Once they cross a stiff entrance test, an integrated five-year course will see them step out with a graduate degree and a post graduate qualification (BA-LLB) to practice law. At top schools, placement is assured. But it is an all-India contest. The IIT of Law, NLS/IU examines thousands of slogging adolescents to fill a mere 80 plus seats.
The test syllabus is a bit of a nightmare. One has to show flair for English, GK, mathematics, logical reasoning and legal reasoning. And legal reasoning is not a subject offered at the Plus Two level. For most, the only time they pick up something about law is by watching "The Practice" on television.
Hema devised her own curriculum. She started classes in August 2002. In February and March of 2003, students stayed away for the Board exams. In April, they attended classes almost every day and took the test in May.
"I always participated in school elocution," says Megha Ramani. "I have a good memory." She charts her career as a law assistant and a legal advisor. Exceptionally articulate, Malavika Raghavan did a lot of research before she chose NALSAR to carve a career. "It fits into a lot of other logistics. Eventually I'll be working with an NGO as an environment lawyer."
Dipayan Das who wrote his TNPCEE along with law tests (parents insisted), will take a crack at the Civil Services exam after the law course. "I never did well as a science student," he admits. "As a lawyer, I don't have to work under anyone. May be I'll practise in Chennai."
As a IXth Standard student, Anjanakshi knew she would go for law. "I won a lot of debates in school. But law is not just about talking. It is also about studying," she says realistically. She is thrilled to be at NALSAR. "Great infrastructure, 55 acres to explore!"
Mahesh Kumar will be the first lawyer in his family. "I'll be joining a law firm after specialising in cyber law. It is a stable profession, not subject to market fluctuations. It is the law that rules. And the man who knows the law rules."
Most parents confess to being astonished at their kids clearing the test with just a month of serious preparation. Malavika's mother wanted her to go for engineering.