The Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram established in 1875 is one of the oldest institutions imparting legal education in India. Affiliated to the Faculty of Law of University of Kerala, the college is supervised and controlled by the Government of Kerala and was ranked as the 23rd best law college in India in 2007 by INDIA TODAY.
The college conduct courses in LLM Degree of 2 years duration in 4 semesters with specialisation in Constitutional Law & Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology and LLB Degree course 3 year duration in 6 semesters and LLB Degree course 5 year duration in 10 semesters. The admission to each courses is made through a common entrance examination conducted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examination, Govt. of Kerala.
With a well experienced and eminent team of faculty, the college produces top scorers of the University every year. The College has a well maintained Library and reading room to facilitate students and has hostel facility for female students. The male students are being alloted a separate block at University Men's Hostel Palayam. In pursuance of the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court an Anti-Ragging Committee and an Anti-Ragging Squad have been constituted with the Principal as the head, to curb ragging. There is also a Women Grievance Cell to look into the general welfare of women in the college.
Serve the law, teach it, study it, practise it, and work to humanise and instill an ethics of service to clients and community.
Rooted in the heritage of over a hundred and forty eight years, we aspire to establish the institute as the torchbearer in the field of legal education in the country. A temple of learning where one understands the delicate balance of law. We aim to delve into the depths of law to retrieve the light of justice for the needy. It is in our vision to envisage laws to embrace the changing human needs by treating all as equal in a justice oriented manner.
On the 31st January, 1875 the Government of His Highness the Maharaja of Travancore sanctioned "the Organisation of a Law Class in connection with His Highness College at Thiruvananthapuram to enable candidates from Travancore to present themselves for the Law Examination of the University of Madras and to encourage others to pursue the study of Law systematically", The order sanctioning the scheme directed that it shall be worked on the same lines as the Class attached to the Presidency College at Madras. Mr. W. E. Ormsby, Barrister-at-law, then a Judge of Sadur Court of Travancore was appointed Professor of Law in His Highness the Maharajas College. He opened the class on 9th February of the same year. In 1877, His Highness College was affiliated to the University of Madras in the Faculty of Law.
The class was thus continued till 1894 when in conformity with important aIterations in the bye-laws of the Madras University regarding the B.L. Degree Examination, the institution was re-organised on an entirley different footing. The Law Class which till then was working as a part of His Highness College and the Professors whereof were treated as members of that College was raised to the status of an independent College under the designation of "His Highness Maharaja's Law College, Thiruvananthapuram". A complete set of rules was also sanctioned by the Govemment for the control and regulation of work in the college. The rules prescribed the qualification required for the members of the teaching staff.
The Law College was maintained by His Highness Government and the management of the college was vested in the Principal acting directly under the orders of Dewan of Travancore till the end of 1908. In 1909 the College was palced under the Director of Public Instruction and in 1910 it was placed under the control of the High Court. With the inauguration of University of Travancore in 1938, the College was transferred to the control and supervision of the University.
In August 1949 the college was shifted to Ernakulam to fit in with the new set up arising out of the integration of erstwhile State of Travancore and Cochin and the location of the High Court of the United State at Eranakulam. In 1954 it was again brought to Thiruvananthapuram, leaving at Eranakulam a sister college and was housed in the current premises in the Highland Bunglow on the Barton Hill. Under the University Act of 1957, the college was transferred to the control of Government of Kerala. In 1961 Government made the Thiruvananthapuram Law College a permanent institution.
In 1962-63 a full-time Post-graduate course was introduced with M. L. Degree and in 1971 LLM was started. The present LL. M. course offers specialisation in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology. LL.B (3 years) was started from 1967-68 & Five Year LL. B. Course was introduced from the academic year 1984-85. Semester System was introduced for LL. M, LL. B. (5 year) and (3 year) - from the academic year 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 respectively.
In 2014, one batch of 3 year Unitary LL.B with a strength of 60 was started as additional batch self financing. Later as per the instruction of BCI the government was pleased to terminate the course from 2021-2022 onwards. In 2021 the strength of 3 year and 5 year LL.B was reduced to 60 respectively from 100 and 80. Simultaneosly to compensate the loss of strength, the Government was pleased to sanction an additional batch of 5 year B.A.LL.B Integrated with a strength of 60 from 2020-2021 onwards.
In 2013, the Kerala University recognised Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram as a Research Centre in Law.