The basis of our research was a survey we conducted among law students from a
private college asking them questions regarding the problems they face and why
they fail in their duty to study in a private law college. This article consists
of some of the main reasons highlighted by the majority of students and also the
solutions identified by them, we have tried to put their views into words.
There is a difference between the environment of NLU and a private law college,
considering factors other than just the reputation of the institution, an
obvious difference could be observed in the facilities and exposure a student
gets while being a part of the institution. A student graduating from NLU gets
better placement opportunities as well as an advantage over other students in
attaining a job in a top tier law firm.
They have multiple motivational reasons to study, private law colleges' students
on the other hand don't often get so. There are certain reasons which were
highlighted by the students of private colleges themselves as to why they are
somehow failing in their duty to study. Such reasons are written underneath in
this article along with the solutions students believe might solve the
Why do law students in private colleges fail to study?
It's not about the kind of university you are studying in. For some students,
university doesn't teach them everything, they are supposed to come and impart
knowledge, it's up to us what they can do additionally. The studying pattern of
both private and government are regulated by a single authority i.e. Bar Council
of India, so we cannot say that universities other than private universities
teach different things.
The subject law is the same for all, but it depends on how a student explores it
or takes interest in that particular subject. Private universities have all
facilities like an ADR room, library with a wide range of law books, Moot court
room etc. Most of the private universities are giving admissions just by taking
heavy amount of donation and do not bother about the IQ level of student but in
government universities admission is possible only by giving admission test
which student have to through his knowledge.
So, most of the students who take admission through donation do not have value
of study and money. But in government universities and NLUs, students take
admission after clearing their exam and they respect their studies and also
their money. This is also a reason they perform their duty more accurately than
the private universities students.
The crowd exposure in government universities and NLUs is wider than private
universities as in government universities students take admission from
different parts of countries that will allow them to make contacts in a wide
range but in private universities most regional people take admission so the
exposure is less and we all know that law is all about contacts. But students
are not only the factor behind the successful rate of universities, there were
more other facts because of them a law student fails to perform his duty, no
matter if the university is private or not.
The other factors like private universities manipulate results of students in
order to promote their university, so that more students take admission in their
university and they can earn profits, they are profit driven, that is why it
does not concern them if the student they are giving admission to is competent
or not. But at the end of the day it is the duty of students to study while they
are in college but clearly, they are failing in their duties, so what are the
reasons and what can be the solutions for the problems they face?
Following are some of the problems highlighted by students in private law
colleges themselves and solutions suggested by them only:
- No admission tests
About 75,183 candidates appeared for the common law aptitude test in 2020,
the reason behind this massive number of students appearing in the test is
because this test acts as a gateway to admission in 22 national law schools
across the country. The admission in the NLUs is a dream of almost all the
students aspiring to study law and here is the deal, not every aspirant is
going to qualify and reserve a seat for themselves in the NLUs, private
universities are often a second and last choice for them.
Most of the law aspirants would not want to opt for admissions in private
law schools before trying their luck in CLAT, we cannot deny the fact that
it is easier to get admissions in the private law schools when compared with
NLUs, so the aspirants who fail to qualify in the CLAT examinations consider
private colleges as a backup for themselves. Most of the private
universities don't even require the students to pass an aptitude test and
give admissions on the basis of board results, third tier universities
generally don't even have a criterion based on which they could judge a
person's competency to enter their institution as a student.
This might be a problem for not just the institution but also for the
students who are pretty serious about their career in the field of law, as
people judge and create an image of the institutions highlighting the
average and below average students while doing so and impact the credibility
and reputation of the whole institution.
It would not be wrong to point out that students in private law schools fail
to study and achieve the level so achieved by the public law schools and
there are several other reasons for that including this one, with no minimum
criteria required, student's beliefs are influenced, we can call it the
cognitive impact of the past behaviors, resulting in them to believe that
studying here in this institution is not a mandate for them to qualify as a
professional, the way it was not required at the time of admission in the
To some extent this belief of theirs is also influenced by the experience
shared by their peers. A reputation is created and communicated largely and
that impacts the impression and behavior of the students studying in the
As already highlighted, the absence of minimum criteria of marks required
for admission in private law schools impacts the behavior of the students
making them believe that studying in law school is not a mandate, so if the
private law schools simply add a qualification requirement which is stricter
than it currently is, they can redeem their reputation, this is one of the
factors why NLU students don't fail in their duties to study, they have
studied their way to the college, they are well aware that it is the only
thing that will get them through the law school.
