In December 1988, an eminent author of legal books with over three decades of authorship Padala Rama Reddi realised that there were no private Law colleges in the entire Telangana region. This forced students who could not enrol themselves in the two available government colleges to travel to other States to acquire a degree in law. Thus, Reddi founded the Padala Rama Reddi Educational Society (PRRES) in 1988 as a non-profit society for this purpose. With 80 students, the first batch of the three-year LLB programme was started in 1989. Since inception, the college has been affiliated to Osmania University. It is also recognised by the Bar Council of India and the State.
Today, 25 years later, Padala Rama Reddi (PRR) Law College at Yellareddyguda in Hyderabad epitomises quality professional education in Law and holds the reputation of producing the best legal professionals.
“Padala Rama Reddi, 87, has written over a hundred books on Law, which are referred to in all courts, local bodies, educational institutions and even in the Supreme Court of India. He was orphaned at the age of five and raised himself to gain a law degree from Madras University. This is also a reason why he got into the academics of legal education,” said Padala Srinivasa Reddy, the founder-director’s son and present secretary of PRRES.
The college offers a three-year LLB Degree in four sections, an integrated five-year BA-LLB in two sections and the Corporate Law and Constitutional Law (LLM) programme. According to Reddy, the college stands first in the private sector even after 25 years. As many as 1,400 students study in the college and the faculty strength is about 30 full-time and 10 part-time lecturers.
Admissions are based on students’ performance in the State Government’s Law Common Entrance Test. Eighty per cent of the seats are in the convenor quota and students pay about `12,000 per annum. The rest, 20 per cent, are management quota seats, where students pay an annual fee of `34,000. There is no collection of fee other than tuition fee.
About 80 per cent of the teaching faculty are in different stages of completing their doctoral thesis. Three of the faculty members, including Principal P Vijaya Kalyani are doctorate holders. Students in the college come from various disciplines and fields. The mix includes those from corporate sector, software professionals and even retired employees. “Age is no bar and people study Law for a variety of reasons. Forty per cent of advocates in any Telangana court are our students, while 80 per cent of assistant public prosecutors and 40 per cent of junior civil judges anywhere in Telangana are also our students,” points out Reddy.
Spread over three different buildings, a five-storeyed building with 24 spacious classrooms make the main academic building. Another building is exclusively for administrative purposes and the third block is for the first-year students who are housed separately in order to prevent instances of ragging. There are two conference halls, one computer laboratory and a moot court hall for mock trials. Further, there is a major library with over 27,000 titles worth `30 lakh. The founder-director himself being a revered author in Law, the college lays special emphasis on lending up to six textbooks to students at a time. A student here is not required to purchase any textbook.
Most of the students hail from Telugu medium backgrounds. Keeping this in mind, the college’s research wing has also published four books which are distributed among students free of cost. These include a Telugu-English Legal Dictionary in two volumes; Indian Constitution in Telugu, Drafting of Deeds and Documents in two volumes and an Advocates Practice Manual. “These books discuss concepts that are not part of any curriculum and prove to be an asset,” says Reddy.
In an approach towards legal education, case laws are discussed in classrooms with respect to the latest judgments. Apart from guest lectures by eminent professors, students here participate in legal aid camps in rural villages, and visit prisons and trial courts. A merit scholarship of `5,000 is awarded to toppers each year in every discipline, except for the final year.
Their students bagged the first prize at the South India Moot Court Competition in October 2014 and were runners-up in the Twin Cities Moot Court Competition in 2013. Students here also won the All India Moot Court Competition held at Jabalpur University in 2008 among several other achievements. They also take part in sports and cultural events conducted by Osmania University.
Legal education throws open a wide range of avenues. Campus placement is held by a number of banks, corporations and Legal Process Outsourcing firms. “Several students take up the jobs of assistant public prosecutors, junior civil judges and legal officers. Some go on to become human rights activists and some become politicians,” says Reddy. Among the eminent alumni are Saurabh Bharadwaj, Aam Admi Party’s former cabinet minister in Delhi, Dr Kalyan Chakravarthi, an expert in Intellectual Property Rights Laws, G Balraj, Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA, and Rekha Nayak, TRS MLA, apart from several senior advocates in the region.