Arpita Seth, National Law Institute University, Bhopal
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It was only yesterday while I was sipping away Nescafe’s water-licious coffee that the feeling of passing out of law school suddenly sank in. I wouldn’t say I never gave it a thought but it was groggily weird getting full of nostalgia since 5 years of law is enough to make you want to go buggy by the end of it.
HO HO! Hold your handkerchiefs (or sleeves)!
Nescafe was not the Nescafe I remember when I was in my first year. Nagendra Bhaiya was like the barman you always wanted who would listen to your campus woes over a cup of coffee; and if you paid your Nescafe dues in time, sometimes over a maggi or chocolate.
Satish Bhaiya’s Tapra was the substitute for Thursday and Saturday dinner. Egg dishes were given a priority in every student’s dictionary when Satish Bhaiya happened to NLIU.
Also, before the fee hike for the subsequent batches, and advent of cars on campus, auto rates were pretty cheap. Increase in petrol prices was not one of the reasons as much as the willingness to pay more than a 100 for a trip to new market.
Sigh! Times have changed and I do talk like a centennial granny. That’s what nostalgia does to you, which is why I think it to be weird. Takes you back to a time, which no longer exists and leaves you with all its residual clamminess.
And the above insignificant details leads me to the most bizarre question of all- How were 5 years of law school for you?
The only words that come to my mind are ‘numb’ and ‘disoriented’.
I can’t really say, 5 years were candy floss; but a bone-shaking ride for sure. I took up law because I’d heard it involved a lot of reading. For a person, who had read the Philosopher’s Stone under the ‘Goodnight lamp light, because it was way past her bedtime, I found myself crushing on law.
Later, it also turned out to be a quagmire of twists, turns and turbulence.
The most wonderful thing about law is that a degree in legalese can equip you with the chance to pursue any vocation on the planet. Journalism, politics, banks, LPOs, entrepreneurships, law firms, corporate, academics, litigation you name it.
Internships during the course of 5 years keeps you on your toes when you get the chance to work with peers from different Law colleges of the country.
The constant aggressive urge to outdo your peers is quintessential of law.
The pattern of law schools in India today, especially the National Law Schools, seem to live up to the fantasies of students in awe of the uber cool pursuance of law.
The only pathetic thing about them is the stubborn discourse most of them get into to prove which one is better. Of course so is the case with Harvard and Yale, but the kind of dirty mudslinging that happens here, you’d gasp in astonishment and ask yourself- Is this the result of reading the wide Diaspora of laws, the harbinger of reasonability?
Which is what has always flummoxed me. Not that I’m the Holy Mother, but how can anyone who has studied even a trimester of law, waste his or her time on proving ‘my law school is chic; your law school location doesn’t even have ‘cool’ places to eat or hangout’.
5 years has surely changed me as a person. Arguments and analysis have become the order of the day and the mind gets zapped if there is no one to engage in a healthy debate with. Call it arrogance or superiority complex, but you can’t win a case by being Miss Goody Two Shoes.
The periphery of niceties and humilities certainly has to be crossed if one is intent on using their legal knowledge in the ‘real world’. Honestly, I get bored when I’m around non-lawyers.
It’s pretty racist if you expand the terminology, but 5 years of law certainly changes the way you look and react to a situation.
Not that I’d start quoting sections of a bare act, but a trimester full of exams, projects, Godfather, Few Good Men, etc (the kind of movies in the hard disk of a law student), events, politics does much to the mind than a trip around the world in 80 days.
Some might disagree, but I found a different world in law school.
A world extremely fulfilling- emotionally and intellectually. I had a free reign to read to my heart’s content and to find out things to my mind’s content. Not that I didn’t have my share of ‘I’m just waiting to graduate’; the scales were evenly balanced.
I won’t go overboard with emotion, because it is unlike law graduates to reek emotions, but seriously, thank you law school for strengthening my hunch and giving me the pleasure to mindfully grin at the ignorance of flawed arguments.
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