CLAT Advice: Do Not Join Any Lower Ranked National Law University (NLU) and What to Do Instead

By Tanuj Kalia

A small piece of advice for CLAT aspirants: Please do NOT join the lower ranked NLUs (anything after GNLU/HNLU).

* It’s better to join a good law college in Delhi or Mumbai (and do running internships/attend conferences) than be in these colleges.

The above will translate into more avenues for all round development and gaining ’employ-ability mileage’ (skills, experiences, networking, etc.)

The placements at ALL lower ranked NLUs have been dismal throughout the years. (Check the stats on LegallyIndia and BarandBench). Faculty is pathetic across the colleges.

A lot of people have argued “Give these colleges time. Even NLSIU took time to build“. However, this argument has been going for way too long.

Sadly, no new NLU (with the exception of NLU Delhi) has shown even a glimmer of hope.

Sorry for being pessimistic here. But do read the starred sentence for hope.

You might, yet again, assert: “No. NLUx will do well because of the NLU tag“. Well, it might. But you have to answer “Will it do well?” by analyzing its history and making an educated guess about its future.

PS- I have been watching these developments closely since 2008 and this is what my advice for my cousins and young friends would be.

PPS- About me: I graduated from NUJS in 2013. I run Lawctopus.com, a popular website for law students (you are here). My book ‘Law as a Career’ was recently published by LexisNexis.

PPPS- If you are enamored by the NLU tag, here are two NLUs which are doing relatively better: NLU Odisha and NUALS Kochi. (I’d still go to a good college in Delhi or Mumbai but you may choose differently).

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Comments Till Now

  1. plz tell me how much I study to clear clat now I am in class 11 and I want top 3 colleges so plz plz tellme

  2. ayush singhal says:

    I have many doubts plz clarify it…..firstly I study in class 11 now I want to ask that how much I study to clear clat and sholud be placed in top 3 colleges I am very confused plz clear my doubts …

  3. Tarapalli Vikek says:

    Oh Tanuj-Come on.Such arguments don’t suit you.You belong to a so called “higher ranked NLU”,earned a good name for yourself and doing very well in the legal circuit.So why write (more often these days)such meaning less topics.You may rather put some more effort and write a book on say “How to make newer NLUs catch up the older NLus”or something like that.You see,the young confused minds are trying to argue with you not knowing the value that you add to the nation’s legal education.They are jealous of you-Don’t you think so?Cool my boy!Cool.

  4. goddess of diplomats says:

    ok, im sorry but im tempted to add that top colleges do give a boost in your career . you see, any firm/person is likely to choose a student from nlsiu than from hnlu or the universities in the lower ranks .yes the charms of being in a top national college helps.it is also true that ultimately hardwork and perseverance are the last word but still when ppl generally tend to choose a nls of top rank than any other colleges

  5. E S Jagadeeshwar says:

    Young Law students are suggested to read the following papers relating to legal education. These papers were published by Harvard Law School Centre on the Legal Profession.

    The Global Contest for Legal Education
    Link : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2475758

    .. Prof. John Flood says .. P. 1 .. My thesis in this chapter can be stated as follows. From an empirical point of view there is an inexorable move in the world towards the “Americanization of legal education”, in the form of the widespread adoption of the JD degree over the LLB because of its perceived greater practice orientation. This shift is the result of three developments:

    1. Globalization and the rise of technology.

    2. The move from polycentric to monocentric modes of education and paths of entry
    into the legal profession.

    3. The re-professionalization of the legal profession as a result of the growth of the large law firm and new forms of regulation as in, for example, the UK and Australia.

    The main issue will be whether the Law Colleges or Schools are imparting training to have employable skills to young Law Students?

    After 10 years our legal profession is going to be changed due to globalization and science and technological advancement.

  6. Definitely not from low nlu says:

    It’s amazing how being from such an illustrious college such as NUJS, you have made such sweeping declarations on which colleges are good and which aren’t. Who even writes stuff like this, these days? The audacity is overwhelmingly funny. Like so many people have already pointed out, a lot of factors go into making a college whatever it stands for. But all of that stems only from what the students make it. And that happens through the students’ hard work. A college with good faculty and good infrastructure and good location will stand for nothing if the students aren’t doing well for themselves. And, I’ll repeat again, it comes only from the students’ work. All of these factors will not magically make the students good lawyers of that don’t work. Needless to say, worthy students will shine anywhere. I am not from a low ranked NLU myself. But I happen to know a lot of students from NUJS and NLUO, being from Kolkata, and I have never thought the students from NLUO to be any less than the students of NUJS in any respect whatsoever. In my interactions with them, I never felt Like NUJS had an edge or that the students from there were somehow smarter. If i didn’t know which college they were from, I wouldn’t know the difference. This is an isolated example, But whatever my limited circumstances have taught me, negates your opinion entirely. Please be more responsible in articulating your opinions because you have the power to influence more young minds than you seem to realize.

