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    Why Law?, Life in a L-school and Beyond.

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    Why Law?, Life in a L-school and Beyond.

    Post  Admin on Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:54 pm

    Rachit Ranjan is an alumnus of The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata, Class of 2010. He is currently working as the Graduate Teaching Assistant (International Law) at Chanakya National Law University, Patna. He is also a member of IDIA Project.

    Ever since I decided to pursue law as a career, I was met with the million dollar question why law at every juncture in my life, from the inquiry by my parents to law school interview and finally for job interviews. To my surprise, I would always come up with a very different and innovative answer each time. To some I would say, it is the demeanor, the charm of a lawyer that attracted me to this profession, to others I would say it’s a lucrative career choice and that is my yardstick for success. Truth be told, none of these were actually the reason I pursued law. For me law was a very hasty decision, an extremely rich and wise entrepreneur once said that the most important decisions of life are made in a split second sometimes and that holds true in my case. My decision only supported the conventional Indian mentality with respect to people who choose to pursue law – ‘jo kuch nahi karta hai woh law karta hai’

    It took me five years to figure out why I chose law and realize that I made the right choice in the end. If today you ask me why law, I would say the main reason why I chose to study law was my belief that it is intellectually more challenging and fulfilling than most other professions. When I was in high school, I was taught, for example, to perceive and interpret Newton’s law of gravity with one and only one right set of rules. This was the limitation that most basic precepts of science imposed on the student since the laws of nature operate in a specific manner. Having studied law, I am now more inclined to perceive question and argue and not accept things at their face-value. The experience of ‘thinking outside the box’ is both self-fulfilling and intellectually gratifying. What motivates me now to uphold my decision is how well I am equipped to explore issues that confront the global community today, where lawyers have a definite and positive role to play. Inter alia, the issues of human rights, environment, global trade and intellectual property rights impact on the very foundation of law and provide exciting new areas owing to the grooming I received in law school.

    Today, there are still many law aspirants who are not sure about the scope of a legal career but still choose to pursue it. Moreover, most students still want to make the conventional career choices of pursuing engineering and medicine without exploring other avenues. Thankfully, now there are more people to shed some light on what your possible answer could be to that same daunting question- why law? If we think properly we would realize law is indispensable. It is so intricately linked with society that to live by the proverb ‘ignorance is bliss’ would be an absolute folly. It is this dynamic nature of law that enables a lawyer not to be confined to courtroom theatrics. The avenues, opportunities that law as a profession offers are unparalleled. Today, you would find a lawyer in every field only because the training a lawyer receives in law school enables him/her to adapt to any situation whether it be soliciting for a conglomerate or formulating policies for the government, the scope is endless. Needless to say the obvious motivations of fame and money follow.

    Let me now deal with what National Law Schools have to offer and what sets them apart from other law schools. National law schools have been set up with the vision to provide premier legal education to budding lawyers in India. In today’s world the concept of national borders is slowly eroding and the world in every sense of the term is becoming or rather has become a global village. Owing to this ideology, National law schools introduce and sensitize students to a curriculum which is at par with the top law schools in the world and assists them in imbibing all skills necessary for a lawyer to respond to any complexity he/she might encounter during the course of their professional life. The shift from a three year system to a five year integrated course enables a student to understand the various laws in their totality. Moreover, National law schools also realize that a complete training in law can’t be confined to classrooms & theory and strongly encourage practical training by way of internships. Such training has helped the alumni of these schools in landing jobs at top national and international law firms. Many have shone brightly in academia, while others in working for the government. This result truly reveals the success of National law schools in creating complete lawyers who have moved beyond arguing in courtrooms.

    National Law schools target the finest minds in the country students are selected only if they attain the requisite cut off marks in an extremely competitive all India aptitude test (Common Law Admission Test - ‘CLAT’). Needless to say that such an examination requires months of hard work and preparation and like any other competitive examination. In India, such preparation is provided through specialized coaching classes which can be financially burdensome for a student coming from a humble background.

    Undoubtedly, National Law Schools have brought about a revolution to legal education in India, which is praiseworthy to say the least, however critics have lambasted these institutions for catering to the elite section of society owing to the burgeoning fee structure. But the financial burden arrives much before one clears the CLAT. The exorbitant cost of coaching for CLAT dampens the yearning of a premier legal education for many law aspirants who come from an underprivileged background.

    Many law students have realized this impediment but few have done something to change it. I take great pride in being part of an institution which has students like Vibhanshu Srivastava and Sanchay Srivastava who have set out to help the underprivileged and the uninitiated by making quality legal education more accessible. I also congratulate Aditya Singh for supporting them in this great initiative. Their altruistic endeavor, ClatLawGe, aims to provide underprivileged kids with free access to resources and study material required for Law Entrance Examinations with special emphasis on CLAT and making it to National Law Schools. Not only will this initiative provide law aspirants with preparation tips and materials but it aims to provide a sneak peek into life in law schools and various career options this field has to offer, which will assist the aspirants in making an informed decision about their future. So if you are struggling in finding an answer to the question: Why law and how do I make it there? I would say contact ClatLawGe.

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