Five months at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) had been a roller coaster ride for me. From a ‘not so friendly seniors’ in the beginning (“Positive Interaction”- what NUALS like to call it) to playing an integral part of a student’s life at NUALS, seniors render their help in all aspects- be it curricular or co-curricular. Guess what? First years get to moot (External moots). Yes, I said it. I personally had gone for an arbitration moot (National ADR Tournament 2017, SLS, Pune) having no clue what Arbitration actually was. Seniors! Starting from immediate seniors to the final years, all of them rendered significant help. Coming back to the mooting culture at NUALS, you’ve got to take part in the Internal Moot and based on its score can a student go for external moots (First years are also given the chance to compete).
All of us have a notion that lower NLUs or for that matter NUALS is a “Sasta NLU”; even I had the same misconception about the university before. I even thought about writing CLAT once again, but I’ve changed my mind now. NUALS has ample opportunities for anyone who is willing to knock the door. At times, you’ve got to build the door. Here in NUALS, what I found was no one hands you anything on the platter, you’ve got to take the initiative.
The 10-acre campus has abundant greenery (Excess I should say- snakes visit frequently :p). Evening walks and rendezvous are common when exams are not round the corner because during exams, people stay indoors (Week long exams-no break- no sleep- no time to breathe). Can’t study in the hostel? Fret not. Both Library and the reading room are open until 11. 🙂
NUALS indeed has a resourceful library. 2 storeys and what not? I could easily compare the resourcefulness of the library as I had studied in another law school before joining NUALS for three weeks. Something that intrigued me about the teachers are, they’re all doctors (PhD. I mean). Remember! Don’t mess with them doctors. Internal marks are worth 50. Less than 20- “Bro, supplementary“.
Hostel life in NUALS is kinda monotonous. Mess food is satisfactory. (If not, the nearby hotels comes to the rescue). They serve both North Indian and South Indian food making it convenient. Reading rooms inside hostel help students study even at 2 in the morning. There’s a good rapport between the hostellers. There are only a couple of day-scholars in NUALS for that matter.
NUALS is definitely a happening place to be in. Frequent seminars, quizzes and debates are conducted by the respective centres and clubs. There are various clubs and forums in NUALS such as Quiz club, Public Speaking club, Oratory club, Drama and Arts club etc. all of which are active throughout the year. Various committees (where members are students, headed by a faculty) are there to ensure proper functioning of the university and hostel, such as Mess Committee, Welfare Committee, Disciplinary Committee etc. However, sports facilities are average and so is the sporting culture. But there’s a full-fledged gym. For those having inclination towards music, there’s no official music club as such, but there’s a “music room” where people jam occasionally.
Class timings are kinda exhaustive when compared to other law schools as it starts from 9 in the morning and goes up till 4:15 in evening. The only solace is that there’s no class on Saturdays. Dotted with shops and restaurants nearby, life in NUALS is pretty much easy. However, it takes only about half an hour to reach the main city- Kochi. Thanks to Uber and Ola. And yes, the university is on the outskirts of Kochi and party animals may not like it.
Speaking honestly, the activities of the administration are kinda slow. Right from refunding the money spend for a moot to provide a bonafide certificate, it takes a minimum of 4 weeks to get the same done. This might be in order to prevent any discrepancies that may arise. Whatsoever, the response of the administration is pretty slow.
NUALS can be considered as a university that lays emphasis on practical aspects of legal education owing to the fact that it promotes moots and debates, and makes internship after every semester, compulsory. The university is action-packed with a fast-moving life (At least for most of them). Indeed NUALS is not the best NLU, but at the current pace of developments going on, it might end up being at par with the top 5 NLUs of the country.
We’d like to thank John Paul Alex (Batch 2022, NUALS) for taking out time from his busy schedule and sharing his experiences with all of us.
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