This is a question that has been bothering law aspirants and law students for a very long time. NLUs are the National law universities of the country which are the IIT equivalent for law students. There are more than 20 NLUs in India which take in students on the basis of their yearly entrance exam called CLAT (Common law admission test). The number of students applying for CLAT were around 50,000 last year and the number is ever increasing but the admission seats available for the students are only around 1,000. This means that thousands of students do not get enrolled in NLUs. There are some private colleges that also accept the CLAT scores of the students for the college admission process.
There is a very harsh stigma in the society that only students from the top NLUs can become successful in their careers. And the National Law Universities are often seen as a benchmark. The fact that they are seen as the benchmark is understandable but not getting into one is not the end of the world.
Colleges only help in guiding the students towards success, but the hard work has to be done by the students only. There are a lot of benefits that comes from studying in a non-NLU college or a private college. The NLUs also have its advantages like better placements for jobs, the brand of NLU, various different opportunities and facilities, strong student bodies, the competition, etc. It has to be understood that the faculty present in the college can only help you understand the textbooks, but the concepts have to be read and understood by the student on their own and the application of these concepts shall also be practiced by the student only.
The various different advantages of being a non-NLU student are mentioned below -
- The first very obvious benefit of studying in a non-NLU or a private college is that these colleges have great infrastructure and updated teaching and academic methods. The campuses of these colleges are comfortable and have all the facilities available for the students and the classrooms are well equipped with modern technologies to help the students.
- The second benefit for the non-NLU or private college students is perhaps the most important one. These colleges focus more on extracurricular activities which are essential for development of a law student. These activities include mooting, writing a paper, debating, Internships etc. It is much easier to participate in moot courts when there are various moot court events in the college itself. Some of the colleges even provide internships for their students in the semester break.
- The next benefit is more of a psychological benefit. There is less stress and less pressure on students from non-NLUs the competition is not as high compared to the NLUs. Students from NLUs are expected to perform well in every aspect of their law college like getting good grades, getting excellent internships in various sectors, winning the moot court competitions getting the best paid jobs available, etc. All this pressure and the pressure from their families can be very hard to deal with. The same is not true for non-NLU students.
- Another benefit of enrolling in a non NLU college is that the crowd present in these colleges is much more diverse and motivated. All types of students can be found in these colleges. This helps in getting more exposure and developing more contacts in college life.
Tips for law students to become successful
- Get a habit of reading bare acts, amendments, and reference books.
- Attend all the classes and be attentive in the class. It will improve your understanding of the topics and subject as well.
- Participate in many moot court competitions as a speaker and researcher. Even if you do not win the competition, you will certainly learn a lot of new things.
- Get habit of reading legal news and recent landmark judgements. This is one of the most important tools to improve your legal knowledge.
- Write as many as possible research papers in your law school and try to get them published. Try to pick up topics that are interesting for you.
- Try to improve your debating and oral skills. If you have a fear of public speaking gradually tried to volunteer for presentations and debates.
- Get proper exposures and make various contacts in your law school. This will not only help you in your studies but also in your career as well.
- Get the help from your teachers whenever possible. Teachers should be your friends; you should learn from their experiences and knowledge.
- Try to get different internships in various sectors of law. This is the most important tip if you are interested in working in law firms or companies. These internships may include interning under an advocate, working in a law firm, working in NGOs, interning in government setups, etc.
- Try to do certificate courses, diplomas or bootcamps on different topics of law. This will not only help you make your resume more interesting but also develop your skills.
- Improve your legal researching skills and practice it whenever possible. Legal research is one of the most important weapons in a law student’s arsenal.
With all that said, it shall be noted that there is no substitute for hard work and at the end of the day only that person can become successful who has worked hard on himself and his skillset. The stigma that only NLU graduates can become successful is very incorrect and needs to be ignored. Law students shall keep themselves motivated and keep on improving their skills. Grades are a very important part of your school and academic shall be taken seriously but apart from academics, other activities are also important like participating in moot courts, writing proper research papers, developing debate and oral skills, working on legal research, getting good internships across all the sectors of law, etc. Apart from all this, a law student shall also take help from teachers present in the college to guide them in this journey. Lastly, I would like to conclude this article by saying that success only depends on the individual and not the college. Throughout your law school you have to be ambitious, confident, and ready to learn new things and develop your skills. Proper exposure and developing contacts shall not be neglected as they are essential in success of a law student.