    • administrator says:

      Thank you for your advice.

    • Pallavi Talukdar says:

      Tanuj has the habit of making himself look stupid by his irresponsible opinions.What does he mean by lower ranked nlu?and,if he thinks he is above others in making opinions on law school,then his articles are not worth reading.

  7. should I take admission in a lower nlu or first try and do my graduation and then try and have a crack at Delhi university amu or bhu for 3 yr llb as I have already taken a drop and completed 1 yr of bsc . can you advice

  8. Nlu is all that matters says:

    Lol.

    Leaving some law firm aside, judges and other members of bench and bar don’t even know the distinction between NLU’s. All they know is the tag of NLU where some decent quality of knowledge is imparted to students in the country. Nobody in their speeches mentions, NLSIU, NALSAR etc, they mention NLU’s.

    Rankings given to NLU’s are according to their establishment year, no official authority has even given them rankings based on their performance. And being passed out from a so-called “reputed college”, I guess you know that you cannot place your opinions on something not authorized properly. And if you still do, I guess we know the kind of education you have been provided with by your college.

    Till now, there are no low ranking NLUs according to their performances. Only NLUs which are placed lower in orders or which are very new. That is it !!
    Had that been the case, they would have never asked students to fill in the preferences. Wouldn’t that have been obvious then that 1st would be get filled then 2nd nd 3rd nd so on?

    All those students who seek to fill their preferences need to do the background check of the college themselves. And next time please spare your empty opinions like these or else you would prove urself to be a bad entrepreneur as well and we law community members would not be that proud of you.

    • administrator says:

      Yes, and soon, in their speeches, they’ll mention how bad some of the NLUs are.

      “Rankings given to NLU’s are according to their establishment year”. I don’t think you are in the know of much related to law schools.

  9. priyanka says:

    Hello Mr Tanuj kalia

    I must appreciate your website. It constantly helps many law students. It provides opportunities and knowledge to many. So i must say you have done a great work.

    But this kind of article by you is not expected. It is misleading for students.

    First of all NLU of a metro city is better because that city like Mumbai or Delhi gives better opportunity for internship, moots, or job opportunities in comparison to other cities. Say NLU of Ranchi won’t have that much opportunity for its students what NLU of Banglore or Delhi or Mumbai can give. But it is not fault of universities. For this students have to try themselves. And more struggle one student goes through is more beneficial for him because it is his own experience.

    I am not even from any NLU but many seniors from my college have served as justice to various high court and Supreme Court too and it includes CJ of SC.

    Not all the students of NLUs of Felhi Mumbai Banglore are successful. It is the internal talent and hardwork of a person which makes him successful in life.

  10. What’s up, man? Are you not getting enough hits nowadays or something?

  11. Jayakar B. says:

    So smart, tag is not enough, have some your stuff, work hard, sky is the limit.

  12. Nandighosh Karan Nanda says:

    Does this mean it’s better to join MNLU instead of RGNUL currently? I’m confused about it

  13. JustAnOpinion says:

    Hi.
    So, first of all, stupid post.
    Contesting something to just be your ‘opinion’ while knowing that your words are taken seriously by a lot of people and do have some authenticity (from people’s perception) puts you in a position of greater responsibility, where your statement despite being an opinion must have some valid logic behind it which I fail to see in your post.

    If you are talking about placements. Well, no younger NLUs have a strong alumni base yet, which being from a law school you would know plays a great role. Despite that, the students are doing exceptionally well and getting PPOs and jobs with reputed firms, this just shows that the college does help the student to be able to get a place for themselves. I am a student of NLUO and I can proudly say that my seniors are there in the best of firms and foreign institutions for LLM and are making good name for themselves.

    Also, placement is not the only criteria to judge a college. I see no substantial logic for you to comment on the quality of teachers. There are good and bad professors in every college and I am sure every student from every NLU will agree with me.

    Lastly, NLUs are about a lot of things, one of those thing is the fraternity of the NLUs and in all my internships I have seen that even the firms have higher expectations from us because that’s what the “tag” reflects; a commitment to legal education.

    I, in no way criticize the non-NLUs but to say that anything below HNLU is not worth it, well I myself preferred NLUO over HNLU (just one person’s judgment call) and I have never regretted my decision. I am proud of my alma-mater and not just because I belong to that place but because I know how hard every single student is working to make a place for the college.

    So, the next time you are giving an advice or opinion, make sure to take into consideration all the facets of the existing situation.

    • administrator says:

      Hi,

      Please find replies in bold.

      Hi.
      So, first of all, stupid post.
      Contesting something to just be your ‘opinion’ while knowing that your words are taken seriously by a lot of people and do have some authenticity (from people’s perception) puts you in a position of greater responsibility, where your statement despite being an opinion must have some valid logic behind it which I fail to see in your post.

