one are the days when parents wanted their wards to become only doctors and engineers. Several streams, alongside MBA and law, have come into reckoning.
Legal studies today have indeed become coveted. “Choosing law is no longer a matter of compulsion but of choice,” says Poonam Saxena, professor-in-charge, Law Centre II, faculty of law (FOL), University of Delhi.
“We know about students who had devoted one full year after their graduation to prepare for admission to the FOL. During that one year period neither did they take admission in any other course nor did they take up a job,” she goes on to add.
According to professor S N Singh, head and dean, FOL, DU, legal education is the “best option for employment,” because it is recession-proof. “ During the recent slowdown did we hear any advocate complaining about reduction in his earnings or the number of cases he handles,” Singh asks. “On the contrary,” he goes on to add, “on account of closure of enterprises during the slowdown, unemployment increased and consequently there was increase in litigation.”
That the demand for lawyers has increased during the last one year can be ascertained from the fact that there has been a major upsurge in the number of applicants for the three-year LLB course in FOL, DU. 9000 candidates, which is 2000 more than those applied during the last couple of years, did apply for
admission this year, points out Prof Singh.
And there is no dearth of employment for those who have successfully completed their degree. Nor do they earn less. According to the Hindustan Times - C fore survey the average salary that a passout of FOL, DU earns is Rs 5 lakh per annum with the highest salary being Rs 10 lakh per annum. Passouts of NALSAR earn even more. The highest salary that a NALSAR graduate has bagged is Rs 15 lakh per annum.
The first priority of the students, who graduate, is to join the judiciary. Civil services, corporate sector and law firms complete the priority list. A handful joins litigation in the courts. And those interested in teaching law go for postgraduation (LLM) in India and abroad. “Nearly 50 students joined as civil judges, after clearing the competitive examination, in Delhi, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam etc in 2009,” says Prof Singh. Moreover, “the alumni of FOL are doing extremely well,” says Saxena. “ Our alumni include Supreme Court and High court judges; eminent politicians like Arun Jaitley and Kapil Sibal; chief ministers like Mayawati and B S Hooda; several civil servants; ex-cops like Kiran Bedi etc. The list is long,” elaborates Singh.
The contribution of the faculty members behind the success of these students cannot be denied. As always, FOL’s strength lies in its faculty roster. “ We have illustrious faculty who not only have published books and have conducted several research projects but also have bagged several fellowships abroad,” says Saxena.
In terms of student experience FOL is class apart. Prof Saxena, who did her LLB, LLM and PhD from the institute and is now serving here as well, stands testimony to this.
“Besides excellence in academics we had plenty of opportunities to indulge in extracurricular activities like sports, singing, dramatics etc. And these led to overall personality development,” recounts Saxena. What contributed most to her character building was the legal awareness programmes that made her aware of the ‘stark reality’ — the practical needs of the society, more specifically that of the socially and financially vulnerable section, which “in a way inculcated in us an understanding of their perception and made us more mature and responsible citizens.” And that tradition continues even today.