Private law colleges on the other hand are all about getting maximum number
of students to get admitted in their institutions and acquire maximum
profits as a result of the same. Eliminating this simple system of admission
and only admitting students who are actually competent by explicitly
announcing a process for that and refusing admission of students who do not
pass the requirements would largely affect the behavior of law students and
they would understand the need to study while being in the law school.
- More concerned about the attendance and marks
It should not come as a surprise anymore that students in private law
schools are merely attending classes for the sake of attendance. The faculty
members are also well aware of this fact and often use this over obsession
with attendance as a bait for students to get things that are required done.
This results in students to care about attendance more than they care about
It is an undeniable fact that every college requires students to maintain a
percentage of attendance and the reason behind this condition put upon by
colleges to make students attend the classes is completely valid, the aim is
to make them attend the class and understand the concepts better but the
applicability of such measures is clearly not up to the mark. As per the
classical conditioning theory, "two stimuli are linked together to
produce a new learned response in a person or animal."
When one person notices that he is getting a reward at the happening of a
certain event for a certain time period continuously, that person tends to
expect that reward at the happening of that particular event every single
time, he is conditioned to do so. In case of a student, he is getting
attendance as a reward for being present in the class, the attendance is his
reward. Studying on the other hand is not giving him any sort of reward
instantly. A student conditioned to receive an instant reward would avoid
the things that are not instantly rewarding.
This could also be the reason why students tend to study a day before exam,
they are aware that marks are important, we have learnt to believe so since
the beginning of our education. Marks are always given priority, that is the
reason why students start studying a day before exam so that they can get
good marks and pass the semester not because they know the need and
importance of studying for a better career.
Students think that they have paid the fees, attended the classes, attained
passing marks and that is enough and now they can get their degree and be a
lawyer. We are all conditioned to believe so. This is caused due to lack of
proper guidance from the very beginning. A lawyer needs more than just
adequate attendance and passing marks obtained by studying a night before
exam. Devoting their time to acquire actual knowledge is a mandate for a
lawyer to excel in their careers.
The problem mentioned above can be resolved by just one simple measure but
needs contribution from both the faculty and the students. Faculty need to
devote their time and explain the need to acquire knowledge and how this
would act as shapeshifter of the careers of students. Students on the other
hand need to give up on their conditioned thinking that all they need to be
a lawyer is a degree obtained by maintaining attendance records and passing
marks. The simple measure is to have sessions regarding this teaching that
needs to be instilled in the student's mind. Marks should not be the
priority, as we all know that they are not enough, so why prioritize them,
so is attendance.
Points should be given to students for extra activities they do, like
researching and writing papers on legal topics, acquiring experience and
knowledge outside their curriculum and for the skills that they are
developing. This would encourage everyone to at least try and acquire
knowledge besides just memorizing the syllabus and getting marks.
- Less focus on practical skills:
Sometimes I wish there were more practical skills taught by law school and I
believe I speak on behalf of all the law students when I say that law
schools should teach us how to survive in the field of law after completing
law school. Practical knowledge is often overlooked and students did not
join the law school to attend a class where the teacher is reading a bare
act out loud and explaining concepts from a textbook which they could
themselves read, law schools should be more than that and when this
expectation of students that they are going to learn how to be a lawyer in
the college is not fulfilled they tend to give up which is one of the
reasons why they fail in their duty to study, on the other hand most the
institution does is organize a lecture or workshop given by a renowned
professor which does expand the knowledge but is it really enough?
Half of the students in law schools would actually prefer if they were
learning the real life things, they would be facing out there when they
graduate than sitting in a classroom and following a time-table, a practice
they have been following in schools as well.
The traditional teaching methods need amendments, an ordinary academic year
is just classes for 3-4 months, numerous written assignments and final exams
with a requirement to do an internship of at least 4 weeks which too is not
strict as a faux certificate could be easily made and end of semester.
Multiply this by 10- and 5-year integrated course ends.