      People who see logic in the advice will take it. Those who don’t, won’t.

      If you are talking about placements. Well, no younger NLUs have a strong alumni base yet, which being from a law school you would know plays a great role. Despite that, the students are doing exceptionally well and getting PPOs and jobs with reputed firms, this just shows that the college does help the student to be able to get a place for themselves. I am a student of NLUO and I can proudly say that my seniors are there in the best of firms and foreign institutions for LLM and are making good name for themselves.

      When publishing such ‘stupid posts’ I don’t look at a dozen students who have done well in a batch of 80-160, but at the batch as a whole.

      Also, placement is not the only criteria to judge a college. I see no substantial logic for you to comment on the quality of teachers. There are good and bad professors in every college and I am sure every student from every NLU will agree with me.

      Where did I say that placements are the only criteria to judge a college?

      But yes, placements are an objective, dispassionate, neutral way to judge what sort of a product the college is producing.

      And this includes placements with litigators, law firms, policy think tanks, judiciary, LLMs.

      Lastly, NLUs are about a lot of things, one of those thing is the fraternity of the NLUs and in all my internships I have seen that even the firms have higher expectations from us because that’s what the “tag” reflects; a commitment to legal education.
      I, in no way criticize the non-NLUs but to say that anything below HNLU is not worth it, well I myself preferred NLUO over HNLU (just one person’s judgment call) and I have never regretted my decision. I am proud of my alma-mater and not just because I belong to that place but because I know how hard every single student is working to make a place for the college.
      So, the next time you are giving an advice or opinion, make sure to take into consideration all the facets of the existing situation.

      I do take all the facets into consideration. Thank you for the genius advice.

      • Regarding your comment on NLUO over HNLU; I preferred to choose HNLU over GNLU and so have many of my friends everyone have it’s own perception for which college they want to prefer just because I preferred HNLU over GNLU the value of GNLU has not decreased in the same way you choosing NLUO over HNLU will bring no harm to HNLU.

  14. SastaComment says:

    Oh, I forgot.

    Reva University mai jaana chahte?

  15. SastaComment says:

    Tanuj, is saal to rgnul me bache placements bhi le aaye and bade bade moots bhi jeet gaye.

    And curfew timings bhi bad gaye.

    AB kya chahte ho ki hum kya kare?

  16. Chinmayi Krishnan says:

    Hi Tanuj,

    Like many young law aspirants and law students in India even I have constantly turned to Lawctopus while charting out my career path. One cannot possibly doubt the reach Lawctopus enjoys with the budding lawyers immaterial of whether they are students of an NLU or any other institution imparting legal education in the country. I understand that this article is to an extent apt advice for CLAT aspirants although I couldn’t help but notice that your advice to law aspirants as such is restricted to CLAT, top/select NLUs and ‘good law colleges in Delhi or Mumbai’.

    Just last year, I happened to have a conversation with a young CLAT/law aspirant that left me absolutely appalled for the simple reason that in the half hour that we conversed, the girl repeatedly wanted to know whether by going to an NLU or otherwise she would get a six figure monthly salary once she graduates. Nothing else. Today, I know that this is the general mind-set of law (and especially CLAT) aspirants. We probably already know, or at least can make a good guess, as to how this has come about. Basically, these days there is no place for law in their minds when they attempt to go anywhere near an NLU and as a consequence the industry has already started facing the music.

    Isn’t it true that prior to 1980s India did not have any NLUs but that the country had already seen numerous legal stalwarts by then? Not all of them went to ‘good law colleges in Delhi or Mumbai’ either (the late Justice V R Krishna Iyer can be regarded as one such example). Why, many of them even held basic law degrees from across the border prior to Partition and I don’t think any of us can question the quality they brought to the profession, the heights they scaled or the success they tasted in their careers.

    My basic point – there is absolutely no substitute for hard work and the institution you graduate from is only of highly limited import in shaping your career.

    Law aspirants need to look not just at CLAT but beyond it as well. They need to identify their own interests, geographies and preferences, best alternative options, assess the faculty profiles, check the infrastructure and track record of the institution, get in touch with alumni, and the like before taking an informed decision as to which law school rather than blindly run towards what promotional propaganda feeds them. They need to understand that a person with the drive to succeed will succeed immaterial of which college/university they attend. What matters is the drive.

    Bests,
    Chinmayi

    P.S. – For anyone who might be curious about my background, I come from very humble beginnings, lots of blunders and with no godfathers or prestigious-institution tag. I graduated in 2013 as a student of the first batch of School of Law, SASTRA University in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu and completed my LL.M. Finance from the Institute for Law and Finance, University of Frankfurt in Germany on a scholarship. As a law student in India, I had the opportunity to work with numerous top tier law firms purely on the strength of my track record and later with the Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. This was followed by a wonderful stint as a Foreign Associate with the New York based law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

    P.P.S. – You can be from anywhere and still achieve whatever you want to achieve. Sheer hard work is the key.

