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One Year Of Virtual NALSAR- My Online Law School Experience

By ABT Student- Bhavya, Rank 5 in CLAT20
11 Aug, 2021
One Year Of Virtual NALSAR- My Online Law School Experience
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, followed by sprawling lockdown periods, I have finally completed my first year as a B.A. LL. B (H) student at NALSAR University Of Law, Hyderabad. Being a student who prepared for the law entrance examinations in the backdrop of the pandemic, with the mammoth exam being postponed every month incepting from June 2020, the journey appeared quite treacherous. But with admission to NALSAR, events became stabler for me.
 
The beginning of the academic year was marked by abrupt procedures of introducing curriculum, but the same was specially designed to impart legal education and encompass pedagogical practices that looked at “law during the pandemic”, with special emphasis of legal methods and jurisprudence on the same. Canonical structures in the syllabus were taught with full dedication, and breakout rooms were created to have a daily perspective-based discourse on the need for law and legislation and administrative clarity in procedures. The premier NLUs have a special feature, of having subjects administered by experts in their fields of expertise. NALSAR had in it, the venerability for the “importance of research”. Senior mentors were assigned at times, and at times we were given a choice to choose them.
 
After rigorous classes that preserved the meticulousness of law in exactitude, the tutorship programmes immensely aided us in revising and exploring more within the subjects we were taught. The practice continues. The study of law at eminent law schools entails respect for natural justice, constitutionalism and principles of fairness and equality at every stage. For the same purpose, the academic committee maintains anonymity for paper evaluation protocols to avoid favouritism, procedures for the appointment of members to university centres and clubs have fairness protocols checked, and the concerns exhibited by students having special needs is always looked into with active role of the administration. LL. B degree, despite being online is highly representative for all categories of students. Online book banks, off-campus library access with memberships of legal databases, journals, books, statistical periodicals etc. are ensured. Redressal mechanisms work very particularly.
 
Plagiarism checks on submissions ensure credible synthesis of knowledge, and despite the online format, application-based questions in cyclic examinations in toto, also provide a window into “pragmatic understanding of the law”. Despite the virtual format, law schools have kept high priorities and constancy in not letting ‘exposure’ fade away. Moot court competitions, Alternate dispute resolution tournaments, debating championships and cultural events have switched to online platforms, increasing access even more by eliminating travel boundaries. Active connections with central universities across India and abroad have enabled universal participation for everyone, in much more intensity and volume than ever before. Media platforms, online video conferencing, social media outreach and responsiveness maintained via a robust system of e-mail agency, have aided the process. Research materials and educational materials are highly accessible. Convocations, webinars, course seminars and skill programmes are informed regularly.
 
The era has also witnessed a reformed version of internships at law schools with coming off them at home! The LL. B degree programs at NLUs specifically provide break periods of 2-3 months annually, with internship breaks of varying durations after each semester. Online internships, honing of lawyering and research practices at courts near residences of students, online research apprenticeships and co-authorship opportunities with academicians and professors of universities across the world, characterise the ease of interning the period has consequently ensured.
 
With a complete transformation of academic mechanisms in law schools, there are some shortcomings, including slightly reduced comprehension levels, hesitant behaviours in doubt raising, and an aloofness that has dawned over the space to some extent. Nevertheless, mailing systems, responsive accountability, class recordings, Q&A sessions and ever-growing exposure have lessened the extent of these challenges.
 
NLUs have still preserved the academic credibility with enhanced, more regular exam-taking strategies and project submissions, but relief is simultaneously provided in understandable periods of tough transitions that pandemic brings along. Elongated choices of elective subjects, in-school seminar courses and an ever-increasing array of seeking knowledge, with wide ways of opportunities recognised by law schools and made to avail for students becomes the most striking feature of online LL. B with national experts willing to impart knowledge at multiple times. Post LL. B avenues, including civil services and further studies, have also grasped the stage for beautifying the course.
 
The hours seem long at times, and humdrumness prevails, but inhabiting with challenges becomes bearable over time and still there remains, a room out there to be looked at, and relished. 
 
*This article may not be produced in total or part without the explicit permission of AB Tutorials/ or the author.
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