don't just crack CLAT, come hack CLAT with us.
When I entered my dream law college in 2011 (after a tiniest, the briefest stint as a dentist), I was so naive! Presently in 2013, I vehemently agree that I couldn't have been more ignorant.
I have been meaning to write this article two years ago, when I was annoyingly dreamy but like many successful alumni of Faculty of Law, Delhi University, I was getting my training as a convincing procrastinator. I can put up so many reasons to convince you that I was genuinely too caught up in my life that I couldn't take out a few minutes to tell the story of what happens inside FOL.
© Nikhil Garg , photo sourced from http://www.coolage.in/2011/11/19/faculty-of-law/
I was asked by an LSR girl once- “Getting in the FOL must be so difficult, yeah”. I had two questions about this statement First – I study In Law Faculty or more specifically in Campus Law Center; FO- What? Second question was even more important than the first- Why would someone say yeah in the end of a question, is this a question or a statement? Till the time these things were being processed in my head, I was bobbling my head like any other Indian does in a situation like this: in every direction so that the other person is utterly confused till you can form some words. Thankfully I was able to make no more mess of the situation when I muttered- yeah, not really and left her to figure it out herself.
This is how we get admitted to law fac: We give an exam which is much easier than CLAT, has approximately two thousand seats and after working our way through clerks who make sure that it takes three-four days to submit a fee of few thousand rupees and another month in the college that you are able to get your hands on IDs and Library cards etc. we enter the scene.
CLC Upside down during monsoons- © Siddharth Malkania, Alumnus CLC, Faculty of Law
Here are a few reality checks about the institute:
It is definitely the best in the case of three year law courses: While scouting for best law colleges after one graduation, you will have limited options. But this college is best in this class. The reasons for it are:
a. The case material prescribed: Perhaps the only thing in the law faculty that can single handedly make you want to study here. The course is mainly taught with the help of bare acts and case materials that have selected and edited cases. These materials start a practical approach towards law from the time you start writing them. Reading cases is a tough task, finding what is relevant in a Judgment is important for you whether you go to corporate, litigation, Administrative services or teaching. This, along with local publication of Singhal and Jain are enough study material for passing comfortably.
b. The time table: If you are smart enough to figure out that you can chose the time table you want by paying fees at some precise moment (this cannot be expressed in words- you have to stand in a queue for quite some time to master this art), the hours of classes are as few as two to three hours every day. The time you save (Let’s call it real world training time) can be used to do internships/moots/legal aid work or even certain courses which help you once you enter your profession in the end of three years.
c. The minimum attendance: It is 66% per subject per semester; which I translate to- one week off in three weeks, yay! I just can’t express it with the emphasis this needs- you have a lot of time in your hand, try to come in this institute with a plan to do something else as well.
d. The Alumni and the teachers: They are really famous. Period. They are those people whose text books, biographies and research papers are so good that you have to read them as a law student and even after becoming a lawyer. There are so many judicial officers who are alumnus of Delhi University. Let me take some names to bedazzle you (hopefully), especially if you are prospective litigator:
Mr. Arun Jaitley
Mr. Kapil Sibal
Mr. Y. K. Sabharwal (Former CJI)
Dr. Kiran Bedi
Smt. Meira Kumar
Mr. Rohinton Nariman
And not Arnab Goswami,
Note: These are just a few names, not a comprehensive list
Faculty during elections-© Siddharth Malkania
Now, hopefully you are convinced that this college is the way to go for three year law course. But I have a few tip offs for you before you completely are sure of this is what you want:
a. There’s no infrastructure, too many sarkari babus: Infrastructure is a major letdown in this institute. The classrooms are old and unclean, people get vector borne diseases quite often and there are not many societies or extra-curricular activities. Getting anything done is a pain. Parking is a headache. I might as well mention that there is total lack of security around the library area, there are many notices of theft that happen when you keep your bag outside and go to study. The internet doesn’t work or the computers don’t work or there are people facebooking on the rickety computers. So there is no access to online portals like manupatra or free databases. Did I mention that in 2013, we still don’t have a water purifier OR a canteen in the college OR a wifi?
b. Practical approach to learning is missing: We get taught in the form of lectures, nothing more. There is debate society, moot court society, legal aid society and an editorial board consisting of law students. There is no internship assistance or an official court visit. The only time internal moot takes place is for getting admitted to moot court society once a year. But let that not be the end of the road. Despite of this, people manage to get internships. The college name works well, especially in front of the alumni.
c. Varying timetables: It is impossible to have classes back to back if you are a student of Campus law Centre. Usually, there is a one hour gap, which can sometimes stretch to two or three hours for three hour classes! As already mentioned there is practically no infrastructure, during this period people either roam around in other faculties or sit at some space indulging in “people watching” or socializing. It’s basically a huge waste of time if you want to intern.
As I approach my final year in this college, I have grown to be a different person. There is a good mix of students and I am aware that many of my colleagues are going to make it big one day. There is a general air of determination here. People read, discuss politics perhaps more than our MPs and actively participate in student politics (equally making fun of the people who participate). It will be nice to get a degree from here. For people who want to pursue masters in a foreign country, the faculty of law is quite reputed amongst the colleges.
In the end I suggest you to weigh your choices and then come here. Come with the knowledge that this course is not going to take much of your time and you might need to work really hard for internships and placements. You will probably get nothing more than a degree from a reputed university at the end of the three years, whatever other skills you need might not come from here.
Other colleges which are reputed and offer a three year law course are:
1. Government law college, Mumbai
2. Faculty of Law, Panjab University
3. ILI law College, Pune
4. BHU, Varanasi
5. BVP, Pune
I have a feeling they are not better than FOL, DU!