By Kudrat Agrawal, NLU Delhi
As I am asked to write about life in law school, life as a law student, I sit and reflect on the one-and-a-half year that I have spent at law school. They say that what you expect from a law school and what it actually delivers is seldom the same. Well, it was the same in my case.
Firstly because coming to a metro and suddenly finding myself among these unknown people, I wondered how I will spend the next five years of my life amidst these new faces. I had never been away from home before, and now I had to live with new people.
And while I was still in the process of absorbing the cultural shock, there were epics about these people who had published a paper in their first year, those who had managed to secure an international moot in their first internals and finally those who were good at everything, right from academics to debate to moot to sports! And above all of this, there was this 6 pm curfew!
And all of a sudden, I started wondering what will become of me after years? I did not have any roadmap for my five years at law school, and then within a couple of days, it dawned upon me that I had to start planning right away.
Now, as I write this piece, I realize that it wasn’t true. While a top-tier law school may try to offer you the best of education, I figured in due course of time that this education is not solely academics.
Into my first semester, like most of my classmates, I was overwhelmed by things like ‘synopsis’, ‘research projects’, ‘Turnitin’ and the other law school jargon that initially tends to baffle the first years.
My hitherto belief that a person could be self-sufficient was proving to be untrue. I realized that I had to ask somebody for help. And since going to teachers time and again did not seem like a plausible option, I had to approach seniors.
I recognized that building relationships with one’s seniors is essential. As a law student, one must have a few people to approach in case of any guidance that cannot be usually found in classrooms.
Then as we had orientations of different committees like the Debating Committee and the Moot Committee, and a variety of different projects to join, I thought that I must do something in order to build my CV from an early stage.
However, a little later I understood that not all things add value to your CV, even though they may be considered an integral part of law school.
Talking to a few teachers, I also figured that giving yourself a little time to settle is fine and there is no need to jump into ten things right away. In fact there is no need to do ten different things at all. You can manage by doing a few things provided you take them seriously.
During my first year, I was given an invaluable piece of advice by one of my seniors, who said that ‘Find out the things that you love to do’. Surviving in law school becomes difficult if we don’t like the things we do. I took this advice and started figuring out the things I love to do and what should be my priorities during my stay here.
As the first year progressed, I tried my hand at a couple of different things and discovered that I loved writing and I started writing for various blogs, in an attempt to polish my researching and writing skills.
Realizing that law is a vast subject and I would not be able to learn all that I wanted to in the classroom, I started looking for opportunities where I could know more about diverse areas of law.
Now as the end of the third semester draws close, I have come to the conclusion that in law school, you will find people who do everything and also people who do not do everything that law school has to offer.
Yet, as they gear up to step out of law school, both kinds of people will have job offers or admissions to top universities or a clerkship with a Supreme Court judge.
In other words, all students at law school realize their passion and what they love doing. Whenever that happens, you must make every attempt to hone your skills!