Government Law College, Mumbai

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

Government Law College, Mumbai
शासकीय विधी महाविद्यालय, मुंबई
Government Law College, Mumbai seal
Other name
GLC Mumbai
MottoNe Vile Fano (Latin)
Motto in English
Let No Evil Enter
Established1855; 168 years ago (1855)
FounderHon. Jugonnath Sunkersett, Sir Thomas Erskine Perry
PrincipalDr. Smt. Asmita Adwait Vaidya
AffiliationsUniversity of Mumbai
Bar Council of India

The Government Law College, Mumbai, (GLC Mumbai), India, 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]

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Pratibha Patil, former President of India, and six Chief Justices of India, as well as several judges of the Supreme Court of India are alumni of the college.[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, and Dr. R. T. Reid (first Judge of the Small Causes Court, Bombay) was appointed as the first Perry Professor of Jurisprudence. The Government Law College, the first of its kind in India, was founded in 1855 on public demand under the inspired leadership of Jagannath Shankarshet. The college has been affiliated with the University of Bombay since 1860.

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.



Affiliated to the Mumbai University, the Government Law College follows the semester system, and provides the 5-year integrated BLS-LLB as well as the 3-year LLB course.

The 5-year course consists of a 2-year foundation in the liberal arts/sociology, followed by the 3-year curriculum of core legal subjects, which are common to the 3-year law course.

Most of the 3-year law subjects are taught by practising lawyers, rather than academics, most of them teaching part-time. The teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum for the three-year program is thus geared more towards practical professional law, rather than theoretical, academic law.

Current faculty include academics such as Prof Homer Pithawala as well as advocates practising in the higher judiciary.[4]

Many of the more prominent faculty are alumni of the college.


Admission to the college is through the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test - the MH LAW CET, which was introduced in 2016.

The entrance exam is compulsory for admissions for law colleges in Maharashtra, and tests legal aptitude, general knowledge, language, and reasoning skills.

85% of the seats are reserved for candidates from Maharashtra, and an overall reservation for various college seats is as high as 50%.

In 2018, over 23,000 students appeared from Maharashtra, and 16,000 students appeared for the entrance test from the rest of the country for the 3-year course.[5]

The total number of seats are 240, and typical cut off ranks for students from the "Maharashtra General Category" is an all-India Rank of 200, while those of students from outside Maharashtra is about 120.[6]

The Five years law course offered by the college is also considered to be one of the best in the country in terms of internships and industry exposure.

In 2018, over 15,000 students appeared for the 5-year MH LAW CET admissions test.[7] Typical cut offs for 240 BLS-LLB seats are at All India Rank 250 for Maharashtra students belonging to the "General Category".[8]

Academic programmes[edit]

Five Year Law Course[edit]

The B.L.S. LL.B. program is a 10-semester full-time course open to students right out of high school (Class XII in the Indian system). 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, logic, etc.

In the next three years core 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.

Students are eligible to exit with a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies (BLS) at the end of 6 semesters, but cannot practise law unless they complete the course in its entirety.

Three Year Law Course[edit]

A minimum of a Bachelor's degree is required for enrolling into the LL.B. degree. The LL.B. degree is a three-year program with classes devoted solely to the study of law, and graduates are 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 specialised 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.[9] Recently the college has started the Post Graduate Certificate Course in Human Rights. All courses are taught by leading practitioners and experts.

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 their 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 & 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.[10]


The college has been publishing the college magazine since 1930 and the Law Review for the last few years.[11]

Student life[edit]

The college is known for an active student life and college teams have a consistently exemplary record in many sports.[12] 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.[13]

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.[11]

List of Student Committees[edit]

  • Moot Court Association
  • Model United Nations Society
  • Magazine Committee
  • Smt. Vinatadevi Tope Social Service League
  • Placement Committee
  • Entrepreneurship and Leadership Cell
  • SPIL Mumbai
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Cell
  • 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

Notable people[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Chief Architect of the Constitution of India[edit]

Chief Justices of India[edit]

Chief Justice of Nepal[edit]

Supreme Court and High Court judges[edit]

Senior Advocates[edit]

Non Legal Noted Alumni - Politicians, Freedom fighters, Reformers, Academia & Corporate Leaders[edit]

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

Notable Legal Office Holders

Notable Legal Professionals[edit]

Hong Kong & England & Professor, Government Law College, Mumbai[18]

Prominent 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:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Saigal, Sonam (1 October 2018). "Fall from glory: teacher holds up a mirror to India's oldest law college". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Faculty | Government Law College".
  5. ^ "..:: Directorate of Higher Education". Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  6. ^ "MAH Law CET 2017 cut off".
  7. ^ "15k students clear CET for 5-yr law course: 15,000 students clear CET for 5-year law course | Pune News - Times of India". The Times of India. 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ "MAH Law CET 2017 cut offs".
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Legal Eagle flying high at 150". 23 September 2006.
  12. ^ "Government Law College, Mumbai « the Bar Council of India".
  13. ^ "Government Law College (GLC) Mumbai - Legallypedia".
  14. ^ H. J. Kania
  15. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Hon'ble Former Chief Justices". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Pratibha Patil Birthday Special: Meet the crusader of women empowerment in India". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  18. ^ "Alumni | Government Law College".

External links[edit]