How to be a top law student in India?

Students
24-Mar-2023
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Commencing your journey in a law school can be an overwhelming experience. You are blank as a slate and have left your home and comfort zone to make your law school dreams a reality. As an aspiring law student, it is important to understand the fundamentals of legal studies and the expectations of success in the field. Becoming a lawyer requires hard work, dedication, and a commitment to learning. With the right attitude and tools, you can become a very efficient and successful lawyer in your life. 

While choosing a career, we all are young and naïve and don’t calculate beforehand what we are getting ourselves into. There are many false expectations we have gained from shows such as suits, Boston legal, how to get away with murder, and others. Dreaming of being a lawyer is the beginning of everything. However, the actual reality can be very different from your dream. Knowing and embracing the realities and challenges of law school is important, even when you are determined to be a lawyer or choose law as a career.

It is a never-ending reading cycle

Law schools, in general, expect their prospective students to be enthusiastic readers, as the curriculum demands an extensive amount of reading. Reading is a crucial aspect for any legal professional as it keeps them informed about laws, regulations, cases, and other legal developments. Moreover, it helps legal professionals understand the broader context of a specific legal issue. By engaging with legal materials, attorneys can gain a better understanding of the legal system, its evolution and history, and the diverse interpretations and applications of laws. Reading serves as a foundation to construct a knowledge base that legal professionals can rely upon when making legal or professional decisions. However, the Indian legal education system has undergone significant changes, particularly in the 21st century. In modern times, education is not just limited to reading bulky textbooks. Today's law colleges in India provide excellent interactive activities as part of their curriculum, giving students a wide range of opportunities to develop holistically.

Develop a strong academic background

Developing a strong academic background is essential for law students to succeed in their legal careers. The legal profession demands a high level of academic excellence and intellectual rigor, and students of law should strive to achieve excellent grades and gain a deep understanding of legal concepts, theories, and practices.

For law students, having a strong academic background opens up several opportunities, including getting into top law schools, securing scholarships, and getting internships and clerkships. Also, to pass the bar exam and obtain a law license, you must have a solid academic background.

Network with Practicing Attorneys

Law students are advised to build a network with practicing attorneys. Establishing connections with attorneys who are currently practicing law can be extremely beneficial for law students as it can provide them with valuable insights into the legal profession. Networking can help students learn about various legal specialties, gain exposure to different legal practices, and learn about the day-to-day workings of the legal profession.

In addition, networking can help law students obtain internships, clerkships, and job opportunities in the future. Many law firms and legal organizations prefer to hire candidates who have established relationships with practicing attorneys. Therefore, building a network of contacts in the legal industry can be an excellent way for law students to enhance their career prospects. To build a network, law students can attend legal conferences, join professional legal organizations, and participate in networking events. 

Know about your law school before admission

This is the major regret of most legal professionals that they did not do proper research about their law school before taking admission into it. They did not see the quality of the courses they were offering, the extracurricular activities involved, what are their post-graduation placements, and most of all, the reputation of the law school in the market. Going into a law school with research is like giving the keys to your clay to an amateur potter who can either make it or destroy it. Before opting for any law school, you should always research the location of the college, department, faculty, placement facilities, and activities involved to increase your skills. You should know the strong and weak points of your college before admission and make your decision accordingly, considering your plans and priorities. 

The myth that Life revolves around your next tutorial or seminar

This is a false statement. Life in a law school does not revolve around tutorials and seminars. While attending tutorials and seminars may be part of the law school experience, many other activities and experiences are available to law students, such as hands-on legal work, student organizations, and internships. Law schools provide ample opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities and social activities outside of the classroom. 

You can engage in extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, or volunteer work, to take a break from your academic pursuits and refresh your mind. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can not only improve a law student's mental and physical health, but it can also enhance their academic performance. Taking breaks and engaging in non-academic activities can help students come back to their studies with a fresh perspective, renewed energy, and greater focus.

Overall, law students should avoid the myth that their life revolves solely around their academic pursuits.

Work hard, work smart, and be organized to survive in a law school

  • Develop effective time management skills: Learning to manage your time effectively is essential for success in law school. This means making sure you have enough time to study and complete assignments, as well as attending lectures, seminars, and other activities.
  • Stay organized: As you progress through law school, it’s important to stay organized. This includes creating a system for keeping track of your readings, assignments, and other tasks that need to be completed.
  • Take notes: Taking notes during lectures and seminars is an important part of learning the material. Reviewing your notes regularly to ensure you understand the subjects and remember it is crucial for law studies. 
  • Ask questions: When you ask questions, you are clear about a topic that you can apply on assignments & exams, so don’t be afraid to ask questions in class or in after hours.
  • Develop effective study habits: It’s important to develop effective study habits that will help you succeed. This includes reading ahead, taking practice exams, and seeking out study groups.
  • Utilize resources: Law schools have a variety of resources available to students, including writing centers, career counseling, and academic advisors. Utilize these resources to get the most out of your law school experience.

Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, among the various professional courses offered in India, a law degree is one of the most sought-after degrees. This degree produces well-rounded individuals by equipping students with a solid foundation in legal knowledge, analytical skills, and effective communication. Over the years, legal education in India has transformed from a vibrant and dynamic mooting culture to offering legal aid services, organizing court visits, participating in debating activities, and conducting mock trials at the college level.