"All law graduates becoming lawyers by default was affecting the standard of
the profession and said it must be ensured that only "suitable" LLB degree
holders join practice." This statement shows concern of the supreme court
regarding the growing number of laws graduates every year and degradation of
the field of law with the growing number. The reason behind this could be
interpreted straightforwardly, the lack of practical knowledge and
competency of students to understand the delicacy of this profession.
What exactly does an institution need to do in order to instill proper
knowledge and experience in students regarding this field? Firstly, the
traditional teaching methods should continue for a limited period of time
for as long as it is absolutely necessary to make students understand the
concepts related to various important subjects and fields, rest should be by
the way of visiting actual places of work and understanding what it is like
to be working in that environment where that student is expected to be
An internship offers that but college expects us to find internships
ourselves and half of the students out there are merely performing their
duties for a certificate and are not effective in teaching students much.
On the other hand, if the college would themselves approach the workplaces
and make students work there and make sure that they actually are working
instead of just getting a certificate from them and showing it to the
authorities in college, this might change the scenario.
Considering the institution has made an effort in making students understand
the work spaces, the students would not only understand how things work
after graduation but would also begin to believe that there is a need to
study and work hard while being in college as this profession demands so.
- Competition and distractions:
There is no substitute for hard work and law students require to study in
order to be a better legal professional. One of the major differences
between NLUs and private law colleges is that students in NLUs are in close
contact with just other law students whereas law students in other colleges
are in contact with students from other departments too. The societies and
communities formed within the NLUs are focused on issues related to law and
legal profession only.
Another factor contributing to the problem is the fact that most of the
students in private law colleges have reserved their seat in the college
based on their board exam marks and not based on CLAT or any entrance exam
and they are not competitive. Lack of competition leads to lack of will to
study in the minds of students. Students who have taken admission in private
colleges are simply there for a degree, it's not impossible to get a degree
and that is the reason why no one desires to go beyond their ways and focus
on their studies.
Ultimately the students who are in fact serious about their careers observe
that there is no competition, they are already topping classes without
putting in much effort, leading to the lack of studies. So, while we are
still highlighting these issues faced by students, how can we overlook the
drama! one of the reasons why students fail in their duties to study is
because of the constantly recurring distractions in various forms, as we
discussed earlier that there are several students who are just there for a
degree and not because they care about being a professional in this field,
these are the students responsible for drama and nuisance.
There is always a lot going on in college. Another contributing factor is
the presence of other departments in private colleges, NLUs have an
environment which can facilitate the professionalism in the minds of
students, private colleges on the other hand cannot maintain that
environment due to the presence of other departments.
For the problem highlighted above, the missing factor in the private law
colleges is an environment that could facilitate a healthy competition
between the students and avoid the distractions. Also, this change in
environment would make students think in a professional way. To create a
healthy competition, there needs to be activities and events like moot
courts, debates, etc. planned out continuously.
This small change with many others would definitely make a change in not
just the life of students but also in the goodwill of the institutions.
We cannot disagree that activities like such are organized but not strictly.
Students should also be encouraged to organize these activities themselves
and this will give them a feeling that they belong to that institution.
NLUs offer their students facilities like placements in top tier law firms
and other benefits that arise because of the reputation they carry. Private
institutions need to offer such an environment too. Undeniably, they try to
provide students opportunities to grow not just nationally but also
But then again, it is the duty of students to study and According to us, the
main factor for the success of the student is his internal will. If he does not
want to study or have a successful future, no university can force him or change
his future. So, in the subject of law the university is not the matter for the
success of the student whether private and government it all depends on how a
student utilize the resources provided by the universities.
The only way a university can help is by avoiding giving admissions to students
who are not competent enough, they need to act like they are educational
institutions they claim to be rather than acting like a profit driven business.
Once a student has entered the college, by making sure they don't feel like all
they are supposed to do is study a night before and get their degree and that is
literally all they need to do to be a lawyer.
There has to be a change in the behavior of the student and they need to
realize the importance of studying as a student. With that being said, the
universities need to create an environment which is suitable for students who
are actually serious about their careers and education unlike most of the
students and promote a healthy competition alongside.
- Shubham Parashar,
- Naman Singla And
- Harshita Setia