    All the best, guys! ☺

    • administrator says:

      Thank you for the comment. Inspiring.

      Being outside Delhi or Bombay doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.

      But being in Delhi or Bombay just increases your chances of success (just like being in a top NLU does).

      • Chinmayi Krishnan says:

        Being in Delhi or Bombay certainly has one advantage – the firms/certain litigation hubs are more proximate. Apart from that, it is actually no different anymore. So in terms of alternatives, I would suggest that people look for and wide rather than limit themselves in terms of geography.

        • administrator says:

          So, Delhi and Bombay, being legal hubs, serve a purpose.

          Why should anyone, opt for, say, Chennai, logically speaking?

          • Chinmayi Krishnan says:

            I’m actually surprised you even asked that question considering the fact that Chennai is a well known legal hub for anyone considering a career in litigation, IPR or even ADR these days. Please check your facts before trying to make an attempt at an argument.

            The legal sector is growing fast enough to be noticed across the country and not in just certain pockets. Besides, do consider the fact that CLAT provides access to maybe 2000 seats, what of the 68,000 odd others who choose law for a career every year? They deserve to know that even they can chalk out a good career even without an NLU or Delhi or Bombay based education backing them. Don’t undermine that.

    • Shivesh Raghuvanshi says:

      This is the best advice which has soaring approaches in one’s view to overcome.. Tnx for ur motivation..

  17. Not from a lower NLU says:

    The most worthless article on Lawctopus.

  18. Diganta Paul says:

    Respected Sir,
    As you have stated that the argument, “Give these colleges time. Even NLSIU took time to build”, is going for way too long, i would like to refrain myself from upholding with your statement. Can you specifically enlighten us with exactly how many years, a NLU should take to grow ? I believe none can. When NLSIU or NUJS started there were only few NLUs all over India which gave them an edge over other traditional universities or any other law colleges which lack the curriculum that NLUs generally follow.

    So when these colleges trained their law student in a different approach and made them ready for the real world they were accepted in various law firms and other places due to their quality of education.

    I read in one of the articles written by Mr. Ramanuj Mukherjee who is also an alumni of WBNUJS, that the students need to fold up their sleeves and make their college better, no one else can do better than them. So, when students of NLUs like NLUO are working day and night to win moots, ADRs, getting internships in big law firms and even achieving to get placed there, I seriously cannot deduce how you put that argument.

    I believe as now there are 17 NLUs in India there is a tough competition between the students compared to what was there when there were only 2 or 3 NLUs. And also as those colleges started way back than the newer NLUs, they have a strong alumni (like you) which help them to get internship or placements. Though i am not doubting on the quality of the alumnus of NLSIU or NUJS as there were a less competition, but i am just trying to make my point.

    I hope i am able to make you understand what i am trying to say.

  19. By a good college in Mumbai, do you mean Government Law College?

  20. Avinash Gautam says:

    Tanju, Humbly stating, I and any reasonable man won’t agree if you draw a line and rate NLU Odisha below a so called “good college in Delhi or Mumbai”.
    I am a daily visitor of your website but you are mistaken, i must say, should you choose to compare NLUO with colleges of Delhi and Mumbai. Please refer to our stats with regards to our ranking in moot court, ADR and other such competitions. Though, it may not sound huge when you be a little pessimist but please make the readers aware about the stats of this year’s Jessup (NLUO reaching R-16) and wait not just that … other numerous achievements in the bag which I can talk of and send the stats to you if you want 🙂 Please compare any college of Delhi and Mumbai, which you are referring, who are even close to NLUO. And we are just 7 YEARS YOUNG!

    Some progress for a new law school, isn’t it ?

    I just submitted my law school’s review 10 minutes ago. Please see and post it for the world to see it, tell me if there are colleges who are even near to ours!

    Please don’t under rate us… NLSIU and NUJS didn’t became what they are in an overnight!

    Again, all of this is very humbly stated. You’re free to consider or omit to do so 🙂

    • administrator says:

      The post contains this text: A lot of people have argued “Give these colleges time. Even NLSIU took time to build“. However, this argument has been going for way too long.

      • Not frok NLUO says:

        You completely ignored everything else he had to say. Must be because NLUO has been continiously finishing above NUJS in the MPL these days. 🙂

        • Not from NLUO says:

          From* :p

        • administrator says:

          You are making this a X v. Y college debate. You are missing the forest for the trees.

          • Birds Eye View says:

            aren’t you the one who pointed to the “higher ranked” trees in the forest. And should forest also the point, or the ultimate effect the forest has, say, on the environment.

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