NLU vs Non-NLU: Solving the Biggest Law School Dilemma

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From getting out of the examination hall of CLAT till the result day, emotions progress on a spectrum: anxious to relieved joy or anxious to a disappointed sigh. This disappointed sigh is often a result of uncertainty – if CLAT does not work out, then how will non-NLUs shape their career.

Because heavy importance is given to NLUs, Indian students are torn between the clash of NLU v. non-NLU. Thus, it becomes imperative to dig deep and understand the role law schools –  NLUs or non-NLUs, in shaping your individual goals.

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Do NLUs have an advantage?

Brand Value
There is almost always a higher possibility of a slight inclination towards NLU students, especially from the top ones. People do give a preference to them in internships and jobs due to their brand value.

Most of the time, the professors teaching in NLUs are known for being highly knowledgeable and qualified. This can heavily affect and change a student’s perception of subjects when it comes to academics.NLU vs Non-NLU: Solving the Biggest Law School Dilemma

One of the biggest plus-points of NLUs is that they, maybe not cheap, but are a lot more affordable. Some of the private colleges and universities can be ridiculously expensive for the students in comparison to NLUs.

Only 3% of all the students who appear for CLAT make it to NLUs. Therefore, they provide a highly competitive environment for everyone with intelligent and hard-working peers. This can work as an advantage for some students but can put a lot of burden of higher expectations on others. Thus, mental health issues are also significant in numbers in NLUs.


Now after having discussed the additional benefits of being in an NLU, let us address the myths related to them. There will also be a reality-check after each of them.

NLU vs Non-NLU: Solving the Biggest Law School Dilemma

Myth – NLUs provide the best education

Now even though that can be true to an extent, they also have their own shortcomings. They follow old teaching techniques and are not always on par with modern technologies. Also, most of the NLUs lack different specializations to take up, therefore giving students fewer options. This can hinder the process of self-exploration and development of tech-based expertise. In comparison to them, non-NLUs are more technologically advanced and have better infrastructure.

Myth – Getting in an NLU is all you need
There is a misconception among law-aspirants that all will be well once you get admitted to an NLU. That you will get the finest jobs just for being in an NLU. The reality is quite different. There is huge academic pressure on NLU students and they work really hard for their success. This hard work and dedication led them to places that we aspire to be in.

Myth – Any NLU is better than non-NLUs
Sometimes, a few students think that all the NLUs are good. But in reality, only the top 5 –10 NLUs are the best while others are far different from them. There are some really good private colleges that are better than the lower NLUs.

Myth – NLU students do everything
There is a prevalent notion that whatever non-NLU students do, they can never match up to an NLU student. However, in  NLUs, the schedule is structured in such a manner that students can’t give all of their time to certain important things. For example, most NLU students do not get time to do internships for more than 1 or 2 months. Therefore, they miss out on crucial learnings, which non-NLUs get.

What should you look for in your law school?

So now lets us discuss the check-list to have while deciding on a law school. You can take help from the following given points:

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  • Just remember all the aforementioned good qualities a law school has and the activities they offer. Do your research and find out the truth before joining any University.
  • You also need to consider your own values and preferences to add to the check-list. As every law school does not have all the specializations available, make sure you are selecting the one that has yours.
  • Do not forget to take into account other factors like place, transportation, the cost, etc. This will decide whether going to that law school is practically possible and affordable for you.

Most of the time, the professors teaching in NLUs are known for being highly knowledgeable and qualified. This can heavily affect and change a student's perception of subjects when it comes to academics.

What should matter to you?

At this point, we have discussed all the information to look out for before joining a law school. The concluding thought is that every student will need to put in their hard work, whether they are in an NLU or a non-NLU. So, get up and start working strategically. Here are some thoughts and advice on what you as a law student should do to maximize your potential:

  • Make sure to participate in quality moots, publish research papers, and do standard internships. These activities will be responsible for building your practical skill sets and make your CV attractive to recruiters.
  • Building your linguistic skills and polishing your mannerisms are no-brainers for a law student. This should include developing your writing skills for doing good-quality drafting, writing clean and professional emails while being time-efficient etc.
  • Before interviews of jobs and internships, be ready with proper research about that firm or workplace. It is also important for you to be confident in your labour and have belief in yourself.
  • Networking is extremely crucial and will get to bring you a lot of awareness, knowledge, and opportunities. So, make sure to put effort into connecting with intellectual and learned individuals from various fields.

Remember that recruiters will see your qualification, experience, and skillsets more than what University or College you have graduated from. Keep in mind your learnings and apply them to your own life and be a mentor to those who need it. Ultimately, the arguments of NLU v. non-NLU do not make a lot of impacts if you really do what needs to be done to make your dreams true.

About the Author: Madhuja Chatterjee is a 1st year Student from the School of Law, CHRIST  University, Bangalore. She has always been young at heart, curious and eager to explore the fascinating subject of Content Writing.

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Lipi Garg

Lipi Garg

Lipi is the Publishing Editor of Memo Pundits. For help in publishing details of any event, please email at

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