E.I. Howard, Bar-at-Law and the then Director of Public Instruction. But this could only be housed at the Native General Library at Dhobi Talao for the lack of space. Eventually, in 1891, Government Law School and its Library were accommodated in Elphinstone College Building at Kalaghoda and on 13 July 1891, the Government sanctioned a grant of Rs.2,000/- for the purchase of furniture and other equipment for the Law Library. Every Principal in its own way tried to enrich the library in order to make it useful to the students as well as to the practitioners. During his tenure Dr. B. R. Ambedkar prevailed upon the Government to make an additional grant of Rs. 1000/- which was sanctioned in 1936. The Harilal J. Kania Memorial Library and Reading Room on the third floor of the college has been a part of this college since 1952. This Reading Room was created from the Harilal J. Kania Memorial Fund, which was instituted to honour the memory of Sir Harilal J. Kania, the first Chief Justice of India and an ex-student of GLC. This Reading Room can accommodate as many as 200 students at a time. The other two floors, i.e. the first and the second floors of the annex building, house various books on case law, many of which are more than a hundred years old.

The library enjoys the distinction of being the archival repository of the Civil Procedure Code of the East India Company’s Courts in the presidency of Fort St. George, and the original copy of the Indian Penal Code as drafted by Lord Macaulay in the year 1886.

Scholarships and awards[edit]

The college provides scholarships to meritorious students. Special awards such as the Ranganathrao Trophy, the Yashwant Dalal Cup for Overall Excellence, the Diwan Jotimal Chuganee Trophy and the B.M. Vardhan’s Trophy for best Debater/Elocutionist are instituted for the overall development of students.[5]


The college has been publishing the college magazine since 1930 and the Law Review for the last few years.[3]

Student life[edit]

The college is known for an active student life and college teams have a consistently exemplary record in many sports.[6] The GLC campus is located at Churchgate, to the west of the railway station, with close proximity to the Bombay High Court. The college has 17 classrooms, a Mooting Room, an Auditorium, an audio-visual room and a canteen for the benefit of students. The campus has a basketball court and a mini gymkhana at the back of the auditorium (for table tennis, carom, etc.). The students also use the nearby Oval Maidan or Mumbai University ground for sports such as cricket and football. The college has no hostel of its own. However, 62 seats for male students of the College in the Government Colleges Hostel, "C" Road, Churchgate and 20 Seats for male students at the Ismail Yusuf College at Jogeshwari, Mumbai has been provided.[7]

GLC has been encouraging activities like Moot Courts, debates, essay competitions and other activities which help improving the legal knowledge and the oratory and literary skills of the aspiring candidates. Moot court competitions have been a regular feature since 1936. The student committees also encourage sports, music, dance and drama.[3]

List of Student Committees[edit]

  • Moot Court Association
  • Magazine Committee
  • Smt. Vinatadevi Tope Social Service League
  • Placement Committee
  • SPIL Mumbai
  • Model United Nations Society
  • Alumni Association
  • Sports Committee
  • Rotaract Club
  • Leo Club
  • Legal Aid Committee
  • National Service Scheme (Unit)
  • Dramatics Committee
  • Music Circle
  • Hindi Parishad
  • Marathi Mandal
  • Gujurati Mandal
  • Bazm-E-Urdu
  • Debating and Literary Society
  • Cultural committee

Career Opportunities[edit]


The college welcomes a large number of top legal firms, corporates, advocates and counsels who recruit the students of GLC. Many students have been placed with the top legal firms of India. In 2011-12, 120 students of a 240 batch size were selected during the Placement Week, despite the fact that several students do not appear for placements as they have their family practices to get back to or articleship to attend. Companies that recruited from GLC include AZB & Partners, Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co, Desai & Diwanji, Tata Group of Companies, Colgate Palmolive and LIC Housing, etc. A total of 65 companies came for placements and offered annual salaries of anywhere between Rs 500,000 and Rs 14,50,000. In 2010-11, the range was between Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 12,00,000.[8]

In the Annual On-Campus Recruitment Program of 2012-2013, the Placement Committee of Government Law College succeeded in having more than 60 top law firms, counsel and corporate houses to recruit the students. Since then, the Placement Committee has been implementing the recruitment process throughout the year, thus functioning all year through. The Committee organizes two "Placement Weeks", one conducted in September/October and the second scheduled in January/February, thus benefiting both the students and the potential employers.[9]

Running Internships[edit]

Due to flexible college timings, students start pursuing internships with the Judges of the High Court, various law firms or with members of the Bar, during college itself. By the time most of these students graduate, their work experience in the legal sector surpasses students from all other institutions across the country. GLC is the only law college in the country which exposes its students to a plethora of work opportunities in the legal field.


Government Law College is one of the few legal institutions that gives its students an opportunity to enroll for the Solicitors' Exam while undergoing their graduation studies. Taking full advantage of being situated in the financial capital of India, the students of GLC work as article clerks simultaneously, thereby fulfilling one of the requirements of a full-fledged solicitor.


Many students also choose the option of practising law, both in India and abroad. Many top practising advocates and judges of Mumbai and India are GLC alumni. Generally students of GLC are known to do extremely well in litigation.

Professional Courses[edit]

Students get an opportunity to undergo add-on professional courses like C.S., C.A., and C.F.A. These courses enable students to expand their knowledge and awareness even as fresh graduates.

Higher Education[edit]

A good number of GLCites opt to pursue higher studies. GLC alumni can be found at Oxford, Harvard, etc., while others choose to do their LLM from India.[10]


University rankings
Law – India
Outlook India (2017)[11]15
The Week (2017)[12]12

Government Law College, Mumbai was ranked 15 in India by Outlook India's "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017"[11] and tenth in India by The Week's "Top Law Colleges 2017".[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

Chief Justices of India[edit]

Supreme Court and High Court judges[edit]

Senior Advocates[edit]

Government officials, politicians, reformers and industrialists[edit]

Government Law College, Mumbai
Smt. Pratibha Patil, the first woman President of India

Notable Legal Professionals[edit]

  • Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
  • Shardul S. Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangalada
  • Homer Pithawalla, Solicitor & Advocate, Supreme Courts of India, Hong Kong & England & Professor, Government Law College, Mumbai[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Top 25 Law Colleges In 2017". Outlook India. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  12. ^ a b Singh, Abhinav (18 June 2017). "The Week - Hansa Research Best Colleges Survey 2017: Top Law Colleges - All India". The Week. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  15. ^

External links[edit]