NR Madhava Menon , considered the father of modern legal education in India, passed away Tuesday night. He was 84. Menon was instrumental in building the prestigious National Law School of India University in Bangalore in 1986.
Alumni from the NLA remember Menon as forward-thinking, and recollect how he referring to NLS as the ‘Harvard of the East’.
Latha Nair, an intellectual property lawyer based in Gurgaon, said, “He was instrumental in setting up NLS in Bangalore. He ensured there were discussions during classes instead of the regular methods of teaching. He brought in a lot of versatility into legal education as he did not teach just Law.“
Nair recalled Menon as forward-thinking, as he often looked at models in the West. “He would refer to NLS as the ‘Harvard of the East’,” she said.
Opinion | Fali S Nariman writes: Madhava Menon – A first-rate teacher of top-class practising lawyers
Nikhil Nayyar, who studied in the first batch of NLS, said, “Menon is the one who really started the institution and got it going. He dealt with several challenges, including building infrastructure and dealing with the shortage of funds. The University had a simple start.”
In 1986, Menon came to Bangalore at the invitation of the Bar Council of India to set up the NLS and initiated a new model of legal education — the Five Year Integrated LLB programme. He served as the university’s founding vice-chancellor for 12 years.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, Vice-Chancellor of NLS R Venkata Rao said, “Menon is like a father figure, we feel orphaned. I would say he is not ‘Menon’ but he is a ‘pheno-menon’.”