In furtherance of its institutional mentorship arrangement with Jindal Global Law School, Vinayaka Mission’s Law School, Chennai has recently onboarded its new Dean, Dr. Ananth Padmanabhan. Ananth is a graduate of National Law School of India University (BA LL.B (Hons.), 2007), University of Pennsylvania Carey Law (LLM, 2014 & SJD, 2019), and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (MSx Sloan Fellow, 2023). A published author in the field of intellectual property rights and technology policy, Ananth comes with over a decade of experience in litigation, policy research and advocacy, and institution building. Formerly, he was the founding dean of Sai University’s Law School in Chennai, and had architected the Daksha Fellowship, India’s first residential fellowship for lawyers specializing in technology law and policy, during his time there.
Sharing his vision for VMLS, Ananth highlighted that a commonly acknowledged problem ailing the justice delivery system in India is the deficient feeder of quality in the lower levels of the system, particularly district courts. While training students to operate at the highest levels, VMLS would also strive for excellence through inclusivity. To advance this vision, VMLS shall initiate clinical legal education models that train its students to serve in the lower levels and navigate those challenges as well. The Global Tamil Law Centre and the Centre for Justice through Technology, functional at the institution, will be taking the lead to advance this mission.
Similarly, Ananth emphasized the role of technology in effectuating massive disruption in the work that lawyers do at present, on account of heightened intelligent automation. Many of the entry level jobs that firms hire young lawyers for are set to be usurped by this technology push. To future-proof law graduates, they need to be equipped with a set of skills, and imbibe certain special qualities, that help them perform qualitative tasks that the machine is not great at doing. VMLS, through its priorities on communications training, workplace skills, and responsive leadership, will be educating its students with an eye to address these emerging technology-powered challenges.