don't just crack CLAT, come hack CLAT with us.
About three years back when I was a student pursuing my graduation in English Literature, I dreamed of studying law and becoming a cool lawyer one day. As every parent would have it, mine too made me take a million entrance examinations after graduation, including at least five for graduate law courses and a Master’s in Mass Communication before I finally drew the line and refused to take any more entrance tests.
A few weeks later, I found out that I had cleared the University of Delhi entrance examination for Faculty of Law, and also scored around 90 percentile in LSAT India.
Evidently, I chose the former and for me, it hasn’t been much of a loss, as I shall elaborate on shortly.
LSAT India is an examination that entitles one to admissions in a number of graduate (and undergraduate) law school programs and the chances are that you might not have ever heard of quite a few of those colleges in the list. I certainly hadn’t, and so you may go ahead and consider me ignorant if you like. For me, the obvious choice was Jindal Global Law School in Sonepat. It was the only place that I could compare to a National Law School, and the fact that I have a senior from college studying there only added to the list of pros. However, it was too expensive and the chances of getting a decent scholarship also didn’t seem too bright, so I took up Faculty of Law or Law Fac as it is famously known.
I pride myself on the decision I made. I mean, what could possibly be better than a legal education from a reputed school that too for some 5-6k a semester, right?
I am not disappointed, but I have to admit that the infrastructure is nothing compared to the National Law Schools, or Jindal Global for that matter. We don’t have a sprawling campus, with lodging in facilities, a separate research centre, a dedicated online portal, sports wing, thriving cultural societies, etc. But we have enough.
Faculty of Law has three Centres, Campus Law Centre (CLC), Law Centre – I (LC-I) and Law Centre – II
(LC-II). The first two are adjacent buildings in North Campus, while the latter functions from Atma Ram Sanatam Dharm (ARSD) College, Dhaula Kuan in South Campus. The three Centres differ greatly in the quality of education, timings and even facilities available. CLC essentially has only one batch, the morning batch which starts at 8.30am like most colleges in DU, LC – I earlier had two batches i.e. 3.00-6.00PM and 6.15 – 9.15PM, but starting this year; has three batches the latest being a morning batch which starts at 11.00AM and goes on till 3.00PM, while LC-II only has an evening shift from 6.15 – 9.15PM.
Naturally, the demographics vary drastically. The average age group of students at CLC would be between 21-25, at LC-I between 21-45+ and at LC-II, 26 and upwards making it strictly for professionals who are pursuing law for advancement in their chosen sphere of occupation, or for other reasons.
The three Centres have separate Professors-In-Charge (or principals for the sake of understanding), separate libraries, buildings, events, faculty, students, placement committees, etc., with LC-II having the maximum strength of senior permanent faculty members. So, it’s almost like having three different colleges under one head, except that’s really not the case.
CLC boasts of an air-conditioned and tech-savvy library, while LC-I still gives out cards for issuing books. (I haven’t had the experience of going to LC-II, so I will be unable to comment on their library.)
Quite frankly, CLC has a rather wide collection of books, manuals and journals available than the LC-I library does, but then again I feel that the LC-I library is arranged better which is sort of inconsequential but since I belong to that particular Centre, I felt I should point it out.
After all, I can’t let go of an opportunity to boast about my Centre now, can I?
LAW CENTRE – I:
There, you know it. I’m a rather proud student of Law Centre – I. It doesn’t have a brand name as big as that of CLC’s, but it’s doing pretty good and I find it to be excelling in quite a few areas. We have an active Moot Court Society, a super active Legal Services Society, a Gender Sensitizing Committee, a Cultural Society, among a few others. Of course, CLC has them too and perhaps has a LOT more societies than we have at our Centre, but the work I have seen being done as part of these societies at my Centre is quite commendable.
LEGAL SERVICES SOCIETY:
The Legal Services Society is worth mentioning here, as not only do we conduct outreaches, have a dedicated research team and a legal aid clinic, we are associated with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) which provides a lawyer for the clinic and holds Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) training sessions at LC-I, at the completion of which, we become certified PLVs.
The Moot Court Society has its own Constitution and makes sure that everyone at the Centre gets a chance to take part in a moot court competition, so long as they come forward and compete for the same. There’s an internal scheduled for every moot court competition, for which students prepare memorials and argue before two teachers who act as judges, and the top three scorers from amongst the competitors then form a team and go for the competition. They held the 10th Delhi NCR Moot Court Competition last year and the 1st National Moot Court Competition on Human Rights, 2013 in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the latter having promised to continue their association with LC-I for the moot court competition in the coming years. Of course, this doesn’t quite compare to the K.K. Luthra International Moot Court Competition organized by CLC each year, but it’s a start. A good one at that, especially bearing in mind that due to the lack of participation (and also the average age group of students) at LC – II, no moot courts are organized, and almost no societies exist or are active.
GENDER SENSITIZING COMMITTEE:
The Gender Sensitizing Committee holds discussions and talks, having had the DSP of Delhi Police come over and talk about issues that women face on and off campus and how they are to be dealt with, along with a panel consisting of psychologists, lawyers and teachers all giving their inputs and putting forward their grievances. They also did a flash mob to create awareness about gender issues during the 1st National Moot Court Competition, 2013 in association with NHRC.
The Cultural Society recently held a film screening chaired by a High Court judge, as part of a healthy dialogue between students and judges. I get quite a cheap thrill by saying that we made a judge sit and watch a movie with us!
THE PLACEMENT COMMITTEE:
The Placement Committee is quite active. It has a facebook page (yeah, we’re pretty tech-savvy in contrast to the peeps at the library) where they post about internship and placement opportunities. I still feel that it has a long way to go before it matches the CLC standard, but that’s also because of the brand name that CLC has managed to create for itself over the years. As far as I know, no proper placement cell exists at LC-II, but I may be wrong.
The most distinct and amusing aspect of the Law Faculty life are the students.
Law Fac boasts of students from varied backgrounds. We’re all graduates in different streams; some of us even post graduates. This obviously entails a GREAT classroom discussion and an intellectually thriving atmosphere, but it does have its shortcomings.
The best thing about having students from different colleges and streams is what they bring to the Student Union elections!
(Usually not much though, but it’s a debacle worth witnessing.)
The frenzy on campus, police barricades, desi naarebaazi (with little to no work at all) – it’s simply superb!
(No, we’re not talking about Google Hangouts here.)
The life at Law Faculty is fairly vibrant, with the elections, activities, lectures, etc. Apart from that, we have Kamla Nagar, Hudson Lane and a couple of other places with a host of dining and junk food binging options available, where we end up quite often. North Campus could practically endorse Maggi and ‘Banta’, going by the number of street vendors selling the same, with various customizable flavours and what not! There are coffee shops, J.P. Tea Stall at Delhi School of Economics, the café at Stephen’s, etc. No dearth of places at all!
So yeah, apart from the fact that you probably won’t be living on campus, or have great research opportunities available, you do have quite a bit of a life!
As for research avenues, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
There are always other options available if you only so much as look out for them.
In all, Law Fac is not a bad decision at all for those of you who want to pursue law after graduation.