Law can be a very lucrative field for students who have the aptitude and attitude to understand the legal complexities. With the option of several branches of law, students can choose one which interests them the most. Moreover, there are myriad opportunities in different industries after you have attained your law degree. Apart from assisting a senior lawyer or joining a law firm, you can become a legal advisor for any company or institution or even take up teaching.
A number of factors must be considered when you are targeting a law course. While the National Law University (NLU) is the first choice for most students aspiring to become lawyers, there are other colleges also which offer worthwhile academic experience, faculty as well as placement opportunities. All law colleges are accredited by the NAAC, so you may check the scoring provided by them. The most commonly accepted exam is CLAT conducted by the NLU. The Symbiosis Law School (Pune) conducts its own exam known as SET SLAT, and UPES (Dehradun) conducts ULSAT. Get information about the structure and dates of the exams well in time. Listed below are the major criteria which you must consider when shortlisting a law college:
- Which branch of law to pursue: The factor which will impact your entire professional life is the choice of the branch of law that you want to study in depth. Though the graduate courses are comprehensive and cover all aspects of law, specialisation does matter for a postgraduate course or when you are going for internships. Corporate law, family law, intellectual property law, cyber law, consumer protection and constitutional law are some prominent branches that you can take up.
- Ranking of the college: The ranking for by some reliable sources is based on many vital parameters. Hence, it does give an idea about the worth of the college. However, don’t restrict yourself to the five or ten Top Law Colleges. There are separate ranking lists for government and private colleges. Make sure that you check both and then make your decision.
- What’s the fee structure: The fees for law courses in India can range from as less as 5000 to as much as 25 lakh. Carefully check the fee details on the websites or brochures of colleges. Also, the expenses vary according to the city in which you are studying. For instance, staying in Bangalore or Delhi may lead to higher additional expenses than Dehradun or Varanasi.
- How is the faculty: You’r learning at the end of the day depends to a great extent on your professors. For a law college, experienced lawyers who have practiced in courts or been in association with companies are ideal. Get to know about the full-time as well as visiting faculty, and how much time they will be able to give to you for counselling beyond class duration. They should be able to help you with research work and case studies.
- Internships and Placement: Top Law Colleges in India help students in getting work experience during the course, as well as final placements, specially for corporate law graduates. Check out the industry support to the college as well as its relation with the law firms. Deciding the city in which you want to study and then work is also a related criterion while searching the college. You may also get an idea about the average salary offered to students graduating from your target law colleges.
- Facilities available at campus: While classroom studies are basic, the activities like mock court rooms, and open forums are important part of law courses. The college must also possess a rich library with adequate supply of law journals and keep the students updated with the major events in the legal world.
Once you choose the stream of law you want to take up, make a list of colleges where that particular branch is strong in terms of pedagogy and faculty. Then fill the forms and get started with your preparation to crack the entrance tests.