As I walked past the corridor on my way to climb the staircase, my eyes were transfixed to what was written above the room beside me. The grand, resplendent, golden words of the ‘Moot Court Hall’ caught my attention. I thought I knew what a moot was, even if I had a very vague idea about it. After looking furtively through the window and seeing the grandeur of this room, I looked around. There were several lecture halls, all living up to the expectations of modern smart class rooms.
There were projectors and ACs in all of the rooms. Then, after imbibing everything that was there in my surroundings, I walked up the staircase to the Conference Hall. I could hear all the brouhaha from inside. As I was entering the large hall, I could see students belonging to the diverse regions of India. Some had already formed small groups and were talking about the law school, some were standing in the line to get their admission formalities completed, while the rest sat patiently, or maybe timidly. I couldn’t tell. After having seen the place, I realized that I was going to spend my next five years there; and after having seen these people, I realized that I was going to spend my next five years with them.
My vivid description, or maybe not so vivid for others, is about the first day I visited the National Law University, Jodhpur on the 23rd of June. I had made up my mind to pursue a career in law when I was in class X. My career decision was based on my love and passion for Model United Nations Conferences. If MUNs were or are a decisive factor for anyone else too, know that you are not alone. After XII when I cracked CLAT, I was more than excited and peppy to have gotten NLUJ as my law school. But, a law school is both demanding and arduous. I struggled a lot and put my back out during the first few weeks. Only slowly and steadily over time, could I get incorporated into the law school system.
I shall now write about NLUJ. To begin with, I’ll briefly describe the University infrastructure. The University has a modern, well-equipped library with a large number of books and journals. It provides access to several prominent online databases — SCC Online, Manupatra, Hein Online, JStor, Kluwer Arbitration, and West Law to name a few. There is a 24×7 hour provision of high speed internet in the Academic Block, the Library and in the hostels that is almost incessant save for the sporadic power cuts. There are two moot court halls, a large auditorium, a conference hall, an amphitheatre, and a cultural room. There is also a football field, a basketball court, a volleyball court, and an indoor sports complex that houses a badminton court and a table tennis hall. There are six boys’ hostels and five girls’ hostels, all of which provide single occupancy to all the students. Despite the fact it is in Jodhpur where the average temperature is around 39° in summers, the University has a lush green campus. Even if there may be a few short comings, I wouldn’t count the infrastructure as one. The campus is prodigious and beautifully decorated.
Two streams are offered to the students, B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) and B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons.). The faculty is well qualified. The complexity of law subjects and the gigantic syllabus can sometimes result into incomprehension in some subjects, which I believe is a major challenge to all law schools since it leads to questioning of the teaching pedagogy by the students, but faculty nonetheless is always willing to help. At this point, I would like to emphasize upon the fact that a law school life is not easy. It requires a lot of reading and self-studying. A student who omits to self-study, cannot challenge the constitution of the law school. There cannot be a fruitful result if the action is futile. What I wrote before this also brings me to another important aspect of law as a career. I should probably retract my use of the words ‘omit’ and ‘constitution’, as my usage of these, though grammatically right, is legally inaccurate. In the words of my teacher for Legal Methods and Legal Systems, “You all are law students. You should think and act like lawyers. You should be thorough with what you speak, why you speak it, and how you speak it. Every word is important and distinctive for a lawyer. They play with words.” Moving back from the detour, NLUJ has a very extensive and comprehensive criteria for evaluation, which I assure you is neither easy nor lenient. There are four tests per subject in each semester, a mid-term and an end-term. The mid-terms plus the tests which form a part of the Continuous Assessments, include written class tests, presentations, teaching assignments, role-play/documentary analysis (in History), etc. There are also projects and court room exercises in law subjects. Amidst the burden and pressure of academics, the Cultural Committee keeps the campus alive and the spirits high by organizing various activities, movie-screenings and celebration of festivals.
One of the best parts about NLUJ is the bond between seniors and juniors. In fact, I would be wrong in my characterization of ‘seniors’ and ‘juniors’, for here this characterization does not matter. One of my foremost fears about college was the way freshers would be treated by the seniors. But the interaction, which indeed turned out to be a ‘positive interaction’ with due emphasis, dissolved all my fears. The seniors here will try to bring you into the law school system and make you a part of the NLUJ family. They are really helpful and can and will guide you through your difficulties till you become a senior yourself to pass on the same legacy.
Next, my focus shall be on the law school life. Life here at NLUJ is not simple. It requires a lot of efforts and commitment to keep up with academics, competition with peers, and cold calls. Law is not something that’ll fall from Heaven as mana straight into your mouth. You need to work hard to comprehend law. Emphasizing again, it requires a lot of reading — reading of treatises, cases and notes — and keeping up with current affairs. Here, you must be wary of attendance, for falling below the minimum requirement can get you debarred. In the initial few months, law school can be really challenging, giving you second thoughts about your decision to end up in a law school in the first place, but over the time one gets used to it. To be honest, I don’t find law school to be that difficult having belonged to the science stream back in school. All it requires is dedication.
I believe my description of NLUJ will be incomplete without writing about the activity I cherish here the most, which is mooting. A moot court is a mock court wherein the students argue with law, reasoning and logic as their tools on a fictitious case. NLUJ has a very efficient Moot Court Committee. It organizes various intra and inter-college moots. The University has been the recipient of several accolades at both national and international moots, and recently in 2015 won the Mooting Premier League.
Overall, I would say my experience at the National Law University, Jodhpur has been an exhilarating one. At no point have I regretted my decision of choosing law as my career and NLUJ as my law school. I cherish the four and a half months I have spent here in my first semester and now look forward to nine more thrilling semesters.
We’d like to thank Kuldeep Lakwal (Batch 2021, NLUJ) for taking out time from his busy schedule and sharing his experiences with all of us.
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