NLU, Non-NLU; what’s the deal?

Find yourself wondering what key difference does an NLU hold over a non-NLU? Whether you can succeed in the real world irrespective of the name of your law school? Find your answers here.

In conversation with:

Deeksha Malik

An employment lawyer at Khaitan & Co and the Founder-Editor at IRCCL, Ms. Deeksha is a graduate from National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

She is also the Editor of the book ‘Emerging Challenges in Mergers and Acquisitions’ published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing

She was also one of the selected candidates at University of Cambridge, for their LLM program, which she decided not to pursue as she wanted to enhance her practice experience further.

Apart from academia, she is also an animal lover and a classical dancer.

Belonging to an NLU

The most trending issue amongst law students is usually what it’s like to be an NLU or a Non-NLU student. Students often find themselves wondering what key difference these two kinds of institutions hold and what is it worth to belong to one of such law schools, be it an NLU or otherwise.

Some feel that they lack certain opportunities because they don’t belong to an NLU, some low tier NLU students feel that they are looked over in comparison to top tier NLU students while others simply don’t care and focus on their hardwork.

The Difference: Development & opportunities

It may not be a politically correct answer, but coming from an NLU does offer you opportunities. Note, my focus here is availability of opportunities and not the quality of the students themselves.
A student in a non-NLU institution (barring probably Jindal and Symbiosis) does have to struggle to an extent to be noticed.
As for personal growth and development, the environment you are in does count, but ultimately, it is your ambition, hard work and perseverance that take you forward. Trust me, the distinction between NLU and non-NLU fades away in the professional space. No one really cares where you are from till the time your work is speaking for itself.

What after graduation?

Being an undergrad law student can be a hefty task considering 5 long years of studying, grilling and other stuff and in between all this one might be left wondering what it would feel like fresh into the world with a law degree.

Also, with so many options in law as a career, a student faces a lot of challenges while deciding which one would be the best for them.

1. Initial months of a law student after graduation

Right after graduation, I had a summer break of two months during which I founded one of the most beloved things in my life, The Indian Review of Corporate and Commercial Laws (IRCCL), a blog run by legal practitioners to publish articles authored by students on topics relating to corporate law and allied areas.
Soon, I joined Khaitan & Co as a capital markets lawyer. Although my team was kind and helping, I did not quite enjoy the subject. So, after 6 months, I moved to the firm’s employment team and have now developed a strong love for employment and labour laws.

2. Choosing the right field of expertise

Students should be active right from their first year to look for opportunities to get practical experience in different areas. Some students start their journey with the assumption that law firms and corporate law are the be-all-end-all, but that may not be the right approach. If you restrict yourself so early in your journey, you may miss out the really wonderful experiences that other areas / subjects offer. So, start early.

In the beginning, work with NGOs and judicial forums on various areas. Go for a litigation experience. In the later years (third / fourth year), intern with a law firm. Practical experience would help you to an extent in choosing a career path and a subject to develop your expertise in.

3. Pursuing a career in corporate law

What prompted me to join a law firm is the factum of working with some of the best minds in the country. Of course, litigation and other fields also offer you the same, but I somehow never enjoyed my internships at other places the way I enjoyed my internships in law firms.
I took some decisions in life based on my personal experiences and not what other people told me. Choosing a law firm life is one of them.

Standing out irrespective of the name of your law school!

To really stand out, keep your eyes wide open to look for opportunities. Legal field is very competitive, so do not stop. Read articles on emerging legal developments written by experts and develop your own understanding of the subject. Reach out to professionals on LinkedIn for advice and possible collaboration.
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