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Why are the National Law Universities not achieving their objectives?

The Article has been authored by our Content Editor, Aayushi Mungee a 4th year BBA LLB Student at the ICFAI University. The article digs out the Reasons as to why the so called National Law Universities have failed to achieve for what they were made. This interesting piece is a must read for all as it strives to be an eye opener. Although, NLU's have been tend to regarded as the market leaders, but are they so?

Ragini (imaginary) was in great tension. She was worried about her future. She thought that she lost the most important opportunity of her life. But what was the cause. She lost the battle to get through any of the National Law Universities or the so-famous NLUs of our country. This is the situation of thousands of young minds every year. But the point is whether really the NLUs, which are the dream institutes of so many young lads, capable of fulfilling their dreams?

Why there arose a need to establish NLUs?

Why the lawmakers in India thought of imparting legal education after 12th grade? As in the words of Dr. R Venkata Rao, NLSIU Bangalore Vice Chancellor, “The idea was to establish standalone universities or institutions which could take care of the new professional law programme even as the three-year LLB programmes continued to be offered by the existing law colleges. BCI then chaired by Ram Jethmalani, and other luminaries, including V R Reddy, then Additional Solicitor General of India, and the then Chief Justice of India along with other academicians, were the key persons behind setting up of the first NLU in India. The defining moment in the history of India’s legal education was the enactment of National Law School of India University Act, 1986.” The newly introduced five-year integrated course was different from the three-year LLB programme as it introduced the students, just after their 10+2, to legal writing and research. Throughout the years, NLUs thus became the epitome of legal studies. But as they say, achieving success is hard but maintaining it is even harder; NLUs have now become a tag which every student want in their career. But is it really able to fulfill its objective?

Where the things went Wrong?

The NLUs today, except a few, are just happy with their ‘National’ tag. They invest in lifts, air conditioners, water coolers and faculty chambers instead of investing in quality faculty members. The quality of faculty is not far better than those in private colleges. Next important thing, than gaining legal knowledge, for which a student joins NLUs is placement. Recent reports show that except a few, other NLUs are striving hard to keep their feet above the ground. With just 6 students, out of 30 sitting for placements, placed in two law firms, one corporate house and a LPO, there are chances that the ‘NLU’ tag would not land you up in a high-paying job as you expected. With only a few reputed law firms coming for recruitment, students of NLUs too cannot guarantee placement to their parents. However, it can be said that the environment in the NLUs make the students at least aware and more active than others. From participating in conferences, workshops, grabbing good internships, NLUs do have an edge over other private college students. But that is due to the peer groups which force a student to be proactive. On the other front, other colleges like GLC Mumbai, Symbiosis Pune, Amity University Delhi, and many more too provide their students a lot of exposure to various opportunities. Thus the NLUs do not excel in this department too. Although the placement records are not much impressive, it does not discourage the vibe of corporate slavery in the NLUs. It is found that only 10 out of 75 students graduating from an NLU want to pursue litigation. The rest either take their spots with the law firms or business houses or chose to study further. After 5 year of studying in the epitome of legal studies, the institutes are not able to change the money-making thought process of the young minds and rather add up to that. They are no different than the private colleges then. The next major concern is the well-known CLAT BLUNDERS. From cramming up facts, some justified, some absurd; a 17 year old gives up his social life, time and energy just to appear in the exam where he faces technical glitches, unsupportive and clueless invigilators, poor infrastructure and facilities in the scorching heat of May. It is an example of everything that is wrong with our education system. From the starting of the CLAT blunders in 2014, every year we see a new technique of the management to eliminate the students in the exam hall itself, it can be a clever tactic to reduce their burden. Well the road to the so-called National Law Universities is a doomed one. Now, after fighting a competition of 50,000, the technical glitches and mismanagement and getting in the 19 top National Law Universities is not enough. You need to get in the Tier-1 NLUs i.e. NLSIU (Banglore), NALSAR (Hyderabad), WBNUJS (Kolkata) if you want the dream that you had of an NLU to be fulfilled. The reasoning is that at least these colleges offer the best placements, qualified faculty and adequate exposure.


I am also from a private college as many of you and I don’t regret not securing a spot in the National Law Universities of our country. After fighting a considerable number of competitors, quitting your social life for preparation and endless sleepless nights, if this is what a majority of NLUs provide, there’s no harm in a private college too. After all many of the prominent litigators, legal advisors, honorable judges of our country do not have the NLU tag in their CVs. We still have hope.

Aayushi Mungee
Aayushi is a 4th year BBA LLB Student at the ICFAI University Dehradun.
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