The National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) was established by Act 27 of 2005 of the Kerala State Legislature. By the same Act, the National Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) established by the Bar Council of Kerala Trust in 2002 merged with the NUALS. In 2008, an amendment streamlined the powers and functions of the authorities of the University and ensured the active involvement of the Government of Kerala.The University is recognized by the University Grants Commission under section 2(f) and section 12B of the UGC Act.It is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).
The main objects of the University are: (a) to advance and disseminate learning and knowledge of law and legal and judicial processes, professional legal education and their role in national development; (b) to develop in the student and research scholar a sense of responsibility to serve the society by developing skills with regard to advocacy, legal services, legislation, law reforms etc., and (c) to promote legal and judicial reforms needed to strengthen the administration of justice in India.
The Chief Justice of India subject to his consent is the Visitor and the Chief Justice of Kerala, the Chancellor of NUALS.
The NUALS Campus is situated in Kochi - the industrial capital of Kerala and the seat of the Kerala High Court - in a 10 acre in the Kinfra Hi-Tech Park at Kalamassery.