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Choice of Law School: Top 3 Criteria

By Possible Team I Jun 28, 2022

The motivation to study in a particular law school is shaped by various factors. For some, proximity to home is important while some want to be as far away as possible! Some are eager to know about the sports facilities at a law school while some are more interested in the robust collection of the library. And almost everyone is interested in “How good is the food!?”. These inquiries, relevant nevertheless, are not the subject of this post. We shall try and identify the top three criteria for your choice of law school. A disclaimer, though: the criteria mentioned below are in no particular order, as, for some, one criterion may be more important than the other.

1. The Alumni

An important factor to keep in mind before filling in that preference form is how well the students graduating from a particular law school fare. Not just in terms of where they post their law school life, but also what they are up to. This assumes importance because it helps you realize the kind of opportunities available to you after completing a legal education. Different law schools offer different opportunities to their students and it is interesting to understand how those opportunities were utilized by them. Getting in touch with the alumni from a particular law school will also give you an insight into the life at a law school. This should help you in arriving at a well-rounded answer to the ever-troubling question of “Where should I go?”

2. Where is it?

If we are to remove from consideration the top four to five law schools in the country, the location of the law school assumes significant importance. In the recent past, there has been a sudden spike in the number of national law universities in the country. Almost every state has one now, and some even have three. But what does that mean for you, as a prospective law school student?

Some people want to be close to the city, for a variety of reasons. Although a university makes all attempts to provide you with all amenities that you require on a day-to-day basis, sometimes you do have to make trips to the city. Now, that is not always for leisure or fun. Being close to the city also gives you access to a lot of resources that add up to your professional oeuvre. Depending on where your interest (professionally speaking) lies, you can gain access to opportunities that may be metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, or Bangalore (to name a few) have to offer more than any other city. The choice of location is an extremely subjective exercise but if one has an understanding of what one wants to do, choosing a particular city over the other turns into an advantage.

3. The law school environment

A criterion that people often overlook is this one. While it is important to make it to a good law school, it is also important to be in a space where one’s life is not a living hell. And by that, it is meant that you need to make sure that the practices at a law school also adhere to the letter and spirit of the law.

Some concerns that one needs to take into consideration are whether the law school in question has an anti-ragging policy, what is the history of the law school in dealing with reported cases of discrimination (both amongst students and faculty/administration), and whether the law school has an open environment or at least some avenues where important socio-legal issues are discussed and debated, to name a few.

At the end of the day, a law school is a place where you will be spending five crucial years of your life. Your understanding will be shaped, re-shaped, shattered, and re-built, if you step in with an open mind. So, it becomes important that you choose a place that will give you the opportunities to do so. And how do you get to know this even before you enter law school? Discussion. Get in touch with people you know who have graduated from law school, and ask them these questions. After all, it’s a question of where you want to shape the next five years of your life.

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